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Spanish Flu

  • Life changed drastically for Americans when the Spanish flu pandemic struck in 1918. Nearly one third of the world’s population became infected. The death toll is estimated as high as fifty million people. Almost seven hundred thousand Americans died. News reports from Spain were not subject to censorship like they were in the rest of Europe, so the rest of the world learned about the disease through Spanish reports. This led to its name as the “Spanish flu.”
  • 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.
  • On this date in 1918, as World War I raged on across the sea and the Spanish Flu was spreading from community to community, children were looking at a…
  • By the end of October in 1918, the people of North Dakota held an apocalyptic view of unfolding events. The whirlwind pace of an incredibly violent year…
  • As the Meuse-Argonne offensive began, the letters from the North Dakota soldiers in France were now only lightly censored. Life on the battlefield was…
  • On September 29, 1917, throngs of people had stood amid garlands of red, white and blue bunting, waving flags and banners as they crowded on the railroad…