A lecture on the 1918 influenza epidemic in the Finger Lakes has been set for Thursday, September 6th at 7 pm, at the Cayuga Museum’s Carriage House Theater in Auburn.
Medical historian and retired professor Teresa Lehr will discuss the flu pandemic, and specifically its local effects.
It was a century ago this fall that a common illness, the flu, changed from a minor inconvenience to a deadly mass killer. Known mistakenly as the Spanish Flu, the 1918 Influenza Epidemic traveled the world leaving death in huge numbers in its wake. An estimated 675,000 Americans died in the pandemic, and tens of millions were lost world-wide. More American soldiers died of the flu during World War One than from war wounds.
The Auburn Citizen of October 9, 1918 estimated that there were 1,000 people already sick with the flu in the City of Auburn. The same paper announced that the Public Health Deptartment was ordering that all public places of assembly, including churches, schools, movie theaters, and Seymour Library, be closed until further notice. Public burials of people who died of the flu were also forbidden.
This lecture expands the Cayuga Museum’s current exhibit, 1918: A Century Later, on view through December 29, 2018.
The Cayuga Museum is located at 203 Genesee Street, in Auburn. Admission to the Flu in the Finger Lakes lecture is $7 for the general public, $5 for museum members.