Dr Philip Mackowiak - Night Soil and Death in the White House - Dr Mackowiak and his writing partner Jane McHugh authored a paper re-writing antebellum US Presidential history. Their research solves the death of 3 presidents and Willie Lincoln the 11-year-old son of President Lincoln.
McHugh and Mackowiak posit that a deposit of night soil (human waste) near the White House's contaminated its water supply. The contaminated water allowed for, "two deadly bacteria Salmonella typhi and S. paratyphi, the causes of typhoid and paratyphoid fever — also known as enteric fever, for their devastating effect on the gastrointestinal system."
This contamination is linked to the deaths of presidents William Henry Harrison, John Polk and Zachary Taylor. Taylor and Harrison died in office, Polk died 3 months after leaving office.
Pete A Turner and Dr. Mackowiak discuss this fascinating answer to several of history riddles...and gives us a chance to think about "what if" these men had survived?
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