Epidemics and Public Health in Pennsylvania History

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Epidemics and Public Health in Pennsylvania History


From deadly outbreaks of yellow fever and influenza to the development of the nation’s oldest quarantine station and a vaccine for polio, Pennsylvania has been the site not only of destruction caused by deadly epidemics but of innovations in public health that arose in response to them. The latest issue of Legacies, inspired by the 100th anniversary of the 1918–19 flu pandemic, looks back on a century of crises and achievements in Pennsylvania’s public health history.


Front matter

Recognizing Our Supporters

Note from the Editor: Pennsylvania in Sickness and Health

by Rachel Moloshok

Window on the Collections: Public Health and Personal Hygiene in Progressive-Era Philadelphia

by Anna Leigh Todd

In the “Midst of Death”: When African Americans Saved Our Nation’s Capital

by Billy G. Smith

Lazaretto Ghost Stories

by David Barnes

Homefront Casualties: Philadelphia’s Influenza Disaster

by James Higgins

Polio in Pennsylvania

by Daniel J. Wilson

Teachers' Turn: Pestilence and Pandemics through Pennsylvania History

by Karalyn McGrorty Derstine

Generations: Find out How the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918–19 Affected Your Pennsylvania Ancestors

by Jane Neff Rollins, MSPH

Legacies for Kids

by Christopher A. Brown

Book and Website Reviews

by Maureen Iplenski

Food for Thought: Looking Back at Past Epidemics

by Laura Fassbender, Carolyn Byrnes, MPH, and Rachel L. Levine, MD