01The Black Death (1350)
“The Black Death,” a pandemic of bubonic plague that affected Asia and Europe in the mid-1300s, wiped out more than one-third of Europe’s population! The plague entered Europe in October 1347, when 12 ships from the Black Sea arrived at the Sicilian port of Messina. People were left aghast by what they saw—most sailors aboard were dead, and those who survived were gravely ill and covered with black boils that oozed blood and pus! They tried to send these “death ships” out of the harbor, but it was too late. The disease was so terrifying and widespread that those who went to bed at night and were perfectly healthy were dead by dawn.