Did You Know…?

Mary Mallon, aka "Typhoid Mary"…that on this date in 1915, the woman known as “Typhoid Mary” was first put into quarantine in a cottage in the Bronx. Her name was Mary Mallon, and she worked as a cook in various wealthy households around New York City. Every household she worked in seemed to suffer an outbreak of typhoid fever. A doctor named George Soper noticed this strange pattern of outbreaks among the wealthy. He figured out they had all hired the same cook, finally tracked her down, and questioned her. She didn’t take it well; she swore at him, and threatened him with a long meat fork when he asked her to provide a stool sample. He finally called in the police and had her arrested.

They took urine and stool samples by force, and discovered that she was a healthy carrier of typhoid. Later, a new Health Commissioner released her on the condition that she would give up working as a cook, but once she was free, she changed her name and went back to cooking. Five years later, they finally tracked her down again on Long Island, and she was put in quarantine for the rest of her life.

She died of pneumonia in 1938.

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