AUG 26th

August 26th, 2 pm


“Influenza 1918” - film


August Program

2 p.m.

“Influenza 1918”




2017 - 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of U.S. involvement in World War I. The war had been raging in Europe nearly four years before President Wilson committed American troops to the conflict. In just over a year one of the most deadly epidemics in world history broke out.

The first wave of illness began in the spring of 1918 and went largely unnoticed. But, in September, soldiers at an army base near Boston suddenly began to die. Doctors found the victims to be a strange blue color and their lungs filled with fluid. They identified the cause of death as influenza, but it was unlike any strain ever seen. It would become the worst epidemic in history, killing between 50 and 100 million throughout the world.

Drawing on archival photographs and film footage, and interviews with survivors and medical historians, “Influenza 1918” tells the powerful story of America’s worst health crisis. Despite recent triumphs over many infectious diseases, medical science proved powerless against the killer virus. In desperation, people turned to folk remedies: garlic, camphor balls, sugar cubes soaked in kerosene. Frantic officials closed schools, factories and churches, and everyone was required to wear a mask. But the virus was unstoppable. Relentless. Lethal. Curiously, this painful event has nearly faded from our national memory. But as the gripping medical thriller proves, it is a story that deserves never to be forgotten. This program is free and open to the public.