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Speaker Archives

Debbie Hinman—Alice Ramsey's Journey

Debbie Hinman
  • Date: Tuesday, January 5, 2021 (first Tuesday)
  • Time: 5:30 PM
  • Location: Recording will be here soon.

In 1909, intrepid 22-year-old Alice Ramsey made history as the first female cross-country motorist, driving a Maxwell DA from New York to San Francisco in 59 days. Coming through Reno in August, she stayed overnight in the Riverside Hotel. Hear about her amazing journey in a time before interstate highways and before most women had even considered learning to drive.

Debbie Hinman is a Reno native and UNR graduate. Active with HRPS since 2004, she is a researcher and Editor of HRPS's quarterly FootPrints publication.

Sharon Honig-Bear—A Taste for History

Sharon Honig-Bear

Come savor a visual history of local food, drink and the industries that surround them! "Edible Traditions" columnist Sharon Honig-Bear has fashioned a presentation based on her past four years of columns in edibleRenoTahoe magazine, with new images never published in the magazine. Discover unknown stories like sugar beet production in Fallon, Chicken Soup Hot Springs in Washoe Valley and the turkey farms near where Park Lane once stood. The presentation is fast-moving and full of surprises about your backyard—the food that was once enjoyed in the area.

Sharon Honig-Bear is a long-time Board member, Past President and tour leader for Historic Reno Preservation Society. She was a restaurant columnist for the Reno Gazette-Journal and is now a columnist for edibleRenoTahoe magazine.

Jerry Wager—ALSOS: The Hunt for Hitler's A-Bomb

Jerry Wager

German scientists split the atom in 1938; by all accounts their nuclear program is 2-3 years ahead of any other country. As war breaks out in Europe, Einstein writes to Roosevelt warning him about the development of a Nazi atomic bomb and imploring the president to begin a similar effort. Even as victories mount, General Eisenhower fears the German will deploy radioactive bombs against advancing Allied troops. In 1943, as part of the Manhattan Project, a clandestine group of scientists and military personnel, ALSOS, are tasked with finding and capturing German nuclear scientists and their labs before Hitler can change the outcome of the war. Unforgettable and unlikely characters, poignant moments, suspense and even comedy characterize this piece of history. And a special twist: the Reno connection?

Jerry Wager's interest in the WWII ALSOS operation stemmed from reading a book about the Hotel Ritz in Paris and it became a minor obsession after discovering the Reno connection to the story.

John L. Smith—The Westside Slugger: Joe Neal's Lifelong Fight for Social Justice

John L. Smith

The Westside Slugger is the powerful story of civil rights in Las Vegas and Nevada through the eyes and experience of Joe Neal, a history-making state lawmaker in Nevada. Neal rose from humble beginnings in Mound, Louisiana, during the Great Depression to become the first African American to serve in the Nevada State Senate.

John L. Smith is a longtime journalist and the author of more than a dozen books on some of the most significant characters in Las Vegas history. In three decades as a daily columnist with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he garnered many state and national awards for his work. In 2016, Smith was named to the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame and was part of a group of reporters to receive the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics from the University of Oregon, the Society of Professional Journalists award for Ethics, and the James Foley Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism from Northwestern University.

Dan Theilen—The 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad: What a Difference It Made

Dan Theilen

The introduction of steam technology in general and railroads in particular changed the American West. That change was so pervasive that it dramatically affected the character of America and who we are. We don’t readily see it. This talk will point out the various ways the world changed when the rails joined the country.

Dan Theilen is the director of the Nevada State Railroad Museums, managing the three Railroad Museums in Nevada: Carson City, East Ely Depot, and Boulder City. He holds a M.S. in American Studies with a focus in living history at the RV Jenson Living Historical Farm in Cache Valley, Utah. There he restored and operated a 1905 Case steam traction engine. In his spare time, Dan enjoys turning beautiful lumber into sawdust as he clumsily attempts to make furniture for those who have not asked for it.