History Lectures

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By Peter Noble

The challenges of man and machines operating in the harsh arctic winter environment have led to progressively more sophisticated marine vessels and machinery. The evaluation of arctic environmental conditions both weather and topography have challenged naval architects to continuously seek unique solutions to navigation and indeed vessel survival. This presentation will be rich with photographs of arctic vessels, and enhanced by Peter Noble’s firsthand experiences during his career as an Arctic Naval Architect.

By Denton Florian

Sam Houston will always be remembered for his influence on Texas history, but he was also a frontiersman and an important American political figure in the 19th century. This captivating lecture by the creator of the EMMY Award winning documentary Sam Houston: American, Statesman, Soldier, and Pioneer, will detail Sam Houston’s remarkable life including his rebellious teenage years when he ran away to live with a local Cherokee tribe, his later struggles with marriage and sobriety, and much more. Learn about Houston’s extraordinary life as the only person ever to govern two states, become a general, serve two terms as the President of the Republic of Texas, as well as serve as a U.S House Member and U.S. Senator, and at the end as a southerner banished and hated for his devotion to the Union.

Denton Florian, a lifelong enthusiast of early American history, organized and led the team that produced the celebrated documentary, Sam Houston. This documentary went on to win five EMMY Awards as well as was recognized for excellence by concurrent resolutions of the Texas House and Senate, and by the Governor of Texas. Additionally, Mr. Florian created the film’s website, www.samhoustonmovie.com. This along with the film and other assets represent the largest collection of digital information on Sam Houston’s life that have ever been assembled. Mr. Florian is a native Texan and graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University. In his leisure time he is a Boy Scout leader, backpacker, photographer, fisherman, and an Airline Transport Rated Instructor who enjoys the great outdoors.

By Laurence Shallenberger

“The Battle of the Atlantic was the dominating factor all through the war. Never for one moment could we forget that everything happening elsewhere, on land, at sea or in the air depended ultimately on its outcome.” – Winston Churchill. This, the longest battle of World War II, was the ultimately successful attempt by the United States to keep Britain from defeat. Hundreds of supply convoys crossed the Atlantic Ocean to face storms, ice and Nazi U-Boats. Join our speaker, Laurence Shallenberger, to hear the story of this important battle.

Laurence Shallenberger worked for 55 years in the International Oil and Gas Industry, on shore and off shore. He began his career as a roughneck on drilling rigs and retired from Exxon after 40 years as an Engineering Technologist. Sailing and scuba diving are among his many hobbies.

By Ed Cotham

The Civil War history of Galveston is one of the last untold stories from America’s bloodiest war, despite the fact that Galveston was a focal point of hostilities throughout the conflict. As other Southern ports fell to the Union, Galveston emerged as one of the Confederacy’s only lifelines to the outside world. When the war ended in 1865, Galveston was the only major port still in Confederate hands. Watch author Edward T. Cotham, Jr. to learn more about the military engagements that engulfed the Galveston and its strategic waterfront during the Civil War. Special attention will be paid to the Battle of Galveston, in which Confederate forces retook the city on New Year’s Day 1863–150 years ago! Mr. Cotham is an independent scholar of Civil War History and a former president of the Houston Civil War Roundtable.

By Andy Hall

In the last months of the American Civil War, the upper Texas coast became a hive of blockade running. Though Texas was often considered an isolated backwater in the conflict, the Union’s pervasive and systematic seizure of southern ports left Galveston as one of the only strongholds of foreign imports in the anemic supply chain to embattled Confederate forces. Long, fast steamships ran in and out of the city’s port almost every week, bound to and from Cuba. Join author Andrew W. Hall as he explores the story of Texas’s Civil War blockade runners–a story of daring, desperation, and, in many cases, patriotism turning coat to profiteering.

By Scott Solomon

Learn about Darwin’s experiences on the Beagle as he traveled around the world and conducted his legendary research on the finches of the Galapagos.

By James Bevill

This powerful presentation takes place in the throes of the Texas Revolution, as the provisional government of Texas scrambled to put together a naval force to wreak havoc upon the Mexican supply lines. Having first resorted to the use of privateers (state sponsored pirates), Texas was able to borrow money in New Orleans in early 1836, to secure the warships Liberty, Invincible, Independence, and Brutus. This is the story of those four ships, the roles that McKinney & Williams, the Allen Brothers, Captains Hawkins, Hurd, Thompson, and Brown played, as well as the significant contributions these aggressive men made on the high seas in the fight for Texas Independence. Despite their heroic deeds, the Navy soon found itself drowning in a sea of red ink; crippling the effectiveness of the fighting force as the flow of funds needed to maintain a strong military was quickly exhausted. This remarkable story of the first Texas Navy is triumphant, tragic, and highly entertaining.

James P. Bevill is a Senior Vice President — Wealth Management in the River Oaks office of the UBS Financial Services. He is author of “The Paper Republic: The Struggle for Money, Credit and Independence in the Republic of Texas,” a non-fiction work on the social and economic history of Texas from the Colonial period through the annexation by the United States in 1846. He served as guest curator for the TNA sponsored exhibit “Broadsides in the Gulf” at the Texas Seaport Museum and “On the Run” at the Rosenberg Library in Galveston. Bevill’s book was named as the 2010 winner of the Summerfield G. Roberts literary award by the Sons of the Republic of Texas, and as the Best Specialized book on U.S. Paper Money by the Numismatic Literary Guild at the ANA World’s Fair on Money in Boston.

By Eric Young

Harrisburg, TX brought many firsts to the region: the 1st colonists, the 1st schooner exporting Texas cotton, the 1st steam sawmill, the 1st steamships and the 1st railroad. In 1823, Stephen F. Austin persuaded the Mexican government to name him empresario to promote development of maritime trade in Texas through colonization and the development of ports along the northern coast of Mexico. Captain John Richardson Harris, great grandson of the founder of Harrisburg, PA, aligned with Austin to found the town of Harrisburg at the junction of Buffalo and Bray’s Bayous in 1825. Harris opened one of the 1st general stores in Texas and began a packet service between New Orleans and the Galveston Bay region to provide colonists in Texas the tools and provisions necessary for survival. The development of the town’s maritime trade continued, and the town was annexed by the City of Houston in 1926. John Richardson Harris continues to be remembered today as the namesake of Harris County, and the successful maritime ventures of Harrisburg proved essential to the development of the Houston Ship Channel which officially opened in November 1914.

By Andrew Groocock

In a city that is visually dominated by automobiles and freeways, very few Houstonians realize that the reason for their city’s existence and prosperity is the waterway of Buffalo Bayou. Houston truly is “the town which built the port which built the city.” We live at a time when Houstonians are actively developing an appreciation of the bayou upon which their city was founded, an appreciation that can be greatly enhanced by looking at Buffalo Bayou in a historical context. By understanding this history, we are able to reconnect with the city’s strong connection to the water and ensure its protection for generations to come. In a city that is visually dominated by automobiles and freeways, very few Houstonians realize that the reason for their city’s existence and prosperity is the waterway of Buffalo Bayou. Houston truly is “the town which built the port which built the city.” We live at a time when Houstonians are actively developing an appreciation of the bayou upon which their city was founded, an appreciation that can be greatly enhanced by looking at Buffalo Bayou in a historical context. By understanding this history, we are able to reconnect with the city’s strong connection to the water and ensure its protection for generations to come.

Andrew Groocock is originally from England, but has lived in Houston for more than 30 years and considers himself a Houstonian. He is a practicing artist, docent at The Museum of Fine Arts, and Houston tour guide. Andrew served as president of The Professional Tour Guide Association of Houston from 2014-2016 and, since 2015, has been a guide on the historical boat tours offered by The Buffalo Bayou Partnership. In 2017, he developed the historical boat tour “From Port to Port” for The Buffalo Bayou Partnership which highlights the history of Buffalo Bayou from Allen’s Landing to the Port of Houston.

By Lois Gibson

The Japanese surrender in World War II occurred on August 14, 1945. On that afternoon, photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt took to the streets of New York City to capture the country’s jubilation. He shot the iconic V-J Day in Times Square scene that appeared in Life Magazine and forever became a favorite snapshot of victory. The woman has been identified, but who was the sailor that landed the kiss? In 2007, Lois Gibson used her decades of forensics experience to pinpoint the sailor to Houstonian Glenn McDuffie. She will share how her forensic work proved the man’s identity in the memorable end-of-war photo.

Lois Gibson is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as The World’s Most Successful Forensic Artist. After surviving a near-death attack at the hands of a murderous felon, Lois became motivated to create the forensic artist job at the Houston Police Department where she has helped bring in over 1,266 criminals. She has appeared on TV shows and in publications such as ABC’s 20/20, Dateline NBC, CBS Early Show, People Magazine, Reader’s Digest, and many more. Her textbook Forensic Art Essentials can be found online, as well as her true-crime book Faces of Evil.

By Chase Untermeyer

Join Chase Untermeyer as he discusses his book inside Reagan’s Navy for an engaging, up-close narrative of Untermeyer’s experiences in the Pentagon. The work is interwoven with descriptions of events and people, humorous anecdotes, and telling quotations. In March 1983, President Reagan offered Untermeyer an appointment as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy. In the following year the President named Untermeyer Assistant Secretary for Manpower & Reserve Affairs. In this position, Untermeyer took charge of all personnel issues affecting nearly one million sailors and Marines and a third of a million civilian workers. Inside Reagan’s Navy paints a portrait of official Washington during the Reagan years, with its politics and personalities. Untermeyer offers a unique view into the period of naval expansion and the end of the Cold War era.

