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Topics in Chronicling America - The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 (Spanish Flu)

“Spanish Flu” Sweeps the Country, Killing Millions! Between the spring of 1918 and the spring of 1919 a highly virulent and fatal influenza sweeps the country in three waves, killing the youngest and the strongest, devastating entire communities. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • Spring 1918-Spring 1919: Three waves of highly virulent and fatal influenza sweep the country. The fall-winter wave is the deadliest for the US. The pandemic kills millions and devastates entire communities.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Spanish influenza, Spanish flu, grip, la grippe, plague, epidemic, pandemic, Pfeiffer’s bacillus (“Pfelffer’s bacillus” will also reveal results)
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results. The range 1918 through 1920 will yield the best results.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  February 11, 2013
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