PAST SPEAKERS ARCHIVE:
The National WWII Museum has been host to a variety of notable scholars, writers and historians. If you missed a lecture or just want to learn more about World War II, take a look at the Past Speakers Archive.
"Lost for 60 Years: The Most Unusual Search for the USS Grunion"
Friday, October 16, 2009 In July 1942 the USS Grunion, an American submarine commanded by Lieutenant Commander Mannert "Jim" Abele, dove to evade a Japanese attack roughly 10 miles northeast of Kiska in the Aleutian Islands, and was never heard from again. John Abele will take us on the remarkable journey in search of his father’s submarine.
Sunday, November 8, 2009 These panels illuminate the life and works of Stephen E. Ambrose. Panelists include Hugh Ambrose, Dr. Guenter Bischof, Dr. Richard H. Immerman, Dr. Allan Millett, Dr. Gregory J. W. Urwin, and Museum President Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller.
Monday, April 19, 2010 Author Hugh Ambrose, former vice-president of The National WWII Museum and current special consultant to the Museum, speaks about his book, The Pacific, and his work on the HBO miniseries of the same name.
Bringing Back the Dead: History, Memory and Writing About War
Saturday, April 18, 2009 Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author of bestsellers An Army at Dawn and The Day of Battle. These books are the first two volumes of Mr. Atkinson’s trilogy on the U.S. Army in World War II.
The Guns at Last Light
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author presents the long-awaited third and final book in his Liberation Trilogy.
Raid! The Untold Story of Patton's Secret Mission
Thursday, September 30, 2010 In 1945, the late Maj. Baum led a mission deep into German territory to liberate a prison camp where Patton's son-in-law was being held.
D-Day Survivor: An Autobiography
Dr. Harold Baumgarten, a multi-decorated survivor, gives his eyewitness account of the first wave landing of the 116th Infantry on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
D-Day: The Battle for Normandy
Friday, October 16, 2009 Antony James Beevor is a renowned British historian, who studied under the famous historian of World War II, John Keegan. Beevor is a former officer with the 11th Hussars who served in England and Germany for five years. He has published several popular histories on the Second World War and 20th century in general.
It Happened in Italy: Untold Stories of How the People of Italy Defied the Horrors of the Holocaust
Thursday, May 6, 2010 Bettina expands on the subject matter of her book as she explores the untold stories of the Jewish population of Italy and the Italians that saved them from the Holocaust.
The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War
Monday, December 7, 2009 In 1905, President Teddy Roosevelt sent the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in history to the Pacific and Asia. Exactly 100 years later, best-selling author James Bradley traveled in the wake of this mission and found hidden history in Honolulu, Tokyo, Manila, Beijing and Seoul.
Cold War Battles: The Struggle for Policy
Sunday, November 8, 2009 Dr. Alan Brinkley is a Historian and Provost of Columbia University.
Uncle Sam Wants You!
Friday, December 5, 2008 Former NBC Nightly News anchor and author of five bestselling books, including The Greatest Generation and Boom!, discusses the lasting legacy of the World War II Generation.
"Portugal in World War II"
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 Ilsa and Victor flew to Lisbon at the end of Casablanca to continue the fight against the Nazis. There’s a reason the screenwriters chose Portugal. Many in this supposedly neutral country supported the wartime efforts of both sides. Portugal was especially pivotal in the Battle for the Atlantic — Churchill’s premier wartime concern. Learn about Portugal’s role in the war from Education Programs Coordinator Walt Burgoyne.
Mason Lecture Series
What Churchill Left Out: Some Thoughts on Churchill, India and the Second World War
Saturday, September 10, 2011 As part of The General Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series on World War II, Winston Churchill expert Dr. Raymond Callahan speaks about the fascinating, influential historic figure.
Mason Lecture Series
Joe Rochefort’s War: The Odyssey of the Codebreaker who Outwitted Yamamoto at Midway
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 As part of The General Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series on World War II, hear author Elliot Carlson discuss the story of Joe Rochefort, a Navy cryptanalyst. Captain Rochefort's code-breaking operations were instrumental in the war against the Japanese, particularly in the Battle of Midway.
Mason Lecture Series
Agony, Misery and Heartbreak: The Ground War in Italy, January – June 1944
Thursday, April 14, 2011 As part of The General Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series on World War II, Roger Cirillo describes the particularly challenging mountain warfare fought in Italy in World War II.
The New Smithsonian: Global Impact, Local Access
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 Dr. Clough discusses the strategic plan to bring together the Smithsonian’s museums and research centers through interdisciplinary programs, including efforts to digitize much of its 137 million objects and make them accessible online in order to benefit learners of all ages.
Thursday, October 11, 2012 In conjunction with the special exhibit on display July 25 – October 15, 2012. Local and state medical leaders discuss the legacy left by the horrifying eugenic practices of Nazi Germany and what current medicine has learned from the past.
Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War 1874 – 1945
March 4, 2009 World-renowned historian and bestselling author of Decision in Normandy, Patton: A Genius for War and Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life discusses his book Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War 1874 – 1945.
The Greatest Art Treasure Hunt and Rescue in History
Saturday, September 19, 2009 The author of The Monuments Men and Rescuing DaVinci tells the true story of Nazi thieves and the unlikely Allied heroes who saved the world’s greatest works of art.
Fighting for Democracy: The Veterans’ Perspectives
February 7, 2009 In conjunction with the exhibition Fighting for Democracy: Who is the “We” in “We the People”?, the Museum hosted a panel of veterans who experienced first-hand the fight for freedom abroad and equality at home.
"A Survivor's Story"
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 Through skills, resourcefulness and ultimately luck, he was able to survive the infamous concentration camp Auschwitz as well as other camps. Fayerman will tell his story of survival.
Over These Prison Walls I Would Fly: Country Music POWs During World War II
August 15, 2012 Kevin Fontenot discusses the war service and post war musical careers of three influential figures in country music. All three spent time as POWs held by the Germans in some of the harshest stalags. This talk will examine their wartime experience and their impact on country music following the war.
Meet the Author: Glenn Frazier, Author of Hell's Guest
Monday, March 19, 2012 Frazier, a survivor of the Bataan Death March, talks about his experiences in the Pacific and on the March, which he recounts in his book Hell's Guest.
Fortress Rabaul: The Battle for the Southwest Pacific January 1942 – 1943
Saturday, May 15, 2010 Lt. Bruce Gamble discusses his book Fortress Rabaul describes the dramatic events that contributed to Rabaul’s increasing notoriety, detailing the island’s transformation into the ultimate 20th century fortification.
"The Big Inch and Little Big Inch Pipelines: The Most Amazing Government-Industry Cooperation Ever Achieved"
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 This lecture will discuss the creation of the Big Inch and Little Big Inch pipelines in relation to Americas new wartime energy demands, as well as the cooperation that had to occur between government and private industry to ensure the pipelines were built.
"Golf During World War II"
World War II affected the game of golf more than you may think. WWII Museum Historian Tom Gibbs discusses how the game changed, from materials to courses, during wartime.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 Curator Kimberly Guise presents "Wartime Logs," the special diaries that the YMCA and Red Cross provided for POWs held captive by the Germans in WWII. They served as sketch books, journals, autograph books, cookbooks, song books, scrapbooks and photo albums.
"Railroads in World War II"
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 During World War II, America’s railroads coped with tens of millions of civilians and service personnel who flooded the trains during the war. The tracks also teemed with tons upon tons of supplies, food and war material needed for the United States to win the war. Join Education Programs Coordinator Lauren Handley as she shares stories from the rails.
The Tuskegee Airmen: An Illustrated History, 1939 – 1949
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 Author Dan Haulman discusses his book The Tuskegee Airmen: An Illustrated History, an exploration of the African American pilots who made American history.
Mason Lecture Series
Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II
Thursday, March 14, 2013 Bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize Finalist Arthur Herman discusses how two extraordinary American business men helped corral, cajole and inspire business leaders across the country to mobilize the "arsenal of democracy" that propelled the Allies to victory in World War II.
Battle of the Java Sea
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 Rick Jacobs discusses the Pacific naval Battle of the Java Sea and its disastrous results for the Allies.
"Kasserine Pass and the Tunisian Campaign"
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 Rick Jacobs discusses Rommel's brilliant victory at the Battle of the Kasserine Pass and how George Patton was called in to restore American fighting spirit after the humiliating US defeat.
The Battle of the Bulge
Thursday, September 27, 2012 Andrew Jameson brings to life the battle between the Germans and American's in the Ardennes Forest on the German–Belgian border that lasted longer than a month and ended on January 25, 1945.
Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and the Partnership that Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 Author Jonathan W. Jordan discusses his book about the relationships between the world's leaders during World War II.
Liberators: Three Americans Who Helped Free Europe from Nazism
January 7, 2009 Historian and bestselling author of The Bedford Boys, The Longest Winter and The Few, follows three Americans and their paths through Europe during World War II.
The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 The Secret Rescue tells the story of twenty-six Army Air Forces flight nurses and medics crash landing their military transport plane in Nazi territory. In foreign enemy territory and with only one gun among them, their ensuing months-long fight to survive is one of the many forgotten stories of World War II.
Wars Past and Present
Saturday, April 18, 2009 Senator McGovern presents parallels between the Civil War, World War II and the world we live in today based on his own experiences as well as his book Abraham Lincoln.
Does Bombing Work? The Lessons of Dresden
Wednesday, May 6, 2009 Renowned World War II scholar Donald Miller discusses the results of the legendary bombing raid of the German city of Dresden by British and American air forces in mid February 1945.
The Origins of the Forgotten War: Korea 1945 – 1950
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 In a lecture based on The War for Korea: A House Burning (University Press of Kansas, 2005), one of his several books on the subject of Korea, Dr. Millet discusses how the Korean conflict began.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 Pulitzer Prize–nominated author Dr. John Mosier discusses Deathride, a provocative revisionist analysis of the war between Hitler and Stalin. Dr. Mosier provides a dramatic narrative of events as he shows how most previous histories accepted Stalin’s lies and distortions to produce a false sense of Soviet triumph.
Mason Lecture Series
Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
Tuesday, June 5, 2012 As part of The General Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series on World War II, author Jonathan Parshall talks about his book Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway.
God's Angry Man: The Incredible Journey of Private Joe Haan
Thursday, October 28, 2010 Author Col. B. Wayne Quist talks about his book God's Angry Man: The Incredible Journey of Private Joe Haan, the story of a remarkable young man who became a soldier and then a hero in the Battle of the Bulge.
How I Survived Three First-Wave Invasions: North Africa, Sicily, Omaha Beach
Saturday, September 12, 2009 Assigned to "B" Company, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division upon enlistment in December 1940, Harley trained as a rifleman and ultimately was promoted to Staff Sergeant and commanded the light machine gun section. Each position he held was because the men ahead of him were either wounded or killed. What made him so lucky?
Hitler’s Panzers: The Lightning Attacks That Revolutionized Warfare
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 Renowned World War II scholar Dennis Showalter presents a comprehensive and unbiased study of Nazi Germany’s armored forces. By delving deeply into a detailed history of Germany’s technologically innovative approach to warfare, Showalter provides a look at the military lessons of the past, and a speculation on how the Panzer ethos may be implemented in the future of international conflict.
The Lynching of Allied POWs in WWII
Thursday, April 4, 2013 On April 4, 2013, Günter Bischof, Director of Center Austria at the University of New Orleans, chaired a panel of academics at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans on the lynching of Allied Airmen behind enemy lines in WWII.
Graduate Student, Yale University
Shifting Visions: FSA-OWI Photographs from the Great Depression to World War II
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 From 1935 to 1943, the government sponsored the largest federally funded photography project in history. This lecture will track how a New Deal agency came to produce over 170,000 photographs of the country as it mobilized for war.
Where Were You on V-E Day?
Saturday, May 8, 2010 Panelists discuss their first-hand experiences of the bittersweet celebration of Victory in Europe on the 65th anniversary of V-E Day.
WWII in the Rear View Mirror of One Veteran
November 8, 2008 World War II veteran, recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross and Presidential Medal of Freedom, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff talks about how the men he served with in World War II affected his decades-long career in the military.
Black Sheep: The Life of Pappy Boyington
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 Author John Wukovitz discusses the heroic life of American fighter ace and USMC officer Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, the subject of his book Black Sheep.