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Published: August 13th 2007
FDR and Dowdell's Knob
Dowdell's Knob was one of FDR's favorite spots for both quiet contemplation and picnics. FDR visited this spot overlooking Pine Mountain valley and on his lst visit visit here he was thinking of the Marines who were fighting on Okinawas and Iwo Jima and he was planning the founding of the United Nations.
“Whatever Happened to Polio”
Roosevelt’s Warm Springs Georgia
I had the pleasure of returning to Warm Springs Georgia as the guest of Warren Williams a member of Peachtree Rotary. Last fall I saw the public side of the complex, the museum, avenue of flags and the little white house. This time I got to see the educational and therapeutic side of Roosevelt’s Georgia Warm Springs Foundation.
August 11th, 2007 marks the official opening of the “What ever happened to Polio?” exhibit at Roosevelt Warm springs. Thanks to PolioPlus and District 6900, fifty thousand dollars was donated to pay for moving the Smithsonian exhibit here.
FDR and Warm Springs were the vanguard of a two pronged attack against the dead epidemic disease, Polio. The first focus was helping the polio patient adapt. It took remarkable ingenuity to develop the technology. The technology developed here was shared world wide and revolutionized lives.
The second focus was a vaccine. FDR was not content treating symptoms. He wanted a vaccine. FDR believed the treatment of Polio victims and the search for a vaccine effort were beyond and government’s ability. So he formed the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation. Starting on January
View from Pine Mountain Crest Dowdell;s Knob as Roosevelt would have looked on his last visit. You see his picnic BBQ. Pine Crest is the tallest spot from the crest to the Florida Keys
30, 1934 birthday balls razed a million dollars a year until 1938. From 1934 to 1937 the Warm Springs Foundation received just over 1.4 million dollars.
As the battle evolved FDR founded the National Foundation for infantile Paralysis on January 3, 1938. The new foundation’s mission was “lead, direct and unify the fight” against polio. If you were born in the 40s or before you remember the March of “Dimes” canisters at each check out counters in stores. It came from radio personality Eddie Cantor who called it the “March of Dimes,” and the phrase stuck.
Twenty seven years, three months and nine days later the first vaccine was introduced on the 10th anniversary of FDR’s death. The Salk vaccine did not cure polio, but it did prevent it. The struggle moved to a new phase: The immunization of the entire world.
In 1986 Rotary International became the lead partner in the world immunization effort. The Trustees of the Rotary Foundation recently affirmed that the global eradication of polio is and must remain the premier goal of Rotary International and its Foundation until the day that the world is certified as being rid of the polio virus.
FDR and KDC
This is the only statue of FDR with his leg braces showing.
PolioPlus is the first and largest internationally coordinated private-sector support of a public health initiative, FDR would be pleased.
By the time this planet is certified Polio virus free, Rotarians will have given over 600 million dollars to make the question, “Whatever happened to Polio: a world wide question.
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