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BPC is starting a Speaker's Bureau

Organizations wanting to schedule a speaker should contact the individual speakers whose contact information is listed:

Speaker: Dr. Linda Czuba Brigance - 

Professor Emeritus SUNY Fredonia and Trustee, Buffalo Presidential Center

“The Hands That Rocked the Cradles: Mothers of US Presidents”

Program Description:

There have been 45 mothers of U.S. Presidents and even more if we add in stepmothers.  Yet, despite almost universal acknowledgment—across centuries and cultures-- of the importance of mothers in shaping their children’s futures—most of us don’t know much about the women called “mother” by our Presidents.

This program tells the stories of the mothers of the five Presidents with the most connections to Buffalo and Western NY: Millard Fillmore, Abraham Lincoln, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.

Speaker: Rachelle Moyer Francis - 

Author, Retired Orchard Park teacher, Trustee, Buffalo Presidential Center

and Curator, Millard Fillmore Presidential Site


A Chronological and Inefficient Quest American Presidential Homes #1 to #10

Program Description:

Visits to presidential homes, not for the political details, but for human interest stories and surprising observations. This will include an extensive book and media list.


The Two Wives of Millard Fillmore

Program Description:

Abigail Powers Fillmore and Caroline Carmichael McIntosh Fillmore looked alike, but were very different. Come meet the ladies who flank President Millard Fillmore at Forest Lawn.


Will the Real Millard Fillmore Please Stand Up?

Program Description:

Three political parties, two different wives, widely conflicting reviews—who really was our most Buffalonian president?

Speaker: Bren Price -

Retired Educator; Trustee, Buffalo Presidential Center; Master Docent, Explore Buffalo


1. Presidents in Buffalo: Unusual and Untold Stories 

Considering Buffalo’s rich and perhaps unique Presidential history, you will be surprised at how many unusual, unknown, and even weird stories abound. Some may be controversial—others “believe-it-or-not.”

2. Abraham Lincoln in Buffalo, New York

3.  Donkeys and Elephants: Enduring Political Mascots

How in the world did donkeys and elephants evolve into mascots of the Democratic and Republican parties? Can you guess where they first appeared? We’ll journey from the mid-1800s to present day, picturing an array of comic illustrations and funky artifacts used to support or denigrate political candidates.

4.  Contested Presidential Elections: When Popular Votes Didn’t Matter

5.  Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Presidents

6.  From Parlor to Ballot Box: The Woman Suffrage Saga in New York State

7.  Third Party Politics and the American Presidency

8.  Grover and Frances Folsom Cleveland: Their Buffalo Legacies

Speaker: Laura Fitzgerald -

Historian, Director of Operation of Preservation Buffalo Niagara


Famous Women of WNY

 Many women of power and influence resided in Buffalo. Hear the inspirational stories of important historic heroines like Margaret St. John, Kathleen Howard, and Shirley Chisholm.


Lincoln’s Legacy in WNY

Speaker: Courtney Speckmann -

Director of Programs & Community Engagement at Buffalo & EC Naval & Military Park; former Director of Education, White House Historical Society

History of the White House

Speaker: John Fagant - 716-410-5955


Buffalo Anti-slavery Party Conventions (1840s)

Court House Park (now Lafayette Square) has been the location for two of the most significant political third-party conventions in the history of American abolitionism. The Liberty Party, followed a few years later by the Free-Soil Party, chose Buffalo to host their dramatic attempts to change forever the pro-slavery dominance of the nation’s politics.


The End of American Slavery (1860 – 1865)

Although Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation did not free all the enslaved, its significance will be discussed as well as state abolition, military emancipation and the 13th amendment.


Lincoln In Buffalo & Western New York

Based on the book “The Best of the Bargain: Lincoln in Western New York” written by Mr. Fagant.  This 40-minute talk discusses Lincoln’ visits to the region in 1848, 1857, 1865 and especially the 1861 Inaugural Journey through Buffalo.


Fillmore & the Compromise of 1850

The 13th President, Millard Fillmore, signed and attempted to enforce the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law as part of the Compromise of 1850. He was much maligned in the North for doing so. Let’s review Fillmore’s political career both before and during his presidency and see if the criticism is deserved.


The Lincoln Funeral Train

An overview of events from March to early April 1865, Lincoln’s assassination and the Funeral Train, as it travels its way to Springfield, Ill., concentrating on its journey from Albany to Buffalo.


Oswald: Assassin or Patsy

Was it a lone nut assassin or a conspiracy? This talk will NOT tell you who did it. But it will review the movements of Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963 with a special emphasis on the Noon Lunch hour – arguably the most famous Lunch Hour in American History.

Dealey Plaza

Review of events and eyewitness testimony just before, during and immediately after JFK’s assassination in Dallas, November 22, 1963.  Discussion on the infamous Grassy Knoll, the Texas School Book Depository and Presidential security also included.

Speaker: Patrick F. Ryan - Cultural Coordinator, Richardson Olmsted Campus | Lipsey Architecture Center -


McKinley, Roosevelt, and the Pan-Am

Presidential History in the Queen City: 1789 to 1900

Pierce-Arrow: Buffalo's Presidential Car

William Morgan: Masons, Murder, and a New Political Party

Millard Fillmore and the Compromise of 1850

Henry Clay: I Would Rather Be Right, Than Be President

The Men Who Were Almost* President: Clay, Calhoun, and Webster

William Wells Brown: Orator, Author, and Abolitionist 

Jacksonian America: A Changing Country



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