We all remember the dark, deadly days of 2003, wearing our breathing masks, struggling for air, dragging the bodies of our loved ones to the incinerators amid the terrible bird flu pandemic. Oh, you don’t remember that? Well, how about Jerry Ford’s Swing Flu Epidemic, which killed a million Americans in ’76?

There is evidence there will be a major flu epidemic this coming fall. The indication is that we will see a return of the 1918 flu virus that is the most virulent form of the flu. In 1918 a half million Americans died. The projections are that this virus will kill one million Americans in 1976.

— F. David Matthews, secretary of health, education, and welfare (Feb., 1976)

Read on for Patrick di Justo’s account of the nation’s last epidemic of swine-flu hysteria.

Update — here’s the Doctor’s diagnosis: