1. The Christian Register

    1831

    “The Christian Register” runs an uplifting story about deaf, dumb, and blind girl anmed Julia Brace who lived at the Hartford Asylum.

  1. Blind Tom plays his first public performance

    1849

    6725661195_026c67da35_s Blind Tom (1849-1908) plays his first public performance and became a media sensation even gaining high praise from Mark Twain. Blind Tom would today be labeled an "autistic savent"

  1. Harper’s New Monthly Magazine prints an article on Blackwell’s Island Lunatic Asulum.

    1866

    6725661273_39cb57796c_s 1866 - Harper's New Monthly Magazine prints an article on Blackwell's Island Lunatic Asulum. Blackwell's Island, in New York City's East River, is now called Roosevelt Island. The Lunatic Asylum, designed by noted architect Alexander Jaskson Davis, opened in 1839 and featured an octagon tower.

  2. Harper’s New Monthly Magazine

    1866

    6725661363_2a91ba0125_s 1866 - Harper's New Monthly Magazine prints an article on Blackwell's Island Lunatic Asylum. Blackwell's Island, in New York City's East River, is now called Roosevelt Island. The Lunatic Asylum, designed by noted architect Alexander Jackson Davis, opened in 1839 and featured and octagon tower.

  1. The Prisoner’s Hidden Life

    1868

    6725661445_8e71118d39_z 1868 - "The Prisoner's Hidden Life" or "Insane Asylums Unveiled," was an expose on the insane asylum system written by Mrs. E. P. W. Packard. Mrs. Packard was wrongly placed in an asylum by her husband and then went on to write of the experience.

  1. Freaks

    1932

    6725661523_0b961a196f_z 1932 - Tod Browning releases the film "Freaks" with a cast of disabled performers. The movie opened to criticism for its depiction of the disabled and the general public's perception of the disabled.

  1. Tomorrow’s Children

    1934

    6725661617_6c8c606122_z 1934 - The film "Tomorrow's Children" is released. The movie had a eugenic plot that centered on a family of degenerates, cripples, and mentally disabled individuals that are offered welfare-for-life if they agree to sterilization.

  1. The March of Dimes

    1938

    6725661723_df598ea406_z 1938 - The March of Dimes is created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help fight polio. The organization started by using a radio campaign to raise funds and over the years has used the media for public awareness and fundraising.

  1. Wizard of Oz

    1939

    6725661835_10d8c24afd_s 1939 - The "Wizard of Oz" opens in theaters with a large cast of "munchkins."

  1. Moron Gulch

    1940

    6725661987_e64a41e1c7_z 1940s - "Moron Gulch" cartoon depicting "backwoods-men" of several mental capacities.

  2. Little Moron

    1940

    6725661921_84a1091a8e_z 1940s (1943) - "Little Moron" books become popular with their "jokes" at the expense of the Little Moron and his low IQ.

  1. Bedlam 1946

    1946

    6725662057_a1fca35e30_z 1946 - Bedlam 1946 a photo essay from Life magazine that exposes the abuses at American mental hospitals written by Albert Q. Maisel

  1. “Cavalcade of Stars” celebrity fundraiser for the Shield of David

    1958

    6725662689_5a1858e105_s  1958 - "Cavalcade of Stars" celebrity fundraiser for the Shield of David, Institute for Retarded Children. Celebrities included Dick Clark, Tony Randall, and others.

  1. Kingston Trio album for March of Dimes public awareness

    1960

    6725662825_b3d91bfabe_s 1960 - Kingston Trio album for March of Dimes public awareness. Popular musicians were also part of the effort to promote the March of Dimes.

  2. Johnny Carson at the Celebrity Parade for Cerebral Palsy

    1960

    6725662755_afab69ba9e_s  1960s - Johnny Carson at the Celebrity Parade for Cerebral Palsy. As television became more available to the public its celebrities also joined in disability awareness events.

  1. Mental Retardation Campaign

    1965

    6725663107_0c6e48653c_s 1965-66 - "Mental Retardation Campaign" public service announcements from the President's Committee on Mental Retardation with personal appeals from Lyndon B. Johnson, Dr. Spock and Roy Rogers among others. These announcements were played on the radio.

  2. Mental Retardation Campaign

    1965

    6725663173_04c244b529_s  1965-66 - "Mental Retardation Campaign" public service announcements from the President's Committee on Mental Retardation with personal appeals from Lyndon B. Johnson, Dr. Spock and Roy Rogers among others. These announcements were played on the radio.