Chase Untermeyer has been a diarist since the age of nine and went on to become a journalist. Untermeyer began his service in Washington in January 1981 as Executive Assistant to then Vice-President Bush, as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, a Senior White House aide to President George W.H. Bush, and Director of the Voice of America. He would later serve President George W. Bush as US Ambassador to Qatar. Now an international business consultant, he lives in Houston.

By Stephen Hanemann

First introduced by Washington Senator Wesley L. Jones, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 was largely intended to buffer the First World War’s shockwave to international trade and preserve the U.S. shipping industry. Effected into law by the 66th U.S. Congress on June, 5 1920, Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act, commonly referred to as the Jones Act, established coastwise-trade perimeters for domestic cabotage — the transportation of merchandise or passengers between two U.S. points. Surviving revisions, recodification, and attempted repeal, the Jones Act has become the subject of fierce controversy. Opponents continue to question its effective application while Jones Act advocates staunchly defend its protectionist purpose and valid intent. This retrospective will examine the historical foundation and theme of the Jones Act, as well as provide insight and timely commentary regarding the coastwise law’s application, enforcement, and future viability.

Stephen C. Hanemann, Esq., is a partner in the New Orleans office of Kean Miller LLP. His career and passion both maintain deep roots in the maritime and shipping industry. Hanemann’s practice focuses on domestic and international trade, which requires an extensive understanding of both the Jones Act and international-cabotage regulations. In addition to advising clients on matters concerning trade and vessel finance, Hanemann offers unique expertise in the arena of coastwise-law compliance. He works with and provides essential elements of legal and operational support to vessel owners and operators, exploration companies, and pipeline constructors and operators. Hanemann’s professional engagements have spanned the entire U.S. coastline, and extended to many overseas trade zones, including Central and South America, numerous island nations, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Arctic.

By Burt Reckles

In 1684, Ren – Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, set sail on the La Belle to establish a French colony at the mouth of the Mississippi River. The story of this ill-fated expedition and recent discovery of the 300 year old wreck is an epic tale of adventure, exploration, international intrigue and death. This history, now told through the conservation of its recovered 1.5 million artifacts, has enough bizarre twists and turns to satisfy maritime novelists like C.S. Forester and Patrick O?Brien. This lecture is the culmination of meetings with La Belle conservators and with Mr. James Bruseth, author of the book “From a Watery Grave,” who led the expedition that discovered the resting place of the La Belle in Matagorda Bay.

Join lecturer and museum docent Burton Reckles as he takes us on this fascinating voyage.

By Maria G. Burns

Can history help us forecast America’s future? Which are the patterns and leveraging powers that determine a nation’s global leadership? Since their inception millennia ago, sea transport and logistics practices have shaped the history of mankind, via the global exchange of commodities and the use of technologies, military strategies, sciences, languages, cultures and rules. This distinctive presentation by Prof. Maria G. Burns, reveals stunning discoveries of the influences that have spawned the modern innovations in maritime and logistics, from prehistory to date.

By Jeremiah Dancy

Press Gangs have long been regarded as the principal recruitment tool of the Admiralty for seamen of all skill levels in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Based on original research on over 27,000 men in the British Royal Navy between 1793 and 1802, it has been determined that four out of five men onboard Royal Navy warships were there of their own free will and that the severity of conditions within the British Navy has been vastly exaggerated, demonstrating that much of what has been written about naval manning has been based on conjecture rather than fact.

Jeremiah Dancy is an Assistant Professor of Military History at Sam Houston State University in Texas. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford. His book, The Myth of the Press Gang, emanating from his doctoral research, came out in early 2015. He holds a BA in history from Appalachian State and a MA in Naval History from the University of Exeter. Jeremiah served as a US Marine for four years.

By T.J. Brown Jr.

The Vietnam War was the longest in American history, and challenged naval aviation not only on carrier decks, but along the coasts and rivers as well. Captain T.J. Brown will take a candid look at U.S. naval airpower in Southeast Asia from his adventures as an attack pilot on the USS Hancock from 1971 to 1974 and later experiences on the USS Enterprise and USS Constellation. Brown will share memories and photos of base locations, the Ho Chi Minh Trail (where the worst targets were) and his fourteen year career as a Naval Aviator, followed by ten years of service in the Naval Reserve. Don’t miss this chance to hear firsthand experiences “from the air” during the Vietnam and Southeast Asia conflicts!

Jeremiah Dancy is an Assistant Professor of Military History at Sam Houston State University in Texas. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford. His book, The Myth of the Press Gang, emanating from his doctoral research, came out in early 2015. He holds a BA in history from Appalachian State and a MA in Naval History from the University of Exeter. Jeremiah served as a US Marine for four years.

By Erica Peaslee

December 2015 marked the fifteenth anniversary of the Houston Maritime Museum. As the Museum begins the process of moving to a larger facility on the Turning Basin, we look back on our beginnings as the brainchild of founder James L. Manzolillo. This lecture looks back at the life and passion of Jim Manzolillo as the inspiration for the museum we know today as well as fifteen years of concerted efforts to take the institution to the Port.

