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AZ Lecture Series Logo   Tickets: $5 each
  Season Tickets: $50 each
  Purchase by Credit Card online: CLICK HERE
  Curtain Time: 7 p.m.
(Doors open one hour in advance)
  Location: Performing Arts Center
Apache Junction High School Campus
2525 S. Ironwood Drive
  Arizona Lecture Series programs are presented by the Apache Junction Unified School District Community Services Office.
  For more information call:
480-982-1110 ext. 2250
   Click Here to visit their website:




2018 Arizona Lecture Series Lineup:

January 8, 2018:Doug Hocking- Cochise and Bascom: “How the Apache Wars Began”

In 1861, Lieutenant George Bascom confronted Chiricahua Apache leader Cochise, demanding the return of the abducted boy, Felix Ward (aka Mickey Free). During this epic 14-day affair, 70 soldiers were surrounded by 500 Apaches then rescued by the timely intervention of the cavalry. This battle ended in blood with hostages slain on both sides. Congress recognized Dr. Bernard Irwin, who rode with 12 men to relieve the beleaguered soldiers, with the first Medal of Honor. Historians have come to credit Bascom with starting a war. This talk explores the circumstances that led to the confrontation and how blame came to rest on the lieutenant. The availability of willing ‘old timers’ and the lack of primary documentary resources led early historians to form a view of Bascom that wasn’t grounded in reality. In particular one former sergeant created a version of the story that made him a hero and Bascom a stubborn villain. The way we first heard the story is hard to dislodge. Today many primary sources are available and historians are slowly forming new opinions but among the public, the old stories persist. The true story of what happened at Apache Pass is presented along with the origin of many falsehoods. Cochise and Bascom, How the Apache Wars Began

January 15, 2018: Gregory McNamee-"The Story of John Wayne"

John Wayne was born in Iowa and lived for most of his adult life in California. Yet, he spent many years exploring, living and investing in Arizona. Gregory McNamee, a film and western history writer for such publications as the Encyclopaedia Britannica and The Hollywood Reporter, discusses Duke’s long career in Arizona where he acted in dozens of movies, produced his own films, raised cattle, operated a game ranch and was seemingly everywhere at once. John Wayne remains today an iconic presence in American popular culture.

January 22, 2018: Erik Berg-"Coast to Coast in 48 Hours: Arizona and America’s first Transcontinental Airline"

Arizona and America’s first Transcontinental Airline In 1928, when air travel was often considered unsafe and unreliable, an ambitious new company called Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) set out to establish America’s first coast-to-coast airline service from New York to LA. Assisted by famous pilots Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart and racing against other competing airlines, TAT faced some of its biggest challenges in the mountains and deserts of the Southwest where rough terrain and limited facilities pushed the company’s Ford Tri-Motors to their limits. To provide fuel and support along the route, the company rapidly built some of the West’s most advanced airfields at Winslow, Kingman and Albuquerque. By the time their work was complete, TAT had push aviation technology to its limits, cut the coast-to-coast travel time in half, and laid the foundations for the modern air passenger industry we know today.

January 29, 2018: Bill Harrison- “Still Getting Our Kicks on Route 66”

Known as the “Main Street of America,” Route 66 has become a symbol of freedom, innocence and a reminder of the last good time America ever had. Over 158 miles of the original highway are still drivable in Arizona, including the longest unbroken stretch in existence. If you haven’t traveled Historic Route 66 in Arizona or it’s been ages since you’ve immersed yourself in the dazzling landscape and matchless Americana along the famous stretch of meandering highway, this presentation is for you! Our journey will begin at the Petrified Forest National Park on the eastern border of Arizona, then we’ll drive west for a pleasant stopover in Winslow, Flagstaff, Williams, Seligman and Kingman. Finally, we’ll explore the once booming gold-mining town of Oatman near the California border. Our unique road trip will be filled with breathtaking scenery, memorable people, curious facts, persistent myths, friendly ghosts and enduring legends that have made Route 66 an integral part of the history of Arizona.

February 5, 2018: Teddy Roosevelt- "Teddy Rides Again"

Ladies & Gentlemen – Our speaker was born in New York City, New York on October 27, 1858. Graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University, he was elected the youngest member of the New York General Assembly.In the years to follow, he became a cattle rancher in the Dakota Territory and ran unsuccessfully for the New York mayorship. He served as a United States Civil Service Commissioner, President of the Police Commission of New York City, Assistant Secretary of the United States Navy, Colonel of the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, Governor of New York, Vice-President and President of the United States, all by the age of 42. He was the father of six children and the author of over thirty books. He was a big game hunter, a leading ornithologist and the founder of Boone & Crockett, the nation’s first fair hunting and conservation organization. During his Presidency, he declared some 230 million acres as national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges and national monuments. He was indeed, the great conservation president. Ladies and gentlemen, the 26th President of the United States: Theodore Roosevelt.

