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Time Capsule: Fighting the polio epidemic

by BERL TISKUS
Reporter | February 8, 2024 12:00 AM

Ronan Pioneer, Jan. 20, 1949

Polio epidemics set all-time high appeals

When record polio epidemics hit the nation last summer, urgent appeals for physical therapists and nurses for emergency duty poured into the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis from a score of states, revealed Fred J. McConnell, 1949 March of Dimes chairman for Lake County, today.

Mr. McConnell disclosed that at the peak of the polio season the National Foundation with the cooperation of the American Physical Therapy Association, the American Red Cross and other groups and individuals, was able to put into the field 200 physical therapists and 1,500 nurses. The majority of these vitally-needed polio fighters were on duty in North Carolina, California, and Texas, he said, and 20 other hard hit states were supplied with trained personnel for emergency duty.

“Until research finds a preventative cure of polio,” Mr. McConnell concluded, “treatment is all imperative. We must have at hand sufficient money to meet the costs of patient care. It is only through the March of Dimes that this work can be financed. I urge everyone in Lake County to give at least 50 percent more to the 1949 March of Dimes. Then when polio strikes, we will be able to meet the bills.” 

In Lake county last year, the chapter collected only about $600 during their campaign. Do you know that in Arlee alone, on one case the chapter spent $1,111.96? And in two other cases the chapter spent $216.05. Depleted national and chapter funds must now be replenished. 

Fight off disaster in 1949 – join the March of Dimes.

Commissioners Association asks for state sales tax

The Montana association of county commissioners this week made several recommendations to the state lawmakers, most controversial of which is the proposed enactment of a sales tax, which, the commissioners state, would replace other taxes becoming burdensome. 

In a pre-inaugural take Governor Bonner stated he would veto a sales tax if enacted by the legislature. However, with much additional revenue to be raised to meet the costs of state government, the sales tax is winning many new friends among those formerly on record as opposed to it. 

Lake Legislators draw assignments

I.A. Robertson, Lake county Democratic legislator, was appointed chairman of the Dairying committee; vice chairman of Horticulture; and member of  Education, Petroleum, Oil and Gas, Agriculture, Livestock and Public Ranges and Highways.

R.H. Wiedman, Republican, was appointed chairman of the Enrolling committee; and is a member of the Fish and Game, Judiciary, Privileges and Elections, Constitutional Amendments, Federal Relations and Labor committees.

Senator Ray Kelly has been appointed on the following committees: Education and Privileges, Fish and Game, Horticulture and Printing.

Miss Beth O’Brien of Ronan is serving as proofreader in the enrolling room and Charles (Stubby) Hickman of Polson is a page in the legislature.