Erica Peaslee is the Curatorial Specialist & Archivist at the Houston Maritime Museum where her first project was organizing the James L. Manzolillo Archival Collection, an ongoing process. Erica graduated with a B.A. in History and a Minor in Art History from Sam Houston State University. She is currently an ALM Degree Candidate in the Museum Studies program at the Harvard University Extension School.

By Justin Parkoff

The USS Westfield wreckage lay in the murky waters of the Texas City ship channel until 2009, when the disarticulated artifact debris field was recovered by Atkins Global (formerly PBS&J) during a dredging operation organized and orchestrated by the U.S. Corp of Engineers, making this Texas? largest marine archaeology rescue project to date. The artifacts were brought to Texas A&M University’s Conservation Research Laboratory for conservation and analysis. Westfield’s fragmented remains offer abundant information about the steam machinery and armor, as the hull itself was not preserved. Justin Parkoff and Jessica Stika will review these artifacts and demonstrate how even the most scant archaeological evidence can be an asset if properly documented and studied. The importance of conservation for archaeological collections will also be discussed. In addition, they will share the future plans for reconstructing the artifacts into an interpretative museum display at the Texas City Museum that exhibits Westfield’s steam machinery and the vessel’s unique design.

By Robert Roten

The Texas City disaster occurred on April 16, 1947 in Texas City, Texas and was the worst industrial accident in United States history. The explosion, originating as a fire on the SS Grandcamp that quickly spread, killed 581 people and injured thousands more. Following the event, stricter safety procedures and regulations were enforced in the petrochemical industry. Monsanto Company, whose plant and offices were destoyed, committed with other companies to rebuild in Texas City and helped propel the city to a prosperous future.

Robert Roten was raised in Texas City and experienced the Texas City disaster in 1947. Mr. Roten graduated from the University of Texas and worked for Monsanto Company for the next 25 years. He was involved in the leveraged buyout of the Monsanto plant in Texas City and the formation of Sterling Chemicals, eventually retiring as CEO of the company. He has been married to his wife, Carole, for 64 years, is an active member of Grace Presbyterian of Houston, and continues to participate in the growth of Texas City. The film was produced by Andy Hollan, narrated by Nowrin Amin, and edited by Evan Amin.

By Chet Van Duzer

What is the story behind the sea monsters seen on so many early European maps? Their first appearance can be traced back to 10th century mappaemundi and continue through the end of the 1500s. They are depicted in various forms ? swimming vigorously, gamboling amid the waves, or attacking ships ? and are one of the most visually engaging elements on these maps. These sea monsters are important not only in the history of cartography, art, and zoological illustration, but also in the history of the geography and of western conceptions of the ocean. They can also supply important information about the sources, influences, and methods of the cartographers who drew or painted them.

Chet Van Duzer is an NEH-Mellon Fellow at the Library of Congress and a board member of the Lazarus Project at the University of Rochester. He has published extensively on medieval and Renaissance maps in journals such as Imago Mundi, Terrae Incognitae, Word & Image, and Viator. His recent books include The World for a King: Pierre Desceliers? Map of 1550 (2015) and Apocalyptic Cartography: Thematic Maps and the End of the World in a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript (2016).

By Brian Anderson

Within days of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, artists and writers of all levels drew inspiration from the seemingly unreal and inherently symbolic nature of the disaster, and a new cultural industry of Titanic myth-making was born. In the century since, fascination with the Titanic has scarcely subsided, and the Titanic as historical event and myth has been endlessly examined and reimagined in poems, stories, films, documentaries, and plays. In this presentation, Prof. Anderson will explore how the Titanic disaster has influenced our collective imagination and worked its way into our language and culture, and he will discuss the ways in which the Titanic has been depicted in film, literature, song, and lore. Along the way, he will provide some insights as to why we continue to be fascinated with this 100-year-old shipwreck and why it continues to be a source for imagination and inquiry for storytellers, historians, and filmmakers.

By Charles Cozewith

The models on display at the Houston Maritime Museum never fail to enlighten, educate and entertain our visitors. These models continue to appeal to both children and adults as they bring maritime history to life by conjuring thoughts of the romance of the high seas in the days of the sailing ship, stirring reflections on the exploits of famous warships and highlighting the skills of the model builders who spent countless hours perfecting their every detail. Ship models have been built throughout history for a variety of functions including devotional uses in churches, works of art for rich patrons, aids in ship building design and finally as a hobby for modern-day model builders. Regardless of their original purpose, these models provide a unique window into the evolution of ship building.

By Richard Hall

Richard S. Hall, Ph.D., award-winning author/artist/illustrator, native Texan, graduate of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas, and Texas A&M University, will be discussing the variety of lighthouse and lightship designs, from coastal lights to major beacons, that once graced the Gulf Coast. Over the past 40 years, Dr. Hall conducted extensive research in the National Archives, Texas and Louisiana State Archives, USCG HQ in Washington, and countless local sources along the Texas Coast. He is considered by many to be one of the leading experts on Texas lighthouses.

