August 2, 2011
The great polio outbreak of the twentieth century did not seriously affect Arkansas until 1937, when the state recorded 344 cases. In that same year, the state legislature created the State Welfare Department, with the Crippled Childrens Division assigned the task of assisting polio victims. Still, by 1949, there were 992 reported cases. A stricken child is shown here being assisted by Betty Sorensen, founder of the occupational therapy department at Arkansas Childrens Hospital in Little Rock (Pulaski County).