A Look Back at the 1918 “Spanish Flu” Influenza Pandemic

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Date: February 20, 2018
Contact: Homestead National Monument of America, (402) 223-3514


National Park Service  

Homestead National Monument of America

8523 W. State Hwy 4

Beatrice, NE 68310

402-223-3514 phone

402-228-4231 fax



National Park Service News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 20, 2018

Susan Cook 402-223-3514


A Look Back at the 1918 “Spanish Flu” Influenza Pandemic


This March and April, Homestead National Monument of America will be remembering the 1918 “Spanish Flu” influenza pandemic with two programs about its impacts on rural communities and homesteaders. The first program, about women's roles in fighting the flu, will be on Sunday, March 4, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. It will be led by Dr. Kristin Watkins. 


The second program will be led by Dr. Nancy Bristow, author of American Pandemic: Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, who will follow the presentation with a book signing. Dr. Bristow's program will be on Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 2:00 p.m., and her book will be for sale at the Homestead bookstores leading up to and during the program.


The 1918 Influenza Pandemic, also called the "Spanish Flu," was a devastating strain of the H1N1 influenza virus that killed as many as 50 million people worldwide. It was the deadliest flu outbreak in human history, affecting as much as 1/3 of the world's population. In the United States alone, 675,000 people are believed to have died as a result of this flu between 1918 and 1920.


Homestead National Monument of America Superintendent Mark Engler shared: “It was when Homestead volunteers and staff were working in the Reynolds Collection, that a letter was discovered. This letter, from a homesteader family in Seward County, Nebraska, expressed concern with this terrible flu outbreak and we learned from it just how it impacted so many people, including those involved in our Nation’s Homesteading Story.” At both programs, Homestead National Monument of America will be sharing this letter, and everyone is invited to attend these programs, which will provide much insight into this story that swept the world.


Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2018. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (HomesteadNM).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.


The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.

Last updated: February 24, 2018

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Mailing Address:

8523 West State Highway 4
Beatrice , NE 68310


(402) 223-3514

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