Pandemics from the Past: Cemeteries and Infirmities

Pandemics from the Past: Cemeteries and Infirmities

Friday, July 26 - 5:30pm

Going viral had a very different connotation in the early 20th century when a global flu pandemic claimed the lives of millions world-wide. Draw as close as you dare in this special collaboration between the Mutter Museum and West Laurel Hill Cemetery to discuss this super bug of the past and its lessons for the future.

What happens when disease strikes a city of two million people, sickening half a million and killing more than 12,000 in just six weeks and 16000 in six months? During fall 1918, in the last months of WWI Philadelphia hosted the largest parade in its history. Within 72 hours, all hospitals in the city were full. Robert D. Hicks, Director of the Mutter Museum, joins us to discuss this horrific disaster, exhibit relevant artifacts from the museum collection, and share highlights of the museum’s most ambitious exhibition, Spit Spreads Death: the 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic in Philadelphia, opening October 17th 2019.

This engaging discussion will be hosted by the exquisite West Laurel Hill Cemetery. Incorporated in 1869, historic West Laurel Hill Cemetery is a privately-owned, non-profit, non-denominational cemetery, a 187-acre arboretum and an outdoor sculpture garden rich in cultural and social history and has been proudly serving the community for 150 years. West Laurel Hill not only offers one location for all your funeral and cemetery needs, but it is also an educational gem and is considered a destination for fundraising. West Laurel Hill offers event space for fundraisers, board retreats, weddings, and more.

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