In 1976, 2 recruits at Fort Dix, New Jersey, had an influenza like illness. Isolates of virus taken from them included A/New Jersey/76 (Hsw1n1), a strain similar to the virus believed at the time to be the cause of the 1918 pandemic, commonly known as swine flu. Serologic studies at Fort Dix suggested that >200 soldiers had been infected and that person-to-person transmission had occurred. We review the process by which these events led to the public health decision to mass-vaccinate the American public against the virus and the subsequent events that led to the program's cancellation. Observations of policy and implementation success and failures are presented that could help guide decisions regarding avian influenza.