Joe's Daily U.S. History Lesson
About This Show
Daily American show that celebrates the great United States of America! Here, I talk about the good, the bad and the ugly with stories ranging from Ben Franklin to Billy the Kid to the New York Yankees and Hollywood. Give me four minutes and I'll tell you all about it!
Most Recent Episode
Joe's Daily U.S. History Lesson -- March 26
< 1 day ago
MARCH 26 1953-Polio gets its cure. Thank you Dr. Jonas Salk! Consider how important that was. In the 1950’s Americans feared two things: the atom bomb, and polio. In 1952 there were 58000 cases reported in the US; thousands died and many more thousands were left semi- or completely paralyzed. Take FDR into consideration, for instance. After all, he’s lucky he bounced back from that at all. That’s probably a big reason as to why he founded the National foundation for Infantile Paralysis, known today as the March of Dimes Foundation, when he was President of the US. But getting back to Salk. Jonas Salk was born in 1914 and grew up in the Jewish immigrant culture of New York. He studied at New York University and began research in the 1930s. He married Donna Linsday under that was contingent on her father’s two conditions: 1) Get your MD first, and 2) Get a middle name. During WWII he helped develop flu vaccines, then he ran a research lab at the University of Pittsburgh in 1947. A year later he was awarded a grant to study the polio and come up with a vaccine, and by 1950 he has his prototype, albeit unsuccessful. The procedure was to kill several strains of the virus and then inject the benign viruses into a healthy person’s bloodstream. The person’s immune system would then create antibodies designed to resist future exposure to the disease. He tried the procedure on former polio patients, then himself and his family, then the day came on March 26 of 1953 when he made the big announcement, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. And just like that, he became a hero overnight. By 1954 clinical trials using the Salk vaccine and a placebo began on almost 2 million American children, and in April 1955, it was announced a safe and effective vaccine, literally, the day after President Roosevelt died. . These days we only have a handful of polio problems and they pretty much all come from folks who bring it from third world countries. My man Jonas Salk was awarded, among other honors, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977. He came up with the Salk Institute in beautiful La Jolla, CA, and was named the “Father of Biophilosphy” by the New York Times. In 1968 Jonas and Donna got divorced and he got remarried to Francoise Gilot, the former mistress of Pablo Picasso. He died at the age of 80 and is buried at El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego. So send flowers. 1920-F Scott