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Longmeadow During the 1918 Influenza Epidemic

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

Area schools, including Longmeadow, closed their doors on September 27th, 1918 in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly illness. 102 years later our community and schools are struggling with how to respond to a new and totally different virus.

  • What role did World War I troops stationed in Boston, Springfield, and West Springfield play?

  • What about the Boston Red Sox?

  • Did you know a Tent Hospital was established in Forest Park to deal with the overflow of patients at area hospitals?

In addition to newspaper articles of the period, old Annual Town Reports offers a wealth of information on a variety of topics since 1855 when our collection begins. In the 128 pages of the 1918 report, only two short paragraphs give mention to the global pandemic which ravaged the world in the waning months of the Great War.

School Committee Meeting Minutes, October 1918

In the Board of Health’s section of the report, it is stated simply, “Our community has been visited during the past year with the usual contagious diseases. But the general health of the community at large has been quite good. The epidemic of influenza that swept over the country was quite successfully combated; 75 cases being reported with 7 deaths.”

On September 24, 2020, Melissa Cybulski presented her research about life in Longmeadow during the 1918 influenza outbreak. Click here to view the video.

Contributed by Melissa M. Cybulski, Board member, Longmeadow Historical Society

Originally published September 24, 2020

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