Yerba Buena

The wharf at Yerba Buena Island. From U.S. Naval Historical Center. Station, San Francisco, California, 1921. Collection of Eugene R. O'Brien.

Yerba Buena Island (San Francisco Naval Training Station) was identified early in our work as a potential escape community that needed further investigation. After some initial research, it quickly became apparent that the naval station was indeed a provisional escape community, and one that succeeded very well in keeping influenza at bay during the course of the second wave of the 1918–1920 pandemic. Because of its proximity to and usual interaction with the city of San Francisco, and because that city enacted a mandatory face mask law on two occasions during the epidemic, we also collected material on San Francisco.

At a Glance:

  • Type of Site: Naval Base.
  • Population: Approx. 6,000.
  • Pop. Density: 33,103 ppl./sq.
    mi.
  • Geographical Considerations:
    Yerba Buena is an island (116 acres) in San Francisco Bay; in 1918, no bridges connected it to land, and boat travel was only means of access.
  • Influenza Cases: 0 during period of protective sequestration; 25 cases after NPI were lifted on 11/21/1918.
  • Influenza Deaths: 0 during period of protective sequestration; 3 from influenza and 2 from pneumonia after that period.
  • First Reported Case: Dec. 6, 1918
  • NPI Implemented: protective sequestration; face masks by medical personnel; daily inspection of sailors; prevention of overcrowding; application of nose and throat sprays; isolation of suspected cases.

Case Study

Historical Background

Yerba Buena, a small island (116 acres) located approximately one mile on either side from the closest points in present-day San Francisco and Oakland, was discovered in 1775 by Spanish explorers entering San Francisco Bay. Finding an abundance of wild mint growing on the island, they named the land Yerba Buena, or “Good Herb.” Use of the island by the U.S. military dates back to 1852, when the government proposed building a line of fortifications in San Francisco Bay to protect northern California and the valuable gold recently discovered there. In 1996, the naval station was decommissioned, but it continues to serve as a U.S. Coast Guard facility and lighthouse.

Located approximately 35 miles away in Vallejo, California, and at the mouth of the Napa River is Mare Island, in reality a peninsula. Originally part of Rancho Soscol, Mare Island was purchased by the U.S. government in 1852 for use as a naval shipyard. In 1854, Mare Island became the first permanent naval station on the Pacific coast. During World War I it operated as a naval yard and dock. Like Yerba Buena/Treasure Island, it was decommissioned in 1996.

The Navy and the Influenza Pandemic

Officials at Yerba Buena Island and Mare Island, and indeed throughout the Navy, were notified of the impending influenza pandemic in early August 1918. On August 9, the Naval Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BuMed) issued a bulletin that warned of influenza epidemics in Europe and Hawaii and of the likelihood of the disease spreading to the continental United States. Bureau officials advised that no quarantine be instituted, as it was deemed “impracticable,” and warned that “The disease is highly communicable and during epidemics it spreads with remarkable rapidity. Just what conditions are necessary to start one of the periodic world-wide outbreaks is as unknown in this as in other communicable diseases like plague, which are prone to become pandemic.” They did recommend the bed isolation of patients and the disinfection of mess gear, handkerchiefs, and similar precautions for infectious diseases spread primarily by respiratory droplets. Where sick bays or isolation wards were not available, the use of sheet screens between patients was advised. On September 20, Bureau officials issued another circular memorandum, informing medical aides that influenza was now included on the list of reportable diseases. Medical personnel were instructed not only to report influenza cases in their weekly telegrams to the Bureau, but also to assist aides of other districts by informing them and the Bureau of the appearance of any communicable disease in epidemic form. Four days later, it had become clear to all that an influenza epidemic was well under way in military installations and urban areas. In response, BuMed officials called on naval officers to avoid the exposure and fatigue of their men, to relieve overcrowding, to avoid the quartering of large groups of men in any single compartment, to isolate all cases immediately, to prevent public assembly, and to use screens in barracks and sick quarters. Patients were also to be masked.

Yerba Buena Island

On September 23, one day before it was reported that influenza had hit San Francisco, Commandant Percival Rossiter of the San Francisco Naval Training Station (Yerba Buena Island) ordered an immediate and strict protective sequestration of the island. All personnel were required to remain at the station, and no visitors were allowed entry. Approximately 6,000 people were on the island, including officers and their families, a few hundred civilians, approximately 5,000 sailors, and about 30 yeomanettes.  All interactions with others living in the Bay Area were halted except to receive supplies, and in those cases the crews of tugs were prevented from coming any closer than 20 feet from sailors on the dock. Given the wartime circumstances, some recruits were sent from the mainland to Yerba Buena Island. The nasopharynxes of the men were sprayed with a 10 percent argyrol solution (a topical anti-infective solution prepared by the reaction of silver oxide with gelatin or albumin) and they were required to wear gauze masks before they were allowed to board the ferry bound for Yerba Buena Island. Upon arrival at the island they were placed in a quarantine camp for several days. During this period they were required to wear masks, to have their throats sprayed with argyrol solution three times a day, and to maintain a distance of 20 feet from one another.  The protective sequestration policy was to remain in force until all danger of the epidemic had passed.

Although the NPI implemented at Yerba Buena Island may have been effective in preventing an influenza epidemic on the island, they also prevented men from interacting with the wider Bay Area and from seeking entertainment there. Closed off from regular interaction with the outside world, sailors, officers, and civilians on Yerba Buena Island organized their own entertainment, such as circuses and festivals, to keep up morale. In early October, for example, a carnival was held that turned the facility into “a miniature Coney Island.” What we could not document was the availability of mail or telecommunications to all those sequestered on Yerba Buena Island.

By early November it was being reported that the number of new influenza cases was decreasing among both civilian and military populations in the San Francisco area, and that recent cases were milder in form. At the end of November it seemed as if the pandemic had passed. On Thursday, November 21, the protective sequestration of Yerba Buena Island was lifted and the facility was re-opened to interact with the outside world. Nevertheless, influenza cases among naval personnel did not return to epidemic proportions after November 21, and those cases that did develop were mild. Yerba Buena Island experienced its first influenza case on December 6. Throughout the rest of December 1918 and into January 1919, Yerba Buena Island continued to experience influenza and pneumonia cases (a total of 28 of the former, and 21 of the latter), with at least 3 deaths from influenza and 2 from pneumonia.

Research Materials

Because of its proximity and normal interaction with the wider Bay Area, members of the Center for the History of Medicine’s Influenza Research Project consulted primary source materials on San Francisco as well as Yerba Buena and nearby Mare Island naval stations. Digitized sources include:

Newspapers:

Archival Material:

