Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 67

The Mississippi River, Grand Rapids, Minnesota In the far north, along a ribbon called the Mississippi River, eagles perch on the branches of the gray pine trees. At their choosing, they'll launch and fly downward at a long angle, eyes fixed and legs tucked. Gliding and gaining speed, they cruise at top speed parallel to the water. At coordinates measured in quarter-inches, they slowly drop a … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 57

Dr. Roy Flannagan, shown right An eight-year old girl with dark, round eyes thought she heard some good news. Finally. Her parents seem excited. They are very political, active and full of opinions. That's OK in peacetime but here...sometimes politics can kill you. The young girl stares at her parents and brother and sister. She's searching for any sign that today's news will, in fact, prove … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 49

Sharp Street Church, near the burial site Influenza, the heartbreak of today. One day before his first wedding anniversary, 20-year old Henry Kulp is buried in Souderton, Pennsylvania. The president of the University of North Carolina, Edward Kidder Graham, dies. It was his dream job as a 1894 grad of the school and its first journalism professor. Two Catholic priests die in Baltimore, … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 46

Camp Custer, October 1918 The future is like the sun. Stare at it and your eyes go bad. Now well into the sixth week, Day 46, and Americans are looking forward, sizing up the shapes and objects ahead. They hope to see an edge sharpen to an end and a line drawn for a beginning. But it's hard to really see much. The only thing visible is a blinding light. And looking longer doesn't help. In … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 28

Seattle Mayor Ole Hanson, 1918 Change is a constant but not all constants change overnight. Only some surge, or plunge, to that level. Today, on Day 28, overnight is now and lasts for a full twenty-four hours on October 5, 1918. Overnight, a ban on all indoor public gatherings begins in Seattle, Washington. Mayor Ole Hanson declares that the only public gatherings allowed will be those … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 22

The first influenza case arrives at Camp Custer, Battle Creek, Michigan on Day 22 Do you know that thing you're doing? That sacrifice and extra effort? Well, you better get yourself ready to do more. Today, Day 22, September 29, 1918, doing more than expected is how life goes. At Fort Devens, Massachusetts the medical facility was meant for 1200 patients. No longer—6000 sick men were there. … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 19

Artillery fire, Meuse-Argonne Offensive At 5:30 in the morning, September 26, it begins. And this is what it's supposed to be all about. This is what we're focused on. The work, the effort, the strain, the sacrifice. Day 1 in that world, while it's Day 19 everywhere else. Boom. Orange fire and a dark object screams across the sky. Seconds later, almost four miles away, an … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 10

From Boston, 1918 Among the vast reality of Day 10 come these two moments on the same day from nearly the same place in Massachusetts. In Cambridge, Massachusetts a telegraph operator tapped out a message. Seconds later, the transmission sped like a flash to South Dakota where another telegraph operator recorded the signals and wrote a note. Within an hour or so, Mrs. Arthur Neilson of Hot … [Read more...]

Page 11

Today's Wall Street Journal, the first section, the 11th page. There were two articles. I read them both and in an instant I thought of 1914. Here's why. The current reporting pertained to the tensions between the United States and Iran. Officials from Iran and 118 other nations are meeting in Russia. That's where Iranian representatives are making their case to the crowd that they should build … [Read more...]

TTP: 75 Days

TTP: 75 Days Last week, on April 6, I spoke with a group of healthcare leaders from Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and North Carolina. I spoke about my constantly updating presentation, "3 Pieces of the Puzzle: Understanding The Trump Presidency Through Three Stories From American History." During the third story, I shocked the room. See photo above. "75 days," I said. "75 days." That … [Read more...]