By Mark Lardas

The Texas coastline and offshore waters are flat, shallow, featureless, filled with shoals and subject to extreme weather including hurricanes and nor?easter gales. Throw in two centuries of naval warfare in Texas waters and you get a recipe for shipwrecks. All sorts of shipwrecks, from Spanish treasure fleets to simple working boats. There are ships of pirates, navies, cotton traders, immigrants, anglers, and oil shippers lining the coast, covering the sea bottom, and blanketing the riverbeds of Texas. In this talk, Mark Lardas, author of the new book Texas Shipwrecks, will tell the story of Texas’s maritime history and heritage as revealed through these shipwrecks.

Mark Lardas is a freelance writer, amateur historian, model-maker, and one-time engineer who now works as a quality manager at WheelTug, Ltd. Lardas holds a BS in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan but spent most of his career as a space navigator and software engineer on the NASA Shuttle program. His earthbound interests include model making and writing. He is president of the Gulf Coast Ship Modeling Society and author of eighteen published books.

By James Fulbright

Tanker surfing has been practiced in Texas for the last 50 years. In the 60’s and 70’s, the sport occurred not in open waters like today, but along the shorelines of two islands in Galveston Bay: Redfish Island and Atkinson Island. During this time, ships were less frequent and much smaller, but they still created waves. When dredging operations ultimately allowed for deeper draft vessels to travel in the channel, tanker surfing began growing. Today, container and tanker ships are much larger and more frequent, the channel is deeper and wider to accommodate even larger vessels, and the dredge material taken from widening and deepening the channel is being used to create more submerged shoals. Tanker waves now break both in open waters over the shoals that border the ship channel and along shorelines of some newly formed islands.

Captain James Fulbright is credited for pioneering open water tanker surfing and was featured in the world-wide theatrical release, Step into Liquid. He has been surfing in Galveston since 1967 and has owned a surf shop in Galveston, Strictly Hardcore Surf Specialties, since 1985. He also has hand crafted over 5,000 surfboards under numerous labels since 1988. James and his two partners have been on the CBS Evening News, ABC News, Fuel TV, NPR, Good Morning America, and ESPN Sports. The three were awarded the GERT Medal of Merit by Columbia Sportswear as ?Pioneers of the Greater Outdoors.?

By Chip Feazel

Warships powered by the wind roamed the oceans during the “Golden Age of Sail,” from the Spanish Armada (1588) to the Battle of Trafalgar (1805). Initially troop transports commanded by army officers, warships evolved into vessels designed to conduct battles at sea. In the 16th Century, the sailing warship replaced the cathedral as the most complicated human creation the world had ever seen. The anatomy of a sailing ship dictates how it can be maneuvered, and how its weapons can be brought to bear on an enemy. Battles at sea began with long hours of preparation as the vessels drew near each other — and then were fought at very close range, even with ships lashed together. Many accounts describe sailors loading their own ship’s cannons by leaning into the gunports of an enemy vessel alongside, or leaping onto the enemy’s deck in boarding parties.

By Thomas W. Cutrer

Doris Miller, the son of an impoverished sharecropper, was born in McLennan County, Texas. During the Depression, he took the only job that he could find: the Navy. There, in common with all black recruits, he was assigned to the messman branch, making the beds, shining the shoes, and serving the meals of white officers. In December 1941, he was assigned to the West Virginia, stationed at Pearl Harbor, when the Japanese launched its infamous attack. Although not trained in gunnery, when Miller was ordered on deck to help his wounded captain, he took over an unmanned machine gun and began to fire at the attacking planes. News of the heroic actions of this humble messman spread through the American press, making him the country’s first hero of WWII and earning for him the Navy Cross, the first ever awarded to a black man.

Thomas W. Cutrer is a professor emeritus at Arizona State University. After serving as a combat intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas. He then worked as a curator at the University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures and as associate director of the Texas State Historical Association. Including his biography on Miller, he is the author or editor of ten books on Southern military and cultural history. He now lives in Texarkana where his wife is the president of Texas A&M University – Texarkana.

By Don Kehn

By Mark Lardas

To reach the Port of Houston’s Turning Basin, a ship must travel 50 miles along a narrow and twisting channel that passes through Galveston, the San Jacinto River, and Buffalo Bayou. Despite this improbable location, Houston has the world’s largest landlocked port. The Port of Houston is cited as “irreplaceable,” by Colliers International, as “the defining engine of our economy and culture,” by Cite magazine, and as the generator of more than one million jobs and $180 billion of regional economic activity by Marin Associates. Throughout the world, the Port of Houston is recognized as the most significant factor in securing Houston’s status as a foremost international trade and energy center. The Port starts its second century as a seaport in 2014. Its transformation from a crowded river port into an industrial giant is truly fascinating. It is a tale of technology, geography, politics, and hard work mixed with a little luck!

