Monday’s featured artifact on Today’s Document from the National Archives was “Nurse wearing a mask as protection against influenza. September 13, 1918.” As is often the case with items in the daily feed there was a link to additional information about the image. In this case the additional information was a National Archives collection of images and documents about the influenza epidemic of 1918. The Influenza Epidemic collection on the National Archives includes ten documents and six images including the one that I included in this blog post. As I looked through the images and documents I couldn’t help but think of similarities between today’s current pandemic situation and that of 103 years ago. Applications for EducationAs I read the documents (they’re all short) and viewed the images in The Influenza Epidemic I started to think of questions that I would ask students to think about while they reviewed the artifacts. Here’s a short list of those questions:How long do you think it took for people in Maine (where we live) to learn about the seriousness of the influenza epidemic?How do think people living in 1918 felt about wearing masksWhat are the similarities between the 1918 influenza epidemic and the current COVID-19 pandemic?How did the U.S. goverment respond to the 1918 influenza epidemic? How is that similar or different from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

View Entire Article on