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Name that town! - October 4, 2013

Q: Cold and flu season is right around the corner (so get your flu shot!). Luckily, we no longer have to worry about “polio season,” because – thanks to science and the Jonas Salk vaccine – that dreaded disease has been eradicated! One Kansas town became the first in the nation to be fully-immunized against polio. Can you name it? Protection-KS-Polio March-of-DimesA crowd of people receives inactivated poliovirus vaccine in Protection, Kan. Similar lines formed during the 1954 vaccine field trials. (Photo via March of Dimes Foundation)


A: Protection (near Dodge City, in southwest Kansas) – and yes, health officials selected this town because of its cool name.


Jonas-Salk WikimediaJonas Salk was an American medical researcher and virologist, best known for his discovery and development of the first successful polio vaccine, which was introduced in 1955. (Photo via Wikimedia)

Protection, in southwest Kansas, became famous in 1955 and 1956 when the town and its citizens were profiled on radio, TV and in movie news reels for being fully “protected” from polio. The National Polio Foundation had selected the town as the center for the free distribution of Salk vaccine shots. As a result, the small town of Protection became the first community in the nation to be 100 percent protected from polio. Due to its unusual name, the Comanche County town offered the perfect weapon in the government’s public relations campaign to end polio nationwide.

Protection-KansasFun Factoid: Protection is the only U.S. town with a post office that has this name.

One More: Protection is the hometown of famous crop artist Stan Herd.



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