Another threat besides communism terrified people in the 1950s, especially because it primarily affected children: polio. 1952 saw the largest epidemic in US history: 57,879 people contracted polio that summer, and more than 3000 of died. By the end of the decade the disease was nearly eradicated in the US thanks to two forms of vaccines developed by Drs. Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin. Here are a few titles that help us understand this part of the recent past.
Epidemic: The Battle Against Polio
Photo illustrated survey of the history of the disease, including a section on the debate over whether FDR’s paralysis was caused by polio or some other disease. Includes timeline of polio-related events.