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BASTIAN BROS. CO. ROCHESTER, N.Y.
On January 30, 1942, a ball was held for President Franklin Roosevelt’s Diamond Jubilee Birthday at the Union Club Building on Hudson and Sixth Streets, Hoboken, New Jersey. A similar event was held in other cities and towns around on the country. Fifty percent of the proceeds of the ball were donated to the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, also known as the March of Dimes. Cost for attendance was one dollar. Roosevelt, a polio sufferer himself, was a strong supporter of the organization and close friend of its long-time president, Basil O’Connor.
In 1955 the FDA approved a polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk, a March of Dimes, grantee. The vaccine eradicated the disease in just a few years. In 1958 at a press conference held in the grand ballroom of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria, Basil O’Connor announced the March of Dimes new mission was the prevention of birth defects.