The San Francisco Chronicle

Date Title PDF
9/24/1918 First Influenza Case is Discovered in S.F. sfc001
9/25/1918 Quarantine Useless Asserts State Expert sfc002
10/2/1918 Influenza Far From Checked in Army Posts sfc003
10/3/1918 Captain Maloney Under Quarantine At Camp Fremont sfc004
10/6/1918 5 New Influenza Cases Reported Here sfc005
10/9/1918 Quarantine Is Clamped Over Camp Fremont sfc006
10/10/1918 Thirty-Seven New Cases Found in S.F. sfc007
10/12/1918 Health Experts to Map Drive on Influenza sfc008
10/12/1918 300 Influenza Cases at Dunsmuir; Six Dead sfc009
10/15/1918 378 New Cases of Influenza are Reported sfc010
10/15/1918 Hospitals to Be Turned Over to ‘Flu’ Patients sfc010
10/17/1918 Army Doctors Gain Control of Influenza sfc011
10/17/1918 Hassler Urges Churches and Theaters Close sfc011
10/18/1918 Health Board Closes Public Meeting Places sfc012
10/18/1918 Influenza Spread Fought in thirty States of Nation sfc013
10/19/1918 Witness Mentions Influenza, Crows Leaves Courtroom sfc014
10/19/1918 State Health Official Gives Facts on Influenza Crisis sfc015
10/19/1918 Richmond Health Officer Orders All Saloons to Close sfc016
10/19/1918 Adjourn Churches, But Not Worship, Declares Bishop sfc016
10/19/1918 Army Deaths From Influenza Show Decrease sfc017
10/19/1918 Urgent Call For Nurses at Camp Fremont sfc018
10/19/1918 State Health Board Closes All Theaters sfc019
10/20/1918 Hertz to Resume Rehearsals When Embargo Is Ended sfc020
10/20/1918 Playhouses To Be Dark Temporarily sfc021
10/20/1918 Influenza Is Being Fought By Red Cross sfc022
10/20/1918 All Persons Serving Public to Wear Masks sfc023
10/20/1918 All Persons on Streets Urged to Wear Masks sfc023
10/20/1918 1054 Influenza Cases Reported at Camp sfc023
10/20/1918 Influenza Causes Flushing of Streets sfc024
10/21/1918 Health Board Giving Battle to Influenza sfc025
10/21/1918 [Front-page images of open-air mass, as required by Board of Health restrictions] sfc026
10/22/1918 Epidemic Is Now Reported Under Control sfc147
10/22/1918 Sewers Doing Bit to Spread Influenza Through Flushing City’s Big Need sfc147
10/22/1918 Wear a Mask and Save Your Life! [Red Cross announcement] sfc027
10/22/1918 Proclamation of Mayor Asks Masks For All sfc028
10/22/1918 Don Masks! Rolph Urges as Best Means of Avoiding Risks sfc028
10/23/1918 City Taking Readily to Gauze Masks sfc029
10/23/1918 Gov. Stephens Calls on All People to Wear Gauze Masks sfc029
10/23/1918 28,575 Influenza Cases in State, Expert Says sfc029
10/23/1918 Influenza Patients Assisted by Mission sfc029
10/23/1918 Women Urged to Make Influenza Masks at Home sfc030
10/23/1918 Masks Required [Burlingame, CA] scf031
10/24/1918 Board to Force Mask Wearing by Ordinance sfc032
10/24/1918 Three Influenza Don’ts Announced by Dr. Hassler sfc032
10/24/1918 Wearing of Masks to Be Made Compulsory [Burlingame, CA] sfc033
10/24/1918 Red Cross Workers Succeed in Meeting Heavy Calls for Aid in Battle on Influenza sfc044
10/24/1918 Several Days to See Epidemic at Peak, Says Board sfc035
10/24/1918 Open Air and Vaccine Will Fight Disease sfc036
10/24/1918 Patients Will Use Relief Buildings sfc037
10/24/1918 Vaccine for Influenza to Be Given Out sfc038
10/24/1918 Two Drop Dead; Both Are Epidemic Victims sfc039
10/24/1918 9 Relief Stations of Red Cross Kept Busy sfc040
10/24/1918 Three San Mateans Die From Influenza sfc041
10/24/1918 Archbishop Hanna Turns Over Equipment and Resources of Diocese to Use of Red Cross sfc043
10/25/1918 How They Look in Their Influenza Masks [images] sfc045
10/25/1918 Here is Text of City Mask Ordinance; Violation Incurs Fine or Imprisonment sfc046
10/25/1918 Influenza Now Subsiding in 44 States sfc047
10/25/1918 Influenza Decreases Stockton Clearings sfc048
10/25/1918 Everyone Is Compelled to Wear Masks by City Resolution; Great Variety in Styles of Face Adornment in Evidence sfc049
10/25/1918 Drop in Deaths in New York Forecast sfc050
10/25/1918 Christian Scientists to Wear Gauze Masks sfc051
10/25/1918 Emergency Measures Hits All Persons sfc053
10/25/1918 City Teachers Volunteer Aid For Red Cross sfc054
10/26/1918 Red Cross Battles Influenza Successfully with Improved Equipment as Crest Impends sfc055
10/26/1918 9 I.W.W. Defy Influenza Order And Are Arrested sfc056
10/26/1918 Influenza Vaccine to Be Distributed Each Day by State sfc056
10/26/1918 Epidemic Spreading in Shasta County sfc057
10/26/1918 Red Cross Gives Out 100,000 Gauze Masks sfc057
10/26/1918 Health Chief Urges Full Precautions sfc058
10/26/1918 Doctors Influenza Spread, Says Hassler sfc059
10/26/1918 Red Cross Rushes Quarters at Civic Center For Use as a Hospital to Fight Influenza sfc060
10/26/1918 Red Cross to Open Fourteen City Stations sfc061
10/26/1918 Dr. Pardee Calls on Citizens to Elect Stephens; Alameda County People Are Asked to Wear Masks and Support Governor sfc062
10/27/1918 Managers of Theaters Aid Authorities sfc063
10/27/1918 “A Mask for November 5” [political cartoon] sfc064
10/27/1918 City Hall Has One Fatality From Grippe sfc065
10/27/1918 Influenza Cases in Santa Cruz Increase sfc067
10/27/1918 S.F. Naval Man Dies at Charleston sfc067
10/27/1918 8 Influenza Cases in El Dorado County sfc067
10/27/1918 Influenza Bug Cannot Pass Through Mask, Dean Asserts sfc068
10/27/1918 Mare Island Boys Conquer Influenza With Neilson Cure sfc069
10/27/1918 War Against Epidemic is Successful sfc070
10/27/1918 Bishop Nichols Urges Prayer in Epidemic sfc070
10/27/1918 S.F. Red Cross Moves to New Headquarters sfc070
10/28/1918 Influenza Cases Begin to Decrease sfc071
10/28/1918 Public Cautioned Against Relaxing In Influenza War sfc073
10/28/1918 Call Goes Out For Nurses in Influenza War sfc074
10/28/1918 Influenza Claims Dr. W.T. Burks, Sanitation Expert sfc075
10/28/1918 Marysville Reports Additional Deaths sfc075
10/28/1918 Eight New Cases at Mare Island Reported sfc075
10/28/1918 Influenza Gains In Santa Barbara sfc075
10/28/1918 110 Arrested for Disobeying Masking Edict sfc076
10/29/1918 Sharp Increase in Influenza Shown at Army Camps sfc077
10/29/1918 Influenza on Wane, San Mateo Reports sfc077
10/29/1918 Three Shot in Struggle With Mask Slacker sfc078
10/29/1918 Mask Wearing Checks Richmond Epidemic sfc078
10/29/1918 100 Mask Slackers Held on Charge of Disturbing Peace sfc079
10/29/1918 Influenza Shows Little Material Change in State sfc080
10/29/1918 Decrease In Cases Noted During Day sfc081
10/29/1918 20,000 Doses of Serum Are Brought Here sfc082
10/29/1918 Warning and Appeal! Wear Masks and Help Nurse Sick sfc083
10/30/1918 Influenza Masks Play Big Part in Curbing Epidemic [photos] sfc084
10/30/1918 S.F. Factories Concentrate on Red Cross Masks sfc085
10/30/1918 Sick Babies Are Transferred to Children’s Hospital sfc085
10/30/1918 Marked Drop in New Cases Is Observed sfc086
10/30/1918 Mask Arrests Net Money for Mercy sfc087
10/30/1918 Only Eight New Cases at Palo Alto sfc088
10/30/1918 Salt Water Does It, U.S. Sailor Says; Why Influenza Shuns Goat Island Station sfc089
10/30/1918 Expected Navy Hospital Unit Not Available sfc090
10/30/1918 Epidemic Closes Marysville Saloons sfc091
10/30/1918 Schools Are Used as Emergency Hospitals sfc091
10/31/1918 Physicians, Attention! [advertisement for flu treatment] sfc092
10/31/1918 New Red Cross Hospital Will Open Friday sfc093
10/31/1918 Death Rate in Troops Camps Shows Decline sfc093
10/31/1918 Billy Gibson, Now a Nurse, Facing Death sfc093
10/31/1918 Influenza Claims Four in Vallejo sfc093
10/31/1918 Influenza Epidemic in City Drops Slightly [headline, with photos] sfc094
10/31/1918 Abatement of Contagion Shown Here sfc094
10/31/1918 85,000 Cases of Malady in State sfc095
10/31/1918 6 Men Sentenced to Jail Under Mask Law sfc095
10/31/1918 140 Policemen in City on Sick List sfc095
11/1/1918 Officials Get Fighting Grip on Epidemic sfc096
11/1/1918 92,000 Cases of Influenza Now in State sfc097
11/2/1918 Continued Masking Holds Influenza in Check [headline] sfc098
11/2/1918 Maskless Folk Are Taught Lesson by Health Sleuths sfc099
11/2/1918 Don’t Relax Precautions Says Hassler sfc100
11/4/1918 Influenza Epidemic Is Losing Fast sfc101
11/6/1918 Hassler Warns City Against Carelessness in Wearing of Masks as New Cases Decline sfc102
11/6/1918 Even Influenza Avails Not to Dampen Ardor of Voters sfc103
11/8/1918 City Continues Epidemic Fight sfc104
11/8/1918 Influenza Spreads Through Grass Valley sfc104
11/8/1918 Marysville Saloons Are Ordered Closed sfc105
11/8/1918 Charge Policeman With Mask Graft sfc106
11/12/1918 “Daylight scenes in celebration of world…” [Armistice coverage headline, with photos of celebration] sfc107
11/13/1918 Order Barring Gatherings May Soon Be Raised by Health Board sfc108
11/13/1918 Ban on Public Gatherings May Be Lifted sfc108
11/14/1918 City to Handle Epidemic Cases sfc109
11/14/1918 San Francisco Theaters Will Reopen Saturday sfc110
11/15/1918 Influenza Is Still Waning sfc111
11/15/1918 572 New Influenza Cases in Los Angeles sfc111
11/16/1918 Influenza Not Beaten In State sfc112
11/16/1918 Masks May Go By Thursday sfc113
11/17/1918 Did the Influenza Plague Really Come from China? [magazine section] sfc114
11/17/1918 Throngs Jam Theaters When Ban Is Lifted sfc115
11/18/1918 Influenza Is Nearly Gone sfc116
11/18/1918 More Die of Influenza Than on Battlefield sfc116
11/18/1918 Smokers Hastily Don Masks When Policeman Looms sfc117
11/20/1918 City to Doff Masks Tonight sfc118
11/20/1918 Ringside Picture Reveals Maskless Fans to Police sfc148
11/21/1918 Fremont Remount Escapes Epidemic sfc119
11/21/1918 Masks Will be Put in Discard At Noon Today sfc120
11/21/1918 San Francisco’s Mayor Is Caught Without a Mask sfc121
11/22/1918 Masks Prevent 20,000 Cases sfc122
11/22/1918 San Francisco Joyously Discards Masks in Twinkling; Faces Beam as Gauze Covers Come off at Time Fixed sfc123
11/22/1918 Influenza Toll In State 3667 sfc124
11/23/1918 Quarantine Over, 4000 Navy Men Get Shore Leave sfc125
11/24/1918 R.C. Resumes Delayed Work sfc126
11/24/1918 Unmuzzled Muse Takes Fresh Fling at Chronicle Contest sfc126
11/24/1918 Influenza Persists at State School sfc127
11/25/1918 Public Schools of City Reopen This Morning sfc128
11/26/1918 Many New Cases of Influenza Alarm Southern Cities sfc129
11/27/1918 Intensive War on Influenza Opens in Los Angeles sfc130
12/9/1918 New Influenza Cases For Day Fall Off to 25 sfc131
12/10/1918 Hassler and City Leaders Hold Confab sfc132
12/11/1918 338,257 ‘Flu’ Cases in Camps Up to Dec. 1 sfc133
12/15/1918 What Made the Epidemic of Spanish Influenza So Deadly? [magazine section] sfc134
12/21/1918 282 Influenza Cases, Report sfc135
12/22/1918 Influence of Women Beats Mask Faction sfc136
12/22/1918 Nurses Wanted on Influenza sfc137
1/5/1919 Mask Wearing Obligatory in S.F. Schools sfc138
1/11/1919 Supervisors Pass Ordinance To Protect City Against Further Spread of Malady sfc139
1/11/1919 Sacramento Fails to Act on Mask Measure sfc140
1/14/1919 Mask Wearing Increases Fast sfc141
1/20/1919 Legislator Without Mask Is Arrested sfc142
1/22/1919 Influenza On Wane, Tuesday Reports Show sfc143
1/22/1919 Influenza Takes Big Toll in State sfc149
1/26/1919 Thousands Attend Protest Meeting; Mask Opponents Denounce City Ordinance sfc144
1/26/1919 Los Angeles Reports Decrease of Influenza sfc144
1/26/1919 Hassler Will Fight Repeal of Mask Law sfc145
2/2/1919 Mask-Wearing Order Goes as Epidemic Dies sfc146

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The San Francisco Examiner

Date Title PDF
9/24/1918 Influenza Is Brought To S.F. By Chicagoan sfe002
9/24/1918 Here’s How To Curb Ravages of Influenza sfe002
9/24/1918 Epidemic In the East Unchecked sfe003
9/25/1918 Influenza Strikes Two More in S.F. sfe004
9/25/1918 350 New Cases Develop On Cruise of the Iris sfe005
9/25/1918 2,943 New Cases Are Reported in a Day sfe005
9/26/1918 29,002 Cases of Influenza In U.S. Camps sfe007
9/26/1918 Dr. Blue Describes Disease Symptoms and Its Treatment sfe007
9/26/1918 East Aroused Over Epidemic sfe007
9/26/1918 Two Suspected Cases Influenza Are Found in S.F. sfe008
9/27/1918 Oct. Draft Call Halted by Influenza sfe009
9/27/1918 Three More Down With Influenza sfe010
9/27/1918 No New Influenza Cases in This City sfe011
9/28/1918 Influenza Epidemic Is On The West sfe006
10/1/1918 1,577 Dead, Toll of Influenza sfe012
10/4/1918 16 New Cases of Influenza sfe013
10/5/1918 Quarantine Proves Time Of Gaiety sfe015
10/6/1918 Five More Have Influenza in S.F. sfe014
10/7/1918 Quarantined Sailor Boys Hold Carnival sfe016
10/9/1918 This Is What To Do If You Get Influenza sfe017
10/9/1918 Influenza Hits Camp Fremont sfe017
10/9/1918 U.S. Officials Are Quarantined Aboard Steamer sfe018
10/9/1918 118 Influenza Cases Quarantined in S.F. sfe018
10/9/1918 Restrictions Placed on Presidio Troops sfe018
10/9/1918 Eleven Nurses Have Influenza sfe019
10/10/1918 Death Rate in Cities in East Takes Jump sfe020
10/10/1918 Forty New Cases Reported In This City sfe020
10/10/1918 Grippe Fought With ‘Gas Mask’ sfe021
10/10/1918 Physicians Plan War on Grippe sfe021
10/11/1918 State Doctors Are Mobilized sfe024
10/11/1918 Ebright Issues Grippe Warning sfe024
10/11/1918 Spanish ‘Flue Fence’ Has Advantages; Will Be a Life Saver in Face Powder [with political cartoon] sfe025
10/11/1918 In This Time of Danger of Infection from Influenza [ad for Kolynos Dental Cream] sfe026
10/12/1918 Fewer Cases of Influenza in U.S. Camps sfe027
10/12/1918 U.S. Appeals to Doctors of 3 States sfe027
10/12/1918 New York To Enact Anti-Sneezing Law sfe027
10/12/1918 Public Warned by Dr. Hassler sfe027
10/13/1918 Medical Science’s Newest Discoveries About the “Spanish Influenza” [from American Weekly, the Examiner’s magazine] sfe028
10/14/1918 Influenza Affects Orpheum Patronage sfe029
10/15/1918 Influenza In S.F. Increased by 207 Cases sfe030
10/15/1918 Theaters in Berkeley Are Closed sfe031
10/16/1918 Each Person Urged to War on Influenza sfe032
10/16/1918 Veils Urged as Influenza Preventives sfe033
10/16/1918 Nurse Dies in Fight on Grippe sfe033
10/16/1918 Influenza Is Spreading in Every State sfe033
10/16/1918 Influenza Is Not Epidemic in Stanford sfe033
10/16/1918 Epidemic Halts October Draft sfe033
10/17/1918 Authorities Claim Check on Epidemic sfe034
10/17/1918 15,000 Cases of Influenza in the State Reported sfe034
10/17/1918 Spanish Influenza – What It is and How It Should Be Treated sfe035
10/18/1918 All Theaters Are Closed For Epidemic sfe036
10/18/1918 All Public Meetings Are Banned Under City Order sfe036
10/18/1918 U.S. Directing Influenza Fight sfe036
10/18/1918 California ‘Flu’ Cases 19,000 sfe036
10/18/1918 Open Air Best Remedy For Influenza sfe036
10/19/1918 State Health Board Closes All Theaters sfe037
10/19/1918 Churches Close On Account of ‘Flu’ Epidemic sfe037
10/19/1918 Workers Wear Masks [San Diego] sfe038
10/19/1918 Camp Lewis Ordered Rigidly Quarantined sfe038
10/19/1918 Theaters And Churches Are To Be Closed sfe039
10/19/1918 No Ban on Athletics, Is Dictum on Health sfe040
10/20/1918 Influenza Claims 1,101 More; 32 Die sfe041
10/20/1918 25,000 Cases of Influenza in State Reported sfe042
10/20/1918 How Red Cross Aids in Fight Against Epidemic sfe043
10/20/1918 Police Court To Hold Sessions in Open Air sfe044
10/20/1918 Epidemic in Army Subsides sfe045
10/20/1918 Shaking For Drinks Off During Epidemic sfe045
10/20/1918 People Urged to Wear Masks Everywhere sfe045
10/20/1918 Twenty Deaths Influenza Toll sfe046
10/21/1918 Epidemic Reaches Height Outside of San Francisco sfe047
10/21/1918 36 Girls Aid in Grippe Fight sfe047
10/21/1918 Ward Off Influenza by Wearing Masks on Street sfe047
10/21/1918 Influenza Is Not Abating sfe048
10/21/1918 50,000 Cases Foreseen By Dr. Hutchinson sfe049
10/21/1918 Wear a Mask and Save Your Life [Red Cross ad] sfe050
10/21/1918 S.F. Churches Give Services in Open Air sfe051
10/21/1918 San Francisco Holds Its Church Services in Open Air to Avoid Contagion [images] sfe052
10/22/1918 Influenza On the Increase sfe053
10/22/1918 How To Make Mask to Balk ‘Flu’ Germs sfe053
10/22/1918 Mayor Urges Everyone to Wear Masks sfe054
10/22/1918 “Crowds waiting in line to be served…” [images] sfe055
10/22/1918 Gauze Masks Must Be Worn on the Street sfe056
10/22/1918 Sacramento Ministers Ask Closed Saloons sfe057
10/22/1918 6 States Show Improvement sfe057
10/23/1918 “Miss Emma Ganzora of the San Francisco Red Cross, making gauze masks…” [image] sfe058
10/23/1918 Here’s How to Make Masks; Foil Germs sfe059
10/23/1918 Red Cross Wants 1,000 Nurses; Mother and Daughter Ill in Bed; Many Other Cases Cry For Help sfe059
10/23/1918 S.F. Dons Gas Mask to Stop Flu Ravages sfe059
10/24/1918 News In Pictures [image of chiffon masks] sfe060
10/25/1918 “Examiners” News Pictures From S.F. and War Front [images of medical personnel wearing masks] sfe061
10/25/1918 Text of Law For Influenza Mask Wearing sfe062
10/25/1918 Epidemic Subsiding Throughout Country sfe063
10/25/1918 S.F. Girls Aid in Fight to Conquer ‘Flu’ sfe063
10/25/1918 Keep Your Nerve and Flight Plague; Let’s All Be Sensible and Fearless sfe064
10/25/1918 Law In Force Till Passing of Influenza sfe064
10/25/1918 Flu Stories [with political cartoon] sfe065
10/25/1918 Salvage Shop Is Devoted To Masks sfe066
10/25/1918 Wear Masks in Public Places, Alameda Edict sfe067
10/25/1918 Twenty-One Deaths, Toll of Influenza sfe068
10/25/1918 “Help Your Health Board Conquer Spanish Influenza By Disinfecting Your Home” [ad for Lysol] sfe069
10/26/1918 Wearing Mask Compulsory in Oakland sfe072
10/26/1918 Sleep and Food Best Antidotes For Influenza sfe073
10/26/1918 Mask No Bar to Smoking Sailor sfe073
10/26/1918 State To Begin Issuing Vaccine This Morning sfe074
10/26/1918 Red Cross Asks More Women sfe074
10/26/1918 Red Cross Has Influenza Creed; Ambulance Corps Is Kept Busy; Folks Are Winning Over Here sfe074
10/26/1918 99 Per Cent of Citizens Wear Masks sfe075
10/26/1918 Curfew Law Invoked In fighting Plague sfe076
10/26/1918 U.S. Health Board Supplies Doctors sfe076
10/26/1918 Los Angeles Reports 852 New ‘Flu’ Cases sfe076
10/26/1918 Camp Lewis Reports New Cases Decreasing sfe076
10/26/1919 U.R.R. Will Open Hospital for Men sfe076
10/26/1918 Epidemic Spreading Throughout Colorado sfe076
10/27/1918 Influenza Sermons in S.F. sfe070
10/27/1918 Two, Crazed by ‘Flu,’ End Lives sfe071
10/27/1918 Two Women and Child Victims of Influenza [Marysville] sfe071
10/27/1918 Public Warned of ‘Sure Cures’ sfe071
10/27/1918 Hassler Says Masks Prove Their Value sfe077
10/27/1918 Chico Refreshment Places Are Closed sfe077
10/27/1918 12,000 Die of 100,000 Cases in New York sfe077
10/27/1918 First Vaccine Is Distributed sfe078
10/27/1918 Firemen Driving Flu Ambulances sfe078
10/27/1918 Flu Stories [with political cartoon] sfe079
10/27/1918 Red Cross in New Quarters to Tackle Flu sfe080
10/27/1918 Barred By Flu, Father Sees Baby With Spyglass sfe080
10/27/1918 Red Cross Site Is Flu Hospital sfe080
10/27/1918 ‘Peak’ of Epidemic At Camp Lewis Passed sfe080
10/27/1918 Epidemic Cuts Car Receipts $1,000 Daily sfe081
10/27/1918 Efficacy of ‘Flu’ Mask Is Proven sfe082
10/29/1918 50,000 Doses Reach S.F. From Boston sfe083
10/29/1918 No Material Change in Flu in California sfe083
10/29/1919 Influenza On Decline in This City sfe083
10/29/1918 Three Shot in Row over ‘Flu’ Mask sfe084
10/29/1918 ‘Mask Slackers’ Given Jail Sentences, Fines sfe084
10/29/1918 [image of  woman being inoculated with flu vaccine] sfe085
10/30/1918 S.F. Schools Turned Into Hospitals sfe086
10/30/1918 75,000 Influenza Cases in State sfe086
10/30/1918 Keep Up ‘Flu’ War, Citizens Are Warned sfe086
10/30/1918 Los Angeles Epidemic Conditions Improving sfe086
10/30/1918 More Cities Make Use of Masks Compulsory sfe086
10/30/1918 Man Talks Court Out of ‘Mask’ Fine sfe087
11/1/1918 ‘Flu’ Menace Passing Says Health Chief sfe088
11/1/1918 Influenza In Army Reduced 50 Per Cent sfe089
11/2/1918 50 Without Masks Are Arrested sfe090
11/2/1918 Gauze Stops Germ Ravage, Says Hassler sfe091
11/2/1918 Ten Mask Slackers Get 10-Day Sentences sfe092
11/3/1918 Hospitals In Open Air to Fight Epidemic sfe093
11/3/1918 ‘Flu’ Rapidly Decreased By S.F. Vigilance sfe094
11/3/1918 Camps Show New Low Mark For Epidemic sfe094
11/3/1918 ‘Flu’ Mask Ordinance Passed in Oakdale sfe094
11/5/1918 Gauze Masks Prevail Until Flu Is Extinct sfe095
11/5/1918 Risk Is Small in Influenza Work sfe096
11/5/1918 Orders Are Orders, Even For Masks; Wise Doctors Know What is Best; Mosquito Theory Once Was a Joke sfe097
11/7/1918 ‘Flu’ Epidemic Believed to Be Checked sfe098
11/8/1918 …Properly, Is Fly Warning sfe099
11/8/1918 Over Half of Nome Down With Influenza [Nome, AK] sfe099
11/81918 121,635 Cases of Influenza in State sfe099
11/12/1918 Drops All Restraint in Victory [image of Mayor Rolph at Armistice Day celebration, not wearing mask] sfe100
11/12/1918 Influenza, As Well as Huns, Is Defeated sfe101
11/13/1918 ‘Flu’ Masks to Be Ousted Thanskgiving sfe102
11/14/1918 Reopening of S.F. Meetings Established sfe103
11/15/1918 S.F. Rapidly Shakes Off ‘Flu’ Grip sfe104
11/16/1918 ‘Flu’ Beaten, Indication From Report sfe105
11/16/1819 City is Getting Normal Again; Theaters Are opening Today sfe105
11/20/1918 Sirens Will Signal ‘Flu’ Masks Off sfe106
11/21/1918 All S.F. To Unmask at Noon Today sfe107
11/21/1918 $100,000 Spent to Fight ‘Flu’ sfe108
11/21/1918 Author of Flu Masks Voluntarily Pays Fine sfe108
11/22/1918 ‘Flu’ Mask Wearers Get ‘Bawling Out’ sfe109
11/22/1918 S.F. Feels Good Without Mask; It Hides Only Thing Worth While sfe109
11/22/1919 San Francisco Wins Victory In Its Battle With Influenza [with political cartoon] sfe110
12/19/1918 Lone Wearer of ‘Flu’ Mask Breaks Trail [poem] sfe111
12/9/1918 Epidemic Law Left Up To Supervisors sfe111
12/11/1918 Nine-Tenths of Flu Avoidable sfe112
12/11/1918 Dr. Hassler Again to Insist Upon Revival of Masks sfe112
12/11/1918 Dr. Hutchinson Urges Masks sfe112
12/12/1918 Mask Ruling To Be Acted Upon Monday sfe113
12/12/1918 4,214 New Cases of Influenza in State sfe114
12/20/1918 Flu Ordinance Defeated by 9 to 7 Vote sfe115
12/20/1918 Health Board Says It Will Use Authority sfe115
1/1/1919 Masks May Come Again in Oakland sfe116
1/1/1919 Board of Health Plans Preventives Against Influenza sfe117
1/2/1919 Nurses Needed in Many Homes sfe118
1/3/1919 Need of Nurses at S.F. Hospital Declared Vital sfe119
1/4/1919 Rolph Calls For Navy Nurses sfe120
1/4/1919 ‘Flu’ Postpones Opening of U.C. sfe121
1/5/1919 S.F. Teachers To Wear Masks sfe122
1/6/1919 Hassler Calls for Volunteers sfe123
1/7/1919 Civic League Demands ‘Flu’ Mask in S.F. sfe124
1/7/1919 Epidemic Toll in S.F., L.A., and Oakland sfe125
1/8/1919 Bay Towns In Campaign to Check Flu sfe126
1/19/1919 Marked Drop in Flu Deaths sfe127
1/19/1919 ‘Flu’ Prevents Grizzly Fete sfe128
1/19/1919 Spanish Influenza More Deadly Than War sfe130
1/20/1919 Flu Mask Or Jail Is Choice in S.F. Today sfe129
1/21/1919 Police Take 100 Maskless Folk to  Jail sfe131
1/22/1919 No Flu Masks For Oakland, Council Rules sfe132
1/23/1919 Marked Drop in Flu Cases in 48 Hours sfe133
1/24/1919 Dr. Hassler Commended for Masking sfe134
1/25/1919 Flu On Wane, 75 Per Cent Drop Is Noted sfe135
1/26/1919 New Cases of Influenza At Low Record sfe136
2/2/1919 ‘Flu’ Masks Banished By Rolph Edict sfe137

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Records of the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Record Group 52, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD

Box/Folder From/To Date Title or Description PDF
Box 581/F:130212 Circular 3/18/1918 BuMed Circular to Naval Stations; Navy concerned with high rates of pneumonia; asks personnel to take precautions. bumed01
BuMed Bulletin No. 37 8/9/1918 “Notes on Preventive Medicine for Medical Officers, United State Navy”; indicates influenza pandemic is approaching; lists common influenza symptoms and treatment; does not recommend quarantine. bumed02
Surgeon USPHS, Detailed Sanitation Div., BuMed to T. Crowder, Chief Surgeon, Pullman Co. [unsigned] 8/12/1918 Asks Crowder about use of paper cups at drinking fountains in navy vessels; encloses statement from Naval Surgeon O. Dragoo on “Use For the Sanitary Drinking Cup in the Navy.” bumed03
BuMed to Medical Aides [circular] 9/4/1918 Memo on increased illness rates in men returning from rifle range duty; asks medical officers to note if this is the case at their stations and to report findings. bumed04
BuMed to Medical Aides 9/20/1918 Memo on inclusion of influenza as reportable disease; medical aides to assist by reporting epidemics to BuMed and directly to other districts; copy of “Epidemiological Report” enclosed. bumed05
J. Neilson to BuMed, via Medical Aide to Commandant, 12th Naval District 11/3/1918 Report in response to Navy memo of 9/4/1918; provides number of ill men returning from rifle range duty. bumed06
J. Saurman Undated “Suggested Method for the Early Detection of Epidemic Influenza Suspects”; recommends isolation of diagnosed and suspected cases. bumed07
Health Bulletin No. 1, Navy Yard Dispensary, Washington, DC Undated “Spanish Influenza”; provides information on influenza symptoms, treatment, and prevention. bumed08
G. Lane to W. Braisted 1/2/1919 Writes that Denver Post printed article stating that none of the 100 sailors exposed to influenza for experiment contracted disease, but that it is being used in Durango, CO to make case against quarantine. bumed09
W. Braisted to G. Lane 1/28/1919 Reply to Lane’s letter of 1/2/1919; writes that the article was correct but that no conclusions can be drawn from experiment; quarantine of value, but cases must be isolated very quickly; urges good hygiene for control of disease. bumed10
E. Chavez 1/1919 “The Influenza Mask and Its Consequences”; pamphlet against San Francisco face mask ordinance. bumed11
Box 603/F:132570 D-12 “Mare Island” L. Williams to BuMed, via Commandant of Mare Island 2/1/1919 “Sanitary Inspection of Navy Yard, Mare Island, Calif.”; based on inspection of 1/30/1918; yard in excellent sanitary condition; moderate recrudescence of influenza but in milder form (note: includes endorsement of 2/5/191 as cover). bumed12
J. Neilson to BuMed, via Commandant of Mare Island 2/8/1919 “Sanitary Report – Naval Station, Mare Island, California, Month of January, 1919”; decrease in incidence of influenza from previous month; provides influenza rates; new cases not resulting in death; outlines public health measures used at yard. bumed13
Box 527/F:127510 D-12 “Mare Island” W. Braisted to A. McCormick 5/12/1920 “Comparative Morbidity and Mortality Between the Training Camps at Mare Island and Yerba Buena Island”; asks McCormick to investigate if Mare Island is more healthful than Yerba Buena, which some data seemed to suggest. bumed14
A. McCormick to W. Braisted 5/13/1920 States that Admiral Jayne believes that Mare Island has more healthful conditions than does Yerba Buena; for this reason, selected pulmonary cases should be sent to Mare Island and not Yerba Buena. bumed15
A. McCormick to Commandant of 12th Naval District 5/21/1920 “Comparative Morbidity and Mortality Between the Training Camps at Mare Island and Yerba Buena Island”; concludes that Mare Island is more healthful than Yerba Buena Island for those who have not become acclimated. bumed16
W. Braisted to A. McCormick 5/24/1920 Acknowledgement of McCormick’s of 5/13/1920; writes that data on Mare Island vs. Yerba Buena should be used with caution, and that vital statistics may not give accurate picture. bumed17
W. McCormick to W. Braisted 5/24/1920 Results of comparison between Mare Island and Yerba Buena show a greater difference in healthfulness than he anticipated; suggests that recruits admitted to the sick list have an indication put on their records to help with future comparisons. bumed18
W. Braisted to A. McCormick 6/3/1920 Acknowledges receipt of McCormick’s of 5/24/1920. bumed19
A. McCormick to W. Braisted 6/8/1920 Reply to Braisted’s of 5/24/1918; states that the two reports are not materially different: BuMed statistics are of entire station, whereas Jayne’s report only examined training camps and raw recruits. bumed20
Box 545/F:128093 S. Flexner to W. Braisted 12/15/1919 Writes of the successful sequestration of American Samoa vs. British Samoa, and asks if this information is correct. bumed21
W. Braisted to S. Flexner 12/17/1919 Reply to Flexner’s of 12/15/1919; states that Flexner’s information is correct; influenza was introduced into British Samoa about 11/7/1918 and resulted in approx. 19.62% total loss in population on the island. bumed22
S. Flexner to W. Braisted 12/18/1919 Reply to Braisted’s of 12/17/1919; writes that he might make trip to the South Seas, and will plan to stop at Samoa; asks if Braisted would like any medical studies conducted while there. bumed23
W. Braisted to S. Flexner 12/19/1919 Reply to Flexner’s of 12/18/1919; writes he will be glad to see Flexner when he arrives in Washington, DC. bumed24
Box 588/F:130212 D-12 “Flu” BuMed to San Fran. Naval Trg. Station 9/24/1918 Order to avoid fatigue and exposure of men, to relieve overcrowding, and to avoid quartering men in large groups; immediate isolation of pneumonia cases; orders segregation of sick cases and use of masks. bumed25
L. Williams to BuMed, via Commandant of Mare Island 9/25/1918 Summary report of medical conference at Mare Island on influenza preventive measures; medical officers agreed on a host of measures to be implemented if epidemic reached the yard. bumed26
Commandant at Mare Island to BuMed, via Commandant of 12th Naval District 9/27/1919 Memo on the recommendations of the Mare Island medical conference report; recommendations have been put into general orders and posted throughout naval yard; public posting on influenza enclosed. bumed27
Bureau of Yards and Docks to Mare Island Naval Station 9/28/1918 Memo authorizing $21,000 for additional temporary isolation quarters for influenza cases. bumed28
W. Fullam to W. Braisted 10/11/1918 Writes that Commandant Rossiter of Yerba Buena is requiring his men to wear knitted undergarments for their health, but that such clothing is a menace and produces overheating. bumed29
G. Rothganger to W. Braisted 10/11/1918 Writes that influenza cases appeared 8 days ago in Port Guard, which was quartered in a pier shed on San Francisco waterfront; first cases were mild but subsequent cases more severe; influenza appeared in San Francisco around same time; new cases will be sent to Mare Island hospital, although that facility initially refused to accept cases; masks being used. bumed30
W. Fullam to W. Braisted 10/12/1918 Letter regarding the uniform issue at Yerba Buena; argues that if Rossiter insists on ordering men to wear knitted undergarments, personal un-cleanliness will be rampant. bumed31
Memo from Medical Officer [Mare Island?] to W. Braisted 10/19/1918 “Sneeze Screens, Naval Training Station, San Francisco”; discusses use of cheap, easy to build sneeze screens in barracks. bumed32
W. Braisted to W. Fullam 10/23/1918 Acknowledgement of Fullam’s letter of 10/11/1918; states that the uniform issue is of minor concern, and that Rossiter should not be disciplined for his opinions, as he is only trying to prevent the development of respiratory diseases that have long been peculiar to Yerba Buena. bumed33
A. Hoff (cover letter from W. Fullam) 10/25/1918 “Quarantine Regulations”; list of 9 regulations for dealing with influenza epidemic aboard US Oregon and in the San Diego area; only married men with homes allowed to go ashore; those on duty in San Diego must wear masks. bumed34
W. Fullam to W. Braisted 10/30/1918 Writes that he has not had a single case of influenza aboard any of his ships; very few cases at shore stations in San Diego. bumed35
G. Rothganger to W. Braisted 11/9/1918 Influenza decreasing among civilian and military personnel in San Francisco area; recent cases have been mild; civil authorities have closed places of public amusement and churches, and are preventing gatherings of more than 20 people; masks are compulsory; encloses two letters (see below). bumed36
A. Barendt, President of San Francisco Board of Health, to G. Rothganger 11/1/1918 Enclosed with above; states that he has completed a letter of thanks to Admiral Jayne for his service in helping San Francisco with influenza epidemic. bumed36
A. Barendt to J. Jayne [quoted letter] 11/7/1918 Enclosed with above; thanks Jayne for his service in stemming the epidemic in San Francisco. bumed36
J. Britton to J. Jayne 11/4/1918 Enclosed with above; thanks Jayne for his service in stemming epidemic in San Francisco. bumed36
Receiving Ship San Francisco to Secy. of Navy 11/15/1918 On 9/22/1918, Yerba Buena Island and the receiving ship were placed in quarantine [protective sequestration]. bumed37
W. Braisted to Bureau of Navigation 12/21/1918 Praises Yerba Buena men and officers for carrying out successful quarantine [protective sequestration] of the facility. bumed38
W. Braisted to G. Rothganger 12/23/1918 Reply to Rothganger’s of 10/11/1918; praises Rothganger for his efforts in containing influenza. bumed39
J. Neilson to BuMed, via Commandant of Mare Island 2/28/1919 “Influenza Epidemic, Mare Island, Cal. – Special Report on”; lengthy report, with statistical tables and graphs, detailing the influenza epidemic at Mare Island and measures taken to prevent its spread; provides detailed history of the epidemic at the facility; copies of relevant memos and circulars enclosed. bumed40

