Dr. Jay Wolff is taking his lecture series on the road again. In Zoom format or in person, he explains the events that have shaped our world.
Bringing history to life, his presentations are stories of real events and real people, told in an engaging and dynamic format. Never refering to notes or cues, Dr. Jay weaves fascinating tales and his audiences are drawn into the dramas that make history memorable. Enjoy biographies; discover breakthroughs in science; hear the realities of disasters and wars; understand ideologies; marvel at art and every aspect of human endeavor. In more than 200 lectures, with new ones added regularly, Dr. Jay educates and informs us in a memorable and entertaining way.
All of the following lectures are available for scheduling for your community, your library, your theater, or you.
Dr. Jay's stories are also available in recorded collections or individually on CDs or flashdrives. For ordering information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scroll down to see Dr. Jay's travel schedule at the bottom of the page.
Dr. Jay's Lectures
The Story of Alaska-The history and fables of America’s 49th State are told in four lectures, beginning with the earliest settlers and continuing with stories of Russian dominance, Seward's Folly, the Gold Rush, salmon prosperity, World War II, and statehood.
Alaska, “The Great Land” discovered by Russia.
Imperial Russian Alaska and Seward’s Folly. (1784 – 1890)
The Alaskan Gold Rush. (1880 – 1905)
Alaska’s Story from the Gold Rush to Statehood. (1900 – 1960)
The Story of The Panama Canal-This series of seven lectures narrates the historical importance of a canal through Central America, linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. There are stories of great plans and political skullduggery, disease, disaster, and Teddy Roosevelt’s victory. This is an in-depth collection of stories about one of the greatest engineering marvels in history.
1- The Rise and Fall of a Glittering Civilization. (200 – 1520)
2- English Pirates and the Acapulco Treasure Fleet. (1525 – 1580, 1811)
3- France’s Failure to Build the Panama Canal. (1875 – 1889)
4- President Teddy Roosevelt Takes Panama. (1901 – 1905)
5- The United States Builds the Panama Canal. (1905 – 1914)
6- Remember the Alamo (1524 - present)
7- Stars and Stripes over the Caribbean (The Spanish-American War) (1800 - 1901)
TransAtlantic Tales-In eight lectures, Dr. Jay tells of the hidden dark and bloody past of the lush green islands of the Caribbean. These are stories of exploration, piracy, slavery and freedom. Atlantic lore includes tales of Devil's Island, the Titanic, and great mysteries of that turquoise sea.
1- Columbus and the Sea of Cannibals. (1453 – 1506)
The Story of the Real Pirates of the Caribbean. (1550 – 1750)
Molasses to Rum to Slaves – The Triangular Trade. (1650 – 1886)
Spanish-American War – USA Becomes World Power. (1898-1900)
Devil’s Island – France’s "Garbage Can" in S. America. (1884 – 1946)
The Sinking of the Titanic ends the Age of Optimism. (1810 -- 1912)
The Bermuda Triangle and Other Mysteries of the Sea. (1641 – 1946)
8- Louis XIV; The Sun King (1600 - 1715)
The Mediterranean-Ten lectures describe the great philosophers of Greece and the brilliance of Greek soldiers, poets, and artists, Caesar’s Rome and the “Serene Republic of Venice.” The Ottoman Empire’s conquests closed the Silk Road and triggered the Age of Exploration. The tapestry of Mediterranean life includes stories of the struggle for Palestine, the Crusades, the history witnessed by the great Rock of Gibraltar, and the tale of a little Spanish town named Guernica, where the horrors of fascism left their mark forever. The stories discuss Lisbon, a center for spies in WWII, and current concerns around the world.
