Our Stories

The Spanish Influenza Pandemic

In the summer and fall of 1918 a deadly and contagious form of influenza spread across the globe infecting millions. Through random genetic mutation, the virus originated in rural Haskell County, Kansas, and was unknowingly brought to the U.S. Army training facility at Camp Funston, near Fort Riley, by selective service draftees. In its original, milder form the virus infected recruits there and was later introduced to other Army camps by personnel transferred for training. As part of America’s crusade to support the Allies during World War I thousands of U.S. troops were leaving ports in the United States by troopship every week. Among them were infected personnel arriving by troopships to France and Great Britain in April 1918.

Click here to read more »