February 23, 1954…..
Inoculation of children with Jonas Salk‘s polio vaccine begins in Pittsburgh. Nation wide testing began two months later. It was the first successful vaccine for the dreaded disease. Before the vaccine, there were about 15,000 cases of paralysis and 1,900 deaths annually from polio in the U.S. Salk chose to not patent the vaccine in order to maximize its distribution. When asked who owned the patent, Salk replied, “Well, the people I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?” It is estimated the patent would have been worth billions had it been patented.