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The Bowery Boys: New York City History
61 minutes | 8 days ago
#362 Gatsby and the Mansions of the Gold Coast
The first part of our new mini-series Road Trip to Long Island featuring tales of historic sites outside of New York City. Many of you are quite familiar with Long Island; you might have grown up there or you may be a frequent visitor to its most famous recreational sites -- The Hamptons, Fire Island or Long Island wine country. But the world is perhaps most familiar with Long Island thanks to the 1925 classic novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a tale of romantic yearning and social status during the Jazz Age -- set specifically in the year 1922, in the grand and opulent manor of its mysterious anti-hero Jay Gatsby. A house so large and so full of luxury that it doesn't seem like it could even be real. And yet hundreds of these types of mansions dotted the landscape of Long Island in the early 20th century, particular along the north shore. This area was known as the Gold Coast. In this episode, we present the origin of the Gold Coast and stories from its most prominent (and unusual) mega-mansions. Lifestyle of the (very old) rich and famous! PLUS: A road trip to Planting Fields Arboretum, the lavish grounds of the old W.R. Coe estate. Hidden rooms, bizarre murals and curious gardens! boweryboyshistory.comSupport the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
63 minutes | 15 days ago
#361 Landmarks of Coney Island (Extended Funhouse Mix)
Coney Island is back! After being closed for 2020 due to the pandemic, the unusual attractions, the thrilling rides and the stands selling delicious beer and hot dogs have finally reopened. So we are releasing this very special version of our 2018 show called Landmarks of Coney Island — special, because this is an extended version of that show featuring the tales of two more Coney Island landmarks which were left out of the original show. The Coney Island Boardwalk — officially the Riegelmann Boardwalk — became an official New York City scenic landmark in 2018, and to celebrate, we are headed to Brooklyn’s amusement capital to toast its most famous and long-lasting icons. Recorded live on location, this week’s show features the backstories of these Coney Island classics: — The Wonder Wheel, the graceful, eccentric Ferris wheel preparing to celebrate for its 100th year of operation; — The Spook-o-Rama, a dark ride full of old-school thrills; — The Cyclone, perhaps America’s most famous roller-coaster with a history that harkens back to Coney Island’s wild coaster craze; — Nathan’s Famous, the king of hot dogs which has fed millions from the same corner for over a century; — Coney Island Terminal, a critical transportation hub that ushered in the amusement area’s famous nickname — the Nickel Empire PLUS: An interview with Dick Zigun, the unofficial mayor of Coney Island and founder of Coney Island USA, who recounts the origin of the Mermaid Parade and the Sideshow by the Seashore. boweryboyshistory.comSupport the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
65 minutes | 22 days ago
#360 The Botanical Gardens of New York
Nature and history intertwine in all five boroughs -- from The Bronx River to the shores of Staten Island -- in this special episode about New York City's many botanical gardens. A botanical garden is more than just a pretty place; it's a collection of plant life for the purposes of preservation, education and study. But in an urban environment like New York City, botanical gardens also must engage with modern life, becoming both a park and natural history museum. The New York Botanical Garden, established in 1891, became a sort of Gilded Age trophy room for exotic trees, plants and flowers, astride the natural features of The Bronx (and an old tobacco mill). When the Brooklyn Botanic Garden opened next to the Brooklyn Museum in 1911, its delights included an extraordinary Japanese garden by Takeo Shiota, one of the first of its kind in the United States. The World's Fair of 1939-40 also brought an international flavor to New York City, and one of its more peculiar exhibitions -- called Gardens on Parade -- stuck around in the form of the Queens Botanical Garden. PLUS: Gardens help save New York City landmarks -- from an historic estate overlooking the Hudson River to a stately collection of architecture from the early 19th century in Staten Island.Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
66 minutes | a month ago
#359 The Magic of the Movie Theater: Palaces and Arthouses
