Spanish Influenza breaks out, Janet Reno is confirmed as the first female attorney general, and a massive earthquake and tsunami cripple Japan, all on this day.
1918: The first cases of "Spanish Influenza" in the U.S. are reported. In the early morning, an Army private reported to the hospital at Fort Riley, Kansas, complaining of fever, sore throat and headache. By the afternoon, the hospital had more than 100 cases. In a week, there were 500. Over the course of that spring, 48 soldiers died at Fort Riley from what was later identified as a new strain of influenza. The strain, which got its name because the pandemic received greater press attention in Spain than in the rest of the world, would become the worst epidemic in American history, killing more than 600,000. Worldwide, the disease killed between 50 and 100 million people.
U.S. Post Office
Travis County Sheriff’s Office
Courtesy Dan Shakal
Library of Congress
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