Military Medicine
Medical professionals either in or supporting the military — nurses, doctors, and scientists — have long pioneered practices and innovations that have benefited both service members and civilians. These learning materials highlight innovators who dedicated their lives to saving others' lives and improved medical care for all.

Lesson Plan: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic

In this lesson, students will examine primary and secondary sources related to the 1918 influenza pandemic to understand how this public health crisis affected the American population and how the U.S. government responded. Students will also discuss historical context and causation, focusing on the relationship between World War I and the 1918 influenza pandemic.

Walking Tour: Military Medicine

Explore the history of military medicine — from the Civil War to the present — through the stories of pioneering individuals buried at Arlington National Cemetery: physicians, nurses, inventors, and organizational leaders. The tour also examines the historical relationship between wars and medical innovations that advanced capabilities to save lives, both military and civilian.
  • Distance: ~4 miles. This tour is long. Consider completing it across two visits (Stops 1-7 and Stops 8-18) and/or taking the tramclick here for information
  • Exertion level: High
  • Starting point: Section 2 (.5 miles from Welcome Center)

Lesson Plan: Nurses in the Spanish-American War

Students use primary source documents and other resources to learn about the role of female nurses during the Spanish-American War.
The lesson also explores the expansion of career opportunities for women in military medicine before and after the war, and it addresses the different experiences of white women and women of color. Resources include quotes, images and cards with profiles of individual nurses. Students complete a gallery walk or work in groups on a jigsaw of teacher-curated resources.
  • Elementary: One class period, 45-60 minutes total
  • Middle: 1-2 class periods, 60-75 minutes total
  • High: 1-2 class periods, 60-75 minutes total

Lifelong Learners: Nurses in the Spanish-American War

Through historical photographs and written accounts, learn about the role of female nurses during the Spanish-American War. Materials also examine how nursing expanded opportunities for women in the military.