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Pandemic

Masks and "social distancing" are nothing new. Over the centuries, Americans have suffered terribly from smallpox, yellow fever, cholera, typhoid, pellagra, influenza, polio, and other pandemics.

During Pres. Washington’s first term, an epidemic killed one tenth of all the inhabitants of Philadelphia, then the capital of the young United States.

Editor’s Note: Stephen Fried is a journalist and bestselling historian. Read more >>

Toward the end of World War I, American doctors fought an invisible enemy on the home front — a pandemic that would kill more people than any other outbreak of disease in human history.

Editor's Note: John Barry is the author of The Great Influenza: The Epic Read more >>

A disease that no one understood laid waste a major American city. Five thousand died in two months, and Memphis was never the same again.

In 1878, not long after Reconstruction ended, Memphis appeared likely to emerge from the ashes of Confederate defeat as one of the regal cities of the New South. Read more >>

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