Here's What Sports Looked Like During the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic

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Johnny Smith, associate professor in the School of History and Sociology, was mentioned in the article "Here's What Sports Looked Like During the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic" on May 15, 2020 on Yahoo! Sports.

Smith, along with co-author Randy Roberts of Purdue University, recently published the book War Fever: Boston, Baseball and America in the Shadow of the Great War, which has become particularly relevant as sports leagues decide how to resume operations in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Excerpt: 

But that game helped spread a new strain of the virus and caused a second wave of the influenza in the United States. In August, soldiers and sailors returned home from World War I and docked in Boston. Johnny Smith, a sports history professor at Georgia Tech and co-author of the new book, “War Fever: Boston, Baseball, and America in the Shadow of the Great War, told Forbes:

“And it’s during this period when the Red Sox and Cubs are playing the World Series that these social gatherings – three games at Fenway Park, a draft registration drive, a Liberty Loan parade – all of those events and the regular interactions that people had on streetcars and in saloons and so on helped spread the virus,” Smith continued. “And Boston becomes really the epicenter of the outbreak in September of 1918.”

The 1919 MLB season started one week later than it had the year before.

Read the full article here.

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Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, School of History and Sociology

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Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, School of History and Sociology
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  • Created By: ifrazer3
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: May 18, 2020 - 5:33pm
  • Last Updated: May 18, 2020 - 5:46pm