1918 : Spanish Influenza Paralyzes Michigan

October 19, 2021 all-day

On Oct. 19, 1918, state government ordered that all meeting places in the state be closed in the hopes of stemming the spread of contagious diseases like Spanish influenza, which was ravaging Michigan that fall.

Since it was a Sunday, churches and theaters were closed across the state. In Traverse City, the Record-Eagle reported that the city looked like a ghost town. With the exception of a few cars on the road, the streets were deserted.

The newspaper editorialized that if only people were willing to stay out of work or away from school when they got sick, thousands of lives could be saved.

Sources :

Michigan Every Day

Jennifer Latson, “What Made the Spanish Flu so Deadly?”, Time, March 11, 2015

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