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Cold Comfort

with the Spanish influenza. One soldier and one student have died of it. Over 100 cases in the detachment.

September 26, 1918; Harold Rugg's journal:
Dr. Evans died from Spanish influenza and pneumonia. This makes two deaths in the political science department within a week. Chapel has been given up and Dartmouth Night postponed.

September 27, 1918; from Clifford Orr to his father:
You needn't worry any more because I'm all right now. The doctor let me go to classes today, and I am feeling almost as well as usual. I still am pretty stuffed up but coming fine. I surely was lucky not to have been worse. Some fellows who were taken sick before I was are still in bed and liable to be for some time. I was in bed from Monday afternoon to Thursday noon, while several right in the same dorm have been there a week. One freshman has died, and I don't know how many soldiers. Chapel has been cut out, the movies closed, and Dartmouth Night, which was to be held next Monday to celebrate the College's 150th birthday, has been cancelled. . . . The epidemic has killed what little college life there was. . . .

There are only about eight doctors in town, and it takes some time to care for 100 cases in the hospital and in the gym, and probably about 150 in the different dorms. . . .

September 29, 1918; from Clifford Orr to his mother:
I received your letter yesterday afternoon, after I had mailed one to papa telling him that I am all right now, and that I received the pickles and bread. The pickles were great. . . .

You ask me of how I got my meals while I was sick. Well, all I ate I had brought me by kind neighbors. I only ate two meals, and then it was just toast and milk. They had to go through some arrangement to get milk, as students are not supposed to buy it. There is no cooking in rooms allowed. That is, no regular cooking, but most of the fellows have little alcohol heaters that they make cocoa on for evening parties. Then they use either marshmallow creme or malted milk. I went to a party where they used the latter

When the campus wasn't beset by wartime exigencies and influenza, this is what the Dartmouth dining facility, in College Hall, looked like during the early part of the 20th century. But when the 1918 flu hit, College Hall was turned into a convalescent facility, while the gymnasium served as a hospital.

"Dr. Evans died from Spanish influenza and pneumonia. This makes two deaths in the political science department within a week. Chapel has been given up and Dartmouth Night postponed."
—Harold Rugg

for milk, and marshmallows for sweetening, and it was fairly good. . . .

Another freshman, another professor, and more soldiers have died here. The flags have been halfmast for over a week now. They can't barrack until this is over.

September 29, 1918; Harold Rugg's journal:
On account of the Spanish influenza, all public gatherings have been given up, so there was a bee today for digging and picking up the hospital potatoes. I went up for a while in the a.m.

October 1, 1918; Harold Rugg's journal:
To date, three freshmen, three soldiers, and one faculty member have died of the influenza. A lovely bright day. Promptly at noon the student body were inducted into the SATC. The very impressive service took place on the campus. The faculty

Harold Rugg, left, and Clifford Orr, right, are among those who chronicled the 1918 flu epidemic at Dartmouth. Below is evidence of the campus military presence during WWI; the barracks living may have been a factor in the flu's spread.

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