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. Frost

World War II's First Hero: The Story of Doris Miller

World War II's First Hero: The Story of Doris Miller

World War II's First Hero: The Story of Doris Miller

Doris Miller, the son of an impoverished sharecropper, was born in McLennan County, Texas. During the Depression, he took the only job that he could find: the Navy. There, in common with all black recruits, he was assigned to the messman branch, making the beds, shining the shoes, and serving the meals of white officers. In December 1941, he was assigned to the West Virginia, stationed at Pearl Harbor, when the Japanese launched its infamous attack. Although not trained in gunnery, when Miller was ordered on deck to help his wounded captain, he took over an unmanned machine gun and began to fire at the attacking planes. News of the heroic actions of this humble messman spread through the American press, making him the country’s first hero of WWII and earning for him the Navy Cross, the first ever awarded to a black man.

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A Century of Service for the "Mighty T"

A Century of Service for the

A Century of Service for the "Mighty T"

USS Texas (BB-35) has had an illustrious career from its commissioning in March 1914 to her position in the 21st century. She served during World War I in the North Sea and escorted war convoys across the Atlantic during World War II. Texas now serves as a museum and memorial ship at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site. Beyond her military service, she has had a strong connection with the expanding role of the country in the early 20th century and been tied to technological advancements that helped shape the modern era. In addition, Texas remains a vital player as a site of public memory and national identity as America moves into the 21st century and further away from one of the most significant periods in human history.

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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. Shelton Law Firm


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. 

Returning to The Jones Act: An Updated Insight

Returning to The Jones Act: An Updated Insight

Returning to The Jones Act: An Updated Insight

Stephen Hanemann returns to HMM to discuss updates and answer questions on the Jones Act. The Jones Act dates back to the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which was largely intended to buffer the WWI’s shockwave to international trade and preserve the U.S. shipping industry. Effected into law on June 5, 1920, Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act, commonly referred to as the Jones Act, established coastwise-trade parameters 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. This retrospective will provide insight and timely commentary regarding the coastwise law’s application, enforcement, and future viability.

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