• A photo of Rudolph Gieschen, 30,  and his wife Henrietta, who were both victims of influenza. They died one day apart in 1918. Courtesy of the New Hanover County Public Library via the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center.

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    Rudoph and Henrietta Gieschen
    • Description
    • A group on the dunes at Wrightsville Beach. Rudolph and Henrietta Gieschen were both victims of the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918. They both developed pneumonia as a result of having the flu, and both are buried in Oakdale Cemetery. They died one day ... more
      A group on the dunes at Wrightsville Beach. Rudolph and Henrietta Gieschen were both victims of the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918. They both developed pneumonia as a result of having the flu, and both are buried in Oakdale Cemetery. They died one day apart, leaving two small sons. Rudolph was 30 and his wife was 21. less
    • Rights
    • Copyright is owned by the New Hanover County Public Library. For commercial or other use, permission must be granted.
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    • North Carolina Digital Heritage Center
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    • New Hanover County Public Library

  • Avon (Avarell) German, age seven month, who died of influenza in 1918. Courtesy of the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library via the Mountain West Digital Library.

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    Avon (Avarell) German, age seven month. Annalee's first son to die of the influenza in 1918
    • Rights
    • This material may be protected by copyright. Permission required for use in any form. For further information please contact the Multimedia Archivist, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.
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    • Mountain West Digital Library
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    • University of Utah - J. Willard Marriott Library

  • Theano Mastorakis Giatrakis with her children, pictured in 1909. Two of her children died due to influenza in 1918. Courtesy of the Utah State Historical Society via the Mountain West Digital Library.

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    Greeks in Utah; C-239, No. 135, Box 3
    • Date
    • 1909
    • Description
    • Theano Mastorakis Giatrakis with Her Children. Christo Giatrakis, Baby, Tony, (Husand?), passed away in 1918 - The world wide flu epidemic. Christo married and had 8 daughters. Katina married Manuel Ladakis and had 2 boys and (2) Twin girls. Theano M... more
      Theano Mastorakis Giatrakis with Her Children. Christo Giatrakis, Baby, Tony, (Husand?), passed away in 1918 - The world wide flu epidemic. Christo married and had 8 daughters. Katina married Manuel Ladakis and had 2 boys and (2) Twin girls. Theano Mastorakis Giatrakis passed away in Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan 1960. and Katina Giatrakis, Stand on the Rock. less
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    • Digital Image (c) 2008 Utah State Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.; Utah State Historical Society
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    • Mountain West Digital Library
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    • Utah State Historical Society

  • “The mild exercise required during the influenza epidemic,” 1918. Courtesy of the University of Kentucky via the Kentucky Digital Library.

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    The mild exercise required during the influenza epidemic
    • Date
    • 1918
    • Creator
    • Anderson, F. Paul, 1867-1934
    • Rights
    • This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Physical rights are retained by the owning repository. Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copy... more
      This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Physical rights are retained by the owning repository. Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Please go to http://kdl.kyvl.org for more information. less
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    • Kentucky Digital Library
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    • University of Kentucky

On November 11, 1918, thousands of people took to the streets in celebration of the end of the war in Europe. But the war wasn't the only burden that people wished to forget. In small towns and large cities, the flu virus was inescapable, and it took an especially great toll on the nation's young. Deviating from past outbreaks, the death rate for young adults (ages 15-34) was high—twenty times higher in 1918 than during the average flu outbreak. For example, on October 4 alone, New York City recorded 999 new cases of influenza, of which nearly 700 were children. Pregnant women were especially hard-hit by the illness, and among the survivors, many lost their babies.

While schools were reluctant to close, volunteer-run day care centers were opened so that children with sick parents would be less easily exposed. In Oshkosh, Wisconsin, an eighteen-year-old who had just received his military physical became the town's first casualty on October 8.  Soon after, placards were placed on the doors of those who were reported to be infected with the flu. As with adult gatherings, children’s favorite places of amusement, like playgrounds and fairs, closed down nationwide.