Richmond & the Spanish Flu-October 21, 1918

Richmond & the Spanish Flu

The Spanish Flu raged through the United States approximately one hundred years ago.? Like all small towns in the United States, daily life in the City of Richmond was deeply impacted by the epidemic.

We found these three articles in the museum archives from the Richmond Daily Independent dated October 21, 1918.

Just like COVID 19 today, essential workers were particularly hard hit by the Spanish Flu. The post office was no exception, the article above reporting the mail carrier and several employees had been out sick because they had contracted the disease.

The newspaper article below reported thirteen deaths in the previous 24 hours. The dead included eight males, three females and two of indeterminate gender with an age range from infant to thirty eight. Limited information about the victims are presented including occupation in some cases. The men were employed at Standard Oil Company (now Chevron), Hercules Powder Works and Wells Fargo Express. The last entry in the list is interesting because it indicates local physicians were in high demand and difficult to engage. Pinole resident Manuel Rodriguez, aged 33, died before he had the opportunity to be seen by a doctor.

The final article we have from October 21, 1918 is full of interesting facts demonstrating similarities between the Spanish Flu and COVID19. The State Board of Health issued formal guidance in local newspapers, equivalent to today’s media advisory. Restrictions to curb the spread of the Spanish Flu include social distancing, self quarantine, masks, hand washing and disinfectant. Thankfully, nurses no longer use bichloride of mercury or liquor cresol, because they’re both harmful substances. The scarcity of gauze is another interesting similarity between the modern and historical epidemics.

Virtual Program: Indigenous Resilience & Activism

The Richmond Museum of History & Culture is presenting a series of virtual programs through April 2020.

Virtual Program on Saturday April 11, 2020 5:00 PM PST

Indigenous Resilience & Activism in the East Bay

Film Screening & Zoom Room Conversation

Join Zoom Meeting at https://4cd.zoom.us/j/927868536

Meeting ID: 927 868 536

PROGRAM SCHEDULE

Introduction & Part I: Beyond Recognition (2014) a film by Michelle Grace Steinberg

5:00 ? 5:35?PM

About the Film: After decades struggling to protect her ancestors’ burial places, now engulfed by San Francisco’s sprawl, a Native woman from a federally unrecognized tribe and her allies occupy a development site to prevent desecration of sacred ground. When this fails to stop the development, they vow to follow a new path: to establish the first women-led urban Indigenous land trust. BEYOND RECOGNITION tells the inspiring story of women creating opportunities to preserve Native culture and homeland in a society bent on erasing them.

Through cinema verite, interviews, and stunning footage of the land, the film introduces Corrina Gould, Johnella LaRose, and Indian People Organizing for Change as they embark on an incredible journey to transform the way we see cities. The film invites viewers to examine their own relationship to place, revealing histories that have been buried by shifting landscapes.

Film: 24 minutes.

PART II: Zoom Room Conversation with Corrina Gould & Michelle Grace Steinberg

5:45 ? 6:15 PM

Corrina Gould (Sogorea Te Land Trust) and Filmmaker Michelle Grace Steinberg (Underexposed Films)?speak about making Beyond Recognition and the legacy of the film today. Corrina will comment on her continued work and the state of indigenous activism in the East Bay.

BONUS: Watch the trailer for Steinberg?s new film A Place to Breathe (2020).

Do you have a question for Corrina or Michelle? Submit your questions to melinda@richmondmuseum.org

This program is made possible in part by the California Humanities Council.

VIRTUAL PROGRAM-The Fight in the Field (1997) Screening & talk with Filmmakers

VIRTUAL PROGRAM

In light of COVID 19, the Museum is hosting virtual programs in the month of April 2020.

Watch The Fight in the Fields?and join us for a Q&A with the filmmakers!

