Insights from History: The Flu Epidemic of 1918 – Lessons from History
Where and when
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
1 p.m. ET
While none of us has lived through anything like this before, it is not the first time our country has been struck by a pandemic. The 1918 Flu Pandemic infected approximately one-third of the world’s population and tragically killed 675,000 Americans.
At Ashbrook, we believe that America’s history has a lot to teach us. In that spirit, we are offered this free webinar on Wednesday, March 25 at 1 p.m. ET on the 1918 Flu Pandemic. Ashbrook Executive Director Jeff Sikkenga led the webinar alongside Dr. Jennifer Keene, professor at Chapman University and a member of Ashbrook’s national faculty. Jennifer is an expert in American military experience during World War I, including the 1918 Flu Pandemic.
While we may have forgotten about the 1918 pandemic until recently, Dr. Keene made it clear that the pandemic was a profoundly important event in American and world history. While it had many effects on American society and took a terrible toll on human life, it also showed the resilience of the American people and our capacity to rise to the occasion, whether it was through the heroic efforts of nurses, doctors, families, local governments, religious groups, or organizations like the Red Cross.
We discussed the following documents during the webinar:
- Ernest Gibson’s Account, 1918
- Excerpts from Katherine Anne Porter, Pale Horse, Pale Rider, 1939
- Washington, D.C. Directive, 1918
- Francis Grimke Sermon
A recording of the webinar is available below.