Own March of Dimes 75th Anniversary
U.S. Mint Silver Dollar and Dimes Proofs
In 2015, the US Mint produced these striking coins to commemorate the past, present and future of the March of Dimes, which celebrated its 75th anniversary that year. The 90% silver dollar coin pictures Franklin Roosevelt and Jonas Salk on one side and a baby sleeping in its parent’s hand on the other side.
The two 90% silver dimes feature the recognizable portrait of Roosevelt on one side and a torch, olive branch, and oak branch on the reverse. One dime is the first Proof silver dime produced by the West Point Mint and the other is the first Reverse Proof silver dime from the Philadelphia Mint. Take a close look at the image to see how they differ. The standard Proof has frosted edges over a mirrored field, while the Reverse Proof has mirrored devices on a frosted field. It’s neat to see these differences side-by-side.
The March of Dimes
President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP) on January 3, 1938. A non-partisan association of scientists and volunteers, the organization worked to develop a polio vaccine and helped those with polio through their physical rehabilitation. The foundation also created a network of local chapters to raise money and distribute aid.
Initially, the NFIP raised funds at the annual President’s Birthday Ball, through donations from wealthy celebrities. Over time, however, the number of children affected outpaced the fundraising. Therefore, President Roosevelt began appealing to the public to help. During one fundraiser, singer Eddie Cantor jokingly told the public to send dimes to the president, which helped inspire the term “March of Dimes.”
The people of America answered his call – flooding the White House with 2,680,000 dimes ($268,000) in donations. The press called the public response, “a silver tide which actually swamped the White House.”
By Christmas, booths were set up in cities around the country where children could donate their dimes. Children were significant donors, claiming they wanted to help other children to get better.
By 1941, the March of Dimes raised enough funds to develop an iron lung, which helped polio patients breathe when they lost muscle control of their lungs. In 1946, the US produced an FDR dime to honor his life and his work for the March of Dimes. In 1949, the March of Dimes tasked Dr. Jonas Salk with developing a polio vaccine, which he achieved in 1955. Salk’s vaccine helped to decrease the number of polio cases per year from tens of thousands to just a handful.
Once polio had been defeated, the March of Dimes shifted their focus to birth defects prevention in 1958. In this new avenue, the March of Dimes began funding genetic research and helping to create birth defects treatment centers in hospitals around the country. They also helped to found the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, which studies a variety of diseases.
Only 75,000 March of Dimes Silver Proof Coin sets were produced – order yours now while they’re still available.