Jim Gibbons Historical Presentations Bringing History to Life
Call Jim Gibbons 815-572-1244

Jim Gibbons Historical Presentations

Photo of Jim GibbonsJim Gibbons provides informative and insightful presentations on past events and people that both educate and enlighten his audiences. Drawing from his research and knowledge of history and present day events, he brings to light information that applies to our lives today. He is available to speak to your group on a variety of topics. He currently offers over 90 unique programs and has spoken at over 270 different venues.

Peggy Sansonetti

Pictured is Margaret (Peggy) Anne Sansonetti who died in the Our Lady of the Angels School Fire at 10 years-old.

His presentation on the Our Lady of the Angels School Fire in Chicago, 1958, was extremely popular in 2012, and remains so. This tragic fire killed 92 children and three nuns. Based on his research, personal interviews and passion, Jim explains the details of this event. Jim's presentation on the Our Lady of the Angels School Fire continues to draw crowds and acclaim. Susan Parker, former staff member of the Marengo-Union Library District, said Gibbons' presentation was riveting.

"He gave you the idea that you were a witness, that you were there," Parker said. "You got the feeling of urgency that everyone at the scene must have felt."

Now Presenting Historian, Michelle Gibbons

Historian Michelle GibbonsMichelle Gibbons, a Marengo resident, Historian and Marketing Director for Jim Gibbons Historical Presentations, is making a name for herself teaching the importance of history. Through her passion for history and training from her father, Jim Gibbons, Michelle has presented several programs on, “Following the Yellow Brick Road: The Life of Judy Garland,” which discusses Garland’s beloved movies, family life, tragedies, triumphs and more. She will also be presenting programs on the 1990’s, Edith Head, and several more for 2021 and on.

Starting in 2012 as the Marketing Director, Michelle has helped her father’s business blossom into a full-time career. Today, Jim Gibbons Historical Presentations has presented over 110 programs to libraries, universities, colleges, park districts, senior organizations and more throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Massachusetts both virtually and in person. Prior to her father’s business, Michelle worked as an Editor, staff reporter and freelance writer for several newspapers, magazines and newsletters locally, nationwide and worldwide. Michelle received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Northern Illinois University in 2008 with double majors in Journalism and English and a minor in Political Science.

Following in her father’s footsteps and using his slogan, “Life is no mystery when you know your history,” her goal is to not only teach the important parts of history, but to help others learn its value in today’s society.

For more information or to schedule your program with Michelle today, contact her at 224-622-9339 by call or text, or e-mail her at Jgibbons@jimgibbonshistorian.com


  • “I just attended a South Suburban Adult Programmer (SSAP) meeting and told everyone how thrilled our patrons were with Jim Gibbons’ presentation... More
  • “Many thanks for an excellent presentation on Eleanor Roosevelt. The Morton Grove Library audience was enthralled with both your slides and detailed narrative... More
  • “I have heard nothing but excellent comments about Jim’s presentations on The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Our Lady of the Angels School Fire... More
  • “You are the best! Not only do I learn so much, you make me smile with your enthusiasm and love for what you do... More
  • “On the behalf of Barrington Area Library, we would like to thank you for an outstanding program on “Our Lady of the Angels Fire”. Our patrons raved about your excellent program... More
  • “Mr. Gibbons, thank you for making history fun and enlightening. My son said that he really enjoyed himself. We had a great conversation about history on our way home from your presentation. If we had more educators like yourself, more students would excel in history... More
  • “The staff and students of Eisenhower High School (Blue Island, Illinois), were thoroughly impressed with your presentation that commemorated the 125th Birthday of President Eisenhower. The members of the Social Studies Department were inspired by your infectious enthusiasm and truly felt that the students could not have been more engaged.... More
  • “Just a quick message to say how much I enjoyed your presentation on WWII that was given at the Alumni Center for Luther House here in Normal, Illinois last Thursday. I learned so much, and you had the audience in the palm of your hand! I hope I can hear you speak another time."
  • "... Some of our patrons comments your program last night included: “Amazingly knowledgeable;” “This program was very informative and Mr. Gibbons did an excellent job;” “Mr. Gibbons is very dynamic and passionate about his presentation;” and “[The] history of WWII came alive!”
  • Read More Testimonials

Planning Calendars Download Planning Calendars!
2020 Historical Anniversary Dates Calendar
2020-2021 Program Topics List (with photos)
2020-2021 Program Topic List (words only)

Spanish Flu
Now offering program on the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic!
Spanish Flu

NOW OFFERING VIRUTAL PROGRAMS NATIONWIDE VIA ZOOM! Jim Gibbons is now presenting his programs virtually! All of his 110 programs are now available to book through the virtual platform of Zoom to audiences from 1 to 500 plus nationwide. Call or e-mail Jim or Michelle at 815.572.1244 (Jim) or 224.622.9339 (cell) to schedule your program today!

Chicago's neighborhoods: the many sides of chicago

Chicago SkylineBuilding a Community: The Many Sides of Chicago

Historian Jim Gibbons will discuss the many sides of Chicago. Gibbons will break down each side of Chicago’s neighborhoods in a nine-part series, including: Chicago’s Central District, Near North Side, Far North Side, Northwest Side, the South Side, Southwest Side, Far Southwest Side, Far Southeast Side and the West Side.

Historian Jim Gibbons will discuss the highlights and attractions of each community. He will also explain the history of each neighborhood, its past and current development and its expected growth for the future.

Select the buttons below to read about the program specifics for each neighborhood.

Chicago's Central  Side presentation linkChicago's Far North Side presentation linkChicago's Far Southeast Side Presentation linkChicago's Far Southwest Side program link
Chicago's North Side presentation linkChicago's Southwest Side program linkLink to Chicago's South Side presentation informationChicago's West Side Program Info Link

We are booking up fast for virtual programs! There are brand new presentations available and in development for 2020 and 2021 via Zoom. Schedule your program today!

New programs now available to book select the Photos below to view program information!

Dr. David Livingstone presentation info linkMr. Rogers presentation info linkAmerican Civil War Presentation Info LinkChicago Fire Presentation Info Charles M Schulz Presentation Info

Program information link Chicagos YesteryearProgram info link War in South PacificProgram info link Shirley Temple1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic program lnfo Program link Chicago's Foundation

Dr. Seuss Presentation Link to the Judy Garland program informationLink to the decade 2000's program infoLink to Chicago Gangsters vs Eliot Ness Program InfoThe Rat Pack

Be sure to check out the presentations page on this site for more details and the program schedule to see one of Jim's presentations.

Contact us to book a presentation for your library, park district, senior group, school or event. He is available 7 days a week for morning, afternoon and evening presentations!