Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Faculty Advisor

Winston Black


This project focuses on the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 in specific reference to America and the chief organizations that responded to the pandemic. In this paper, two organizations are discussed in great detail: the American Red Cross and the United States Military. The purpose of this paper is to explain how American organizations responded to the pandemic as well as illuminating how their relationship was altered by war and previous interactions. By discussing how these two groups reacted to the pandemic, and ultimately each other, this paper sheds light on how America as a whole survived the pandemic as well as discussing the problems that were encountered along the way. In doing so, the nuanced connections between the military and the American Red Cross can become known. This was accomplished by first explaining the pandemic as a biological entity and the major effects that it had on human civilization. Once this was done, both organizations were described with particular emphasis on structure and importance in America during this specific moment in history. Each is given attention as to their stance on the pandemic and their actions in reference to its containment and eradication. Finally, the two are linked by means of political interplay and the finer points of their relationship.