The Betty M. & William B. Jones Humanities Speaker Series presents   

The Betty M. and William B. Jones Humanities Speaker Series explores the arts, history, and literature through a series of illuminating, engaging sessions that look at societal events and how they impact the human experience.

Join us for the 2018-19 series as we journey back 50 years to a time punctuated by assassinations, protests, rock 'n’ roll and moonwalks. Explore how the turbulent times of 1968 and 1969 shaped the world we live in today. The series will highlight the events, music culture and technology of 1968 and 1969, and examine how those years shaped our nation and world.


Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, from 3-5 p.m. | "The Summer of 1968: A Global View"
Featuring Dr. John Weber, associate professor of history, Old Dominion University

A global wave of protest movements and political insurgencies—in countries as dissimilar as the United States, France, Mexico, Czechoslovakia and China—seemed to be spreading and growing in the summer of 1968. By year’s end the wave had broken, and these movements began to recede and fracture.

Join us as we look back on these events 50 years later and attempt to contextualize these distinct movements, and look at the consequences of the successes and failures of 1968.


Friday, Nov. 16-Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018 | “The Covers of 1968 & 1969: Through Our Eyes”
The 1960s were a decade of cultural and political upheaval. It also was a decade of pop music and youth culture, and its influence was apparent in the artwork of the time.
Join us for an exhibition featuring Norfolk Collegiate’s upper school students as they showcase their interpretations of the art of album covers, concert posters and other genre released in 1968 and 1969. Guests are invited to view the artwork before and after the movie screening and concert.


Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, from 6-8 p.m. | Movie Screening of "Yellow Submarine"
First released in November 1968 and remastered for its 50th anniversary, “Yellow Submarine” is an animated cult classic. 

Join us as we host a FREE screening of the iconic film with an opening narrative provided by English teacher Evan Benedict ’04. Following the screening, audience members are encouraged to join in a question-and-answer session with complimentary concessions.


Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, from 3-5 p.m. | "Songs of 1968-69"
Featuring local musicians Dan Pellegrino ’99, Jim Newsom and Nate Sacks

Wrap up the weekend with the sounds of 1968 and 1969!
Join local musicians Jim Newsom, Dan Pellegrino ’99 and Nate Sacks as they share the stories of the times through a memorable sing-a-long. 
Saturday, March 23, 2019 from 5-7 p.m. | “NASA Moon Walk”
On July 20, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to step foot on the moon. More than 240,000 miles from Earth, he and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin took “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” 
Join us as we conclude the series with NASA engineer Richard Thompson. He will discuss the historic significance and technical achievements of the lunar landing and provide insight into NASA’s upcoming lunar missions.
Guests also will enjoy “Apollo 11: Celebrating 50 Years of Exploration,” an exhibit of images and artifacts from NASA missions, including an official NASA astronaut training suit, before and after the lecture.


All presentations are free and open to the public and will be held in the Hackney Theater of the Meredith Center for the Arts, 7336 Granby Street. Please share the event with your friends and family via Facebook here. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. A reception will follow each lecture.