May 7, 2020 VOM Podcast

“Butte and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic”

Austrians, Fins, Serbians, Germans, Italians, Chinese, Englishmen, and of course, the Irish. Butte, America is Montana’s melting pot, and a microcosm of the U.S. at the turn of the century where immigrants flocked to the states for opportunities not found elsewhere in the world.

Among the many tales that Butte can tell is that of a devastating toll from the last global pandemic – the 1918 Spanish Influenza. Butte was by far Montana’s largest and most influential city at the time, and though it held 10% of the state’s population, 20% of the recorded pandemic deaths in the state happened in Butte.

Historian Janelle Olberding wrote the book on Butte and the Spanish flu, and joined us today on Voices.