The “Great Olive Poisoning” of 1919

On Saturday, August 23rd, 1919 the Lakeside club of Canton Ohio held a dinner and dance to celebrate the return of Colonel Charles C Weybrecht, formerly adjutant general of the state of Ohio and most recently commander of the US 146th infantry regiment, just returned from the war in France.

The party, some version of which was happening all over the country as the approximately 2.8 million US service members who served abroad during the great war returned home, was generally agreed to have been a success. The first death came three days later. The “great olive poisoning” of 1919 was one of the most deadly food poisoning outbreaks in US history.

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