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A Parade More Deadly Than War

[Update of 11/2018 post]

In late September 1918, Philadelphia put on a parade to sell war bonds in the midst of the outbreak of what was commmonly called Spanish flu. It was a catastrophe. I recounted this event in an article for Smithsonian.

As we live through the most deadly pandemic since 1918, it is more important than ever to understand the lessons of history. Specifically, from 1918 we should have learned these simple lessons:

•Lies, propaganda and censorship can kill

•Ignoring science is lethal

•Misplaced priorities are More Deadly Than War

Read this story of Philadelphia and the flu.

 

 

It was a parade like none Philadelphia had ever seen.

In the summer of 1918, as the Great War raged and American doughboys fell on Europe’s killing fields, the City of Brotherly Love organized a grand spectacle. To bolster morale and support the war effort, a procession for the ages brought together marching bands, Boy Scouts, women’s auxiliaries, and uniformed troops to promote Liberty Loans –government bonds issued to pay for the war. The day would be capped off with a concert led by the “March King” himself –John Philip Sousa.

The city sought to sell Liberty Loans, bonds to pay for the war effort, while bringing its citizens together during the infamous pandemic.

Read the complete article: “Philadelphia Threw a WWI Parade That Gave Thousands of Onlookers the Flu” from Smithsonian Magazine

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