Lectures & Classes

‘The Great Influenza’: Ferndale Library Hosts Virtual History Presentation

When: Tue., March 9, 7 p.m. 2021

Throughout the last year, news articles and health specialists have been consistently referring back to “the Great Influenza,” but on March 9, the Ferndale Library will facilitate a virtual lecture featuring retired OCC teacher Dennis Fiems. Fiems will enlighten everyone in attendance on the devastating flu epidemic that killed millions worldwide more than 100 years ago.

Fiems will talk about the staggering impact this virus had upon everyone’s lives on the planet, which started to spread in 1918, the final year of World War I. The CDC estimates that upwards of 500 million people became infected during this pandemic, which would have equated to nearly one-third of the world’s population at that time. Fiems will detail all how this virus was able to spread and how the machinations of a large-scale war in Europe exacerbated the situation.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Great Influenza of 1918 can sign up in advance for this virtual program. The Ferndale Library will be hosting this presentation with Fiems via Zoom, beginning at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 9. Along with detailing the history surrounding this 100-year-event, Fiems will also talk about other historical world diseases across the last few centuries.

Fiems holds a Masters’ Degree in History (Eastern Michigan University) and was a charter faculty member of Oakland Community College (he retired in 2007). Fiems taught World History for 42 years at OCC. He was selected multiple times as the Outstanding Faculty Member at the High Lakes Campus during his career.

Throughout our current span of quarantine, many of us have regularly heard surface-level references to “what happened in 1918” by reporters or various online articles, but the Ferndale Library’s “Great Influenza” program allows attendees to dive deeper into the history of pandemics. To sign up for this history lecture with Dennis Fiems, click here

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