February 12, 2018: Laura Tohe- “Armed with Our Language, We Went to War: The Navajo Code Talkers”

During WWII, a select group of young Navajo men enlisted in the Marines with a unique weapon. Using the Navajo language, they devised a secret code that the enemy never deciphered. For over 40 years a cloak of secrecy hung over the Code Talker’s service until the code was declassified and they were finally honored for their military contributions in the South Pacific by Presidents Reagan, Bush and the Navajo Nation. The Code Talkers’ cultural background, how the code was devised and used, photos and how Navajo spiritual beliefs were used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) form this presentation.

February 19, 2018: Jim Turner-"The Last Gunfight: The True Stories of Tombstone"

Historian Jim Turner was a research associate for New York Times bestselling author Jeff Guinn’s, The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral—And How it Changed the American West. Guinn used a team of researchers and ferreted out new documents to create what a Wall Street Journal book reviewer called: “the most thorough account of the gunfight and its circumstances ever published.” After a brief overview, Turner will focus on the events that occurred in the 36 hours before, during, and after the street fight itself. The presentation will include drawings, diagrams and maps showing the second-by- second actions, including where Billy Clanton and Frank and Tom McLaury received their fatal wounds.

February 26, 2018: John Westerlund- “Flagstaff Pioneer John Elden: Murder, Mystery, Myth and History”

The best-known and perhaps most visited grave site in northern Arizona belongs to little Johnny Elden, Jr. His 1887 murder remains one of the most infamous in Territorial history. Today, Johnny rests alone in a rock-covered grave at the base of the mountain named for his father. A beautiful U.S. Forest Service interpretive panel nearby describes the awful crime. Johnny was just six years old when he was shot and killed by itinerant mule skinner Bob Roberts in a dispute over water. Although the murder has haunted Flagstaff for over a century, did it really happen? This presentation examines the story of pioneer John Elden, the murder of his son and the contribution of myth to history.

March 5, 2018: Heidi Osselar- “Arizona’s Deadliest Gunfight: Draft Resistance and Tragedy at the Power Cabin, 1918.”

On a cold winter morning, Jeff Power was lighting a fire in his remote Arizona cabin when he heard a noise, grabbed his rifle and walked out his front door. Someone in the dark shouted, “Throw up your hands!” Shots rang out from inside and outside the cabin. When it was all over, Jeff’s sons, Tom and John, emerged to find four men dead: the county sheriff, his two deputies, and their father. Arizona’s deadliest shootout happened not in 1881, but in 1918 as the United States plunged into World War I, and not in Tombstone, but in a remote canyon in the Galiuro Mountains northeast of Tucson. Telling the quintessentially western story of a feud, a mysterious death and the largest manhunt in the state’s history, Arizona’s Deadliest Gunfight also shows how the First World War divided American society at its farthest edges. To separate fact from dozens of false leads and conspiracy theories, Osselaer traced the Power family’s roots back several generations, interviewed descendants of the shootout’s participants, and uncovered previously unknown records. What happened to Tom and John Power afterward is as stirring and tragic a story as the gunfight itself.

March 12, 2018: Bill Harrison “Soil Soldiers! The Civilian Conservation Corps in Arizona”

America suffered during the Great Depression. The stock market collapsed, banks closed, families lost their farms, unemployment was at a staggeringly high level and people were hungry. The Depression hurt young men especially. They had the fewest skills and the lowest earnings and savings; many men found themselves without any prospects for employment. They were also at the greatest risk for poverty and starvation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1933 for two reasons: “Young men need jobs. Public lands need conservation. Let’s put young men to work conserving and improving our public lands.” The CCC had a profoundly positive effect on millions of underfed and scrawny boys who enrolled. Through hard work, study and determination, the boys became men who were smart, mature, savvy, tested and tough. In Arizona, the CCC’s record of accomplishments were astonishing. This presentation is remarkable and memorable and one you don’t want to miss!

March 19, 2018: Marshall Trimble- “Trimble Tales”

Marshall Trimble has been called the “Will Rogers of Arizona.” He can deliver anything from a serious history lecture to a stage concert of cowboy folk music and stories with his guitar. Trimble appears frequently on radio and television as a goodwill ambassador for the state. “Trimble’s Tales” are on radio stations around the state. He answers questions about the Old West from readers all over the world in True West Magazine’s popular column, “Ask the Marshall.” He is considered the “dean of Arizona historians.” He taught Arizona history at Scottsdale Community College for 40 years before retiring in 2014. He is our Official Arizona State Historian.

March, 26 2018: Dr. Jay Cravath- “Honky Tonks, Brothels and Mining Camps: Entertainment in Old Arizona”

Mar 26: Dr. Jay Cravath- “Honky Tonks, Brothels and Mining Camps: Entertainment in Old Arizona” In pioneer Arizona, among the best places to experience the performing arts were in the mining towns. Striking it rich meant having disposable income. Miners, like the well-heeled of the Gilded Age, wanted to demonstrate their sophistication with culture. From the early popular music of ragtime and minstrelsy evolved orchestras, operas and glee clubs that performed in Tombstone and other hamlets. Perhaps the most popular form of musical entertainment was the concert band, in shells and stages throughout the state. Craváth shares stories and plays music of a time when performing live was the only way to enjoy the arts.