In celebration of 125 years of movie exhibition in New York City -- from vaudeville houses to movie palaces, from arthouses to multiplexes. In the spring of 1896 an invention called the Vitascope projected moving images onto a screen at a midtown vaudeville theater. The business of movies was born. But the late 1910s, the movies were big, but the theaters were getting bigger! Thanks to men like architect Thomas Lamb and impresario Samuel 'Roxy' Rothafel, theaters in Times Square, New York's prime entertainment district, grew larger and more opulent. Even by the 1940s, movie theaters were a mix of film and live acts -- singers, dancers, animal acrobats and the drama of a Wurlitzer organ! But a major court case brought a change to American film exhibition and diversity to the screen -- both low brow (grind house) and high brow (foreign films and 'art' movies). Today's greatest arthouse cinemas trace their lineage back to the late 1960s/early 1970s and the new conception of movies as an art form. Can these theaters survive the perennial villain of the movies (i.e. television) AND the current challenges of a pandemic? FEATURING: The origin story of all your favorite New York City movie theaters. boweryboyshistory.comSupport the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
59 minutes | a month ago
#358 The Muppets Take Manhattan (Bowery Boys Movie Club)
TOGETHER AGAIN! In 1984, Jim Henson brought his world-famous Muppets to New York for a wacky musical comedy that satirized the gritty, jaded environment of 1980s Manhattan while providing fascinating views of some of its most glamorous landmarks. On this springtime episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club, listen in as Greg and Tom recap the story and explore the many real New York City settings of the film — from the Empire State Building and Central Park to the corner booth at Sardi’s Restaurant and certain luncheonette in the area of today’s Hudson Square. The Muppets Take Manhattan expresses an unfiltered enthusiasm for the promise of New York City at a time when national headlines were filled with tales of the city’s high crime and budget problems. Can Kermit and Miss Piggy (and their roster of guest stars like Art Carney and Joan Rivers) bring magic back to the Big Apple? To get BRAND NEW episodes of the Bowery Boys Movie Club, support the Bowery Boys Podcast on Patreon. boweryboyshistory.comSupport the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
76 minutes | 2 months ago
#357: Edith Wharton's New York
New York's upper class families of the late 19th century lived lives of old-money pursuits and rigid, self-maintained social restrictions -- from the opera boxes to the carriages, from the well-appointed parlors to the table settings. It was leisure without relaxation. In this episode we examine the story of Edith Wharton -- the acclaimed American novelist who was born in New York City and raised inside this very Gilded Age social world that she would bring to life in her prose. She was a true "insider" of New York's wealthy class -- giving the reader an honest look at what it was like to live in the mansions of Fifth Avenue, to attend an elite dinner soiree featuring tableaux vivants and to carry forth an exhausting agenda of travels to Hudson River estates, grand Newport manors and gardened European villas. We can read her works today and enjoy them simply as wonderful fiction -- and incredible character studies -- but as lovers of New York City history, we can also read her New York-based works for these recreations of another era. Is it possible to glimpse a bit of Edith Wharton's New York in the modern city today? Tom and Greg are joined by Wharton lecturer and tour guide Carl Raymond, a historian who has traced her footsteps many times on the streets of New York (and through the halls of her country home The Mount in Lenox, MA.) Also: Join us on April 13, 2013 for a virtual celebration of Gilded Age dining, hosted by Carl, Greg and Tom. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
35 minutes | 2 months ago
#356 Pfizer: A Brooklyn Origin Story
The story of a true Brooklyn 'start up' -- Charles Pfizer and Co, who went from developing intestinal worm medication in 1849 to being a leader of COVID-19 vaccine development and distribution in the 21st century. The origin of Pfizer is one of German immigration in the mid 19th century and of early medical practices and concoctions that might seem alien to us today. But this company's biography is also a celebration of Brooklyn — the City of Brooklyn in the mid 19th century, developing into an economic force in the United States and in opposition to the city of New York across the East River. But great innovation can come from tragedy. How did the ugliness of war assist Pfizer in evolving to meet the challenges of the modern world? PLUS You can't tell the Pfizer story without looking at the world of apothecaries and early drug stores in New York City in the 19th century. FEATURING Duane Reade, Keihl's, C.O. Bigelow, E. R. Squibb and Johnson & Johnson ALSO What important American figure today grew up delivering parcels for his family drugstore in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn? boweryboyshistory.comSupport the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
62 minutes | 2 months ago
#355 The Midnight Adventures of Doctor Parkhurst
