1918 Influenza Pandemic

100 years ago:


A marker at the mass grave in Brevig Mission, Alaska

There’s a mass grave in Brevig Mission that dates back to November of 1918. There are 72 villagers buried in the grave, all of them died within five days of each other in November of that year from the Spanish Influenza.

November was the deadliest month in the state, with 831 deaths. As many as 11,000 Alaskans died from the 1918-19 Pandemic, with over 80% of those deaths being Alaska Natives. In 1918, less than 50,000 people inhabited the entire state.


Orphans in the village of Nushagak, Alaska, in the wake of the pandemic. 1919

World-wide, some 50 million lives were lost to the pandemic of 1918.


Snow!

Fairbanks saw its first substantial snowfall of the season this week. Between 6-8 inches fell over two days, across the borough. We easily set a record for the latest date to have at least an inch of snow on the ground.

The temp this morning was a brisk -4F at the cabin.


Quebec City: Trois

Through the lens of the 66: Chapter Two

Camera: Kodak 66; Film: Kodak 120 TMax 100


Methane Study


Katey Walter Anthony & a member of her methane hunting team, with high tech tools

I was fortunate enough to join a group from the University of Alaska – Fairbanks, when they toured an Interior Alaska lake, as a part of their ongoing study of methane.

With Alaska seeing the melting of its permafrost, the organic material that has been locked in the frozen ground for thousands of years, is now being released in the form of methane gas. Katey Walter Anthony, and her team, have been studying lakes throughout Interior Alaska for years, in order to get a better understanding of this transfer.

HBO was in town, with a group from Oslo, Norway, making a documentary. We all joined the fine folks from UAF out on some local lakes. Methane is being released year round, but in winter it is trapped under the ice. The ice often shows the tell tale signs of methane release: whether in the form of bubbles in the ice, or a thinning of the ice where the methane rises from the lake bed. An ice fishing chisel and torch can make for an interesting day out on an Alaskan lake.

Warning: Do not try this without the professionals from UAF!

Lakes all across the arctic are releasing methane at an astonishing rate.

Photos courtesy of Nicholas Hasson, UAF Geophysical Institute


Bug Profile


A Beetle under cover


Veteran’s Day (Observed)

Never Forget

Honoring All Who Served


Armistice Day Centenary

November 11th is the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI. Dignitaries from around the globe, are in France this weekend to commemorate this event.


Scars from the Battle of the Somme

Scars of the First World War can still be seen across Europe.


Photo credit: Frank Hurley/Getty Images

70 million military personnel were mobilized during WWI. Some 9 million combatants, and 7 million civilians died as a direct result of the war. The 1918 influenza epidemic was exasperated by the mass movement of troops. Between 50 and 100 million people died due to the epidemic world wide.


A British soldier stands knee deep in spent shell casings, Front Lines, France


The WWI Cemetery, Verdun, France

The Battle of Verdun took place between 21 February – 18 December 1916. It was the longest and largest battle on the Western Front. French casualties were estimated at between 336,000 – 434,000 men, with 143,000 killed. German casualties were at 379,000, with 163,000 soldiers killed. The battle became known as Die Hölle von Verdun in Germany; The Hell of Verdun.


From: The National Museum of the USAF

Bulgaria was the first to sign an armistice on 29 September 1918. The Ottoman Empire did the same a month later on October 30. Germany signed the armistice at 5am on 11 November, on a railcar at Compiègne. A cease fire was declared at 11am on the 11th of November: the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”