September 1918

The reporting of the influenza epidemic explodes across the country, with deaths in the camps [Devens, Lee, Upton] (finally) getting covered (September 18, 20). The New York commissioner Copeland is praised as patriot for issuing anti-kissing advice (September 6). National coverage starts with Boston (September 10, 11, 13, 16); Surgeon General Blue reports outbreaks in Virginia Beach (September 14) and has spread from Boston to shipyards in New London, New York and Philadelphia (September 16); reports from Wilmington, NC (September 23), Seattle September 24), Newark, DE (September 25) and Lumberton, NC (September 25) cover restrictions on movement, quarantines, move theater closings and school shutdowns.

The influenza outbreak is a dominant topic on front pages, with Chan gets in death rates and cases being reported daily. NYC health authorities start requiring all cases be reported (September 18); health authorities report there is no need for alarm (Philadelphia September 19, New York, September 22).

Herbert Hoover reports rationing will be lifted in 1919 because of the success of the harvest (September 22). The state department has stopped trying to send food aid to Russia because it is proving too difficult to distribute (September 3). Rumors of Lenin’s death circulate (Setpermber 2, 3, 4).

The draft has secured the names of between 13 and 14 million American men, almost 15% of the total population (September 17). A widow with sons serving in France is fire-bombed out of her house by racists in a neighborhood of Kansas City (September 28).