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For the past few days, Spokane residents had nurtured the hope that the monthlong ban on public gatherings would be lifted. Yet after Dr. J.B. Anderson recited the grim statistics, everyone on Spokane’s health board reached the same conclusion: It would be perilous to lift the ban.
Spokane’s theaters were making plans to open after a nearly month-long closure due to the outbreak of the Spanish flu.
On the day after the end of the European war, The Spokesman-Review editorial page took the opportunity to celebrate.
Spokane’s sleeping citizens were jolted awake just after midnight 100 years ago today by the honking of car horns and the shrieking of sirens. When people discovered the reason, “nobody was peeved,” said one old-timer – they were delirious with joy. President Woodrow Wilson had just announced the armistice with Germany, ending the war in Europe (which would later be dubbed World War I). In Spokane, the wartime tension, built up over years, was released in one wild outburst.
A noisy, delirious celebration broke out in the early morning in Spokane when news of the armistice arrived. See our larger story for details on one of the biggest celebrations in Spokane history.
The Washington State Board of Health ordered people to wear flu masks in most public settings, yet enforcement of this rule was already proving to be nearly impossible.
The headline could not have been bigger: “Kaiser Quits!”
The Germans were in retreat across the map. Meanwhile, the Red Cross in Spokane started selling flu masks in the corridor of Spokane City Hall.
Mrs. Ben Kizer said that an onion poultice – combined with common sense in determining when the flu slipped into pneumonia – had saved more than one local family.
The Spokane Daily Chronicle put out a late-night extra edition blaring the news: President Woodrow Wilson appeared to be winning reelection and his party, the Democrats, remained in control of both the House and Senate.
Cigar dealer Tom McKeene became the first man arrested in Spokane for sneezing in a public place. He made the mistake of sneezing in the presence of a judge and a city health inspector.
The Germans and Austrians were in retreat across the war front, but the U.S. casualty reports were still pouring in.
Ah Yen, one of Spokane’s earliest and most prominent Chinese residents, announced that he was returning to his native town in China – at least for a while.
The Spanish flu death rate spiked to 69, including 18 deaths in four days. Nearly 350 new flu cases were reported in a day and a half, bringing the total close to 3,000.
This was the day when city health authorities – and the Spokane Daily Chronicle – finally quit trying to sound optimistic about the Spanish flu epidemic.
Charles E. Fay Jr. was lying ill at Fort George Wright with pneumonia, brought on by the Spanish flu, when he wrote this message to his parents in Addy, Wash.: “Be sure and keep dry and warm and don’t catch the influenza.”
The Spokesman-Review editorial page issued its prescription for the deadly Spanish flu: Fresh air.
A front-page headline in the Spokane Daily Chronicle said, “Flu Situation Is Some Better, Reports Show” – but other articles indicated the situation was more serious than ever.
President Woodrow Wilson asked voters to elect a Democratic Congress, but Spokane’s Republicans had a particularly critical response to that, since it would mean re-electing a “disloyal man” and a “vilifier,” according to a headline.
Spokane’s emergency Spanish flu hospital in the Lion Hotel was now crowded to capacity and “more nurses were needed at once.”