Falling ill with polio was one of the great fears in the first half of the twentieth century. Tens of thousands were affected. Some recovered, unharmed; sometimes one or more limbs were temporarily paralyzed; sometimes the paralysis was permanent. Some lost the ability to breathe on their own and were imprisoned in iron lungs for years; many died. An outbreak of polio in a community would close swimming pools, cancel playground activities, and even shutter public venues like movie theaters. From the privileged, like Franklin Roosevelt (who got polio as an adult), to children across the country, polio struck individuals of all economic and social classes. The great majority of its victims were children, especially boys. The story of the rise and eventual fall of polio as a public health menace is one of tragedy, intense scientific rivalry, massive public relations and fund-raising efforts (“The March of Dimes”), and final victory through the development and application of effective vaccines. Today polio is nearly eradicated throughout the world. Our primary source will be David Oshinsky’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book Polio: An American Story (Oxford University Press, 2005).