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National Banana Bread Day!

Today we celebrate gourmet bread, the Banana Bread.  This day is observed annually on February 23rd.

Banana bread is a delicious gourmet bread made from mashed bananas.  They are delicious for a snack and paired with your favorite hot cup of tea or coffee.  I love bananas and I grew up in my country eating them every day for breakfast and snacks.  It is considered a staple food and is a healthy fruit loaded with potassium and always available year-round.

Banana bread is moist, sweet, cake-like bread that some recipes include pecans or walnuts.  It is extremely easy to make that is why it is a favorite as a special treat by everyone.  Besides being easy to make they are very good for your heart.  The potassium helps regulate your blood pressure and normalizes the heart function.  Just remember to use Stevia to avoid raising your blood sugar from refined sugar.

Banana has arrived in the USA in the 1870s and became an instant hit, find their way into many desserts.  Banana bread began being published in cookbooks around the 1930s and its popularity was greatly helped by the introduction of baking powder on the market.

So, today let us celebrate this day and make some banana bread.  You can always buy one from your local bakeshop if you are not into baking.  If you have a special recipe and making it, share on social media using #BananaBreadDay.

1954 Children receive the first polio vaccine

On February 23, 1954, a group of children from Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, receive the first injections of the new polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk.

Though not as devastating as the plague or influenza, poliomyelitis was a highly contagious disease that emerged in terrifying outbreaks and seemed impossible to stop. Attacking the nerve cells and sometimes the central nervous system, polio caused muscle deterioration, paralysis, and even death. Even as medicine vastly improved in the first half of the 20th century in the Western world, polio still struck, affecting mostly children but sometimes adults as well. The most famous victim of a 1921 outbreak in America was future President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then a young politician. The disease spread quickly, leaving his legs permanently paralyzed.

In the late 1940s, the March of Dimes, a grassroots organization founded with President Roosevelt’s help to find a way to defend against polio, enlisted Dr. Jonas Salk, head of the Virus Research Lab at the University of Pittsburgh. Salk found that polio had as many as 125 strains of three basic types and that an effective vaccine needed to combat all three. By growing samples of the poliovirus and then deactivating, or “killing” them by adding a chemical called formalin, Salk developed his vaccine, which was able to immunize without infecting the patient.

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