January 3: The March Of Dimes

FDR March Of Dimes75 years ago today, President Frank Roosevelt announced the founding of a new charitable organization called the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, or as it is better known The March Of Dimes.

The non-profit foundation made polio its chief focus, and from its founding in 1938 to the approval of Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine in 1955, the foundation spent $233 million on polio patient care. This money was raised through charitable donations and a Christmastime campaign that began in 1938: Official NFIP lockboxes were placed on streets in major cities, encouraging members of the public (especially children) to drop a dime in the box. This campaign led vaudeville star Eddie Cantor to dub the charity the March of Dimes, a pun on The March of Time newsreel series. The nickname stuck, and in 1976, the organization (who by then had shifted its focus to all birth defects) officially changed its name to the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

The dime was so associated with the organization, that when Roosevelt died in 1945, Virginia Congressman Ralph H. Daughton introduced legislation calling for the Mercury dime to be replaced with a dime bearing Roosevelt’s portrait, specifically citing Roosevelt’s role in the creation of the March of Dimes.

So, on the 75th anniversary of the start of the March of Dimes, raise a glass with a Give Me A Dime. It’s a sweet and creamy dessert cocktail, with a silver color similar to a dime.

Give Me A Dime

  • 1 1/2 ounces White Creme De Cacao
  • 1 1/2 ounces Butterscotch Liqueuer
  • 1 1/2 ounces cream

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and crumble a Cadbury’s Flake bar (if you can get one) on top of the drink.

Tomorrow: A Grimm anniversary.


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