By Stephen Curley

Born in the late 1700s, Jean Lafitte created a profitable smuggling operation in the Gulf of Mexico with his brother, Pierre. The pair then moved to Galveston Island where they developed the colony of Campeche. For such an enigmatic character, much is still unknown, or misinterpreted, about his life. Learn more about the colorful stories that surround Jean Lafitte, arguably the most famous pirate (or, perhaps, privateer) of the early nineteenth century. The lively look will include his rise to power in Louisiana, his role in the Battle of New Orleans, his smuggling operations in Galveston, and his whereabouts afterward. The presentation is illustrated with slides and a couple of folk songs by Dr. Curley on his guitar.

Dr. Stephen Curley is Regents Professor Emeritus of Liberal Studies and an award-winning teacher of literature, writing, and film at Texas A&M University at Galveston. He received his B.A. from Fordham University and his Ph.D. from Rice University. He has published books about coastal Texas; American war movies; women and minorities in Texas culture; the history of Texas A&M University at Galveston; and a WWII attack transport that became an ocean liner, a maritime training ship, and is now a diving reef.

By Loren Steffy

Loren Steffy is an acclaimed author and the business columnist for the Houston Chronicle. His latest book, “The Man Who Though Like a Ship,” commemorates his father, J. Richard “Dick” Steffy’s amazing contribution to the field of maritime archaeology. Dick Steffy, an electrician in a small, land-locked town in Pennsylvania armed only with a self taught understanding of ships volunteered for the job of piecing together 6,000 ancient sunken ship fragments. Although he held no advanced degrees, Dick found himself half a world away from his home town, planning to reassemble a ship that last sailed during the reign of Alexander the Great by using mathematical formulas and modeling techniques that he’d developed in his basement as a hobby.

By William Geroux

William Geroux’s book tells the largely forgotten story of the US Merchant Marine in World War II through the adventures of merchant mariners from Mathews County, Virginia. Mathews, a rural outpost on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, has been a cradle of merchant sea captains and mariners for centuries. When America entered World War II in December 1941, Mathews mariners were scattered on freighters and tankers throughout the war zones, hauling vital cargo. They and their ships became prime targets for German U-boats trying to choke off the Allied supply line. The US Navy initially lacked the forces and inclination to protect the unarmed merchant ships and the U-boats exacted a terrible toll. The mariners faced torpedo explosions, flaming oil slicks, storms, firgid water, shark attacks, and harrowing lifeboat odesseys — only to ship out again as soon as they had returned to safety. The civilian US Merchant Marine suffered a higher casualty rate than any branch of America’s armed forces. Nearly every family in Tiny Mathews (whose wartime population was roughly 7,500) had a personal stake in the fight, and none more so than the family of Capt. Jesse and Henrietta Hodges and their seven sons, who would expereince the U-boat war to its fullest.

William Geroux wrote for the Richmond Times-Dispatch for twenty-five years. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Associated Press, and various regional magazines. He also has worked for Maersk, the largest container-shipping company in the world.

By Stephen Kinnaman

James Dunwoody Bulloch’s central place in history has always rested on his Civil War era achievements as a secret agent of the Confederate States Navy in Europe. He gained fame for having brought into being the Confederate States cruisers Florida, Alabama and Shenandoah. Less well known are his illustrious Georgia ancestors, who were so firmly entwined with the earliest American colonial experience, and his prominent family connections?he was the uncle of the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. It has even been suggested that Bulloch is the forgotten hero of the South, who died in obscurity far from his native land. Captain Bulloch presents the full story of the life and times of this most remarkable man.

Stephen Chapin Kinnaman was born in 1950 and grew up in upstate New York and New Jersey. He and his wife, Maureen, currently reside in Chappell Hill, Texas. Stephen Kinnaman is the author of an article titled, “Inside the Alabama,” which appeared in the U.S. Naval Institute’s Summer 1990 issue of Naval History, and which explored the unique features of this famous warship. He is also the author of The Most Perfect Cruiser, a book focused on James Dunwoody Bulloch’s most stunning achievement, getting the commerce raider Alabama to sea.

By Stephen Curley

The sea voyage is one of the earliest metaphors about the meaning of life. This lecture looks at how that metaphor works. First, we examine a short poem by Walt Whitman that seems to be about a merchant vessel. Next, we examine the story told in four nineteenth-century oil paintings by Thomas Cole, the Dean of the so-called Hudson River School of artists. And finally, we listen to and appreciate a complex tale of self-interest and self-sacrifice in a traditional British ballad.

Stephen Curley is a Regents Professor and an award-winning teacher of literature, writing, and film at Texas A&M University at Galveston. He received his B.A. from Fordham University and his Ph.D. from Rice University. He has published books about coastal Texas; American war movies; women and minorities in Texas culture; the history of Texas A&M University at Galveston; and a Second-World-War attack transport that became an ocean liner, a maritime training ship, and is now a diving reef. He has released a recording of sea chanteys and makes community presentations on topics related to popular culture and the sea.

