The 1918 Flu Pandemic

Recent estimates suggest that the 1918 flu claimed as many as 50 million lives around the world between 1918 and 1919, killing more people in a single year than the entire “Black Death” of the 14th century. On its centennial anniversary, it is worth remembering the history of the “Spanish” flu and how it set us on the path towards our modern flu vaccine.

Written by Dr. Jim Harris. Narration by Dr. Nicholas B. Breyfogle. A textual version of this video is available here.

This is a production of Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective at the Goldberg Center in the Department of History at The Ohio State University and the Department of History at Miami University. For more information about Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, please visit origins.osu.edu. Video production by Laura Seeger and Dr. Nicholas B. Breyfogle. Audio production by Paul Kotheimer, College of Arts & Sciences Academic Technology Services. The Origins' editorial team includes Editors Nicholas Breyfogle, Steven Conn and David Steigerwald; Managing Editors Lauren Henry, Sarah Paxton, and Renae Sullivan; Associate Editors: Mina Park and Kristin Osborne.

We thank the Stanton Foundation for their funding of this and other Origins projects.