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Interested in disability history? Check out what happened Today in AT History!


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Government & Advocacy

  • July 3 - President Harry S. Truman signs a bill authorizing a stamp in honor of Juliette Gordon Low, the partially deaf founder of the Girl Scouts of America.[2]

Health & Safety

  • Dr. Jonas Salk, with funding from the March of Dimes, finds a cure for polio.
  • May 25 - Andrew Moyer is given a U.S. Patent for a method of mass production of penicillin.[3]


  • The Stoke Mandeville Games, precursor to the Paralympic Games, are held for the first time by Sir Ludwig Guttmann. The Games involved World War II veterans with spinal cord injuries at the rehabilitation hospital in Stoke Mandeville, England.
  • The National Wheelchair Basketball Association is founded out of 6 teams that were part of the Paralyzed Veterans Association.[4]


February 12 - Raymond Kurzweil - Inventor and futurist. Kurzweil has been a pioneer in the fields of optical character recognition (OCR) and reading systems, screen reading, technology for voice input systems, and electronic keyboard instruments.


  • June 8 - Shunsuke Matsumoto - Japanese Artist. Matsumoto was an humanist wartime artist who became deaf at the age of 15. He was relatively obscure during his lifetime but became popular after his death.[5]
  • November 17 - Samuel T. Orton - American physician. Orton was a pioneer in the study of learning disabilities. He is best known for his work examining the causes and treatment of reading disability, or dyslexia.[6]


  1. Cullahun,Leigh F. and Debra R. Luppin. "The Arthritis Foundation 1948 -1998: 50 Years of Arthritis Care and Research." Arthritis & Rheumatism. American College of Rheumatology. 8 Dec 2005. Volume 11 Issue 5, Pages 309 - 314.
  2. "Juliette Gordon Low Biography." Girl Scouts of the United States of America. 2008. Accessed on March 18, 2008.
  3. "Patent, Trademark & Copyright Calendar of Trivia." U.S. Patent Office. 1999. Accessed on May 19, 2008.
  4. "History of Wheelchair Basketball." National Wheelchair Basketball Association. Accessed on February 26, 2008.
  5. "A GUIDE TO THE OKAWA MUSEUM OF ART." Okawa Museum of Art. Accessed on April 21, 2008.
  6. Duchan, Judith. "Samuel Torrey Orton." Getting Here: A short history of Speech Pathology in America. Judith Duchan Online. February 21, 2008. Accessed on March 18, 2008.