By J.J. Sos

By Pat Cooney

The Coast Guard Auxiliary was created by Congress in 1939 to provide a uniformed volunteer force to support the United States Coast Guard. During World War II, Auxiliarists used their own boats to protect our ports and patrol our coasts from the German submarine threat. Following the war, the number of privately owned vessels exploded and the Auxiliary resumed its more traditional role of leading recreational boating safety. Over the years, the Auxiliary has continued to provide direct support as the Coast Guard has been assigned more missions with little increase in manpower or assets. Today, there are over 30,000 Coast Guard Auxiliarists supporting the Coast Guard in virtually all of its missions throughout the country.

J. Patrick Cooney has been a member of the Auxiliary for eight years and has most recently served as Commander, Division 6 of the Eighth District Coastal. The Division is composed of approximately 300 members, organized into ten Flotilla located in the Lake Charles, Beaumont, Freeport, and the greater Houston area. Cooney has practiced maritime law in Houston for many years with Royston Rayzor. He is a member of HM’s Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of the Houston International Seafarers Centers.

By Laurence Shallenberger

USS Tang was a Balao Class submarine commissioned in October 1943, and served in the Pacific Theater of operations during World War II. Her gifted and aggressive skipper, commander Richard O’Kane, was a man after the heart of Britain’s ghost admiral, Horatio Nelson, whose advice to any English Navy Captain during the Napoleonic War was, “To hell with manuveurs! Go straight at ’em.” In just five war patrols, O’Kane’s tang sank 33 Japanese ships, amounting to a total of 116,454 tons, more than any other American sub in the Pacific. In one of the tragic twists of the war, the torpedoes made by the navy’s torpedo station in New Port, RI, had a number of drawbacks that the top brass at NTS failed to acknowledge. They attributed any lack of performance to the poor ‘shooting’ of all submarine captains. On Oct. 24, 1944, Tang was sunk by her own torpedo and went down in 180 feet of water. Nine of her crew survived. Speaker, Laurence Shallenberger is an ExxonMobil retiree, with 55 years experience in the oil field. He joined the Houston Maritime Museum in January 2008 and has enjoyed giving tours as a docent and talks as a lecturer.

By Justin Parkoff

USS Westfield belonged to an unusual class of civilian vessels that the Navy converted during the American Civil War to serve in the Union’s blockade of Confederate southern ports. Originally built and operated as a double-ended ferryboat, the vessel was purchased by the Navy from the New York Staten Island ferry service. Westfield served as the flagship for the West Gulf Blockading Squadron’s operations along the Texas Gulf Coast. The vessel last saw action in 1863 at the Battle of Galveston where it ran aground and was blown up by its crew to keep the vessel out of Confederate hands. In 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) orchestrated Westfield’s recovery in advance of their operations to deepen the Texas City Channel. Archaeologists recovered approximately 8,000 artifacts during the salvage operation including a 9″ smoothbore Dahlgren cannon. The USACE sent these artifacts to the Conservation Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University where the artifacts underwent conservation and study. In May, 2014, the Houston Maritime Museum hosted a presentation on the Westfield during the conservation phase of the project. Now complete, this follow up presentation will describe the seven year project and how numerous components of the vessel were physically reconstructed and placed on permanent display at the Texas City Museum.

Justin Parkoff is a Ph.D. graduate from Texas A&M University. He is trained as a historical maritime archaeologist and specializes in steamboat technology, archaeological conservation, and historical restoration. At the center for Maritime Archaeology and conservation, Dr. Parkoff manages historic preservation projects and cultural heritage sites along the Texas Gulf Coast.

By Eric Toung

This lecture is inspired by a fascination with the Mexican government’s vision and the leadership of a handful of Texans that led to the transformation of a bay and a bayou to create a key engine of prosperity, the Port of Houston. The success of the Port has resulted from efforts made by these visionaries working through varied political systems, worldviews, and cultural differences. This presentation will discuss the complexities of the maritime industry that brings the world together through commerce. Key individuals and events discussed during this lecture include, among others: the Austin land grant, the Harris family port, the Allen brothers, and the development of container shipping and its impact uniting the trucking, railway, and shipping industry. Join us as we explore the history of the Port and learn about its past, present, and future!

Eric Young is a veteran docent at the Houston Maritime Museum. He holds a degree in engineering and business and spent his career at GE Aircraft Engines. Young’s maritime interests include racing sailing dinghies where he taught new sailors rigging, tuning, handling, and racing strategies. Since then as a docent, Young enjoys the great variety of people and viewpoints who come to the museum.

