Western History Symposium

19th Annual Western History Symposium


Saturday, August 13, 2022 – 9am to 4pm
Phippen Museum of Western Art

Six scintillating FREE LECTURES provide a variety of interesting, informative, and new perspectives on Western History presented by six renowned authors and historians. This year’s SYMPOSIUM is hosted at Prescott’s Phippen Museum, with FREE ADMISSION to the center and its multiple galleries, plus an onsite lunch Food Truck service.  The Museum is located on Hwy. 89 near the Dells and at the Circle south of the Hwy. 89A junction (Fain Road and Pioneer Parkway) off the Peavine Trail in North Prescott (close to the airport).  Hourly FREE LECTURES begin at 9 a.m. and will continue until 4 p.m.  


USS Arizona and her Last Band

Speaker: Don Larry                                                  

In U.S. Navy history, no other unit was “formed together, trained together, transferred together, reported aboard a ship together, fought together, and died together.” The band of the USS Arizona perished that fateful day in December, 1941, at Pearl Harbor just weeks before a planned “Battle of Music” (of the bands) against their friends and colleagues aboard the nearby USS Pennsylvania, USS Tennessee, and USS New Jersey.  They had been featured on Oahu radio only days before, with a 45-minute performance of swing and holiday tunes.  Little did they know what would happen that Sunday morning.  This presentation will provide a brief sketch of the USS Arizona battleship, from the laying of the keel in 1914 and the quirky christening by a young lady from Prescott, to that tragic morning.

Don Larry is a retired architect and active euphonium musician. He taught at Arizona State University for 10 years and is a founder of the Territorial Brass, Arizona’s official Historical Brass Band. 

Jerome's Courageous Journalist that History Tried to Erase

Speaker: Jana Bommersbach                                                                           

She dared do WHAT?” — This presentation is about Laura Nihell and her incredible campaign for justice in the early 1900s of Jerome, Arizona.  She owned and edited a local newspaper, but made herself front page news by standing against the tide of prejudice.

Jana Bomersbach was inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame as an “Outstanding Media Leader.” She has authored nine books and has been with True West Magazine since 2002.

Previous Western History Symposium Programs