Guest Lecture Series – “Montana and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic”

Dawson Community College is pleased to announce the second lecture in the Guest Lecture Series. On Tuesday, February 19, independent historian Janelle M. Olberding will present “Montana and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic.” The lecture will take place at 6 p.m. in the Toepke Auditorium.


In 1918, influenza killed approximately 50 million people worldwide and more than 675,000 in the United States. Montana suffered one the four highest mortality rates of all states; approximately 1% of the state’s population died of the disease in fewer than six months. This presentation will discuss what made Montana so susceptible to influenza in 1918 and the pandemic’s lasting effects on the public health system.

Olberding is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations and an adjunct instructor at DCC. Her research, focusing on Butte, Montana’s extraordinarily high mortality rate during the 1918 influenza pandemic, has appeared in the Journal of the West, and her book, Butte and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, is scheduled for release in May 2019.  

The lecture is free for members of the public. Montana educators who attend may earn two renewal units for a cost of $10.

The Guest Lecture Series brings researchers and professionals from various fields to DCC to share information and perspectives and facilitate the exchange of ideas and knowledge among students, faculty, staff, and the public. Upcoming lecturers and topics include:

  • March 25 – Opening of Native Voices, a group exhibition featuring Native American art and artists; speaker TBA
  • April 9 – Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust; Mark Johnson

For more information on DCC’s Guest Lecture Series and the upcoming lecture, contact Janelle Olberding, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, at 406-377-9444 or

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