On this day in 1956 the polio vaccine which was developed by Dr. Jonas Salk was made available to the public. During the 1950’s the greatest fear in America was the Atomic Bomb followed by polio. Nearly 58,000 cases were reported in 1952 with 3545 deaths in the U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt was the most famous polio victim. There was a big rush to prevent or cure the disease. There were under 2000 worldwide cases as of 2007.
Dr. Salk was an amazing man. He was not interested at all in personal profit, he just wanted to find a cure for the disease. When asked in an interview who owned the patent to the vaccine, Salk replied “There is no patent, Could you patent the sun?”