The Glory that was Greece, Cradle of Western Culture (500-390 BC)
Caesar’s Rome – Grandeur and Corruption. (261-29 BC)
The Crusades – Two Centuries of Faith and Blood. (1096 – 1291)
The Republic of Venice, Rulers of the Mediterranean (490-1797)
Guernica – A Town and a Painting by Picasso. (1931--1985)
Lisbon – The Capital of Deception. (1939 – 1945)
The Endless Struggle for Palestine. (1860 – present)
10- Do You Know the Way to Pompeii (44BC - 100 AD)
Eric the Red to Lenin the Red-This series of ten lectures contains stories of the Vikings, who brought commerce to Europe, developed trade, created nations, and established cities in Ireland. Dr. Jay tells stories of the birth of Russian glory, nobility, and power followed by revolution. Sweden enjoyed a century of world power. Germany challenged Britain for control of the sea. A hair-raising tale of Norwegian heroes who destroyed the Nazi A-bomb program concludes this riveting series.
The Vikings. (750 – 1050)
Ireland’s Eight Century Fight for Independence. (800 – 1920)
3- Russia's Beginning, from Viking Roots to Ivan the Terrible. (750 – 1558)
The Two Great Czars, Peter and Catherine. (1672 – 1796)
5-White Nights and Red Snow - Nicholas, Revolution, Anastasia (1900 --1918)
Sweden – The Lion of the North. (1620 -1709)
Germany Challenges British Sea Power – the Battle of Jutland. (1890 – 1916)
W W II Norwegian Heroes Stop Hitler’s A-bomb. (1933 – 1944)
9 - The 900 Days of Leningrad (1941 - 1946)
10 - Saving Berlin (1945 - 1989)
The Story of South America-Here are stories of the explorers who opened a new continent and charted the southern ocean. We hear the names of the conquistadors, pirates and explorers who struggled to unlock the secrets and gain the treasures of this new land. When revolution led to new nations, charismatic figures arose and we learn their names and their ideologies. We learn of promises unfulfilled, and how politics and drugs have impeded progress.
1- Magellan and the Pathway Around the World. (1498 – 1521)
2- Pizarro, Peru, and Pirates. (1513 – 1628)
Bolivar and the Revolution of New Spain. (1728 – 1830)
Darwin and Evolution. "The Origin of the Species" (1476 – 1882)
Evita - The Wild Days of Eva Peron (1919-1982)
The Rise of Brazil. (1493-present)
7- Beneath the Southern Cross - W W II in the South Atlantic. (1930 – 1954)
Peron, Chavez, and Cocaine – Signposts to Poverty. (1642 – present)
9- The Race for the Pole - (1880 - 1916)
10 - At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1534 - 1956)
South Seas Panorama- These are eight stories of memorable events and people that highlight a turbulent history in the Pacific. Famous mariners, aviators, painters, and poets had their moments on this stage, and heroic deeds in pivotal battles fought here changed the world.
1 - The Real Mutiny on the Bounty (1754 - 1817)
2 - Robert Louis Stevenson - Home is the Hunter (1850 - 1973)
3 - Gauguin and His Grandmother (1848 - 2003)
4 - Amelia Earhart - "Lost in the Pacific" (1897 - 1998)
5 - Guadalcanal - A Time in Hell (August - December 1942)
6 - The Battle of Midway (1941 - 1943)
7 - The Battle of Leyte Gulf (1941 - 1944)
8 - Korean Air 007 - Welcome to the Worker's Paradise (1983 - 1992)
Tales of the Pacific- In these lectures, Dr. Jay separates folklore and fact. We learn about the San Francisco earthquake, the birth of Hawaii, and the tragedy and triumph of Pearl Harbor. There are stories of the verdant islands of the South Pacific, and the impact of World War II. The series includes a biography of the immortal Douglas MacArthur, stories of whalers, missionaries, pineapples, tuna fishing, the unholy struggles over Hawaii, and finally, Hawaiian statehood.
