Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First day of school, 1944, came and went with Pilot Mountain School empty. The day came, the children didn't. Nor the second day, third day, even weeks later, no children. They were all quarantined at home in an every child left behind kind of way. That was the peak year of the polio epidemic in Burke County, a time of fear and dread when parents prayed that their sleeping children would still be healthy when they woke in the morning.

Health officials had placed a quarantine on all children. No movie houses could open. No youth activities. No sports. No family get togethers. No Sunday School. No running over to the neighbor's to play. After several weeks of staying home, these children were probably more ready than ever to return to school when it finally opened in the middle of September. Wonder what the teachers said to the children on the real first day of school. Did they discuss the epidemic? Did they count noses to see who didn't survive? If they had, they would have been pleased. All the Pilot Mountain children survived.

Catch of the day,



  1. Yay for Pilot Mountain school children surviving the polio epidemic of 1944!

  2. GREAT snapshot of history! Thank You!