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This Day in Georgia History

October 13, 1918

Public Gathering Ban Continued

Atlanta city health officer Dr. J.P. Kennedy announced the public gathering ban would last at least one more week. It had originally been instituted for two months, but the Spanish influenza epidemic was not hitting Atlanta as severely as the rest of the country. With “only” 750 deaths, Atlanta would get off light from a worldwide epidemic that would kill 675,000 Americans–more deaths than resulted from World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined. Globally, 40 million people died in just 18 months. For more information on the pandemic, see PBS’s The American Experience: Influenza 1918 website.