1- The Day the Earth Danced - the San Francisco Earthquake. (1579 – 1985)
Hawaii Arises – The People Arrive. (Eighty million BC – 1818)
“Follow the Shark” – the Polynesian Migration. (1300 BC-1947)
Moby Dick and the Missionaries (1800-1841)
The New Faces of Hawaii. (1859 – 1898)
Pearl Harbor. (1931 – 1941)
“I Shall Return” – The Ballad of Douglas MacArthur. (1880-1964)
Samoa – Kaiser Bill to Canned Tuna. (1722 – 2007)
Pineapples in the Sunset. (1890 – 2006)
10- The Tragedy of Easter Island. (1AD – present)
Empires of Gold and Jade-These lectures include stories of the rich cultural history of Singapore, China, and Japan, and the lands of East Asia, which have been home to many empires. When Indonesia's Krakatoa produced the biggest tsunami ever observed, the world shook. A century later, Vietnam’s struggle plunged the world into another nightmare. Today, pirates still raid the seas of Southeast Asia.
Singapore, the City of the Lion. (1330 – 1945)
The British-Chinese Opium Wars. (1660 – 1949)
Hong Kong – The Fragrant Harbor. (1697 – 1997)
The Real Anna and the King of Siam. (1831 – 1956)
Krakatoa, Monster of The Pacific Ring of Fire . (460 – 2006)
Kamikaze, the Divine Wind. (1281 – 1945)
7- Dien Bien Phu – Hell in a Small Place. (1946 – 1954)
8- TET. (1965 – 1968)
The Hanoi Hilton. (1904 – 1973)
Piracy is Alive and Well. (78 BC – present)
The Lands Down Under-This series of lectures tells of the search for the Southern Continent, as explorers repeatedly failed to find it. When they did, it yielded a dumping ground for British convicts, but also a land of desert and gold, heroes and warriors. World War I and World War II brought "the other side of the world" into the international community of nations. Dr. Jay tells the stories of the scientists and adventurers, athletes and entertainers, Kiwis and Aussies, who have made their mark.
1- Explorers and Aborigines. (1580 -1780)
Australian Colonization – Convicts and Goldbugs. (1776 – 1890)
3- Death in the Outback – Burke and Wills become Icons.
(1840 – 1865)
Australia’s Isolation Ends; World War I’s Battle of Gallipoli. (1914-1916)
Australia in the Balance – World War II’s Battle of the Coral Sea. (1942)
New Zealand’s Maori – “Once We Were Warriors.” (1300 – present)
Famous Kiwis – Rutherford, te Kanawa, Hillary. (1870 – 2000)
8- The Search for Terra Incognita - (100 - 1770)
The Royal Flying Doctors – “Wings Over the Outback.” (1839 – present)
10- Ernest Shackleton – Endurance in the Antarctic. (1874 – 1922)
Lands of Sinbad and Scheherazade-These stories tell of the lands and coasts of Arabia and India, where sailing ships In the Indian Ocean rode down the sunset from Malabar to Sheba laden with the treasures of the Orient. The wealth, the power, and the fabled monuments of marble and gems are woven into stories of those who were enchanted and those who sought control, from holy men to warriors.
The Wealth of the Indies. (2600 BC – 1949)
Arab Sailors Ride the Monsoon to Malabar. (from antiquity – 2007)
3- Rise of the Raj. (1600 – 1874)
The Taj Mahal – A Teardrop in Time. (1526 – 1908)
Gandhi (1869 – 1948)
King Tut and the Mummy’s Curse. (2760 BC – 1939)
7- The Biblical Exodus – Fact or Fiction. (1600 BC – 1200
The Suez Canal – the Ditch in the Desert. (1850 BC – 1973)
Sunrise in East Asia-These lectures include the stories of China and Japan. China's cultural dominance inevitably came into conflict with the emerging Japanese militarism. The series contains tales of Confucius, Mao Tze Dung, and the controversy over the use of the atomic bomb.
Confucius and the Missionaries. (635 – 2008)
The Boxer Rebellion. (1843 – 1904)
3- Mao Tze Dung. (1876 – 1976)
4- Search for the Golden Mountain - “The Overseas Chinese.” (1848-1965)
The Rise of the Rising Sun. (1100 -1905)
Hiroshima. (1944 – present)
The Brave and The Free-These lectures narrate the creation of a new concept of liberty. Patriots and traitors, heroes and villains, those moved to seek goodness and those driven to destroy evil all played their parts. This series includes a potpourri of stories of remarkable people whose lives reflected the influence of liberty.
