Skip to content

Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.


Tag: March of Dimes

Edited by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbOver the past half century, we have seen some of the greatest scourges of history reach the point of virtual eradication. Smallpox, Polio, and Rubella have all but disappeared from the developed countries and most of the third world countries. These crippling and deadly diseases are no longer a worry for most parents. In recent years, there has been been some rebound of these diseases following an increasing numbers of more affluent parents withholding the early childhood vaccinations due to their fear of autism. Yes, AIDS is still resistant to elimination, but we hold out hope that a cure for that malady will soon be found.


But that was not the case during the first half of the 20th century. Smallpox was still a killer. But the most feared malady was the incapacitating threat to young children. Our wartime president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was stricken with it in the 1920s, leaving his legs crippled. This threat was Infantile Paralysis (Polio) and its effects could range from mild to severe disfigurement and/or death. It forced those whose lungs were effected to be placed in “Iron Lungs” to enable them to breath. I grew up in Downey and that was the location of a large hospital dedicated to the treatment of polio — Rancho Los Amigos Hospital.

Hope came during the early 1950s when Jonas Salk developed a Polio Vaccine. Children were protected and polio became a rare occurrence. After a few years, Rancho Los Amigos was re-tasked to serve as a mental hospital.

And who do we have to thank for these advances in fighting polio and other communicable diseases? The March of Dimes. It all got started when children in the late 1930s were asked to send in their spare dimes to President Roosevelt. By 1938, sufficient funds had arrived that prompted FDR to create the group that became the March of Dimes. To borrow the words of another: “Thank you Mr. President!”.

But, let’s get on with our exploration of the history and work of the March of Dimes… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3632 Words ]


Quotations Related to Polio:


“Having children made us look differently at all these things that we take for granted, like taking your child to get a vaccine against measles or polio.”
— Melinda Gates

“Nature [is] that lovely lady to whom we owe polio, leprosy, smallpox, syphilis, tuberculosis, cancer.”
— Anonymous

“When I worked on the polio vaccine, I had a theory. I guided each [experiment] by imagining myself in the phenomenon in which I was interested. The intuitive realm … the realm of the imagination guides my thinking.”
— Jonas Salk

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhotoStanding along side of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt as great presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt stands along side them in the list of great Presidents. FDR faced several critical challenges to his leadership. He faced a country in the midst of the Great Depression, a time when the banks had failed, unemployment was extremely high, and the farmers in the great plains were faced with the dust bowl.

Beyond these problems, he was guiding the ship of state through dangerous waters. Hitler was preparing for war in Europe, the Japanese were flexing their military muscles in the Pacific, and the Congress was dedicated to an isolationist policy. FDR was in a position to prepare for war in the background; he did this through the Lend-Lease Program and preparing our defenses. He successfully accomplished this without going on the offensive. The U.K. was provided support without actually becoming involved in the battles!


When the Japanese attacked our Naval forces at Pearl Harbor, he was ready to turn out industrial strength into a production machine for war materiel. During the early 1940s, de conferenced repeatedly with other allied leaders, including Churchill and Stalin. While successfully accomplishing these tasks, his health suffered. His paralysis and heart conditions became more important, necessitating frequent visits to the health spas at Warm Springs, Georgia. It was there on this day (April 12th) in 1945 that FDR suffered a major stroke that ended his brilliant career.

So, let’s jump on in this exploration of FDR’s death after thirteen years as President…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3862 Words ]


Quotations Related to AFFAIRS:


“Affairs that depend on many rarely succeed.”
— Francesco Guicciardini

“All a man’s affairs become diseased when he wishes to cure evils by evils.”
— Sophocles

“In the affairs of this world, men are saved not by faith, but by the want of it.”
— Benjamin Franklin

continue reading…