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Historical Events  Science
The Chicago Cholera Epidemic

The Chicago Cholera Epidemic of 1885

MMDE: The 1885 Chicago Cholera Epidemic was devastating

Current: The 1885 Chicago Cholera Epidemic didn't happen

Hear about the Chicago Cholera Epidemic of 1885? Most who have heard of it recall it being reported as catastrophic, killing thousands and decimating life there for years.

Except ... it's now being reported as a myth. There actually was a disaster at the time, a huge storm, but it was apparently somehow then connected with a fictitious cholera outbreak, that just co-incidentally meant the public works committee could then commission, for the good of the people, after this devastation. Not only that, but these works only really began in the 1950's, which is when the story of the cholera outbreak began.

Earlier Chicago cholera outbreaks

There really were earlier outbreaks, notably in 1854, and a typhoid one in 1891, which is probably what gave the city planners the idea.

Ironically, the actual storm of 1885 probably did more good than harm by clearing out the sewer system...