Another perspective on the Spanish Flu: “Never let a good crisis go to waste”

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For perspective on our current coronavirus situation, we are following the entrance of the 1918 Spanish Influenza, that paragon of pandemics, into the minds and bodies of Lehigh Valley residents who got their news through the Morning Call (the files of the Bethlehem Globe are closed to us at the moment).

“Never let a good crisis go to waste,” famously said Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff during the 2008 economic crisis.

A lesson never lost on real estate salesmen.

October 1918 — The Spanish Flu was ramping up to feast on Allentown and Bethlehem.

The perfect time to pitch escape from the “crowded city” festering with disease — escape to the “sunshine and open space” at “beautiful Highland Park”!

Safe country livin’ on easy terms.

Look at this deliciously sly pitch. An ad masked as a public service announcement.

Readers are lured in by a short litany of advice about how to avoid the dreaded disease only to find themselves tempted to change their addresses.

You gotta love the enterprise of the Lehigh Real Estate Company!

Flu 48

Now Bethlehem historians need to weigh in. Could this be the present Bethlehem Township “Highland Park” in the area of the Community Center on Farmersville Rd.? Doesn’t seem to be if it’s only an 8 minute trolley ride to 8th and Hamilton. Any ideas?

One thought on “Another perspective on the Spanish Flu: “Never let a good crisis go to waste”

  1. You’ve presented a wealth of informatin in these posts, but was it noted that the 1st recorded case of what became known as the ‘Spanish Flu’ was in Kansas, at Fort Riley?

    There’s a lot of misleading reporting about the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic too, since several experts have said the the first cases occurred well before the first major outbreak struck in the city of Wuhan — and probably didn’t occur in China at all.

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