|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?
A: Protection (near Dodge City, in southwest Kansas) – and yes, health officials selected this town because of its cool name.
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.
One More: Protection is the hometown of famous crop artist Stan Herd.