STUMP » Articles » Memory Monday: Second Week of January 1918 » 15 January 2018, 10:41

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Memory Monday: Second Week of January 1918  


15 January 2018, 10:41

Before I get back into my project of reading newspaper pieces from 100 years ago, in an effort to see how the Spanish Flu pandemic looked to people in my area back then, I want to warn about our current flu epidemic in the U.S.

CDC: Flu now epidemic, number of fatal pediatric cases rises to 20

Seven more children have died of the flu in the past week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those deaths bring the total number of fatal pediatric flu cases to 20.

The CDC’s latest report said that the United States is officially in a flu epidemic. The disease is widespread in 49 states.

Tens of thousands of people die in the U.S. each year from the flu. It fluctuates a lot, depending on how bad the season is. The following data give an idea.

I haven’t updated it to more recent (because I’m lazy). Now, you don’t hear about the tens of thousands as much as the tens of thousands who die from car accidents each year not just because the car accidents number is a bit higher, but because of who dies.

Flu deaths vs. car deaths, by absolute number:

Flu deaths broken out by age:

Car accidents kill younger people, primarily. Flu kills old people, primarily. It’s often pneumonia that kills them. When younger people die from the flu, especially if they’re otherwise healthy, it makes the news now.

That wasn’t true of the Spanish Flu, by the way, with regards to age impact nor news impact.


In the January 11, 1918 issue of the Brewster Standard, there was a lot of material with regards to the war effort.

Not so much news with respect to war progress, but a lot more of the home-front-boosting propaganda that pulled no punches.

I’m not going to post all the war-related civilian-boosting items, but just a few:

Cardinal Gibbons was Archbishop of Baltimore at the time of this piece (in fact, had been archbishop for over 40 years at this point), and died in 1921 at the age of 86.

There were even a few ads that related to the war effort:


I just noticed two items regarding women’s right to vote. The 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1920, so this is an indication of efforts starting to ramp up.

A short opinion piece:

And a note on a Congressional vote, and a link to a New York vote:

It seems that women got the right to vote in New York back in 1917, so the votes mentioned above probably have something to do with the Constitutional amendment.


No signs of widespread flu in the paper, the one obituary being for an older person (just like last week).

The only other death of note wasn’t in New York at all:


Finally, as noted the prior week, the federal income tax was relatively new to the people in the area:

But there were other notices that caught my attention — I will excerpt only one part:

The town’s expenditures were published in the paper, and I noted there were a couple people who had their amounts adjusted downward before being paid.

I wonder what the $3 rent to New York City was.

It’s pretty quiet in the paper then.

As a final thought, here’s a little item about the Russian ex-Czar’s Car.

I am a little skeptical about the 100 mph on ice claim.

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