Watch Again

America's Hidden Stories:

How Philadelphia City Officials Helped the Spanish Flu Take Hold

Watch More
back to video

»Pandemic 1918

How Philadelphia City Officials Helped the Spanish Flu Take Hold

Short | 01:55

In 1918, against the advice of health experts, the city of Philadelphia went ahead with a scheduled parade. Within weeks, the Spanish Flu had become a public health disaster, eventually killing over 15,000 people.

More About This episode

The Spanish flu was one of the most devastating natural disasters in history, an unstoppable virus that swept the planet in 1918, killing tens of millions of people. New evidence suggests the possible birthplace was actually in America's heartland. Witness a globe-spanning story of death and denial on an epic scale, as we visit a mass gravesite, pore over old medical records and diaries, and use cutting edge scientific research to reveal the horrific truth behind this deadly pandemic.

Ways to Watch

Buy this show from any of these distributors

Have Smithsonian Channel through your TV provider?

Watch this episode online now.

Return to Video Page