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, Dedham Historical Society, Dorchester Historical Society, Lynn Public library, Melrose Historical Society, Newburyport Public Library, 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.
Read more about all of David's slide show/PowerPoint lectures below, and then Email David to book him.
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.
RETURN TO SCOLLAY SQUARE
In 2004 Arcadia Publishing released David's fourth book, which, like his first, is all about Scollay Square. The new Scollay Square book features dozens and dozens of never-before-seen or published photographs (some taken backstage at the Old Howard) along with playbills, postcards, theater programs – even loan shark receipts! To celebrate this new Scollay Square book, David has put together a brand new Scollay Square slide show which, like the book, also contains new images of the Square to go along with brand new stories and tales about the performers, politicians, inventors, and activists who made Scollay Square such an exciting place.
Based on David's first book on Scollay Square (Always Something Doing) this slide show describes the evolution of 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
This slide show is based on David's 2003 book, Building Route 128, which he co-wrote with author and speaker Yanni Tsipis. In this 45-minute show David will present 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. Email David here.
NO MORE CURSE!
David will take your audience 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. Then we'll see and hear the real story behind Harry Frazee, his purchase of the Red Sox, and later of a young Babe Ruth. Then we'll learn the differing reasons why, in 1920, the Babe was sold to the New York Yankees. You'll be surprised at the answer. As with all of David's shows, your audience will not need any previous knowledge of the subject to enjoy the program. Of course, baseball fans will certainly 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 since 1918, but the Curse of the Bambino is performed so that 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? In fact, some ask how Shakespeare could have written at all without ever having attended school! The answer, they say, is that he couldn't and didn't. It 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. In this slide presentation historian and author David Kruh presents 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
• 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
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,
homes, libraries, and yes, even bars. Its a great
combination history and
travelogue will be of interest to both the historically
minded and tourist
BOSTON'S WEST END
The West End of Boston began as an isolated Federalist enclave, but slowly evolved into a neighborhood teeming with immigrants from all over the world. By the end of the 19th century it was the most crowded part of the city, and was the perfect studying ground for sociologists and urban planners. Although the home of one of Boston's most powerful "ward bosses," Martin Lomasney, after his death the neighborhood was unable to maintain its political clout, and in the 1950s and 1960s was bulldozed to make way for an urban renewal project that still evokes outrage today. 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.