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Over the last year, the pandemic of Covid 19 has changed all of our lives in ways few of us could have ever imagined. Throughout the chaos and disruptions, American leaders, medical professionals, and everyday people grappled with the challenges to our family, economy, and culture. In situations like these, we often look for insight in how Americans dealt with similar crises in our past. Almost as soon as the novel coronavirus reached our nation, many people started to look back to what was the worst pandemic in of the twentieth century, the so-called “Spanish Flu,” more properly known “Great Flu of 1918.” While Covid 19 and the 1918 flu are different viruses, there is much to be gained by looking back at how Americans at the turn of the “modern century” dealt with such unprecedented challenge and loss. Not only was the world battling this highly deadly strain of influenza virus, but many nations engaged in battling one another in the First World War. Unfortunately until now, the events of this early period of American history have been largely overshadowed in the American memory by the events of the latter half of the century, principally the other global war, World War II. This assignment seeks to refocus our attention on learning about the depths of the 1918 pandemic, but also see its’ effects on American society. Once we do that, then we can see how the early pandemic, is both similar and different from what we face today.

After reviewing the sources below, along with your course lectures, organize a coherent, multi-paragraph response that addresses and connects the following prompts and questions:

1. Introductory Paragraph—Introduce the topic and develop a complex and multifaceted thesis that explains the how the 1918 flu affected American lives politically, socially, and economically.

2. Body Paragraphs:

Identify historical examples that explain the following (in three separate paragraphs):

1. Politically—how government leaders, including the president and state/local leaders confronted the 1918 flu and the outcomes.

2. Socially/Culturally—how the flu affected community and family gatherings and how people adjusted (for better and worse).

3. Economically—how the flu affected the economy and the economic outcome of health measures.

3. Concluding Paragraph—Conclude your paper by reiterating your key points analyze the following questions: How does the knowledge you gained about the 1918 pandemic has inform your understanding about the challenges, responses, and outcomes of Covid 19 in our time? Said another way, what lessons should we learn from the 1918 Flu?

Sources: Use at a minimum of 4 sources belowCAN’T all be audio/video sources –and ONLY use the sources below.

General Overview/Political: How the Horrific 1918 Flu Spread Across America

The 1918 Flu Pandemic that Killed Thousands of People

Coronavirus and the Spanish Flu: Comparing Two Lethal Pandemics, Separated by a Century

Historian Draws Parallel Between the 1918 Spanish Flu and Today’s Coronavirus Pandemic

PBS:  American Frontline Interview—Alfred Crosby   (Video)

NPR: Throughline—1918 Flu  (Audio)

Social/Cultural

Thanksgiving 1918 took place during a deadly pandemic.

What can it teach us for Thanksgiving this year

What the Pandemic Christmas of 1918 Looked Like

Here’s What Sports Looked Like during the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic

The Mask Slackers

A Century After Phony Flu Ads, Companies Hype Dubious Covid Cures  

Economic

NPR:  Pandemic-onomics  (Audio)

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