Spanish Flu Forgotten, more like 1890-1920

Matthew Yglesias asks why the Spanish Flu doesn't have any salience in our historical memory. The answer probably has a lot to do with the fact that there is very little remembered about that time period at all. There is very little mentioned about the rise of the FDA. How many people really know what McKinley even ran on other than that he sat on a porch and ,due to the fevered imagination of Karl Rove, that Mark Hanna was his campaign adviser? The 1912 Election is generally considered to be a three way race between Taft, Roosevelt, and Wilson but that perennial vote getter Debbs was also in that race. Does anyone remember from high school history the panic of 1907? Does anyone talk about the collapse of commodity prices after the first world war that put the south and Midwest into a recession? Does anyone even remember that Coolidge said that agriculture was a sick industry during the supposedly roaring twenties?

The real reason that none of this is remembered is two fold. First there are very few people alive to talk about it and no one when they were alive wanted to talk about it because, after that comes the great depression and WWII. The place where modern American history begins, irrespective of the massive changes in American Life that happened before that.

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