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'Dads to Hold "Miracle of Hickory" Weekend

February 27, 2020 - South Atlantic League (SAL) - Hickory Crawdads News Release

Hickory, NC - The Crawdads are excited to announce "Miracle of Hickory" weekend, presented by WHKY 1290AM & 102.3FM, which will take place on Saturday June 6th and Sunday, June 7th.

The 'Dads will wear specialty jerseys during both games as the team honors the emergency hospital constructed to treat the polio crisis of 1944 that would become known as the "Miracle of Hickory". The jerseys are purple in honor of the March of Dimes, which was originally established during World War II to help fight the polio epidemic.

In June of 1944 the Catawba Valley was hit with one of the worst polio outbreaks in the country. At the time there were no established hospitals in the area to treat patients so building a facility became critical. In just 54 hours a hospital was constructed and began admitting patients, most of which were children who are most susceptible to the illness.

The community came together to construct buildings, paint, clear debris, dig water trenches and donate food. WHKY helped to spread the word of needed hospital supplies such as beds, washing machines, and office supplies.

Hundreds of doctors and nurses, who were known as the "Angels of Mercy", were sent by the American Red Cross and other volunteer organizations to help treat the patients. Over the course of nine months, the Hickory Emergency Infantile Paralysis Hospital treated 454 children for polio. The March of Dimes deemed the hospital and its remarkably low death rate the "Miracle of Hickory" on its posters nationwide.

The hospital no longer exists but its site is about a mile from LP Frans Stadium. The Hickory Music Factory, the armory and Jaycee Park were constructed on the grounds of the former hospital. The City of Hickory recently renamed the Jaycee Park to Miracle of Hickory Park and began a renovation project on the property. A mural was also painted this winter on the side of a building on 1st Avenue NW in downtown Hickory to commemorate the Miracle of Hickory.

The Saturday date will feature a special firework show as the City of Hickory celebrates its 150th anniversary.

The Miracle of Hickory jerseys will be auctioned off via the Live Source app throughout the weekend. The proceeds of the auction will be donated to the Miracle of Hickory Foundation. Artifacts from the hospital will also be on the concourse on Saturday.

The Crawdads will open their season at L.P. Frans Stadium on April 16th against the Lexington Legends. For more information about the Crawdads, including promotions, ticket books, and group outings please visit or contact the front office at (828) 322-3000.

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