Explore Long Island maritime history with new Vanderbilt lecture series

Explore Long Island maritime history with new Vanderbilt lecture series

'Genessee' – William K. Vanderbilt II’s 100-foot schooner,1910. Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum Archives

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport  will offer a series of three lectures on Long Island maritime history beginning in August. Following the lectures, which will be given in the Reichert Planetarium, the Museum will hold book signings and offer refreshments. Tickets are $6 per person. Members are free. JOIN NOW!

“Little Known Aspects of Long Island’s Maritime History”
Bill Bleyer, Author and Journalist
Wednesday, August 11, 2021, 7:00 pm

This PowerPoint lecture covers the development of submarines and torpedoes, the landing of Pan Am Clippers in Port Washington, the world’s most innovative whaling captain, and more. Mr. Bleyer, a former Newsday staff writer, has written four books on Long Island history, including Long Island and the Sea: A Maritime History and Long Island and the Civil War. He is a freelance contributor to Newsday and magazines.

Willie K. and Harold S. (Mike) Vanderbilt: Gilded Age Yachtsmen
Dr. Robert B. MacKay, Historian and Author
Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 7:00 pm
This lecture will focus on how the Vanderbilts used their yachts for racing, cruising, and epic voyages. An avid sailor, noted author, and preservationist, Dr. MacKay is director emeritus of Preservation Long Island. Among his books are Great Yachts of Long Island’s North Shore, The Golden Age of Newport Yachting: Between the Wars, Long Island Country Houses and Their Architects 1860-1940.

“Fire and Ice: The Loss of the Steamship Lexington”
Brian E. O’Connor, Retired Attorney and Author
Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 7:00 pm

For 40 years, Mr. O’Connor handled complex commercial litigation as a partner with a Wall Street law firm. He will tell the story of the Steamship Lexington – built by Commodore Vanderbilt in 1835, for service on Long Island Sound – and its tragic fire, sinking, and loss of life on January 13, 1840. The tragedy had profound legal significance, prompting Congress to enact the Shipowners’ Limitation of Liability Act in 1851, which overruled an earlier Supreme Court decision and held the Lexington’s new owner liable for the loss of cargo on board when she sank. The Lexington’s loss was also a catalyst for Congressional legislation to regulate steamboat safety.