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Gathered Crowds and Spanish Flu

Gathered Crowds and Spanish Flu American History Medicine World War I Disasters Education

During the American Spanish-Flu epidemic, authorities urged people to stay at home if they were sick, and to avoid huge crowds in general. Good advice ... but ... how could that really happen at times of major events? 

Philadelphia—extremely hard hit by Spanish Flu in October of 1918—lost more than 12,000 of its residents in just a few weeks.

Yet ... the following month ... they gathered in droves—as depicted in this scene—when an Armistice ending "The Great War" was announced on November 11, 1918.

It was at events like this where the Spanish-Flu "bug" could easily target many more potential victims.


Media Credits

Philadelphia gathering - Armistice Day 11 November 1918 - online, courtesy U.S. National Archives.

 

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