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. Refreshments are also included.Frost

Viking Masters of the Northern Seas: From Scandinavia East, West, and South

Viking Masters of the Northern Seas: From Scandinavia East, West, and South

Viking Masters of the Northern Seas: From Scandinavia East, West, and South

The Viking Age began in the 8th century, and by the 11th century, the Vikings had Scandinavianzed most of the Northern Hemisphere while leaving many questions behind in the process. Why did they leave their home? What were their main tools of expansion, exploration, and discovery? Ships? Masts? Sails? Was this time a Diaspora based on the model of the spread of Jewish 1st century dispersion and settlements? Or an Age of Discovery that shares similarities to 15th century Portuguese and Spanish explorers, as well as the merchants and settlers who followed them? Who were these people, anyway? Raiders? Traders? Farmers? Did the Viking Age really end with the death of Magnus Barelegs, the last Viking king, in 1103? Or was it just the beginning?

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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. Refreshments are also included.

Energy Metropolis: Growth and Environment in Houston, Texas

Energy Metropolis: Growth and Environment in Houston, Texas

Energy Metropolis: Growth and Environment in Houston, Texas

As an energy-intensive urban area, Houston has been shaped by natural and human factors. The city is foremost a product of the Texas Coastal Zone – flat, hot and humid, heavily vegetated, blessed with lots of water (wanted and unwanted), rich in resources, and prone to capricious weather. Oil in particular, however, shaped Houston’s modern economic and environmental history. The “energy capital of the world” has been a major player on the world’s energy stage, but petroleum refining, petrochemical production, and cheap, available gasoline have also shaped Houston in many ways. Discover how our waterways, highways, real estate market, labor force, and many pollution problems are directly attributable to our growth as an energy metropolis and what the future holds for Houston.

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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. Refreshments are also included.

The Jones Act at 100 Years: Celebration or Memorial?

The Jones Act at 100 Years: Celebration or Memorial?

The Jones Act at 100 Years: Celebration or Memorial?

First introduced by Washington Senator Wesley L. Jones, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 was largely intended to buffer the First World War’s shockwave to international trade and preserve the U.S. shipping industry. Effected into law by the 66th U.S. Congress on June, 5 1920, Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act, commonly referred to as the Jones Act, established coastwise-trade perimeters 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. Opponents continue to question its effective application while Jones Act advocates staunchly defend its protectionist purpose and vaild intent. This retrospective will examine the historical foundation and theme of the Jones Act, as well as provide insight and timely commentary regarding the coastwise law’s application, enforcement, and future viability.

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