In the mid-twentieth century, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (the predecessor to today’s March of Dimes) pioneered a new approach to philanthropy, raising money a dime at a time from millions of small donors. The nonprofit enlisted poster children, celebrities, presidents, and other partners in their high-profile campaigns.
By 1954, the National Foundation was the nation’s leading health charity, capturing nearly half of all charitable donations to those causes. However, with 100,000 cases per year, polio was a smaller public health threat than tuberculosis, heart disease, cancer, cerebal palsy, or muscular dystrophy.
Before World War II, young Chinese Americans defied cultural tradition in San Francisco's Chinatown, previously closed to outsiders.
The effort of pioneering researchers to conceive babies through in vitro fertilization.
Television game shows became an instant national phenomenon in 1955, but four years later contestant Charles van Doren admitted they were a scam.
While the U.N. debated strategies for control of atomic energy, the U.S. Navy was preparing for nuclear tests on Bikini Island.
Robert Noyce's invention of the microchip launched the world into the Information Age.
Thoroughbred racehorse Seabiscuit was the long shot that captured America's heart during the Depression.
A man who symbolized African American equality fought a proponent of Hitler's Aryan racial theories on the eve of World War II.
Their intense faith and strict adherence to 300-year-old traditions have by turn captivated and repelled, awed and irritated, inspired and confused America.