October 1: Talk by March of Dimes Curator on Polio, Rubella

Patient in iron lung. National Library of MedicineIf you’re near Philadelphia, please join us Monday, October 1, at 6:30 pm, for a free talk by March of Dimes Archivist David Rose. Register at http://davidrose-eorg.eventbrite.com/.

The talk, sponsored by The History of Vaccines, will be held at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 19 S. 22 Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19103.


It is possible we may see polio eradicated from the world in our lifetime. The elusive goal of polio eradication began with the race to develop an effective vaccine in the mid-twentieth century. Little was known about poliovirus then, but the research of Jonas Salk, Albert Sabin, and other scientists catapulted into the news headlines through the efforts of the March of Dimes.

Founded in 1938 as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, the March of Dimes funded the polio vaccines developed by Drs. Salk and Sabin that brought an end to polio epidemics in the United States. After changing its mission to birth defects prevention in 1958, the foundation then faced a rubella epidemic resulting in thousands of birth defects. Through the work of Virginia Apgar, a rubella immunization program of the late 1960s likewise put an end to the scourge of congenital rubella syndrome. In this talk, David Rose, will explore the impact of these two diseases in American life and the vaccines that led to their elimination.

About the speaker: David Rose is Archivist of the March of Dimes at the foundation’s national office in White Plains, NY. He is a certified archivist of the Academy of Certified Archivists, and he oversees the preservation and organization of the documents, photographs, and audiovisual materials of the March of Dimes Archives. David is author of the first photographic history of the March of Dimes in the Images of America series published by Arcadia.

The March of Dimes Archives is a collection of documents, photographs, films, and memorabilia that spans the entire history of the foundation from its founding by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in 1938. Archival holdings include the Basil O’Connor Papers; Salk and Sabin Polio Vaccine Records; Virginia Apgar Papers; chapter records; medical program and grants records relating to polio, birth defects, perinatal health, genetics, prematurity; and a photography collection of over 80,000 photos.