Downtown’s Spring Street Museum is still closed to the public, but on October 1, the museum will be launching a new virtual exhibit commemorating the 1873 Yellow Fever Epidemic in Shreveport.
Though the 1873 Shreveport epidemic wasn’t the first, it was the most severe, killing nearly 25% of the city’s entire population in an outbreak that lasted only from August until the first cold snap in October. It was a terrifying time as citizens literally dropped dead in their tracks. By September, local physicians had diagnosed the malady as Yellow Fever, but knowing what it was, how it was transmitted and how to stop it were very different things.
Those who could leave had already done so. The ones left behind were barricaded in the city as roads were blocked, Texas cities established quarantines against Shreveport (sound eerily familiar?), cities along the Red River refused to allow boats from Shreveport to dock. On October 1, begin looking for virtual lectures from LSUS history professor Dr. Cheryl White and other LSUS faculty as they reveal a comprehensive new look at this transformative event in our city’s history. You will be able to access the virtual talks and other information on the Spring Street Museum Facebook page. In the light of COVID-19, this information becomes all the more interesting and relevant!