Downtown’s Spring Street Museum is still closed to the public but has just launched a new virtual exhibit commemorating the 1873 Yellow Fever Epidemic in Shreveport. Dr. Cheryl White, LSUS History Professor and museum Interim Academic Coordinator, kicked off the exhibit with a lecture, “The Human Toll of the Yellow Fever Epidemic”. On October 7, Dr. Beverly Burden, LSUS Biology Professor will speak live at 1:00 p.m. from the LSUS History and Social Sciences Facebook page. She will speak on “Mosquitos and Transmission of Yellow Fever.”
Yellow Fever Virtual Exhibit
On October 14, Dr. Helen Wise, LSUS Sociology professor, will be live at 1:00 p.m. from the LSUS History & Social Sciences Facebook page. She will speak on “Changes in Social Institutions Due to Yellow Fever Epidemic”.
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. It’s a fascinating story and an important part of Shreveport history, so we hope that you are able to participate.