Last week, we began our comparison of how New York City responded to a global pandemic a century apart. This week, we continue the comparison, this time looking at how schools, families, and Broadway balanced economic and health pressures, two essential concerts that were often at odds.
In November of 1918, a New York City subway car crashed in Flatbush, Brooklyn, killing 100 passengers and injuring 250 others. Photos of the wreckage show a wooden train twisted and bent along the tracks, with the New York Times describing the aftermath as “a darkened jungle of steel dust and wood splinters, glass shards and iron beams projecting like bayonets.” The train operator, Antonio Luciano, was but 25 years old at the time, and initially attempted to walk away from the crash, himself uninjured. It was only after intensive media coverage of the incident and the resulting lawsuits that it was eventually revealed Luciano was at the time recovering from a bout with the Spanish Flu, which had just days before claimed the life of one of his daughters.