Welcome to your tour of New York City nightlife in the 1890s, to a fantasia of debauchery, to a "saturnalia of crime," your journey to a life of delicious, amoral delights! Courtesy a sleazy detective, a blond-headed rube nicknamed Sunbeam and -- a prominent Presbyterian minister. In this episode, we're going to Sin City, the New York underworld of the Gilded Age -- the saloons, dance halls, opium dens, prostitution houses and groggeries of Old New York. Depicted in the sensationalist media of the day as a sort of urban Hades, a hellish landscape of vice and debauchery. So you might be surprised that our tour guide into this debauched landscape is the respected minister Dr. Charles Parkhurst of the Madison Square Presbyterian Church. The point of Parkhurst's sacrilegious voyage was to expose police corruption and New York law enforcement’s willingness to look the other way at illegal behavior and decrepit social situations. This two-week dive into New York’s most sinful establishments was meant to expose the hold of corrupt law enforcement over the powerless. But did it also expose the cravings and hypocrisy of its ringleader? What you may hear in this episode may genuinely shock you -- and change your opinion about New York City nightlife forever. FEATURING: Stale beer dives, tight houses, a most sinful game of leap frog and something called "the French Circus."Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | 2 months ago
#354 Who Wrote the First American Cookbook?
One of America's most important books was published 225 years ago this year. You won't find it on a shelf of great American literature. It was not written by a great man of letters, but somebody who described herself simply as 'an American orphan.' In 1796 a mysterious woman named Amelia Simmons published American Cookery, the first compilation of recipes (or receipts) using such previously unknown items as corn, pumpkins and "pearl ash" (similar to baking powder). This book changed the direction of fine eating in the newly established United States of America. But Amelia herself remains an elusive creator. Who was this person who would have so much influence over the American diet? Join Greg through a tour of 70 years of early American eating, identifying the true melting pot of delicious flavors — Dutch, Native American, Spanish, Caribbean and African — that transformed early English colonial cooking into something uniquely American. FEATURING early American recipes for johnnycakes, slapjacks and gazpacho! boweryboyshistory.comSupport the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
63 minutes | 3 months ago
#353 Harlem Before the Renaissance
“If we were to offer a symbol of what Harlem has come to mean in a short span of twenty years, it would be another statue of liberty on the landward side of New York. Harlem represents the Negro’s latest thrust towards Democracy.” -- Alain Locke This is Part Two of our two-part look at the birth of Black Harlem, a look at the era BEFORE the 1920s, when the soul and spirit of this legendary neighborhood was just beginning to form. The Harlem Renaissance is a cultural movement which describes the flowering of the arts and political thought which occurred mostly within the Black community of Harlem between 1920 and the 1940s. In particular the 1920s were described by writer Langston Hughes as “the period when the Negro was in vogue.” The moment when the white mainstream turned its attention to black culture. But how Harlem become a mecca of Black culture and "the Capital of Black America"? This is the story of constructing a cultural movement on the streets of Upper Manhattan in the 1910s. From the stages of the Lafayette Theater to the soapboxes of Speakers Corner. From the pulpits to the salons (both hair and literary)! WITH stories of Marcus Garvey, Madam C.J. Walker, Arturo Schomburg and many more.Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
30 minutes | 3 months ago
Rewind: Harlem Nights at the Hotel Theresa
The Hotel Theresa is considered a genuine (if under-appreciated) Harlem gem, both for its unique architecture and its special place in history as the hub for African-American life in the 1940s and 50s. The luxurious apartment hotel was built by a German lace manufacturer to cater to a wealthy white clientele. But almost as soon as the final brick was laid, Harlem itself changed, thanks to the arrival of thousands of new black residents from the South. Harlem, renown the world over for the artists and writers of the Harlem Renaissance and its burgeoning music scene, was soon home to New York’s most thriving black community. But many of the businesses here refused to serve black patrons, or at least certainly made them unwelcome. The Theresa changed its policy in 1940 and soon its lobby was filled with famous athletes, actresses and politicians, many choosing to live at the Hotel Theresa over other hotels in Manhattan. The hotel’s relative small size made it an interesting concentration of America’s most renown black