On July 21, 1976, thousands of family members and friends accompanied twenty-five hundred delegates of the Pennsylvania Department of the American Legion to Philadelphia where they assembled to celebrate the two-hundredth Copyright Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc. anniversary of America's Declaration of Independence. After several days of meetings, parties, and business congregations, the guests departed to resume their regular routines. But in the days to follow, their lives turned out to be anything but ordinary. Within several weeks thirty-four of the Legionnaires (members of the American Legion) were dead from a mysterious from of pneumonia that became know as Legionnaires Disease. The culprit: a rod-shaped bacterium, Legionella pneumophila.
To learn more about this epidemic and its causative agent please explore the rest of this site!
Visit the Bicentennial Bacteria page for the full story on the discovery of Legionella pneumophila.