This pandemic may be unprecedented for us, but Charleston has been through its fair share. Yellow fever. Smallpox. Cholera. The Spanish Flu. College of Charleston history professor Jacob Steere-Williams studies these pandemics and Charleston’s place within them.

“If you walk by some of the historical churchyards, you see evidence of those past pandemics. You see graves that were in years of massive yellow fever outbreaks, or smallpox, or cholera. If you take this longer historical arc- what you see is in the last 250 years Charleston has been this hub in the central Atlantic world. It’s been a pandemic city for much of its history.”

By studying past pandemics, could we have a better idea of our uncertain future with COVID-19?

Find out how Charleston coped with the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918, facing the same cultural challenges we have seen over the past six months, as we hope to not make the same mistakes.

Storm Team 2 Meteorologist David Dickson