celebrities. In this podcast, Greg gives you a tour of this glamorous scene, from the corner bar to the penthouse, from the breakfast table of Joe Louis to the crazy parties of Dinah Washington. WITH: Martin Luther King Jr, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Fidel Castro. And music by Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine and Duke Ellington ALSO: Who is this mysterious Theresa? What current Congressman was a former desk clerk? And what was Joe Louis’ favorite breakfast food? The first half of this show was originally released in 2013 (as Episode #158) but has been newly edited for this release. The second half of this show is ALL NEW. boweryboyshistory.com MUSIC FEATURED: "Sophisticated Lady" by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra and "Dedicated To You" by Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughan. Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
56 minutes | 3 months ago
#352 The Birth of Black Harlem Part One
How did Harlem become Harlem, the historic center of Black culture, politics and identity in American life? This is the story of revolutionary ideas -- and radical real estate. By the 1920s, Harlem had become the capital of Black America, where so many African-American thinkers, artists, writers, musicians and entrepreneurs would live in work that it would spawn -- a Harlem Renaissance. But in an era of so much institutional racism -- the oppression of Jim Crow, an ever-present reality in New York -- how did Black Harlem come to be? The story of Harlem begins more than three and a half centuries ago with the small Dutch village of Nieuw Haarlem (New Haarlem). During the late 19th century Harlem became the home of many different immigrant groups -- white immigrant groups, Irish and German, Italian and Eastern European Jews -- staking their claim of the American dream in newly developed housing here. But then an extraorindary shift occurs beginning in the first decade of the 20th century, a very specific set of circumstances that allowed, really for the very first time, African-Americans New Yorkers to stake out a piece of that same American dream for themselves. This is a story of real estate -- and realtors! But not just any realtor, but the story of the man who earned the nickname the Father of Harlem. boweryboyshistory.com patreon.com/boweryboysSupport the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
82 minutes | 3 months ago
#351 Auntie Mame (Bowery Boys Movie Club)
In the latest episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club, Tom and Greg celebrate wild and fabulous Auntie Mame, the outrageous comedy masterpiece starring Rosalind Russell that’s mostly set on Beekman Place, the pocket enclave of New York wealth that transforms into a haven for oddballs and bohemian eccentrics. Auntie Mame cleverly uses historical events — the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Great Depression — as a backdrop to Mame’s own financial woes, and her progressive-minded care of nephew Patrick introduces some rather avant garde philosophies to movie-going audiences. Listen in as the Bowery Boys set up the film’s history, then give a rollicking synopsis through the zany plot line. boweryboyshistory.com To listen to future episodes of the Bowery Boys Movie Club, support the Bowery Boys podcast on Patreon! For those who support us there already, check your emails or head over to your Patreon page for a new episode -- on the 1961 classic Breakfast At Tiffany's.Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
71 minutes | 4 months ago
#350 The World Trade Center In The 1970s
The World Trade Center opened its distinctive towers during one of New York City's most difficult decades, a beacon of modernity in a city beleaguered by debt and urban decay. Welcome to the 1970s. This year, believe it or not, marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. Today there’s an entire generation that only knows the World Trade Center as an emblem of tragedy. But people sometimes forget that the World Trade Center, designed by Japanese-American architect Minoru Yamasaki, was a very complicated addition to the New York skyline when it officially opened in 1973. While it might be fun to think of New York City in the 1970s through the lens of places like Studio 54 or CBGB, it was really the Twin Towers that redefined New York. The journey to build the world's tallest building and its expansive complex of office towers and underground shops began in an effort by David Rockefeller to stimulate development in Manhattan's fading Financial District. By the time Port Authority got onboard to fund the project, the Twin Towers were bonded together with another vital project -- a commuter train from New Jersey. The World Trade Center inspired strong opinions from critics and the public alike, but eventually many grew to admire the strange towers which marked the skyline. And some, the Twin Towers became objects of obsession. FEATURING: The insane, completely outlandish and ultimately successful feat of acrobatics by a very bold French tightrope walker. PLUS: An interview with with Kate Monaghan Connolly of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum about how that institution memorializes those lost in the tragedy while still celebrating the technological marvels that once stood there. boweryboyshistory.comSupport the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