1- The Pilgrims. (1602 – 1629)
The Salem Witch Trials; The Devil Danced in Massachusetts. (1688-1711)
The Anglo-French Battles to Win Canada. (1497 – 1791)
American Rebels, Led by Benedict Arnold, Invade Canada. (1755 – 1801)
The Robert E. Lee Story. (1807 – 1870)
Joseph and His Sons – the Kennedys. (1888 – 2009)
7- Hamilton, Franklin, and the Miracle at Philadelphia (1700 – 1776)
8- “The Buck Stop Here” The Story of Harry Truman. (1884-1972)
9 - The Lewis & Clark Expedition, "Sea to Shining Sea" (1682 - 1848)
10 - Nixon - Image Isn't Everything (1900 - 1985)
The Scramble for Africa-These stories inform listeners about the settlers who came seeking wealth and power on a remote new coast. For generations, warfare between territory-hungry peoples stained the land. Enlightenment was resisted until resistance became intolerable. The history of South Africa is politically incredible and socially unbearable, and the traditions and convictions remain a haunting reminder that civilization is defined by the winners.
1- Sheba and Solomon. (1000BC – 1948)
2- Dutch Settlers Colonize South Africa. (1652 – 1878)
Livingstone, and the Source of the Nile. (140 – 1904)
4- The Washing of the Spears - The Zulu War. (1878 – 1879)
Story of Cecil Rhodes. (1853 – present)
6- The Boer War. (1806 – 1902)
7- Apartheid and Nelson Mandela. (1910 – 1999)
The Coasts of West Africa-Here are stories about the West African coast and how it was exploited for centuries as a route to the Indies. The exploitation resulted in the geographical divisions of the Gold Coast, the Ivory Coast, the Slave Coast, and the Skeleton Coast. These are the stories of those coasts, and the people whose lives were shaped there.
1- What Price a Route to Asia - The Skeleton Coast (1453-1950)
2- John Quincy Adams and Slavery (1820-1882)
3- Islam and the Forgotten Slavery (1000-present)
4- “A Diamond is Forever” – Diamonds for Everyone. (1880 –
Eureka! –Stories of dreamers and achievers who learned that life always produces the unexpected. Their dreams came true in ways no one ever expected, and their plans led to unintended and tragic results that uplifted and taught mankind timeless lessons.
1- Neil Simon - Sugar-Coated Sorrow
2 - Albert Einstein - Everything's Relative (1879 - 1956)
3 - The Iron Lady - Margaret Thatcher (1920 - 2000)
4 - Hitler and Churchill - The Odd Couple - (1880 - 2000)
5- The Men Who Created Hollywood (1840 – 1930)
6- Hedy Lamarr - Not Just a Pretty Face. (1912 - 1962)
7- Fanny Brice - Sorry is for Other People (1910 - 1970)
8- Charles Ponzi, the Man Who Invented Money (1882 - 1969)
We, thePeople! The American Dream was born on the Atlantic coast as the first immigrants set foot on their new home. That dream was carried across the continent by its people.
1- Boston - Birth of the American Dream (1630 - 1776)
2- Baltimore and the Rocket's Red Glare (1783 - 1814)
3- New York City - The Golden Door
4- Charleston and the Field of Honor (1640 - 1861)
5- Georgia on My Mind (1600 - Today)
6- Florida - The Big Orange (1803 - Today)
7- Miami - Some Like it Hot (1526 - Today)
8- New Orleans - The Big Easy (1682 - Today)
World Affairs Lectures
1- Outlook for Peace in the Middle East
2- China - Capitalism in a Mao Suit
3- 100,000 Years of Climate Change
Dr. Jay Wolff took his undergraduate
and doctoral degrees at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Formerly with Florida Gulf Coast University's
Renaissance Academy and elected a member of the British Royal Society of
Health, he has traveled widely and published extensively.
Aboard Cruise Ship Schedule- (the following schedule may be subject to change)
These Legends, Fables and Stories Make History Come Alive!