DENVER––The East Lincoln Historical Society will meet this Monday, March 13, at 6 p.m.
The place to be is the historic Mundy House Annex, located at 4339 NC-16 Business North, according to ELHS spokeswoman Melisa Springs Thompson. Earlier this week, Thompson informed that historian Richard Eller would address the group. Eller’s topic is: “Before There Was COVID, There Was Polio.”
Throughout the first half of the 20th century, epidemics of poliomyelitis ravaged American communities, crippling and even killing people, especially the young. In 1944, polio came to western North Carolina. Hickory stood at the center of a summer wave of infections. While doctors still did not know what caused the disease, they vowed to fight it as best they could. Turning a summer camp into an emergency hospital in 54 hours was just the first of numerous wonders that became known as “The Miracle of Hickory.”
And polio affected folks closer to home as well. In Denver in 1948, the Rock Springs Camp Meeting cancelled its annual revival for the first time in its history.
In his lecture, Eller will present the heroic steps taken by a corps of medical professionals to combat the calamity that emerged during the dark days of World War II. Using film, first-hand accounts, documents and recollections, he will take his audience back to a dire situation and the triumph that emerged against all odds.
The meeting is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
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