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Camp Taylor and the Spanish Flu

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WWI began with the assassination of the archduke of Austria and rapidly spread through Europe. With the involvement of the United States, more soldiers were needed.  In 1917, the U.S. Defense Department acquired approximately 3,000 acres of land south of Louisville, which became Camp Zachary Taylor. Camp Taylor was quickly constructed and trained thousands of troops. In 1918, the cantonment was nearly immobilized by the Spanish Influenza. This lecture will cover why Louisville and this site was selected for this cantonment, including its rapid construction, military training, how the Spanish flu’s mortality rate overwhelmed the base, and what remains today. This is the amazing story of young America’s response to its first world-wide conflict.

 Dr. Charles R Oberst is a Louisville native and a 1960 graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He trained at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas and spent two years in United States Air Force in Japan. He is a retired clinical professor from the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He has many interest and hobbies, especially WWI history. He is most noted for the many babies he delivered in the Louisville area.