Our family was driving home from a picnic at the Medford City Park in July of 1952 in Medford, Wisconsin when my Dad suddenly pulled over to the side of the road by Miller Dam on the Black Riverand began to weep. He had the car radio on and it was being announced that Dr. Jonas Salk was working on a vaccine for polio. It was not perfected at this time and would be officially announced in the The Journal of the American Medical Association in 1953.
Dad had always been interested in medicine and had a good friend Dr. Don Norton with whom he spent quite a bit of time. I also was aware that Dad had been concerned about polio in children, I expect it was because of my sister Mary and I. It was in the days of the iron lung. Rows of iron lungs filled hospital wards at the height of the polio outbreaks of the 1940s and 1950s, assisting the breathing of children and adults (mostly children) with bulbar polio and bulbospinal polio. A polio patient with paralyzed lungs could spend up to a week inside an iron lung (taken from Wikipedia).
I found a very interesting article about Dr. Jonas Salk and his research by Science Odyssey under the title people and discoveries.
In my lifetime, I have been privileged to see and experience so many advances especially in the field of medicine. I do remember pictures of children in iron lungs and crippled from polio living their whole lives in wheel chairs or on crutches.
At the time, I was so shocked and almost scared as this was the first time that I can remember seeing my Dad actually crying. Dad was the hero of my life, he was so young and strong it had never occurred to me that he could cry. At the time I did not realize that he was crying for joy.