Publication Date
Publication Date: 
May 1, 2011

This 60-minute documentary on polio tells the story of Dr. Jonas Salk and his research team, who pulled together with a community and a nation (the United States, or US) which "rolled up its collective sleeves to conquer the most-feared disease of the 20th century." The Shot Felt 'Round The World. Specifically, it focuses on events that are, according to the producers, less widely known - events that took place from 1949-1955: "a beloved, polio-afflicted President inspired a nation to send their dimes to the unlikely place of the University of Pittsburgh....By highlighting the stories of the unsung heroes who waged war with Salk and his team against the 'summer plague,' the documentary...reveals the story from the insiders' point of view and gives audiences hope that the spirit of cooperation which spurred the development of the Salk polio vaccine could be a model for solving contemporary problems."

This film is a resource around which an advocacy and education programme has been built. Take a Shot at Changing the World uses the digital classroom to engage middle- and high-school students in making their own videos connecting the development of the Salk Polio Vaccine 60 years ago to current eradication efforts around the world. Visitors to the Take a Shot at Changing the World may access lesson plans for the film and other resources (e.g., "How to Create a Quality Video" and various resources and reading suggested links). This programme is, as of March 2013, being piloted in Southwestern Pennsylvania (US), although producers hope to go national in Fall 2013.

March 2013 update: The film has been picked up for distribution by Mercury Media (a United Kingdom (UK) company) and will be broadcast on The Smithsonian Channel in 2013. The DVD of the film is not currently available for purchase, as the film is being edited for broadcast.


The Shot Felt 'Round The World website, August 2 2011; communication between Carl Kurlander and The Communication Initiative on March 1 2013; and email from Stephanie Dangel to The Communication Initiative on March 1 2013.