The Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives will continue its Brown Bag Lunch series on Wednesday, January 9, with a presentation by Janelle Olberding entitled “Lasting Legacy: Public Health, Butte, and the Aftermath of the Influenza Pandemic of 1918.” In the last months of 1918, influenza killed approximately two percent of Butte’s residents. Besides its physical toll, the disease left orphaned children, widowed husbands and wives, and emotional scars. The influenza pandemic of 1918 also had lasting effects on public health and healthcare systems in Montana and beyond. Even still, the pandemic is largely overlooked in American history and memory. This presentation will explore why and will illustrate how the pandemic is not just a part of history, but of Butte’s legacy.
Janelle M. Olberding is an independent historian, writer, avid reader, part-time educator, and lifelong learner. Her interest in communicable disease was piqued while working in public health, and she began studying its effects on culture and history as a graduate student at Norwich University. She currently works in higher education and lives in Glendive, Montana with her husband and daughter.
The presentation will begin at noon and run about an hour at the Archives, 17 W. Quartz. Guests are encouraged to bring a sack lunch. Coffee and water will be provided.
Brown Bag Lunches are held the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month. Upcoming lectures will focus on topics of local interest. For more information, contact the Archives at 782-3280.