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The 1918 Influenza Pandemic and other Plagues in History

Page history last edited by Robert W. Maloy 2 months, 1 week ago

external image Neuraminidase_from_1918_influenza.gif

Image shows the structure of the neuraminidase enzyme required for virus replication from the H1N1 1918 pandemic influenza virus.

Event Overview

The Pandemic was responsible for some 50 million deaths worldwide


  1918 Flu from NPR Thoughtline (start approximately 6:20)

1918 Influenza Pandemic from Human Virology at Stanford University

The Great Pandemic: The United States in 1918-1919, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Spanish Flu Death Chart
1918 Influenza: The Mother of All Pandemics, Centers for Disease Control, January 2006

1981 Flu Pandemic That Killed 50 Million Originated in China, Historians Say, National Geographic (January 24, 2014)

Mystery of the 1918 Flu That Killed 50 Million Solved? National Geographic (April 29, 2014)

American Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919: A Digital Encyclopedia



Spanish Flu:  A Warning from History



How Information Policing and National Propaganda Worsened a Pandemic a Century Ago



The 1919 photo to the right shows rows of tents that had been set up on a lawn at Emery Hill in Lawrence, Massachusetts where victims of the 1918 influenza pandemic were treated.

external image 8391_lores.jpg

  Primary Sources

The Deadly Virus: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 has documents and photos from the National Archives

A Letter from Camp Devins, Massachusetts, PBS American Experience (September 29, 1918)

The Spanish Flu of 1918 has photos and other visual primary sources

1918 Flu Epidemic Oral Histories, Vermont Historical Society


Primary Sources: Plagues, Epidemics, & Pandemics: Influenza of 1918, Christopher Newport University

  • Several photos (like the one below) that show how similar the 1918 Influenza is to the Covid-19 pandemic


Red Cross volunteers fighting against the spanish flu epidemy in United States in 1918 : News Photo

Doctors wearing masks as they treat sick patients




'Pale Horse, Pale Rider':  A Story of the 1918 Flu Pandemic, Katherine Anne Porter



 Laura Spinney: What Does the 1918 Flu Teach Us About Our Response to Pandemics?



Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World, Laura Spinney (2018)

 Multimedia Resources

The 1918 Flu from NOVA

A Death-Struck Year, Makiia Lucier. A young girl volunteers in a hospital during the Spanish flu in this young adult novel.

The Five Deadliest Outbreaks and Pandemics in History, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

History of Plague, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



St Sebastian pleading for the life of a gravedigger afflicted with plague during the Plague of Justinian


external image Plaguet03.jpg


Links to Other Pandemics and Plagues in History 


Bubonic Plague 


Plague of Justinian



 Play Pandemic II, a game in which you try to spread a virus throughout the world


illustration that appeared in The New York American, June 20, 1909

illustration that appeared in The New York American, June 20, 1909


Typhoid Mary (Mary Mallon), 1907


Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America. Susan Bartlett, 2015



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