The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis was founded on this day in 1938. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (a victim of polio himself) established this non-profit organization to combat the epidemic mostly affecting infants and children, resulting in paralysis and death.
It is now better known by its name as the March of Dimes. On a joke, comedian Eddie Cantor suggested that people mail their dimes to the White House as a way to support their efforts. And the name has stuck ever since.
The foundation was charged to find the cause and develop a cure for polio, a feat it accomplished in 1955. Dr. Jonas Salk is now a household name associated with the successful polio vaccine.
So the next time you are asked to contribute to a cause that is legitimately trying to end a disease, give. Even if it’s only a dime.