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October 20, 1993

A World Without Polio'Future Generations Will Know by History Only...'

Author Affiliations

From the Carter Center, Atlanta, Ga.

JAMA. 1993;270(15):1859-1860. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510150093037

It was fitting symbolism—the 10th anniversary of the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt—and the crowd gathered at the University of Michigan on April 12, 1955, was ready for a medical miracle. They were not disappointed. The announcement confirmed that the vaccine developed by Jonas Salk could protect against one of the greatest fears of summer. Future generations would be blissfully unaware of the blanket of anxiety that descended each year with the heat of August. That night, Edward R. Murrow had dinner with Jonas Salk and presented him with a watch engraved with the date that changed the world (oral communication, Jonas Salk, MD, September 9, 1992).

See also p 1857.

It would appear a simple step from the dramatic announcement of 1955 to the vision of a world free of polio presented by Robbins.1 However, poliomyelitis eradication involves a long chain of interlinking events and it involves the