history lecture series

Lecture Series

The museum hosts a yearlong lecture series that brings in speakers on local, regional, national, and international subjects of the maritime world. Typically, lectures are broken into two subject themes of those that are historical in focus and those specific to an industrial topic. Visit our Youtube page to access archival video of past lectures!

Please note that HMM now requires visitors to register for our lecture series programs to better accomodate our guests. To register, click on the lecture pages below! 

History Lectures

Thanks to the generous support of Frost Bank, the Houston Maritime Museum is able to provide a monthly history lectures on a variety of topics. All lectures are held at the Houston Maritime Museum, open to the public, and include admission to the museum collections. Frost

Tanker Surfing History in Galveston Bay

Tanker Surfing History in Galveston Bay

Tanker Surfing History in Galveston Bay

Tanker surfing has been practiced in Texas for the last 50 years. In the '60s and '70s, the sport occurred not in open water 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 is 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 the shorelines of some newly formed islands which has kept the practice popular.

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Environmental Lectures

Our newest lecture series invites key members of the maritime community and academia who highlight innovation and progress in the maritime industry. Both lectures are held at the Houston Maritime Museum, are open to the public and include admission to the museum collections. Shelton Law Firm


Industry Lectures

Throughout the year the Houston Maritime Museum presents talks by community leaders on various topics related to the maritime industry. All lectures are held at the Houston Maritime Museum, are open to the public, and include admission to the museum collections. 

Returning to The Jones Act: An Updated Insight

Returning to The Jones Act: An Updated Insight

Returning to The Jones Act: An Updated Insight

Stephen Hanemann returns to HMM to discuss updates and answer questions on the Jones Act. The Jones Act dates back to the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which was largely intended to buffer the WWI’s shockwave to international trade and preserve the U.S. shipping industry. Effected into law on June 5, 1920, Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act, commonly referred to as the Jones Act, established coastwise-trade parameters 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. This retrospective will provide insight and timely commentary regarding the coastwise law’s application, enforcement, and future viability.

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