Thanksgiving 1918 took place during a deadly pandemic. What can it teach us for Thanksgiving this year?

The month before, the so-called Spanish flu was blamed for killing 11,000 in Philadelphia.The epidemic that ultimately would claim an estimated 675,000 American lives — probably a tremendous underestimate since it didn’t include countless deaths involving preexisting conditions — was on fire in the fall of 1918.Yet on Nov. 28, 1918, the nation celebrated Thanksgiving. Exuberantly.“Best Thanksgiving in History of City,” proclaimed a headline in the New York Sun. Philadelphia, despite a daylong chilly drizzle, was the venue for parades, sporting events, and “flag raisings,” The Inquirer reported…

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