By Ruth Fowler

Join us to uncover the story of Ernest Shackleton’s attempt to be the first to cross Antarctica. Shackleton and his crew left in 1914 and would not return until two years later, having never set foot on the continent. What the crew achieved during the voyage is an extraordinary tale of survival and endurance. The talk will include descriptions of the enormous travails and obstacles Shackleton and his crew faced during the expedition. The fascinating story of what happened after they reached the Antarctic Circle made Shackleton, his crew, and the Endurance legends in maritime exploration.

Ruth Fowler is well-traveled in her own right. She has visited locals from the top of the Earth, down to Antarctica, and many places in between. Fowler spent twenty-five years as an English and Creative Writing teacher in Houston, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. For the past twenty-one years she has worked as a therapist in West Houston.

With Louis Aulbach, Amy Borgens and Lila Rakoczy

Camp Logan: A World War I Training Camp in Houston by Louis F. Aulbach and Linda C. Gorski, Houston Archaeological Society

After the United States entered World War I in April 1917, the federal government established about forty-five emergency training camps across the country to train the soldiers for the American Expeditionary Force that was to be sent to France. One of those camps was a training base for U. S. Army soldiers in Houston, Texas called Camp Logan. The initial units assigned to included the activated National Guard of the State of Illinois. Our presentation provides a detailed account of the establishment of the camp and the aspects of the training of the first wave of soldiers passing through Camp Logan.

Saboteurs, Strikes, and Surveillance: Texas Shipbuilding during the Great War by Lila Rakoczy, Texas Historical Commission

After the United States entered the First World War in April 1917 the federal government’s attention turned toward two things: mobilizing men and materiel for the war effort and shoring up public support in the process. Both presented considerable challenges. One area where these concerns overlapped was the wartime production of ships in southeast Texas. The newly created Bureau of Investigation, the forerunner of the FBI, and other government agencies exercised considerable power as they surveyed and policed civilians connected to the Texas shipbuilding industry. This talk challenges the narrative of a popular war and a united country by highlighting the labor activism, suspicion, racial tensions, and curtailment of civil liberties that was rife during the period.

WWI Shipwreck Archaeology: Abandonment of the U.S. Shipping Board Vessels in East Texas by Amy Borgens, Texas Historical Commission

As a means to offset allied shipping losses during World War I, the U.S. Shipping Board (USSB) commenced the Emergency Fleet Corporation to manufacture a wooden fleet of merchant vessels as an extension of the Merchant Marine. Shipyards in Orange, Beaumont, and Houston were tasked with the construction of these ships relying heavily on local east Texas pine resources. At the armistice, however, many of these vessels were incomplete or could not be re-purposed or sold; they were left to rot in Texas waterways. More than thirty of these shipwrecks rest under the murky waters of the Sabine and Neches Rivers and constitute one of the largest examples of World War I USSB abandonments in the United States.

By Whit Drake

On December 7, 1941, Japan infamously coordinated an attack of Pearl Harbor. The next day newspapers from all across the country reported that the United States was officially at war. The allied powers ultimately claimed victory, a victory that may have not seemed possible during the first few months of 1942. Join us on Veterans Day for a dual lecture as museum docent, Whit Drake, and author, Donald Kehn, delve into some of the early events of WWII in the Pacific. They will discuss how the Japanese failed despite having all the pieces in place to win the war and try to untangle the stubbornly interwoven narrative of the sinkings of the USS Pope and USS Edsall.

William (Whit) Drake is native to El Paso and joined the Air Force after graduating from Texas A&M University. After seven years flying B-52s, he came to Houston in the 70’s to work in engineering and construction at Brown and Root. Since retiring after 45 loyal years in the business, he has pursued his passion of military history by diligently researching World War II and sharing that knowledge as a docent at the Houston Maritime Museum.

Donald M. Kehn Jr. is a native Houstonian and lifetime Asiatic Fleet ?partisan.? He is the historian for the USS Houston Survivors Association/Next Generations group and for the Texas Commandery, Naval Order of the United States. He is the author of A Blue Sea of Blood; Deciphering the Mysterious Fate of USS Edsall, and In the Highest Degree Tragic; the Sacrifice of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet in the East Indies during WWII.

By Laurence Shallenberger

The SS Ohio was an oil tanker built for the Texas Oil Company, (now Texaco). The ship was launched on 20 April 1940, and was later requisitioned by allied forces to re-supply the island fortress of Malta, during the Second World War. The tanker played a fundamental role in Operation Pedestal, which was one of the fiercest and most heavily contested of the Malta Convoys, in August 1942. Although the Ohio reached Malta successfully, she was so badly damaged that she had to be effectively scuttled in order to offload her cargo, and never sailed again. The tanker is fondly remembered in Malta, where to this day she is considered to be the saviour of the beleaguered island.

Join the Houston Maritime Museum as Laurence shares the true story of the ship and the people – civilians, soldiers, sailors and airmen – who fought with desperation to save the ship from repeated attack so that it and others might arrive at Malta with their cargos in order to save the island and its inhabitants.