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Fall 1918: The Spanish Influenza Epidemic Invades the Finger Lakes

March 26, 2018, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Geneva History Museum
543 South Main Street
Geneva, NY 14456

In conjunction with the current exhibit, Medicine and Illness: Health Care in Geneva,  the Geneva Historical Society's spring lecture series focuses on illness and its treatment. We will begin the series with the program, “Fall 1918: The Spanish Influenza Epidemic Invades the Finger Lakes” by Teresa K. Lehr.

In this program, Teresa Lehr will examine how the 1918 epidemic, particularly in conjunction with the outbreak of WWI, affected people in Rochester and the broader Finger Lakes region. Ms. Lehr is the author of a new novel, Black Velvet Band, a fictive history about the medical staff, especially the nurses, who were on the front lines of Rochester’s flu pandemic that killed hundreds in the city.

Ms. Lehr has degrees in English and in History. She retired from the College at Brockport as a professor of English in 2011. She has also been the Assistant Curator in the Baker-Cederberg Museum and Archives at Rochester General Hospital, where she first became intrigued with how the 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic affected the city’s people. In subsequent years, her fascination broadened to include other municipalities across the state as well as rural communities. In addition to her novel, she has written a number of articles about the crisis, as well as designed exhibits and made presentations at conferences across the state on the influenza epidemic.

The lecture series will continue April 17 with “Becoming Well at the Water Cures of Upstate New York” by Jane Oakes and “18th- and 19th-Century Medicine: From the Revolution Through the Civil War” by Les Buell on May 2.

The lecture series is free and open to the public. It is supported in part by the Samuel B. Williams Fund for Programs in the Humanities.

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