Who would have thought Sam Katz would become an accomplished documentary filmmaker? That talent was never on display when he ran for mayor again and again and again. But Katz has turned his efforts in a new direction, and it has been to Philadelphia's benefit.
The second in his Philadelphia: The Great Experiment series of documentaries will air at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on WPVI, Channel 6. The documentary, Fever: 1793, looks at the yellow fever epidemic that hit Philadelphia that year. The city lost 5,000 of its 45,000 residents to the disease, while another 17,000 left town.
Benjamin Rush, physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was a pivotal figure during the crisis. He was credited with saving a number of his patients by bleeding them and dosing them with mercury. Wrongly believing blacks were immune, Rush enlisted African American ministers Absalom Jones and Richard Allen to aid him.