Perusing the image collection of the California State Library web site, I found an interesting collection of photos bearing the title "Photographic Documentation of Pneumonic Plague Outbreak Sites and Rats in Los Angeles, 1924". There were a number of cases of bubonic plague at that time as well. Most of the areas infested by plague-carrying rats were in the, well, rattier sections of town.
The best thing about this collection is that it has many pictures of buildings which otherwise would probably never have been photographed, and many of the pictures are of back yards and alleys and area-ways and such places that were also rarely subjects for the camera. It's also interesting to know that there was an outbreak of plague in Los Angeles so recently as 1924.
One particular picture caught my eye. It shows one of the many men hired as rat trappers during the eradication program. He looks like a typical 1920's worker carrying the tools of his trade, but in this case the tools are spring traps and a large object that looks like a big milk can (or a small Stanley Cup) which was intended to carry the trapped rats. On the can is painted a most eye-catching symbol. As the trapped rats were in many cases carrying plague, the symbol was obviously meant to warn people away. Yet this was only 1924. Was someone in the rat eradication project uncommonly prescient?
I will go to sleep now and probably dream of rats and of Vice Presidents with guns.
Edit to add this bit of Cheney-related amusement. As a rule, I don't like illustrated T-shirts, but this one I do.