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."


  • “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

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2019 Historical Anniversary Dates Calendar
2020 Historical Anniversary Dates Calendar
2019-2020 Program Topics List

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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 have been booking up fast -- there are brand new presentations available and in development for 2019 and 2020.

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

Dr. Seuss PresentationLink to Battle of the Bulge  program infoLink to the Battle of Okinawa program infoLink to Jaequeline Kennedy Onassis program infoThe Rat Pack presentation linkLink to the Judy Garland program informationLink to Charles Dickens program informationLink to the decade 2000's program infophoto link to Berlin Wall program informationLink to Goebbels and HItlers Propaganda presentation infoLink to program information Battle of Iwo JimaLink to Chicago Gangsters vs Eliot Ness Program InfoLink to information for presentation on The Woodstock Music FestivalLink to Alfred Hitchcock presentation details

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 Jim 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!