The Butler County History Center, home of the Kansas Oil Museum announced the first speakers in its September lecture series.
Author Rich Hughes and innovative engineer Ruben Alba will be the first to speak at the museum.
"We are always on the lookout for interesting topics and engaging speakers, and when we find a good match, we jump to get them booked," said Museum Director Mindy Tallent. "We try to vary our subjects in an effort to give the community a lot to choose from."
The first speaker, Hughes, a local author, will be holding a discussion and film screening at 7 p.m. Sept. 10. He is the author of "Netting Out Basketball 1936; The Remarkable Story of the McPherson Refiners, the First Team to Dunk, Zone Press, and Win the Olympic Gold Medal."
"Rich Hughes is a local author who used our museum research library to find information and photographs for his book," explained Tallent. "He agreed to come in and do a book signing and program about the story of a Kansas basketball team, named after an oil refinery, who won gold at the 1936 Olympics."
The event will also feature a film screening of "Oil & Gold," which was a project sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council and is based largely on his book.
"We've never had a program that centered around sports, so I'm thrilled to introduce the history of this Kansas basketball team, especially with their roots in the oil industry and the political climate at the time surrounding the 1936 Olympics," Tallent said.
The second speaker in the September lecture series will be Alba, a chemical engineer renowned for his vast knowledge in the gas and oil industry. Alba, who will speak at 7 p.m. Sept. 24. Alba will hold an open discussion about current energy industry trends and hydraulic fracturing.
"He is a dynamic leader in the energy field and was willing to host an open discussion about fracturing and current trends in the oil industry," Tallent said. "Our museum talks a lot about the history of oil and its place in our state and community, but this program is geared toward what's going on now. I think we can all learn a lot."
Following the lectures, a question and answer period will be opened to the audience.
All lectures and presentations hosted by the museum are free and open to the public and anyone with a love of history or an ongoing quest for knowledge is encouraged to attend.
"If visitors leave the museum with a new appreciation of history and the desire to learn more, we've done our jobs," Tallent said.