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#9619 Knock Out Polio Campaign Scrapbook

Knock Out Polio Campaign Scrapbook

MSS #9619

July 1997

Abstract: A Scrapbook with materials regarding the Rowan-Davie Medical Society's 1964 Knock Out Polio Campaign.

Online catalog terms:

Knock Out Polio Campaign--(Rowan County, N.C.)

Polio--North Carolina--Rowan County

Size: 1 box.

Provenance: Connie Schardt
Librarian, Rowan Regional Medical Center
October, 1996

Access: No restriction.

Copyright: Retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.


In 1964, the Rowan-Davie Medical Society purchased 100,000 doses of the Sabin vaccine and mounted a free vaccination campaign to "knock out polio." It was at that time, the largest single health program ever undertaken in Rowan County.

The campaign, with Dr. Lynch Murphy as general chairman and Harold Hintze as coordinator, and sought to immunize the citizenry of Rowan and Davie counties above the age of six weeks. The sugar cubes were distributed on three consecutive Sundays (It was a three-part immunization) following Church hours and approximately 400 volunteers manned the vaccination sites. On February 26, 1964, Nancy McKenzie, four-year old daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Ed McKenzie of Salisbury, and North Carolina governor, Terry Sanford, kicked off the campaign by sharing a piece of sugar coated in the polio vaccine.

More than one thousand volunteers, pharmacists, PTA parents, school personnel, telephone operators, doctors, nurses, womans club members, Jaycees, rescue squad members, nursing students, Boy Scouts, and many others turned out to help with the effort, and approximately 80% of Rowan County's citizens (57,977 individuals) took the vaccine, joining an estimated 1.8 million Tar Heels who turned out in 47 of the state's 100 counties.

The Scrapbook contains newspaper clippings, committee lists, memos, lists of vaccination sites, a copy of an address explaining the procedure, plans for contra-indications of the vaccine, pamphlets, samples of newspaper ads (many business ads carried the line "wipe out polio . . . be immunized today"), the program handbook of general instructions, schedule of events, thank you letters, statistical breakdowns of those being immunized, and a summarization of the program.

Series I. Scrapbook

1964 Scrapbook