Lecture Series

Fall 2019


“Hampton Roads Murder & Mayhem” 
Date: September 15, 2019
Presenter:  Nancy E. Sheppard

Ms. Sheppard will take the audience on a journey through some of the darker, more macabre chapters of Hampton Roads’ vibrant history. From survival cannibalism at Jamestown to a tragedy that involved Charles Lindbergh, this presentation will examine some of the grizzliest (and somewhat unknown) parts of local history.

Winter/Spring 2019



" Frederick Douglass Live"
Date: Sunday, February 17, 2019
Presenter: Nathan M. Richardson

Link to Lecture



"Airship Roma: A Forgotten Tradedy"

Date:  Sunday, March 17, 2019
Presenter: Nancy E. Sheppard

Link to Lecture


Fall 2018


“Life, Death and Victory in Revolutionary Virginia: George Washington, Henry Knox and the Yorktown Campaign” 
Date:          Sunday, November 4, 2018
Presenter:  Dr. Phillip Hamilton, Christopher Newport University

From his new book of the same title, Professor Hamilton describes the correspondence between General Henry Knox and his pregnant wife before and during the siege of Yorktown. General Knox played a prominent role in the final siege of Yorktown, and later went on to become the first Secretary of War. Dr. Hamilton tells the fascinating story of the Knoxes’ relationship amid the upheavals of war. Often separated, Henry and Lucy coped with dramatic changes within their household and family, including a total break between Lucy and her Tory family. Link to Lecture

"Virginia Waterways and the Underground Railroad"
Date:           Sunday, October 7, 2018
Presenter:   Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, Norfolk State University 

Based on her 2017 book of the same title. Dr. Newby-Alexander describes the little-known story of the importance of the eastern seaboard waterways to the Underground Railroad. She challenges the assertion that the majority of the estimated 100,000 who escaped through the Underground Railroad did so on foot. The waterway network that carried trade goods also provided access for uncounted numbers of fugitives seeking freedom.  Link to Lecture
The First Day of the Rest of My Life
Date:          Sunday, September 9, 2018
Presenter:  William “Bill” Townsley, Colonel, US Air Force (Ret.)

Highly-decorated Air Force officer, speaker and Yorktown resident, Colonel Townsley will discuss his harrowing story of being shot down and rescued in 1969 during the Vietnam War. Having survived the crash of his aircraft in enemy territory, he had to use all of his survival skills to evade enemy soldiers searching for him before finally being rescued. Townsley’s experience has been covered on the History Channel as well as in many print and online publications.  Link to Lecture
(Col. Townsley replaces the originally scheduled speaker, Bucky Burruss.)



Spring 2018


“History of the Naval Weapons Station Yorktown”
Date:           Sunday, April 15, 2018
Presenter:  CAPT Matthew Kosnar, Commander, Naval Weapons Station Yorktown
Captain Kosnar will discuss the 100-year history of the Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, which marks its centennial this year. He will cover the growth and evolution of the facility from the early days of the First World War to the present.  Link to Lecture

“World War I on the Virginia Peninsula” 
Date:            Sunday, March 25, 2018
Presenter:   Mr. J. Michael Moore, historian and Curator of 
Lee Hall Mansion and Endview Plantation
Mr. Moore will provide an overview of the First World War (1914-1918) 100 years after the war’s end. He will discuss the effects of the war on the United States and Europe and particularly the Peninsula, to include the rise of the military-industrial complex in Hampton Roads.

A Conversation with John Rollison
Date:            Saturday, February 3, 2018
Presenter:   
Mr. James Cameron, character actor/author/historian
In celebration of Black History Month, Mr. Cameron portrays John Rollison, a free black man in colonial Yorktown.  He was a wealthy land
and tavern owner who supported the Patriot cause in the American Revolution.  Link to Lecture

Fall 2017


“Dolley Madison, Fashionista”  

Date:            Sunday, October 1, 2017
Presenter:    Ms. Feather Schwartz Foster, author/historian.

This is the story of a Quaker who became a social icon and one of the most influential and best-loved First Ladies.
   Link to Lecture

“The Unknown and Impossible: How a research facility in Virginia mastered the air and conquered space”
Date:            November 22, 2017    
Presenters: Mark St. John Erickson, and Mike Krukow - Daily Press Reporters

The co-authors (along with fellow reporter Tamara Dietrich) of the 2017 published history of the NASA / Langley Research Center by the same title.  They discuss the rich history of the center and the key role it has played for the past 100 years of U.S. aeronautical advancement and exploration.   Link to Lecture

“The War Offshore”
Date:           October 22, 2017        
Presenter:  Clayton Farrington, Historian, Hampton Roads Naval Museum, Norfolk, Virginia   

This deals with the little-known story of the successful Navy-Coast Guard effort to eradicate the German U-Boat threat off the coast of Hampton Roads in 1942.  That effort begat unintended but deadly consequences for those working at Naval Air Station Norfolk and Yorktown Naval Weapons Station.   Link to Lecture