Monday, April 12 at 9 p.m. – American Experience "The Polio Crusade"
(Rochester, NY) – In the summer of 1950, fear gripped the residents of Wytheville, Virginia. Movie theaters shut down, baseball games were cancelled, and panicky parents kept their children indoors — anything to keep them safe from an invisible invader. Outsiders sped through town with their windows rolled up and bandanas covering their faces. The ones who couldn’t escape the perpetrator were left paralyzed, and some died in the wake of the devastating and contagious virus. Polio had struck in Wytheville. The town was in the midst of a full-blown epidemic. That year alone, more than 33,000 Americans fell victim — half of them under the age of 10.
American Masters "The Polio Crusade" airs Monday, April 12 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT 21.1/cable 1011 and 11). The program interweaves the personal accounts of polio survivors with the story of an ardent crusader who tirelessly fought on their behalf while scientists raced to eradicate the dreaded disease. Based in part on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Polio: An American Story by David Oshinsky, The Polio Crusade, filmmaker Sarah Colt (Geronimo, RFK), features interviews with historians, scientists, polio survivors, and the only surviving scientist from the core research team that developed the Salk vaccine, Julius Youngner.
Credit: March of Dimes
WXXI is the essential, life-long educational
media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI
puts the community first with programming that stimulates
and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural
horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community
issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about
our services and programs.