BackStory re-releases episode on the 1918 Flu Pandemic

BackStoryBackStory, an American history podcast produced by Virginia Humanities, re-releases “Forgotten Flu: America & the 1918 Pandemic.”

The CDC recommended flu shots for all this year after more than 80,000 Americans succumbed to influenza in 2017 – a four-decade high. But 100 years ago, a strain of H1N1 that was first found in soldiers in the spring of 1918 rapidly spread across the United States killing about 675,000 by 1919 and making it “the most severe pandemic in recent history,”according to the CDC. Brian Balogh, Nathan Connolly, and Joanne Freeman look back at the so-called “Spanish Flu,” how it affected the U.S., and why it’s often overlooked today.

Joining Balogh, Connolly and Freeman are Nancy BristowJohn Oxford and James Higgins.

  • Bristow teaches twentieth-century American history, with an emphasis on race, gender, and social change at University of Puget Sound.
  • Oxford is the UK’s top expert on influenza and Emeritus Professor of Virology at the University of London. His work on the 1918 strain of influenza (Spanish flu) is world famous.
  • Higgins is the co-author of “Geophysical Investigations at a Potential Mass Grave Site in Bethlehem, PA.” He is a temporary professor at Kutztown University.

“Forgotten Flue: America & the 1918 Pandemic,” releases at 12 p.m. today. Find it and every episode of BackStory on the website ( or on popular podcatchers including iTunes, Spotify and Google. BackStory publishes every week at noon and is available for free.

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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