Ohio State Played Football Game During Spanish Flu After School Went Into Quarantine

The Ohio State Buckeyes played Denison University on October 12, 1918, a day after headlines splashed across the campus newspaper, the Lantern, proclaimed "University Closes Today To Stop Spread of Influenza." Another headline of note that morning on campus: "Quarantine Rules Will Not Affect Football Game."

“After another week of intensified training and preparation, the Scarlet and Gray Varsity stands ready for the whistle of the referee which will send the Buckeyes against Denison in the annual fray between the two schools tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.,” the Lantern reporter wrote about the football game being played as the second wave of the Spanish Flu raged across the United States, killing an estimated 195,000 Americans during October.

“The playing of tomorrow’s game was made possible when Dr. H. Shindle Wingert, director of student health service, gave permission this morning" the Lantern reported. "The question had been put up to Dr. Wingert as to whether the game should be played due to the general quarantine that has been placed on the University. Dr. Wingert stated that if the spectators are distributed throughout the stands as much as possible and at the same time being in the fresh air, that he could see no reason why the game should be pro-…”

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Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America. Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league. Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.