The Fischer quintuplets were the first set of quintuplets to survive infancy in the United States. The quintuplets consisted of four girls and one boy. Their names were Mary Ann, Mary Catherine, Mary Magdalene, Mary Margaret and James Andrew. They were born on Sept. 14, 1963 to Andrew and Mary Ann Fischer of Aberdeen, South Dakota.
The Fischer quintuplets garnered a great deal of public interest. Quintuplet births remain rare as of 2015 at about 1 out of 55 million births, but were even more so in 1963 before the advent of fertility treatments. Previously, the only surviving sets of quintuplets in the Western Hemisphere were born in Canada and Argentina.
Journalists covered the story of the birth of the Fischer quintuplets, and the family received congratulatory messages from the White House and the Vatican. Strangers offered the family various gifts, including clothes and diapers. In October 1963, Aberdeen hosted a parade to celebrate the birth.
The Fischer family had six other children, five of whom were born before the quintuplets. Andrew Fischer worked as a grocery store clerk in 1963. He later became a farmer and raised livestock to support the family. Mary Ann Fischer worked as a cook for a program that provided meals for the elderly.