Since 1985 David Kruh has been presenting slide shows on various subjects of local interest to historical societies, libraries, civic groups, and other organizations, including the Boston Public Library, Carleton-Williard Village in Bedford, Concord Historical Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, the Old South Meeting House in Boston, Society of Colonial Wars in Boston, and the Sweetster Lecture Series in Wakefield, among many others...
David answers questions after a 2003 show in Burlington
on the then much-in-force Curse of the Bambino.
Here's a brief list and description of what are now PowerPoint lectures below. Thanks for visiting and please Email Davidwith any questions or for a booking.
GREAT BOSTON FIRES
A look at the devastating fires and their impact on Boston, from the many "great" fires of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries (including the truly Great Fire of 1872,) the Cocoanut Grove tragedy of 1942 (which killed 492,) and the Hotel Vendome fire of 1972 (which resulted in the deaths of eight fire fighters.) How did these fires happen? What was learned from these events? What, if anything, was done to try and prevent similar catastrophes? David's newest slide show, filled with images from these events, answers these and other questions.
Based on David's two books on Scollay Square (Always Something Doing and Scollay Square) this rollicking slide show takes the audience to the part of Boston where everyone went - but few admitted it! From John Winthrop, (who settled here in 1630) to Sally Keith (who entertained here in the 1940s and 1950s) to Government Center today, this show will surprise you with tales of Revolutionary War heroism, scientific breakthroughs, and Civil War courage - all in the same place where a hot dog stand and a burlesque theater made truants of all New England. (Jack Thomas of the Boston Globe wrote that David has a "...a fascinating slide show...full of splendid anecdotes...")
BUILDING ROUTE 128
Based on David's 2003 book, Building Route 128 (co-written with author and speaker Yanni Tsipis) this program presents the complete story of Route 128, from its beginning in the 1920s as an ad hoc collection of two-lane roads that formed a rough arc 15 miles from Boston through the construction of the divided highway in the 1950s, and then how one man’s vision became the catalyst for the fantastic growth around the highway. Building Route 128 will appeal not only to those with an interest in Route 128 itself but also to those curious about the history of Boston’s suburbs and the fundamental changes Route 128 brought to the region over the past four decades.
NO MORE CURSE!
It finally happened, the Red Sox won the World Series. Not once, but three times in ten years! Now go back 100 years to the roots of Boston baseball, when the team (just like today) captured the heart and soul of its citizens and was also (like today) inexorably intertwined with politics and politicians. See and hear the real story behind Harry Frazee, his purchase of the Red Sox, and later of a young Babe Ruth. Fans will derive extra pleasure (or agony) out of reliving the saga of the Boston Red Sox and their ultimately successful struggle for a World Series championship, but even those who don't know the difference between a home run and pop fly will enjoy the story.
WHO WROTE SHAKESPEARE?
The doubts have been around for over 300 years. How could William Shakespeare - a man who never sailed - have written with such accuracy about sailing in The Tempest? Or how - without studying law - written with such insight about lawyers, courts and legal issues in plays such as Henry IV? Or how - without ever serving in the military - written so splendidly of the rigors and technical aspects of war as he did in Hamlet? That he couldn't and didn't is a fascinating concept that has amused many, tantalized others, and consumed the lives of a few, including a Boston man who, in 1916, went to court to prove that someone other than Shakespeare wrote all those great works. Before you laugh… he won the case. Hear the story of one man's search for the "real" author of the works attributed to William Shakespeare and how - in a stunning piece of historical irony - that search played a role in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor!
THE PONZI SCHEME
Everyone knows the name Bernie Madoff, but not many know of Charles Ponzi - the man who engineered perhaps the greatest pyramid scheme of them all, one that was so great that from that time forward it bore his name. And he did it here in Boston, right under the noses of suspicious Yankees and normally inquisitive newspapermen. Relive the days of Boston's most outrageous rogue in this slide show lecture.
Do you know where in New England...?
• The oath of office was taken by a President
of the United States?
• A plaque commemorates a Presidential visit to a bar?
• You can see a coconut that saved a President's life?
• A former President, accused of being a traitor, was almost lynched?
In this slide show, audiences will take a
50-minute trip through 200 years of the U.S. Presidency,
focusing on the native New Englanders who called the White
House home. Together, we will visit most of the sites in New
England dedicated to the United States Presidents, including
birthplaces, homes, libraries, and yes, even bars. Its a
great combination history and travelogue will be of interest
to both the historically minded and tourist alike.
BOSTON'S WEST END
Whether you are a former resident looking to relive a memory of a forgotten street corner or a student who wants to know how 17,000 people could be thrown out of the homes they loved, this is a fascinating 45-minute slide show. (Look closely at this picture and you'll see former West End resident Leonard "Spock" Nimoy!)
Construction on the Big Dig may be over, but the controversy isn't. In this illustrated slide show talk David, a former Big Dig spokesperson, will show how Boston has changed over the past 400 years, from the reduction of Beacon Hill, through the filling in of the Back Bay, ending with the country's most expensive construction job - the Big Dig. You'll go deep inside the project's tunnels and soar high above the towers of Boston's stunning new bridge over the Charles River. You'll also learn about the amazing technological advances that were used to build this monstrous project in a working city, and how the price climbed to a reported $22 billion!!! Whether you're interested in Boston history, a fan of technology, or just an angry taxpayer who wants to see the actual hole into which the government dumped your money, this is a must-see show.