Whatever Happened to Polio?

April 12, 2005 – September 4, 2006

National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

2nd Floor, West Wing Floor Plan

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the polio vaccine, this multimedia exhibition tells the story of polio from the perspective of the patient, traces the development of the vaccine that ended polio in the U.S., and discusses polio survivors and the changes they have made in American society. The exhibition also explores the changes in American medicine in the 20th century and the impact a disease can have on society as a whole. Other themes include community activism, human resilience, the development and use of medical technologies and medical science, and competition and rivalry in science. Objects on view include a working miniature iron lung and a pair of Franklin D. Roosevelt's leg braces.