What I learned from this article, among other things, is that the “Spanish flu,” which caused 50 million deaths around the world in 1918, did not start in Spain. The author argues that it actually started in Kansas and was brought to Europe by American troops who had come to make the world “safe for democracy.” And one other thing: the author, John M. Barry of Tulane, believes that Woodrow Wilson did not die of a stroke while at the Paris Peace Conference, but of the influenza.

This was no ordinary flu. It was deadly and devastating. The first wave was bad. The second wave was even worse.

For a fascinating look at the 1918 pandemic, read this article. It was written in 1917.