51 minutes | 4 months ago
Rewind: Strange Hoaxes of the 19th Century
PODCAST REWIND Stories of outrageous hoaxes perpetrated upon New Yorkers in the early 19th century. In the 1820s, the Erie Canal would completely change the fortunes of the young United States, turning the port city of New York into one of the most important in the world. But an even greater engineering challenge was necessary to prevent the entire southern part of Manhattan from sinking into the harbor! That is, if you believed a certain charlatan hanging out at the market….. One decade later, the burgeoning penny press would give birth to another tremendous fabrication and kick off an uneasy association between the media and the truth. In the summer of 1835 the New York Sun reported on startling discoveries from one of the world’s most famous astronomers. Life on the moon! Indeed, vivid moon forests populated with a menagerie of bizarre creatures and winged men with behaviors similar those of men on Earth. boweryboyshistory.com A version of this show was originally released on July 8, 2016.Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
63 minutes | 4 months ago
The Queensboro Bridge and the Rise of a Borough
“The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.” (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby) This is the story of a borough with great potential and the curious brown-tannish cantilever bridge which helped it achieve greatness. The Queensboro Bridge connects Manhattan with Queens by lifting over the East River and Roosevelt Island, an impressive landmark that changed the fate of the borough enshrined in its curious name. In 1898, before the Consolidation of 1898, which created Greater New York and the five boroughs, much of Queens was sparsely populated -- a farm haven connected by dusty roads -- with most residents living in a few key towns, villages and one actual city -- Long Island City. With Brooklyn and Manhattan already well developed (and overcrowded in some sectors) by the early 20th century, developers and civic leader looked to Queens as a new place for expansion. But in 1900 it had no quick and convenient connections to areas off of Long Island. With the opening of the bridge in 1909, rich new opportunities for Queens awaited. Communities from Astoria to Bayside, Jackson Heights, Flushing and Jamaica all experienced an unprecedented burst of new development. Thanks in small part to the bridge so famous that it inspired a classic folk song! boweryboyshistory.comSupport the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
64 minutes | 4 months ago
The Destruction of Penn Station (Podcast Rewind)
To celebrate the opening of Moynihan Train Hall, a new commuters' wing at Penn Station catering to both Amtrak and Long Island Railroad train passengers, we’re going to tell the entire story of Pennsylvania Station and Pennsylvania Railroad over two episodes, using a couple older shows from our back catalog. This is PART TWO. Why did they knock down old Pennsylvania Station? The original Penn Station, constructed in 1910 and designed by New York’s greatest Gilded Age architectural firm, was more than just a building. Since its destruction in the 1960s, the station has become something mythic, a sacrificial lamb to the cause of historic preservation. As Vincent Scully once said, “Through Pennsylvania Station one entered the city like a god. Perhaps it was really too much. One scuttles in now like a rat.” In this show we rebuild the grand, original structure in our minds — the fourth largest building in the world when it was constructed — and marvel at an opulence now gone. PLUS: We show you where you can still find remnants of old Penn Station by going on a walking tour with Untapped Cities tour guide Justin Rivers. THIS SHOW WAS ORIGINALLY RELEASED AS EPISODE 254 — FEBRUARY 16, 2018 boweryboyshistory.comSupport the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
34 minutes | 4 months ago
The Construction of Penn Station
