1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic Effects

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Brooksie

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Re: 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic Effects

PostMon Mar 23, 2015 12:48 am

There was an anecdote about Mary Pickford's tangle with the disease before TCM's showing of The Hoodlum (1919) this evening. In following it up, I came across this - http://mentalfloss.com/article/58376/14-famous-people-who-survived-1918-flu-pandemic. Aside from Pickford and Lillian Gish, it's interesting how many major world leaders came down with it in the last stages of WW1 - the Kaiser, British PM Lloyd George, Woodrow Wilson, General Pershing, and the then-Secretary of the Navy Franklyn Roosevelt.
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linquist

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Re: 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic Effects

PostWed Jul 06, 2016 4:47 pm

Has anyone come across any information on whether Theda Bara came down with the Spanish Influenza? I came across an article in Moving PIcture World magazine that surprised me. This is the October 5, 1918 edition. The first references in this magazine to the flu (that I know of) were in this edition. At the beginning of the news section, there was a small article about how to prevent the spread of the "Spanish Influenza" and the theater owners reaction to the advice as an attempt to ward off a replay of the theater closings that had been caused by infantile paralysis outbreak two years earlier. There is no references to deaths or city shutdowns in the magazine at this time and most of the news is dated from late September. The major outbreak came in October.

Then, in a section called "News In Los Angeles and Vicinity," there is a small article titled "Bara Suffers From Prostration:"
"Theda Bara, who was expecting to complete her fifth picture and be on her way east at the expiration of her six months' stay in Los Angeles, came down with a case of complete prostration two days before the date set for her departure. She was so ill that her reservations on the Salt Lake had to be canceled and her trip postponed until she recovered sufficiently to travel. Besides the nurses and physicians who were called on the case, Lora Bara, the star's sister, had been in constant attendance."

Now, this could be other things but "nurses and physicians" sound similar to the way Lilian Gish described her treatment for the flu. I have not read enough about the pandemic to know if it occurred at all in LA by late September. The general historical comments are that it started out east and moved west. But who knows who she came in contact with. So I'm just wondering if anyone knows about this episode.
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Rick Lanham

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Re: 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic Effects

PostWed Jul 06, 2016 5:27 pm

linquist wrote:Has anyone come across any information on whether Theda Bara came down with the Spanish Influenza? I came across an article in Moving PIcture World magazine that surprised me. This is the October 5, 1918 edition. The first references in this magazine to the flu (that I know of) were in this edition. At the beginning of the news section, there was a small article about how to prevent the spread of the "Spanish Influenza" and the theater owners reaction to the advice as an attempt to ward off a replay of the theater closings that had been caused by infantile paralysis outbreak two years earlier. There is no references to deaths or city shutdowns in the magazine at this time and most of the news is dated from late September. The major outbreak came in October.

Then, in a section called "News In Los Angeles and Vicinity," there is a small article titled "Bara Suffers From Prostration:"
"Theda Bara, who was expecting to complete her fifth picture and be on her way east at the expiration of her six months' stay in Los Angeles, came down with a case of complete prostration two days before the date set for her departure. She was so ill that her reservations on the Salt Lake had to be canceled and her trip postponed until she recovered sufficiently to travel. Besides the nurses and physicians who were called on the case, Lora Bara, the star's sister, had been in constant attendance."

Now, this could be other things but "nurses and physicians" sound similar to the way Lilian Gish described her treatment for the flu. I have not read enough about the pandemic to know if it occurred at all in LA by late September. The general historical comments are that it started out east and moved west. But who knows who she came in contact with. So I'm just wondering if anyone knows about this episode.


An illness started by September 13, 1918; Los Angeles Herald:

"THEDA BARA REPORTED SERIOUSLY ILL Theda Bara, famous film actress, today was reported seriously ill at her home in West Adams street."

http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d= ... ra-------1

Rick
“The past is never dead. It's not even past” - Faulkner.
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linquist

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Re: 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic Effects

PostWed Jul 06, 2016 6:09 pm

Thanks for your post.
I did a little digging and a further MPW article said that she had "a nervous breakdown." There was also an article in Exhibitor's Herald (I think) that said she also had a nervous breakdown in July. The timing was remarkable, but this seems to be beyond the scope of this subject.
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T0m M

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Re: 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic Effects

PostTue Jan 02, 2018 7:33 am

The PBS program American Experience has a documentary, Influenza 1918. It is airing tonight, January 2, 2018, at 9:00 p.m. for members in eastern Ontario and upper New York state, having access to WPBS out of Watertown. Other PBS affiliates may be airing it it at the same time or soon. Check your local PBS schedule. The first chapter (10 minutes) is also currently available online, at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperie ... za/#part01" target="_blank .
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