On this day, 77 years ago, one of the first cases of Polio in what would be an epidemic was diagnosed in Catawba county.
As the infection spread, and hospital beds in Charlotte became scarce, the people of Hickory moved to ensure that those afflicted by the illness would have access to treatment, and began work on the Hickory Emergency Infantile Paralysis Hospital.
After only 54 hours of work by volunteers, the hospital was ready to accept patients.
It would operate for a little less than a year, but would treat 454 patients, with only 12 succumbing to the illness. Notably, during a time of segregated services, no one was turned away due to their skin color.
The hospital was located on the site of what today is a city park near the Catawba river.
Read a detailed account of the hospital and the events surrounding it here.