On January 1, 2021 Moynihan Train Hall officially opens to the public, a new commuters' wing catering to both Amtrak and Long Island Railroad train passengers at New York's underground (and mostly unloved) Penn Station. To celebrate this big moment in New York City transportation history, we’re going to tell the entire story of Pennsylvania Station and Pennsylvania Railroad over two episodes, using a couple older shows from our back catalog. The story of Pennsylvania Station involves more than just nostalgia for the long-gone temple of transportation as designed by the great McKim, Mead and White. It's a tale of incredible tunnels, political haggling and big visions. Pennsylvania Railroad was the largest railroad in the world by the 1880s, but thanks to Cornelius Vanderbilt's New York Central Railroad, one prize was strategically out of their grasp -- direct access to Manhattan. An ambitious plan to link New Jersey to New York via a gigantic bridge fell apart, and it looked like Pennsylvania passengers would have to forever disembark in Jersey City. But Penn Railroad president Alexander Cassatt was not satisfied. Visiting his sister Mary Cassatt -- the exquisite Impressionist painter -- in Paris, Cassatt observed the use of electrically run trains in underground tunnels. Why couldn't Penn Railroad build something similar? One problem -- the mile-wide Hudson River (or in historical parlance, the North River). This is the tale of an engineering miracle, the construction of miles of underground tunnels and the idea of an ambitious train station to rival the world's greatest architectural marvels. ORIGINALLY RELEASED AS EPISODE 80 -- APRIL 10, 2009 boweryboyshistory.com Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
61 minutes | 5 months ago
Cheers! The Origins of Four Cocktails
EPISODE 348 It's the happiest of hours! The tales of four fabulous cocktails invented or made famous in New York City's saloons, cocktail lounges, restaurants and hotels. Cocktails are more than alcoholic beverages; over the decades, they’ve been status signifiers, indulgences that show off exotic ingredients or elixirs displaying a bit of showmanship behind the bar. In this podcast, we recount the beginning days of four iconic alcoholic drinks: -- The Manhattan: How an elite Gilded Age social club may have invented the cocktail for a new governor of New York; -- The Bloody Mary: A Parisian delight, enjoyed by the leading lights of the Jazz Age, makes it way to one of New York's most famous hotels; -- The Martini: A drink of mysterious origin and potency becomes New York City's most popular drink -- and a curious lunchtime companion; -- The Cosmopolitan: Tracing the history of a new cocktail classic from Provincetown to San Francisco -- and into two of New York's most famous 1980s hangouts boweryboyshistory.comSupport the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
64 minutes | 5 months ago
The Stories of Two Historic Vaccines
We released the following show on the history of vaccines back in early April 2020 when the idea of a COVID 19 vaccine seems little more than far distant fantasy. Just this past Monday, on December 14, Sandra Lindsay, the director of critical care at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens became the first American to receive the Pfizer COVID 19 vaccine in a non-trial setting. And so this week we’re re-releasing this show — in a much more hopeful context this time around. This is the story of the polio vaccines developed by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin -- and then a look at the origin of the vaccine itself, first developed to combat smallpox almost 225 years ago, thanks to Edward Jenner and a cow named Blossom. ---- In 1916 New York City became the epicenter of one of America’s very first polio epidemics. The scourge of infantile paralysis infected thousands of Americans that year, most under the age of five. But in New York City it was especially bad. The Department of Health took drastic measures, barring children from going out in public and even labeling home with polio sufferers, urging others to stay away. That same year, up in the Bronx, a young couple named Daniel and Dora Salk — the children of Eastern European immigrants — were themselves raising their young son named Jonas. As an adult, Jonas Salk would spend his life combating the poliovirus in the laboratory, creating a vaccine that would change the world. In 1921 a young lawyer and politician named Franklin Delano Roosevelt would contract what was believed at the time to be polio. He would use his connections and power — first as governor of New York, then as president of the United States — to guide the nation’s response to the virus. ---- AND THEN: The second half of the show is devoted to the question — who came up the first vaccine anyway? Once upon a time there was a country doctor with a love of birds, a milkmaid with translucent skin, an eight-year-old boy with no idea what he's in for and a wonderful cow that holds the secret to human immunity. This is the story of the first vaccine, perhaps one of the greatest inventions in modern human history. Come listen to this remarkable story of risk and bravery which led to the eradication of one of the deadliest diseases in human history. And hear the words of Dr. Edward Jenner himself, written in the first weeks of his experiments! boweryboyshistory.comSupport the show: https://www.patreon.com/boweryboysSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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