Jacksonville History Center: The Speaker Series
JHS presents monthly lectures on a diverse range of historical subjects, each presented by speakers of note, including historians, dramatists, experts and artistic presenters. Annually, the series includes 10 to 12 major program opportunities. The subjects are diverse and highlight North Florida history. Some presentations involve multimedia with presenters and other programs include panels.
With some exceptions, the lectures are typically held at Old St. Andrew’s Church, 317 A. Philip Randolph Blvd. (across from VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena). Evening programs are free to members with a suggested $10 donation for non-members, $5 for students. Members and their guests are invited to join the speakers at a short reception before each lecture. The Speaker Series program is sponsored annually by Retina Associates P.A., Fred Lambrou, M.D. and Mansoor Mughal, M.D.
Topics scheduled for 2023 included:
February: Jacksonville Community Remembrance Project, February 15. Speakers: Melanie Patz and Lynn Sherman. Click here for the video.
March: The History of the Duval County Courthouse, March 23. Speaker: The Honorable Charlie Cofer, Public Defender, Florida’s 4th Judicial Circuit. Click here for the video.
Women’s History Month Lunch, Lecture & Tour: The History of the YWCA, March 30. Speaker: Emily Cottrell, Interim JHS Archivist. Click here for the video.
April: The Viola B. Muse Digital Collection, April 12. Speaker: Dr. Tru Leverette Hall (UNF). Click here for the video.
The St. Johns River Lighthouse, April 26. Speaker: Eric S. Martin, Florida Lighthouse Association. Click here for the video.
May: Fort Caroline: The Mocama POV, May 1. Speaker: Dr. Denise Bossy, associate professor of history (UNF), specializing in local Indigenous history. Click here for the video.
Ford Motor Assembly Plant: You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. May 21 at Duval Ford. Speaker: Bob Casey, retired curator of transportation, Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan. Click here for the video.
June: The Unveiling of the Bicentennial Bell, June 7, at the Jacksonville Public Library. Click here for the video.
August: Mid-century Modern Architecture in Jacksonville, August 22, by Wayne W. Wood, O.D., Historian-at-Large, presented at the mid-century modern Unitarian-Universalist Church in Arlington. Click here for video.
September: Nat Glover, former Jacksonville sheriff and former president of Edward Waters University, Sept. 6, author of “Black Sheriff in the Deep South.” Click here for video.
Tim Gilmore, author and professor of writing at Florida State College Jacksonville, Sept. 14, “The Culture Wars of Warren Folks.” Click here for video.
October: Scott Matthews, Ph.D., professor of history at Florida State College-Jacksonville, on his course “The History of Jacksonville,” on Oct. 19. Click here for video.
November: “Spires in the Sun,” a presentation on Carpenter Gothic Episcopal churches of Florida, by author Jonathan Rich and photographer Phil Eschbach, Nov. 9, at St. John’s The Cathedral.
The 2022 series included January: Jacksonville Bicentennial by Dr. Alan Bliss; Rare Historic Photographs by Dr. Wayne Wood. Click here to view it on YouTube. February: Jacksonville’s Silent Film Era by Norman Studios. Click here to view Act 1 and here for Act 2 on YouTube. February: Joseph E. Lee, Jacksonville’s First Black Lawyer by Judge Brian Davis. Click here to view it on YouTube. March: Women’s History Month: Chosen by Jane, by Jane Condon, former principal and founder of LaVilla and Douglas Anderson Schools of the Arts, and Carol Grimes. Click here to view it on YouTube. April: River City Rhythms: Blind Blake and Beyond, by Eddy Cotton, a local musician who shared the historical context of vintage guitars and accessories on display as he played era- and genre-specific songs, sharing how guitars, players and styles shaped his life and career as a regional performer and musical historian. Click here to view it on YouTube. May: National Historic Preservation Month: Jacksonville’s Endangered Historic Properties. Click here to view it on YouTube. September: Box Broken Open: The Architecture of Ted Pappas, a presentation by author Tim Gilmore, Ph.D., about his newest book of the same name. Click here to view it on YouTube. Also in September, the Southern Genealogists’ Exchange Society presented a program on the 2007 Blue Ribbon Commission on Abandoned and Neglected Cemeteries, shared a human interest story on a local park, and spoke about its extensive research library. Click here to view it. October: “Celebremos lo que Somos” Hispanic Voices of Northeast Florida. Hispanic Heritage Month was celebrated with a presentation by Dr. Rebecca Dominguez-Karimi and UNF grad student Justin P. Case about the Menorcan migration during the late 1700s and their present-day descendants. December: Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage Photo Exhibit, by Wayne W. Wood, O.D., and Mark Krancer, photographer. Dr. Wood spoke about the new Bicentennial edition of Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage. Local photographer Mark Krancer shared observations about the images he shot for the book and displayed a selection of canvas prints of those images, available for purchase.
The 2021 series included the topics January: This Old Church, a panel of clergy and laypeople. Click here to watch the presentation. February: Jacksonville’s Most Worshipful Grand Union Lodge by Jerry Urso. Click here to watch the presentation. March: Women’s History Month featuring Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Champion for Women. Click here to watch the presentation. April: Heca Utimile/Our Land: Crafting an Indigenous History of Northeast Florida, by Dr. Denise Bossy and Dr. Keith Ashley. Click here to watch the presentation. May: National Historic Preservation Month: Jacksonville’s Most Endangered Buildings. View it here on YouTube. June: From This Place: Musical Tour of the Sites and Sounds of Jacksonville; by Mitch Hemann. Enjoy Part I in the series on YouTube. July: Murder Capital: Stories of Murder and Mayhem in Jacksonville, by Dr. Tim Gilmore. View it here on YouTube. August: The Real Origins of Florida Tourism, by John Foster. View it here on YouTube. September: A History of the Sunshine State’s Historic African American Homes, by Jada Wright-Greene. Click here to view it on YouTube. October: Jacksonville’s Hispanic Heritage, by Rebecca Dominguez-Karimi. Click here to view it on YouTube.
The 2020 series, truncated by the Coronavirus Pandemic, included: The History of the Insurance Industry in Jacksonville: Fueling a Financial Center by J.F. Bryan IV; Florida’s First Historically Black College: 154 Years of Jacksonville’s Edward Waters College by Dr. David Jamison.
The 2019 series included the topics Jacksonville: Florida’s Tourist Mecca and Its Grand Hotels: 1869 to 1926; Recovering Manhattan Beach; 2019 Endangered Historic Properties Report; Jacksonville Terminal Centennial; William Morgan: Evolution of an Architect; Deep Roots, Many Branches: The Blues in Northeast Florida; Salute to the Jax Red Caps; Touchdown Jacksonville! Winning the NFL Franchise for Jacksonville; Cemeteries as Outdoor Museums; Cuba and the “Last” Baseball Season; The Woman’s Club in the Progressive Era: 1897 to 1927.
The 2018 series included the topics Jacksonville’s Jews: We Really Mean Business; Black History Month at the Ritz; The Melting Pot: The Diverse Cultures of Northeast Florida; Jacksonville’s City/County Consolidation: A Perspective at Fifty Years (buy book); Oral History Workshop; Goat Island Hermit: St of FL v Rollians Christopher (buy book).
The 2017 series included the topics Towers in the Sand: A History of Broadcasting; Civil Rights Struggles: From the Beach to the Courthouse; Florida’s Fleet: A Shrimping Legacy from the First Coast; Andrew Jackson in Florida: An Evening with Mayor Jake; Jacksonville’s Historic St. Nicholas Cemetery: Tales from the Crypt; Emerging Florida and the Women Who Changed the World; Winterling and Weather: A North Florida View; Lindberg Jacksonville: The 90th Anniversary.
The 2016 series included the topics Historic Jacksonville Theatre Palaces, Drive-Ins and Movie Houses (buy book); Ribault to Revolution: Shipwreck Archaeology at the St. Augustine Lighthouse; Florida’s War: The Untold Story of Northeast Florida’s Role in the Spanish-American War; Jacksonville: Rail Gateway to Florida (watch); The History of Jacksonville’s Jewish Community; Florida Founder William P. DuVal: Frontier Bon Vivant (watch/buy book); Elvis Has Left the Building: The 60th Anniversary of the King at the Florida Theatre (watch); Banned in Jacksonville: What Book Are You Missing?
The 2015 series included the topics, Spies, Schemes and the Sons of Liberty: The Shadier Side of East and West Florida during the American Revolution (buy book); Mr. Flagler’s St. Augustine (buy book); Mary Nolan: Jacksonville Suffragette and her Night of Terror; Mining for Florida History: All Buried Treasure is Not Owned by Pirates!; It Came to Pass on the Banks of this River; The Mad Atlas of Virginia King (buy book); The Ten Most Amazing People for Jacksonville (You likely never heard of).