Speakers Bureau

Talks and Living History Presentations for Your Community

History

Talks with the History theme:

Image of Vermont field in winter 1800 and Froze to Death: The Cold Year of 1816 - 1816 has long been known as the year without summer. This talk includes scores of anecdotes about the dark year of failed crops, scarce food, and religious revival.
Image of old car in Cuba A Playground for Empire: Historical Perspectives on Cuba and the U.S.A. - Tim Weed explores Cuba’s long struggle for sovereignty, from the Spanish-American war of 1898 to the 1959 Cuban Revolution.
Image of JFK at lectern Above and Beyond: JFK and the U-2 Pilots During the Cuban Missile Crisis - Michael Tougias recounts this tense chapter of history and explores how President Kennedy reached a decision on a course of action.
Image of beekeeper with hive Bees Besieged: A History of Beekeeping - Bill Mares, writer, and a beekeeper for 45 years, tells of the origins and evolution of beekeeping, with a particular emphasis on his research in Vermont. 
Image of Rockingham Meetinghouse Colonial Meetinghouses of New England - Paul Wainwright tells the story of New England's colonial meetinghouses and the lasting impact they have had on American culture.
Image of Abner Doubleday Double-Talk on Doubleday: How a Dead Civil War General Invented Baseball Without His Permission - Norwich University Professor Rowly Brucken explores the founding myths of baseball’s real and fictional origins, and considers the broader context of the age of imperialism in America, New England sports history, and Victorian scandals.
Image of Dragur Reis First Impressions: 19th Century New Englanders and the Origins of American Perceptions of Islam - Philip Crossman tells the story of Middlebury College graduates Pliny Fisk and Levi Parsons, who set out to the Middle East to serve as Christian missionaries in the Islamic world in 1819.
Image of sailing ship in battle Hacks, Sycophants, Adventurers and Heroes: Madison’s Commanders in the War of 1812 - David Fitz-Enz tells the stories of Army and Naval commanding officers during the War of 1812, focusing on those that served in the North Country.
Image of rally in Germany How Did Germany’s Weimar Democracy Become the Third Reich? - Jack Mayer recounts the origins of the Third Reich through the story of Ernst Werner Techow, a right-wing assassin who reversed his politics while on trial for his life.
Image of colonial battle blockprint Indian Wars of New England - Michael Tougias describes the conflicts between New England's Native Americans and colonists, from the Pilgrims' first arrival to the closing days of the French and Indian War.
Image of painting of a woman Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project - Dr. Jack Mayer tells the story of Irena Sendler, a Holocaust hero who rescued 2,500 children from the Warsaw ghetto.
Image of stupa Mindfulness: The History, Practice, and Use of Cultivating Mindful Awareness - This lecture will address questions about mindfulness by tracing its history from multiple traditions, starting with early Buddhist texts and ending with the secularization of mindfulness in contemporary American society.
Image of marble building More than Books: Reflections on Libraries, Community and Historic Preservation - Bill Hosley examines American library history with a special focus on New England and its many municipal and research libraries.
Image of corner store with Coca-Cola sign POP Goes History: What Coca Cola Tells Us about American History - discusses Coca Cola, whose logo and product are so thoroughly identified with the United States that throughout much of the world, Coke is the symbol of America.
Image of woman at lathe Rosie’s Mom: Forgotten Women of the First World War - Carrie Brown reveals the courage of the women workers of the First World War, who rolled up their sleeves and entered industries where they had never been welcome before.
The four members of the Downs family So Close to Home: A True Story of an American Family’s Fight for Survival During World War II - Fast asleep in their berths, the Downs family had no idea that two torpedoes were heading their way. Author Alison O’Leary presents the story of the sinking of the freighter Heredia in 1942 with dramatic images and selections from the German U-boat captain's diary.
Image of painting of medieval kitchen helpers Soup to Nuts: An Eccentric History of Food - Rebecca Rupp reveals the rocky evolution of table manners, the not-so-welcome invention of the fork, the awful advent of portable soup, and the surprising benefits of family dinners.
Black Elk with his wife and family That the People May Live: The Life and Legacy of Nicholas Black Elk, Holy Man of the Lakota - This lecture explores the life and legacy of Nicholas Black Elk (1866-1950), the Lakota holy man made famous by the book “Black Elk Speaks.”
Image of statue of Viking woman The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman - Nancy Marie Brown tells how archaeological digs in Newfoundland, Greenland, and Iceland inform the story of Gudrid the Far-Traveler, a mythical Viking woman who came to the New World 500 years before Columbus.
Image of map The Middle East - This multimedia presentation by Mohamed Defaa provides an analytical framework to understand the histories, social identities, and cultures behind this complex concept of “Middle East.”
Image of abolitionist print The War before the War: Radical Abolition in Antebellum America - Jane Williamson presents the philosophies, strategies, and tactics of the 1830s abolitionists who demanded immediate emancipation of slaves and equal rights for free blacks.
Image of garden vegetables Wolf Peaches, Poisoned Peas, and Madame Pompadour’s Underwear: The Surprising History of Common Garden Vegetables - Rebecca Rupp discusses the stories behind many of our favorite garden vegetables, among them the much-maligned tomato and potato, the (mostly) popular pumpkin, and Vermont’s Gilfeather turnip.