Pride and Pain: Remembering the Polio Hospital Site

This grant supports the creation of a traveling exhibit and three public programs commemorating and honoring the contested history of the Central Carolina Convalescent Hospital. The first event is on the 70th anniversary of the polio hospital opening; the second, on World Polio Day; and third on International Students Day.

During a polio epidemic Greensboro installed a polio hospital in a former building of the Overseas Replacement Depot, a military installation where troops were stationed before traveling overseas. In 1948, the Piedmont Triad and surrounding communities banded together, funding and completing construction on the hospital in just ninety-five days. The polio hospital was one of the first racially integrated hospitals in the nation. The hospital declined in importance as the threat of polio diminished, and it closed in 1961. Two years later, the city used the site as a makeshift prison for high school and college students fighting segregation, many of whom stayed in the hospital with limited supplies for nearly three weeks.