Pol Light Moment #50 is when Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis on January 3, 1938. Roosevelt later renamed it the March of Dimes Foundation. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 32nd President of the United States and served from 1933 until his death in 1945. Franklin D. Roosevelt also served as the Governor of New York from 1929-1932.
At age 39, Franklin Roosevelt was stricken with Polio and unable to walk again. His passion for the March of Dimes reflected his desire to help give a boost of care and research to help there be more healthy babies and mothers in the country. Over the years the March of Dimes has focused it's energies on healthy pregnancy and premature babies.
The organization started with donations from wealthy friends of Franklin Roosevelt giving in his honor, but the name March of Dimes has it's roots in the need to involve the general public in more funding for the organization.
In 1938, Roosevelt decided to appeal to the general public for help. At one fundraiser, celebrity Eddie Cantor jokingly urged the public to send dimes to the president, coining the term March of Dimes. The public took his appeal seriously, flooding the White House with 2,680,000 dimes and thousands of dollars in donations (Source).The following is a news feature for the 75th Anniversary of the March of Dimes that shares Franklin Roosevelt's important role in founding the organization.