Greensboro's Former Polio Hospital Is Getting A Historical Marker

Greensboro's Former Polio Hospital Is Getting A Historical Marker

12:21pm Jun 17, 2019
These women, some of those arrested in Greensboro during anti-segregation demonstrations, are being held May 21, 1963. The makeshift jail was previously the city's polio hospital and could accommodate 1,100 people. (AP Photo/Spencer Jones)

A former hospital in Greensboro is getting a historical marker this week.

The Central Carolina Convalescent Center began at the height of the polio epidemic. 1948 was a particularly bad year, with more than 2,000 cases across North Carolina.

Greensboro was among the hardest hit areas.

Citizens banded together and started raising money to help. The center was built near the intersection of Huffine Mill Road and East Bessemer Avenue just 95 days after the fundraising began.

It was racially integrated from the outset, treating and employing both whites and African Americans.

Fifteen years later, police jailed more than 1,000 people marching to desegregate movie theaters and restaurants, and the former hospital served as a jail for the protesters.

A dedication program for the N.C. Highway Historical Marker will be held Saturday in Greensboro with the marker placed later at a nearby intersection.

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