Unmasking History: Who Was Behind the Anti-Mask League Protests During the 1918 Influenza in San Francisco?

When San Francisco Mayor London Breed ordered that face masks be worn in public as a measure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, questions emerged about how things were handled when a similar mandate was implemented in 1918. The media soon picked up on the antics of an “Anti-Mask League” that was formed in San Francisco to protest this inconvenience, noting some historical parallels with public complaint about government overreach. 

This presentation dives deeper into the historical context of the anti-mask league of 1918-19 to uncover more information about the identity and possible motivations of those who organized these protests. In particular it shines light on the fascinating presence of the leading woman in the campaign—lawyer, suffragette, and civil rights activist, Mrs. E.C. Harrington.

Speaker: Dr. Brian Dolan, PhD, Chair, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences,

General Editor, University of California Medical Humanities Press

UCSF Profile: https://profiles.ucsf.edu/brian.dolan


Brought to you by the Bay Area History of Medicine Society and UCSF Archives & Special Collections

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Wednesday, November 18 at 6:30pm to 8:00pm

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