  3. Senator Robert F. Kennedy visits Willowbrook State School

    1965

    6725663051_b797c6c482_s 1965 - Senator Robert F. Kennedy visits Willowbrook State School and labeled the deplorable conditions a "snake pit." His visit lead to several published articles on the problems at the school in the Staten Island Advance. Seven years later Geraldo Rivera televised the dilapidated school.

  1. The first Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy is aired on TV

    1966

    6725663245_d3e3f82682_s The first Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy is aired on television. The telethon has helped to raise over $2 billion dollars and is still televised every Labor Day weekend.

  1. Henry Fonda in a United Cerebral Palsy awareness and fund raising advertisement

    1968

    6725665647_d54ca30a5f_s  1968 - Henry Fonda in a United Cerebral Palsy awareness and fund raising advertisement with the poster child Kenny Cunningham.

  1. The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

    1970

    6725668965_53fe92025e_s 1970 - The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped begins to publish a braille version of Playboy magazine.

  2. Beetle Bailey comic book

    1970

    6725663915_f77be8226f_s  1970 - Beetle Bailey comic book, a complimentary copy to promote awareness for the Cerebral Palsy Association.

  1. Barbara Streisand as the National Association

    1971

    6725664447_edf0e865cc_s  1971 - Barbara Streisand as the National Association for Retarded Children National Chairman.

  1. Geraldo Rivera does an expose on the Willowbrook State School that leads to an immediate federal inquiry

    1972

    6725668589_089028f291_s  1972 - Geraldo Rivera does an expose on the Willowbrook State School that leads to an immediate federal inquiry. The deplorable conditions of this facility for the mentally retarded were televised and Willowbrook became national news.

  2. “The National Tattler” newspaper with a cover story titled “Testers Inject Retarded Children has Hepatitis”

    1972

    6725666943_2cbe84ced1_s  1972 - "The National Tattler" newspaper with a cover story titled "Testers Inject Retarded Children has Hepatitis," about an experimental program at the Willowbrook State School in New York.

  3. Sonny and Cher at the height of their fame are named Cerebral Palsy National Celebrity Chairmen

    1972

    6725667253_54c895203a_s  1972 - Sonny and Cher at the height of their fame are named Cerebral Palsy National Celebrity Chairmen. Further promoting fundraising and public awareness through the vehicle of celebrity.

  1. John Ritter in a fund raising advertisement for the Cerebral Palsy telethon in association with Miller Beer

    1980

    6725668207_676ddb20cf_s  1980 - John Ritter in a fund raising advertisement for the Cerebral Palsy telethon in association with Miller Beer. Ritter, whose brother had cerebral palsy, was the telethon chairman for many years.

  1. Weekend with the Stars Telethon for Cerebral Palsy

    1981

    6725665799_f75ebee6fd_s 1981 - Weekend with the Stars Telethon for Cerebral Palsy, including John Ritter, Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra.

  2. Weekend with the Stars Telethon for Cerebral Palsy

    1981

    6725666517_3812b64332_s  1981 - Weekend with the Stars Telethon for Cerebral Palsy, including John Ritter, Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra.

  3. Weekend with the Stars Telethon for Cerebral Palsy

    1981

    6725667829_99035c2b0d_s  1981 - Weekend with the Stars Telethon for Cerebral Palsy, including John Ritter, Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra.

  4. Weekend with the Stars Telethon for Cerebral Palsy

    1981

    6725666033_442af7d67e_s  1981 - Weekend with the Stars Telethon for Cerebral Palsy, including John Ritter, Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra.

  1. “The disABILITY Rag” magazine for and by the disabled community was first published in 1980

    1982

    6725664965_50c72a07a7_s 1982 - "The disABILITY Rag" magazine for and by the disabled community was first published in 1980. This magazine is now available on the world wide web and is now known as the Ragged Edge.

  1. Rain Man

    1988

    6725729983_af0b1eacd8_s  1988 - "Rain Man" starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise about the relationship of an autistic savant and his brother.

  2. “Kids Like These” movie

    1988

    6725729799_7eacfe29d7_s 1988 - "Kids Like These" movie is made for television starring Tyne Daly.

  1. Mouth magazine publishes its first issue

    1990

    6725666337_ed5a57de69_s 1990 - Mouth magazine publishes its first issue. The bi-monthly magazine considers itself the voice of the disability nation.