Virtual Baltimore History Lectures

Learn about Baltimore history, and take a deep dive into Baltimore’s industrial past with virtual presentations led by senior museum educator, Jack Burkert.

Cost: $160.00/session —  Up to 100 participants/session
Length: 1 hour Zoom presentations are available
Questions? Please email or call 410-727-4808 ext. 117

Click here for a printable version of the presentation topics and descriptions. 

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Choose from the following topics

Baltimore, The War Years: A City and its Citizens on the Homefront

During World War II, Baltimore, its citizens, and the industries that employed them were truly transformed. Three manufacturing forces–steel, ships, and aircraft–employed well over 100,000 people locally, won countless production awards, and forever shifted the opinions of who could be employed to do which jobs. The “Big Three” were just the beginning, as the businesses and industries that supported and assisted them numbered in the hundreds. An all-consuming war effort also meant change to the social fabric of the city, a fabric stressed and occasionally torn, as gender and racial barriers collapsed under the need for every citizen to make as great a contribution as his or her individual abilities made possible.

We most definitely look forward to working with the BMI in 2020-2021. Our members have truly appreciated and enjoyed the presentations and are particularly fond of Jack.Activities Director for a 50+ Center

View of PBM Mariners, military aircraft, being assembled at the Glenn L. Martin Company during World War II.

The Story of the Port of Baltimore

Were it not for the Port, there may have never been a Baltimore, or a Baltimore that any of today’s citizens would recognize. The Port is, was and has always been a source of prosperity for “The Queen City of the Patapsco”. But the story of the port is more than the long touted “Location, location, location” mantra – it is a story of the work and works of thousands of people written over hundreds of years. The people, the ships, the overnight steamers of the Old Bay Line – all of these and more have led us to today’s Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore: cargoes coming and going in massive numbers. The story of the port is a truly fascinating one, a story told in this dramatic session.

This presenter was so good and informative. I could listen for hours!Attendee

Views of Port Covington showing the unloading of the ship “Chateaugay”.

Baltimore, Mid-Century: People, Places, Priorities in the 1950’s

A decade of dramatic change: the 1950’s in Baltimore largely reflected the changes occurring nationwide, many of them with a local aspect. But more than the changing national scene, Baltimore rebuilt, restored, revised and occasionally endured a series of changes that forever changed the fabric of the city. This unexpectedly dynamic decade made lasting, fundamental changes to the way people lived, where they lived, how they moved in and around their environment and to many of the places they gained employment.

Today’s lecture was completely full. We love having this partnership with the BMI.Activities Director for a 50+ Center

Photographic print of Mrs. Ihries Potato Chip Inc at N. Smallwood and W. Baltimore Street. Photograph shows 14 female and 1 male workers bagging and boxing potato chips.

Making Steel on the Patapsco: The Rise, Operation and Decline of the Sparrows Point Steel Mill

Today the Bethlehem Steel Sparrows Point Steel Mill is but a memory, remembered by many with a degree of fondness. There is a history of a place long known as “The Point”, its people, its community, the company that employed them, and the impacts that all of this had over time. This program is a survey of the great, the good, the not so good; the happy and the sad; the successes and failures of a business that dominated a region and many thousands of lives for over a hundred years.

Would listen to this guy’s presentation on any topic. Excellent!Attendee

Aerial views of the Bethlehem Steel Sparrows Point Shipyard showing construction on ships in dry dock with the Bethlehem Steel Plant in the background.

Destination Baltimore: The Story of Immigration and Opportunity

For almost two million people, Baltimore was the destination that promised a new life, hope and opportunity. Beginning in earnest in the 18th century, accelerating through the 19th, immigrants provided the labor force so necessary for Baltimore to become an industrial powerhouse. Early arrivals endured often tortuous Atlantic crossings under sail. Later steam powered ships sped the trip, but steerage accommodation offered little improvement to time spent at sea. Who were these people? Where were they from? Why did they abandon their homes? These and other questions are explored in Destination Baltimore.

Our member participation in BMI events has grown with each additional program we have offered.Activities Director for a 50+ Center

Photo of Matthew Griber & help.

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