Today marks the 58th anniversary since the release of the polio vaccine. On April 12th, 1955, Jonas Salk released his vaccine to the public. Polio was a disease that had caused such panic in the US that some families would not let their children swim in public swimming pools. Today, polio is almost wiped out in the US. The last reported case of polio in the US was in 1991.
Take a look at this 1954 issue of Time magazine Closing in on Polio (Time. 3/29/1954, Vol. 63 Issue 13) from the library’s databases for a glimpse into American life before the Salk Vaccine.
For more information on Jonas Salk, visit: Jonas Salk, Biography.com
If you are interested in the broader battle against disease, take a look at the 2011 book Disease eradication in the 21st century : implications for global health. There is a chapter in here on polio.