Graham Ambrose on Illinois during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Graham (twitter) is currently a reporter for the Quad City Times, where last month he wrote an article titled “102 years ago, the Spanish flu slammed the Quad Cities. Here’s what it teaches us about pandemics." Link
The 1918 flu pandemic had a huge impact on modern life and consciousness, yet it’s a history we don’t always talk about. We discuss the lessons we can learn from this history as we face the COVID-19 pandemic today, using news stories and literature from all over Illinois, including our own North Shore communities, Chicago, and the Quad Cities.
Graham Ambrose was previously on episode 23 of our podcast to discuss his Yale history thesis on Deerfield’s racial integration history, as part of our Fight to Integrate Deerfield series. You can find a list of sources and ways the library can be a portal for your own history deep dives here. Or check out an ebook of some of the literature from the 1918 pandemic: They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell and Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter.