Lectures by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County

Speakers Bureau

Bring the richness of Palm Beach County history to your workplace or community group. Speakers from the Historical Society of Palm Beach County will open a window to our county's past through lectures with PowerPoint presentations.

Lecture topics include:

  • The Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum
  • Palm Beach
  • West Palm Beach
  • History of Palm Beach County
  • Coconuts, Beaches, Mosquitoes, and Panthers: The Pioneer Era of Palm Beach County 1860-1893: This lecture will look at the Pioneer Era as it would become known in Palm Beach County. Today Palm Beach County is a modern paradise easily reached from anywhere in the world. But in the late 19th century getting here was not so easy. As a matter of fact, when you arrived a lush jungle paradise greeted you from which you would have to hack-out your homestead. We will journey back in time to look at the difficulties of getting here, the early homes of the settlers, life-saving stations, food, pioneer hotels, mosquitoes, and pioneer life in what they thought was a “Garden of Eden.”
  • Ancient People of South Florida
  • Puddle Jumpers of Lantana: The History of the Civil Air Patrols Coastal Patrol Base 3: Just days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Civil Air Patrol was established as part of the Office of Civilian Defense. In January 1942, Germany launched Operation Drumbeat sending U-boats across the Atlantic Ocean to attack vulnerable allied shipping along the U.S. east and Gulf coasts. In March, the CAP established the first anti-submarine patrol base with the mission of searching for, and reporting U-boat activity, and to assist damaged ships and survivors. Eventually, the CAP organized twenty-one bases from Maine to Mexico to support the military with protecting allied shipping.
    Puddle Jumpers of Lantana is a fascinating story of Coastal Patrol Base 3 and the men and women of the unit who risked their lives flying small, civilian land-based planes to protect American’s home front during World War II. For seventeen months, Coastal Patrol 3 flew between Palm Beach County and Cape Canaveral searching for enemy U-boats, torpedoed ships, and their survivors. National coastal patrols units lost twenty-six members and ninety planes while performing anti-submarine patrols.
  • Palm Beach County's Heritage Trail: Many are surprised to learn that Palm Beach County has a rich history that stretches back 10,000 years. This lecture will introduce the county’s fascinating story through its historic sites and markers in the local area, from Jupiter to Boca Raton, and from West Palm Beach to the Glades.
  • Palm Beach County at 100: 1909-2009
  • Palm Beach County's Place in US History
  • Paradise in Peril: World War II in Palm Beach County: “Paradise in Peril” will examine the military’s presence in Palm Beach County during World War II and civilian activities towards the war effort. The discussion will cover the importance of the county’s contribution to the war effort, including two army air bases, a secret listen station, civilian organizations, U-boat hunters, the Coast Guard, military hospitals, and a POW camp.
  • So What Do We Do Now That We Are Here? Early Palm Beach Tourism: Today, Palm Beach County tourism is a multi-billion-dollar international industry. Diverse activities can keep a visitor busy for as long as they want like to stay. But what about early tourism between the late 19th and early 20th centuries? Our community was buzzing with life by the 1880s with adventurous travelers who experienced a beautiful sub-tropical environment. When Henry Flagler arrived, built two hotels on Palm Beach, and extended his railroad, tourism was elevated to spectacular grandeur. This lecture will look at what those early visitors did to occupy their time during the winter season from the 1870s to the 1920s.

Programs run between 20-60 minutes and can be tailored to fit your interests by making arrangements in advance.

If you don't see a topic that fits your needs, call or email and we'll see if we can develop a program to meet the interests of your organization.

When requesting a speaker, please provide the following information:

  • Organization name
  • Date, time, and purpose of the program
  • The audience the program will be for
  • Location of program, address
  • Name, phone number, and email address of program coordinator

Please schedule lecture at least three weeks in advance.

Honorarium: requested amount, $150 payable to the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. Lectures about the Historical Society of Palm Beach County and the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum are presented free of charge by a member of our Volunteer Speakers Guild. All other lectures feature a member of the academic team from the Historical Society of Palm Beach County and request an honorarium.

For more information please contact Rose Gualtieri at 561-832-4164 ext. 104, email: rgualtieri@historicalsocietypbc.org


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