Poliomyelitis and the Salk Vaccine
Swainson, John Burley, 1925-
- 71.5 linear ft., 1 oversize folder, and 1 oversize volume
John B. Swainson served as a state senator, lieutenant governor, and governor of Michigan during 1961-1963. Born in Windsor, Ontario in 1925, he grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. During World War II, he served with the 95th Infantry Division. Severely wounded by a land mine explosion, Swainson lost both of his legs to amputation. In 1954, he was elected to the Michigan Senate from the 18th District (the northwest section of Wayne County). He was reelected in 1956 and developed a close working relationship with Democratic governor, G. Mennen Williams. In 1958, he was elected lieutenant governor; and in 1960, after Williams decided against reelection, Swainson won his party's nomination for governor. In the fall election, he defeated the Republican challenger Paul Bagwell in a close election. He became at age 35 the second youngest man to hold the office of governor and the first who was not native born.
The Swainson collection consists of four subgroups of files: pre-gubernatorial (covering the period of 1943 to 1960), gubernatorial (covering his one-term, two-year tenure as the state's chief executive), post-gubernatorial (covering the years since he left the governor's office, 1963 to 1975), and visual materials. The bulk of the collection is the gubernatorial subgroup documenting the last months of Swainson's term as lieutenant governor under Governor G. Mennen Williams, the 1960 campaign for governor, his gubernatorial administration, and his unsuccessful campaign for re-election. The importance of the collection is its documentation of public policy issues of the early 1960s and the relationship of the governor to the legislature, to the heads of the state's various boards and commissions, to the federal government, and to the citizens of Michigan. The 1961 gubernatorial papers include a subject file on the polio program.