It was 1933, the height of the Great Depression, when a small group of citizens in Norfolk signed on to launch a public lecture series aimed at broadening their knowledge of current affairs. That year, the cost to attend all four lectures presented by what would become known as the Norfolk Forum—including then U.S. Speaker of the House Henry T. Rainey, who talked about Roosevelt’s New Deal—was a whopping $1.
Since then, countless notable names have made their presence known as part of the Norfolk Forum, from politicians to scientists, entertainers to journalists, authors to heads of state. This venerable event series celebrates its 90th anniversary this season by honoring its long history and charging forward with a dynamic lineup of speakers for 2022-23.
As The Norfolk’s Forum’s website notes, a look through its speakers over the decades would find “philosophers, educators, consumer advocates, authors, historians, futurists, judges, musical revues, ambassadors, financial wizards, rocket scientists, war correspondents, foreign affairs experts, film critics, a self-described spy and even a con man.
“We take pride in remembering that Margaret Thatcher, Alex Haley, Ogden Nash, Vincent Price, Bill Moyers, Pearl Bailey, Will Durant, Russell Baker, Barbara Walters, Ken Burns, Cokie Roberts, Ross Perot, Tom Wolfe, Dave Barry, George Bush, Jane Goodall, Mark Russell and a host of others have graced our platform.”
During the 2021-22 season, Norfolk Forum speakers included famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, retired Navy admiral James G. Stavridis, historian and journalist Doris Kearns Goodwin, and gourmet guru and “Barefoot Contessa” Ina Garden. This year, the series will welcome Rick Steves, Mara Liasson, Linda Johnson Rice and David Cameron (see below).
After 90 years, the formula remains simple, organizers say: “It’s still the best ticket in town.” But it will cost you a little more than $1. Only full season subscriptions, at a cost of $160 per person, will be sold up through the first of four events running Sept. 7-May 3. Limited single tickets will be offered shortly after the first lecture based on availability. All shows start at 7:30 p.m.
Learn more at The NorfolkForum.org.
The Norfolk Forum 2022-23 Speakers
Public Television Host and Best-Selling Guidebook Author
Sept. 7, 2022
Political Analyst, FOX News; National Political Correspondent, NPR
Oct. 25, 2022
Linda Johnson Rice
Chairman & CEO, Johnson Publishing Company and former Chairman Emeritus of Ebony Media Operations
January 24, 2023
The Rt Hon David Cameron
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2010-16)
May 3, 2023