Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Stephen G. Fritz

Committee Members

Henry J. Antkiewicz, Emmett M. Essin III


This thesis looks at the social, political, and military effects of epidemic polio on America's war effort during World War II. The primary sources consulted include newspapers, military medical reports, photographs, memoirs, speeches, and archival collections. It looks at the effects of polio on the home front, more specifically how epidemics and the rising rates of polio were a detriment to the civilian war effort. It also focuses on the American military's preparation for and response to polio outbreaks among troops both at home and abroad. Finally, it discusses the experiences of the servicemen who contracted polio during the war. This work fills a major hole in the historiography of the disease and highlights the overlapping interests of the public, the medical community, and the military during a time of war.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.