In 1960, a new wonder drug was slated to arrive on American shores—a sedative that was said to treat a range of other ills. A hypnotic, as the doctors call it, that was the answer to a prayer. Its generic name was Thalidomide. The hallmark defining quality of Thalidomide was its safety. So safe that, in Germany, there was no prescription needed. The German company that developed Thalidomide, Chemie Grünenthal, claimed that even pregnant women could take it. The drug company had handed out samples of this drug all over the place, starting with employees of its own company. On Christmas day in 1956, a baby girl was born in Germany without ears, and she was the daughter of an employee of the drug company Grünenthal. No immediate connection was made to Thalidomide, which soon sold nearly as well as aspirin in some European countries.