Eight Decades of Shining Memories

Since 1935, Tulsa Town Hall has hosted speakers who are diverse and provocative, as well as experts in their fields. By providing the community an opportunity to interact with these speakers, Tulsa Town Hall has both engaged and enlightened audiences for over 80 years. Our guests, whether they be authors, explorers or international icons, bring fresh perspectives on current topics. Reviewing past speakers is like reading a cultural history of our country and our world…

 Throughout the years humorists Art BuchwaldP. J. O’Rourke and Garrison Keillor made us laugh and Holocaust survivor Gerda Klein made us cry. AuthorAnna Quindlen made us laugh and cry.  Educator Erin Gruwell inspired, Frank Deford talked good sports, Jane Bryant QuinnDavid Faber and Stuart Varneytalked bad investments. Arthur Frommer and Rick Steves told us about traveling the world; environmentalists Ralph Nader and Robert Kennedy, Jr. told us about taking care of our world. Geographer Harm de Blij helped us discover our world and astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson helped us look beyond.  We have heard voices from the political left, voices from the political right, pop icons like Phil Donohue, master salesmen like Stanley Marcus and “women of all trades” like Clare Booth Luce and Alison LevineMichael Wallis gave us a sense of place in Oklahoma and Azar Nafisi opened our eyes to other cultures.

These speakers and hundreds of others, along with their many memories, are the essence of Tulsa Town Hall.


Tulsa Town Hall featured on KTUL Channel 8

Venues have varied over the years and have included the Crystal Ballroom of the Mayo Hotel, the Ritz and Orpheum Theaters,  Southroads Cinema, and finally, the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.  No less diverse has been the Tulsa Town Hall speaker list.  Our guests have embraced…

From Nobel laureate Sinclair Lewis and best-selling mystery writer Harlan Coben, to Pulitzer Prize winners Thornton Wilder, David McCullough and Anna Quindlen

From World War II correspondent and historian William Shirer to Emmy Award winners Bob SchiefferJohn Stossel and Ted Koppel

From Maria Von Trapp and Helen Hayes to Beverly SillsCharlton Heston and Marvin Hamlisch

Explorers, Inventors and Scientists
From oceanic explorers Jean-Michael Cousteau and Robert Ballard to NASA engineer Homer Hickam to astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson

From Edna St. Vincent Millay to Maya Angelou

From Will Durant who wrote The Story of Civilization, to Ken Burns, whose documentary films have recounted the Civil War, World War II, as well as the histories of jazz music and baseball; and from Team of Rivals author and Pulitzer winner Doris Kearns Goodwin to eminent University of Oklahoma professor Dr. J. Rufus Fears

Political Figures
From Williams F. Buckley, Jr. and Henry Kissinger to President Gerald Ford and Senator George Mitchell…

International Heroes
From Madame Jehan Sadat, widow of assassinated Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat, to Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi.