Politics and Pandemic in 1918 Kansas City

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Politics and Pandemic in 1918 Kansas City

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10355/7521

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Title: Politics and Pandemic in 1918 Kansas City
Author: Sykes Berry, Susan Debra
Date: 2010-06-02
Publisher: University of Missouri-Kansas City
Abstract: The 1918-1919 Spanish influenza was the deadliest pandemic in history and citizens of Kansas City died in larger numbers due to politics. Kansas City government was under the control of two powerful political bosses, Democrats Tom Pendergast and Joe Shannon, who had an uneasy agreement to split the cities' patronage jobs equally between them. This arrangement created a dysfunctional and unwieldy public health response to the pandemic which occurred at the end of 1918. Since the public health response was so inadequate, quasi-governmental institutions tried to step into the vacuum. The Chamber of Commerce, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, and the American Red Cross were much more influential and active in Kansas City than in most cities during the pandemic, and their leadership ensured that Kansas City would not be remembered in history as having the worst response in the country.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10355/7521

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • 2010 Freely Available Theses (UMKC) [30]
    This collection contains theses submitted electronically to the School of Graduate Studies by masters degree candidates at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2010. The items in this collection are theses that are available to the general public.
  • History Electronic Theses and Dissertations (UMKC) [21]
    The items in this collection are the scholarly output of the faculty, staff, and students of the Department of History.

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