Americans are an innovative and resourceful people. It’s no accident that much of the world’s medical progress has come from America and that now, as the COVID-19 crisis continues, American scientists and doctors are at the vanguard of treating the disease and developing a vaccine.
To explore how and why the American republic inspires such innovation, this webinar focused on two heroes of American medicine. Jonas Salk helped to alleviate millions from suffering and death through his development of one of the first successful polio vaccines. What did it take for him to make such a breakthrough? And what does it mean for today’s search for a vaccine for COVID-19? Clara Barton was a hospital nurse during the Civil War and a teacher who shared her war experiences with many. She later founded the American Red Cross, which still provides much of the nation’s blood donations and disaster relief for tens of thousands of Americans a year. How did she establish such a vital organization in American medicine?
In this webinar, Executive Director Jeff Sikkenga discussed Jonas Salk and Clara Barton with Dr. Eric Pullin, a professor at Carthage College and a member of Ashbrook’s national faculty. Dr. Pullin is a lively thinker and an excellent scholar.
Jeff and Dr. Pullin explored the following documents:
- “Angel of the Battlefield,” Hartford Courant, 26 November 1862
- “The Red Cross of the Geneva Convention: What It Is,” Clara Barton, 1878
- Notes on Antietam, Clara Barton, 1890
- “The Women Who Went to the Field,” Clara Barton, 1892
- “Polio Cases and Death Rates,” April and May 1955
- “Remarks on Conference on Salk Vaccine,” 22 April 1955
- “President Eisenhower Cabinet Paper,” 29 April 1955
- “Jonas Salk on Searching for the Next Medical Miracle,” 18 February 1990
A recording of the webinar is available below.