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flu pandemic

  • Communities closed down when the flu pandemic struck North Dakota in the fall of 1918. But the length of restrictions on schools, churches, theaters and public gatherings differed. Fargo’s lockdown lasted about three weeks. Bismarck’s restrictions lasted a month. Grand Forks reopened after seven weeks, and Minot’s restrictions ended after eight weeks, one of the longest closings in the state.
  • Aside from newspaper accounts and government records, little was written about the terrible flu pandemic of 1918. Historians today have wondered whether the memories were too painful to write about. One estimate says more than 5,100 North Dakotans died in the pandemic, which lingered into 1920.
  • We will never know the full extent of the 1918 flu pandemic in North Dakota. The virus hit the state at a time of poor public health administration, with no state health department. The official death count of 1,378 people is almost certainly an undercount. One estimate in recent years put the death toll at more than 5,100 North Dakotans.
  • Face masks were widely used during the terrible flu pandemic of 1918. Newspapers carried instructions for making masks from gauze or cheesecloth. The Red Cross made and distributed masks. Health authorities advocated the use of masks.
  • North Dakotans took many steps to fight the 1918 flu pandemic. Bismarck had a mask mandate for waitresses and other food handlers. Schools and businesses around the state closed – some for months. There was even a vaccine, though it turned out to be useless.
  • The final months of World War I collided with the terrible flu pandemic of 1918. The war facilitated the global spread of the virus, and many service…
  • The 1918 flu pandemic devastated the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. When the flu struck that fall, Sioux County’s Board of Health closed all public…
  • James Robinson was eccentric North Dakota Supreme Court justice who opposed vaccinations. He also peddled booze as a cure during the 1918 flu pandemic.…