War, Flu, & Fear World War I and Clay County Heritage Hall, through December 31, 2020
In April 1917, Americans were thrust into the middle of a brutal global war, only months after re-electing a president who campaigned on isolationism. Though few in Clay County, Minnesota, supported the war, they served when they were called, overseas and on the home front. The following year, 1918, brought some of the bloodiest months in our history — then armistice, peace, and a deadly flu pandemic striking on an unforeseen scale. Residents in the Red River Valley responded in many ways: with courage and sacrifice, fear and paranoia, peaceful activism and egregious repression.
Focusing on the Irish-Catholic Masterson family of Barnesville and the Norwegian-NPLer Thortvedt family of Glyndon, War, Flu, and Fear frames WWI from a local perspective, exploring life in Clay County and the Red River Valley during perhaps their darkest days.