Eddie Cantor, the famous comedian, coined the term “The March of Dimes.”
Eddie Cantor was a famous comedian, actor, and media personality. He was known as “banjo eyes” by his fans because of how wide his eyes were. Simply put, Eddie Cantor was a darling.
In 1937, FDR tasked Eddie, along with other promoters, to come up with a strategy to raise funds for the cause – researching a vaccine for polio.
It was this time that Eddie Cantor came up with the brilliant idea of asking the public to send dimes to the White House as donations to the NFIP.
He coined the term “The March of Dimes” as a play on words, from the old newsreel, The March of Time.
This connected with the public instantly. The White House received a whole lot of dimes from people all over the country.
A total of 2,680,000 dimes were sent to the white house, mostly from children, summing up to a whopping $268,000. I did some inflation mathematics(I only googled it), and the value of that money today is a little over 5 million dollars.
This is the exciting reason why FDR’s face was put on the dime – to remember this pivotal moment in history.
You know that famous saying, “If I had a dime for every time I [insert annoying thing you have done many time], I’d be a millionaire”?
Well, Eddie Cantor’s version would go something like this: “If I had a dime for every time a person sent a dime to the president based on my word, I would help find a vaccine for polio and put the FDR’s face on the dime. I know that because I actually did it.”