This story began in the town of Callander in Canada.
Oliver Dionne, a very poor peasant called a local newspaper to ask how much it would cost to publish the news about the birth of 5 girls.
The man who attended him didn’t believe him. It had never happened before. He replied, "If that's true, it will cost you nothing."
It was true, it was very true. His wife had just given birth to five girls.
They were very poor; the house they lived in had no drinking water or electricity.
The only room house had was with little ventilation and there were five people in there already.
The girls were born very thin and small, almost the size of his hand.
Their weight was approximately 600 gramms each, their mother, not very well fed, had little milk to feed them so they had to be given a mixture of water, corn syrup, cow's milk and a few drops of rum.
The woman who attended the delivery thought that they wouldn’t live long, not even hours and quickly named them: Marie, Emily, Annette, Yvonne and Cecile.
As months went by the girls were still struggling to live.
That's how they got to be 5 months old and their father took them to the Chicago World's Fair to show them off.
The authorities were interested in the case.
They built a pavilion with large windows so the babies could be seen. It was a kind of glass cage.
The "gallery" received more than 3 million visits between 1935 and 1943.
Spectators came from all over, even other countries. People paid to meet them and the city became rich at the sisters’ expense.
The girls began to receive many things from different companies, they became famous.
Companies producing milk, diapers, clothes for girls paid a lot of money to use their image in their products’ promotion.
Their fame was such that Hollywood made 3 films about them.
The girls became a spectacle. They were like circus show.
Some psychologists and other doctors warned that if they continued to live enclosed like animals in a cage it could bring serious consequences.
When they turned 9, authorities built a bigger house for them to live there with their family.
The rest of the story on the next page.