The Bell County Museum is springing back into action this week with the revival of its annual lecture series.
The museum has announced the return of its annual spring lecture series on Friday following two years of cancellations due to COVID-19. Friday’s lecture will feature Texas author Wes Ferguson, who will give a presentation about the 1974 Huntsville prison siege.
The first lecture will take place starting at 6 p.m. Friday at the museum, 201 N. Main St. in Belton. The lecture series is free and open to the public.
Coleman Hampton, executive director of the museum, said he and the museum staff are all excited to see the return of the series, which has been in the works for a long time.
“Some of these speakers were scheduled in 2020 and 2021,” Hampton said. “We are very grateful that all of them have stayed with us and scheduled and rescheduled.”
This year’s lecture series will feature four speakers over the next three months, all taking place on Fridays at the museum.
On April 1, award-winning author S.C. Gwynne will give a presentation titled “The bitterness and brutality of the Civil War’s final years.”
Temple photographer Earl Nottingham will give a presentation on April 22 about his work, which is compiled in the book, “Wild Focus: Twenty-five Years of Texas Parks & Wildlife Photography.”
The final lecture will take place on May 20 featuring Temple businessman Drayton McLane Jr., who will talk about the importance of sports in our society. McLane was chairman and CEO of the Houston Astros from 1993 to 2011.
Since the start of the lecture series in 2018, Hampton said the museum has invited a wide range of speakers. These have included local authors, civil rights activists, athletic coaches, artists and businessmen.
Before the pandemic, Hampton said the lecture series saw between 150 and 200 attendees for each event.
Hampton said the first lecture will not require any registration ahead of time. He said this might change for later series, especially the talk by McLane, due to capacity limits for the museum.
Moving forward, Hampton said he hopes that residents attend the series even if there are some weather issues.
“I think that we might have some bad weather on Friday, but I will take that over what we have dealt with for the past two years,” Hampton said.