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Papers of William F. Fullam, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Box/Folder From/To Date Title or Description PDF
Box 5/F: Sept. 1918 W. Fullam to J. Jayne 9/23/1918 He has been put in charge of the 12th, 13th, and 14th Naval Districts; will not interfere with the commandants. fullam01
H. George to W. Fullam 9/25/1918 Discusses fumigation of the USS Brutus; no influenza at Mare Island yet, but knows of several cases in San Francisco. fullam02
Box 5/F: Oct.-Nov. 1918 H. Laning to W. Fullam 10/1/1918 Discusses influenza situation in Navy; cases are bad in Naval Academy, on some ships, and at some training facilities. fullam03
W. Fullam to H. Laning 10/2/1918 He has tried to take all precautions against influenza on the West Coast. fullam04
W. Fullam to W. Braisted 10/12/1918 Complains about P. Rossiter at Yerba Buena and his decision regarding the uniforms of the men; trying hard to prevent influenza from getting into the ships and stations on the West Coast. fullam05
W. Fullam to H. Laning 10/16/1918 Has kept influenza out of his ships thus far, and is trying to prevent infection. fullam06
W. Fullam to J. Driggs 10/21/1918 Concerning the fumigation of the USS Brutus. fullam07
W. Braisted to W. Fullam 10/23/1918 Has received Fullam’s letter warning Pacific Coast vessels and stations about epidemic influenza; despite precautions, epidemic influenza has occurred in the fleet and most Pacific stations; the uniform issue at Yerba Buena is a minor consideration. fullam08
W. Fullam to J. Driggs 10/26/1918 Anxious that there be no influenza or other serious illness aboard the Brutus before it sets sail. fullam09
W. Fullam to W. Braisted 10/30/1918 Reply to Fullam’s of 10/23/1918; to date he has not had a single case of influenza aboard any of his ships; has kept his ships either at sea or in “pretty close quarantine” and will continue that policy. fullam10
J. Driggs to W. Fullam 11/4/1918 Report from the Brutus; ship delayed due to influenza among yard workmen; will not allow liberty so as to prevent influenza among crew; this will be hard on men because they have already been under quarantine while waiting for the ship to be completed; health of men is good. fullam11
J. Driggs to W. Fullam 11/9/1918 Report from the Brutus; ship has been fumigated; all personnel aboard are in good health with no cases of influenza. fullam12
J. Driggs to W. Fullam 11/19/1918 Has learned that he will have no medical officers or nurses onboard; fullam13
W. Fullam to H. Laning 11/26/1918 Has reduced the compliment of ships because of influenza. fullam14
Box 5/F: Dec. 1918 W. Fullam to H. Laning 12/11/1918 Influenza situation is still “raging” in the area, but he has kept it out of the ships “almost entirely.” fullam15
W. Braisted to W. Fullam 12/28/1918 Thanks Fullam for his hard work on the West Coast. fullam16

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Procedings of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Box/Folder Date Description or Title PDF
1/7/1918-12/20/1918 City of San Francisco, Journal of Proceedings, Board of Supervisors, City and Country of San Francisco, Vol. 13-New Series (San Francisco: Rincon Publishing, 1919) [selected dates] SFBoardVol_13
1/6/1919-2/3/1919 City of San Francisco, Journal of Proceedings, Board of Supervisors, City and Country of San Francisco, Vol. 14-New Series (San Francisco: Rincon Publishing, 1920) [selected dates] SFBoardVol_14

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The Papers of Mayor James Rolph, California Historical Society, San Francisco, CA.

