First Planning Session of the World Congress for Physical Therapy.

Attendees at the General Session of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT), 2nd Congress, New York City, June 18, 1956 (left to right): Thomas Francis, Jr; Miriam Jacobs, Watson School; G. V. M. Griffin; Mildred Elson, former chairman and APA executive director; Lucy Blair, polio consultant, APA; and Jonas E. Salk, who was honored by the WCPT for his work developing the polio vaccine.

The World Confederation for Physical Therapy held its first formal meeting in Copenhagen. Mildred Elson, APTA’s first executive director, was elected to serve as WCPT’s first president. Five years later, in 1956, APTA would cohost the second WCPT World Congress in New York City, where Elson would be one of the dignitaries on hand as WCPT honored Jonas Salk for the introduction of his widely acclaimed Salk vaccine for polio the previous year.

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