PART I
Virtual Screening
The Fight in the Fields (1997)
Available FREE April 3 – 4, 2020
The film will be available on VIMEO for 24 hours at?https://vimeo.com/402634148

PART II
Virtual Q/A with Filmmakers
Ray Telles & Rick Tejada-Flores
Saturday April 4, 2020
5:00 PM PST
Zoom URL:?https://4cd.zoom.us/j/435221966

Submit your question for Rick and/or Ray to melinda@richmondmuseum.org

The Fight in the Fields (1997)

Opening Reception

Between Two Worlds: Untold Stories of Lao Refugees

Sunday March 1, 2020 at the Richmond Museum of History & Culture

Photo by: Lisa Foote
Photo by: Lisa Foote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday, March 1, 2020, the Richmond Museum of History & Culture collaborated with the Center for Lao Studies of the traveling exhibit,? ?Between Two Worlds: Untold Stories of Lao Refugees?, to host an opening reception unlike any we?ve had. Despite a couple ominous rain clouds that loomed over the museum and gusty winds, the day was bright with a subtle buzz of excitement that connected all staff and volunteers during our final moments of preparations. This was a reception that embraced history and tradition; inviting guests to reflect on the past as a means to see towards the future.?

It was not long before guests started to funnel in through our courtyard gates. All were greeted with a free reception bag and welcomed to enjoy refreshments, treats, and a plate (or two) of food from the numerous large platters of Lao cuisine generously donated by Champa Garden and the Center for Lao Studies.

 

Photo by: Lisa Foote

 

 

 

Led by our master of ceremonies, Tony Phouanenavong, we officially started our program with a Baci Blessing ceremony; a practice used to call back the 52 different souls that the Lao believe are housed in each of our bodies. The absence of any one of these souls leads to illness, depression and many other ailements. Golden in color, a small altar stood on a mat in our courtyard. The altar was carefully? prepared beforehand; dressed with greenery, dried marigolds and featured bundles of white yarn, fruit, and snacks. As ceremony leader, Mr. Jiangkhamhe approached the altar the audience suppressed their side conversations, bowing their heads in silence. A prayer hummed through all for a calm and still ten minutes. Now blessed and charged, pieces of white yarn from the altar were distributed among guests and tied around wrists. Three days, that?s how long the strings remained on our individual wrists; allowing ample time for all souls to return. The strings bound our newly returned souls to our bodies.?

Representing a brave ancestral warrior, Mr. Alan Keosaeng followed the Baci ceremony with a traditional Khmu* Sword Dance, used to clear spaces of negative energies. With a sword in each hand, Keosaeng gracefully balanced? them above and around him, dancing as he occasionally clashed the two. With the vibrations of each clash, he cleared negative energy through space. [*Lao ethnic group]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest speakers of the program included Melinda McCrary (Richmond Museum Executive Director), Dr. Phoumy Syavong (member of the Between Two Worlds curatorial team), Vinya Sysamouth (Center of Lao Studies Executive Director), and Richmond Khmu community member and Asian Pacific Environmental Network organizer (APEN), Torm Nompraseurt.?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Nompraseurt?s speech which recounts his observations as experiences as Richmond’s first Lao refugee. It did not take Nompraseurt long after arriving in California in 1978 before he began dedicating any free time he had to invest back into his community, both in Lao and in America. Nompraseurt journey made it possible for many more Lao refugees to find a new home in Richmond, California. With decades of community, he is also a long time APEN community organizer working towards equity and environmental justice.

Click here for video coverage of the sword dance and our guest speakers graciously provided by Richmond Pulse.?

?Between Two Worlds: Untold Stories of Lao Refugees? will up until May 29, 2020. Please check our website or Facebook for the latest?updates!?For more photos on this event, check out our Facebook.

The Between Two Words: Untold Stories of Refugees from Laos (B2W) is a project of the Center for Lao Studies. It is made possible with the generous support from The McConnell Foundation,?Turtle Bay Exploration Park,?California Humanities, and?Central Valley Community Foundation.

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