Box/Folder From/To Date Title or Description PDF
Box 44/Folder 525, MS 1818 Meeting minutes 10/17/1918 Minutes for Special Meeting of the Board of Health, concerning influenza epidemic; consideration of face masks, public closures, and other measures; actual proclamation of measures follows (same date). rolph01
Dept. of Public Works 10/21/1918 Dept. of Public Works has created addition crews to start special sewer flushing service. roplh02
Box 44/Folder 526 Copy, Circular Letter N-483, 12th Naval District, Rear Adm. J. L. Jayne 10/22/1918 Order for all personnel to wear gauze masks “on the streets, in street cars, ferries, offices, and places where people congregate.” rolph03
J. Rolph to Board of Supervisors 10/23/1918 Outlines his address to residents of San Francisco regarding face mask ordinance; alludes to a similar mask order by Brig. Genl. J. F. Morrison, Commander of Western Dept. of US Army. rolph04
J. Rolph to Board of Supervisors 10/23/1918 Vaccination developed at Tufts Medical College about to be made available in San Francisco; discusses mask order and some resistance to it; ask Board to issue mask ordinance. rolph05
J. Jayne to J. Rolph 10/23/1918 Notifies Rolph that he has ordered naval personnel in 12th District to wear masks; this information was given to the Associated Press (copy enclosed) rolph06
Box 44/Folder 527 C. Jones to J. Rolph 10/26/1918 Angry letter protesting how influenza statistics are reported in press, the constitutionality of mask orders, etc. rolph07
W. Hassler and A. Barendt to J. Rolph 10/30/1918 Discussion of flushing streets with salt water; states that it will have no direct effect on influenza epidemic, but that it will remove dust and lessen irritation to the mucous membranes. rolph08
W. Hassler to J. Rolph 10/30/1918 Copy of letter sent to Finance Committee of the Board of Supervisors, detailing expenses related to influenza epidemic. rolph09
J. Rolph to E. Anderson 10/31/1918 Acknowledges receipt of Anderson’s prior letter concerning influenza; discusses use of masks and vaccines in San Francisco; believes both have been effective in dealing with the epidemic. rolph10
J. Rolph to H. Neilson, Mayor of Santa Barbara, CA 10/31/1918 Strongly urges Neilson to order mandatory face mask use in Santa Barbara. rolph11
J. Rolph to President W. Wilson 10/31/1918 Provides information on San Francisco’s epidemic and its use of face masks; cites rapid drop in cases in the city after masks were made mandatory. rolph12
Box 44/Folder 529 J. Rolph 11/2/1918 Letter to people of San Francisco asking them to stay the course with the use of masks and other preventive measures even though the epidemic appears to be waning. rolph13
J. Rolph to J. Jayne 11/4/1918 Thanks Jayne for his help in the epidemic; states that Jayne’s order to have naval personnel use masks had a moral effect on the civilians of the city as well. rolph14
J. Rolph to Geo. Baker, Mayor of Portland, OR 11/5/1918 Telegram clarifying San Francisco’s closing order; churches allowed one early morning indoor service, with congregants masked; any number of outdoor services may be held with masks. rolph15
Box 44/Folder 530 Resolutions Undated [ca. 11/1918] Set of resolutions urging cooperation with police and public health officials in terms of public gatherings. rolph16
Box 44/Folder 531 J. Hart, Mayor of Lovington, NM to J. Rolph 11/8/1918 Telegram asking if San Francisco had passed a mask ordinance; Rolph’s handwritten response appears at bottom, stating that masks were used and saved “thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths.” rolph17
J. Rolph to Mrs. Geo. Ashley 11/13/1918 States how important mask law was and how it did not damped the Armistice Day festivities. rolph18
H. Brown, Mayor of Wallace, ID to J. Rolph 11/13/1918 Asks about value of face masks. rolph19
Box 44/Folder 532 J. Rolph to various USN personnel 11/14/1918 A series of letters thanking the US Navy Hospital Units that served at San Francisco Hospital during the epidemic. rolph20
W. Hassler to J. Rolph 11/14/1918 Acknowledges receipt of Rolph’s of 11/13/1918 enclosing resolutions adopted by the San Francisco Church Federation regarding saloon closures; Dept. of Public Health lifted entire closure order on 11/13/1918. rolph21
A. Smith of the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Billiard Table Co. to J. Rolph 11/14/1918 Thanks Rolph for ending the closure order and allowing billiard halls to re-open on 11/16/1918. rolph22
J. Burton, Red Cross, San Francisco Chapter to Editor, San Francisco Chronicle 11/16/1918 Response to news article; recent appropriation by San Francisco Board of Supervisors for influenza relief will be used solely for that purpose and will not be dispensed by the Red Cross. rolph23
E. Rainey, Secy to Mayor Rolph, to H. Brown, Mayor of Wallace, ID 11/15/1918 Telegram stating that rigid enforcement of mask ordinance saved thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths; no cases of diphtheria or whooping cough appeared during mask period. rolph24
Box 45/Folder 532 J. Rolph to J. Neilson, Yard Surgeon, Mare Island 11/18/1918 Thanks Neilson for assistance in assigning the Mare Island Hospital Unit to the care of civilian influenza cases at the temporary Red Cross hospital. rolph25
Box 45/Folder 533 J. Rolph to various USN personnel 11/18/1918 A series of letters thanking the Mare Island Hospital Unit for manning the Red Cross hospital during the epidemic. rolph26
R. Abraham to J. Rolph 11/18/1918 Thanks Rolph for re-opening the theaters after Dr. Hassler considered keeping theaters in Mission district closed for an additional week. rolph27
J. Rolph to Board of Supervisors 11/20/1918 Encloses proclamation to people of San Francisco that the influenza epidemic is over and that masks can be discarded on noon of 11/21/1918. rolph28
Minutes 11/21/1918 Minutes of Board of Health meeting to end mask law for general public and to issue guidelines of who should still wear them (the ill, the exposed, etc.). rolph29
Box 44/Folder 534 H. George, Commandant Mare Island, to J. Rolph 11/23/1918 Acknowledges Rolph’s thank-you letter; expresses admiration of how San Francisco handled the epidemic. rolph30
A. Hendrick, Secy. of American Public Health Association, to J. Rolph 11/25/1918 Invites San Francisco health officers to report on their experience during the annual meeting of the APHA in Chicago. rolph31
Assistant Secy to Mayor to W. Hassler 11/25/1918 Encloses copy of Rolph’s proclamation of 11/20/1918 ending the mask ordinance [proclamation not enclosed]. rolph32
L. Dixon, Mayor of Provo, UT, to J. Rolph 11/26/1918 Asks if mask ordinance lessen spread of influenza. rolph33
J. Rolph to L. Dixon, Mayor of Provo, UT 11/26/1918 Reply to above; states that mask use was responsible for San Francisco “beating the usual course of influenza by several weeks,” and for saving lives. rolph34
Box 44/Folder 537 12/5/1918 Certificate of appreciation from Board of Health to Rolph, thanking him for his service during epidemic crisis. rolph35
W. Hassler to J. Rolph, via Rolph’s asst. secy. 12/5/1918 Encloses an article on the influenza epidemic and asks that the Mayor’s office keep it on file as reference when the budget comes up for consideration again. rolph36
J. Kennedy, Secy. of the Board of Fire Commissioners, to J. Rolph 12/6/1918 Informs Rolph that the Board of Fire Commissioners has adopted a resolution of appreciation for the firemen who served during the influenza epidemic. rolph37
J. Rolph to People of San Francisco 12/7/1918 Statement that influenza is once again epidemic in the city; asks citizens to wear masks again. rolph38
W. Hassler to J. Rolph 12/7/1918 Informs Rolph that an alarming new number of influenza cases developed in the past week from people arriving in the city from infected centers throughout California; provides short table of new cases for week of Nov. 30 through Dec. 7. rolph39
Mayor’s Office to W. Hassler 12/9/1918 Informs Hassler that the Mayor has called for the re-masking of the citizens of San Francisco. rolph40
J. Rolph to Editors of all local newspapers 12/9/1918 Informs them that, because of slight decrease in number of new cases, the decision to re-mask will be postponed until Dec. 12. rolph41
Box 44/Folder 539 Mayor’s Office to the Third Street Improvement Club 12/16/1918 Acknowledges receipt of letter of protest against the mask order. rolph42
Mayor’s Office to W. Hassler 12/16/1918 Transmits copy of protest letter from Third Street Improvement Club to Hassler. rolph43
Columbia Dairy to W. Hassler 12/17/1918 Returns $100 check for milk and dairy delivered to the Red Cross hospital during the epidemic, stating that he does not want to profit from the city’s misfortune. rolph44
J. Walsh to J. Rolph 12/17/1918 Complains about the mask order. rolph45
? to E. Shmitz, City Supervisor 12/18/1918 Letter complaining about mask law, objecting especially to use of masks for children. rolph46
Box 44/Folder 540 W. Hassler to W. Benedict, Asst. Secy. to the Mayor 12/21/1918 Acknowledges receipt of letter from E. Jeanne Bolte, principal of Bolte’s School; Bolte complained about Board of Health keeping an ill pupil out of school, an order that she disregarded; copy of Bolte’s letter enclosed. rolph47
Box 44/Folder 547 E. Chavez 1/1919 “The Influenza Mask and Its Consequences”; broadside against the mask law. rolph48
Box 44/Folder 548 Dr. J. Miller to J. Rolph 1/5/1919 Provides medical information and his observations on influenza. rolph49
Box 44/Folder 550 A. Johnston to J. Rolph 1/13/1919 Wonders if a referendum on the mask issue might be held to allow the citizens to vote on the issue. rolph50
Box 44/Folder 553 J. Kemp to J. Rolph 1/29/1919 Writes in protest of mask order. rolph51
A. Gallagher, City Supervisor, to J. Rolph 1/31/1919 Urges a re-examination of the mask laws, since so many are not complying; Gallagher is pro-mask. rolph52
E. Chavez to Board of Health 2/2/1919 Letter in protest of mask law; has submitted a revised mask law for consideration [not enclosed]. rolph53
E. Harrington to J. Rolph 2/4/1919 Thanks Rolph for his stance against the masks, in opposition to Hassler. rolph54

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