EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is re-running again because the version that ran Thursday was a draft.
The Baytown Historical Preservation Association will launch its 2020 Saturday History Lecture Series on Jan.25 with a program on the Battleship Texas in War and Peace by author Mark Lardas.
Lardas will talk about the history of the Battleship Texas with an emphasis on its adventures as a museum. It will include rare photos showing the ship in all phases of its existence.
The Battleship Texas is the oldest dreadnought battleship still in existence, the only remaining representative of a class of warships which dominated the war at sea during World War I. It had a remarkable career as a warship, but it has been a museum ship for over twice as long as it served as a commissioned warship in the U.S. Navy. Its history as a museum ship is almost never told, but is as fascinating as its wartime service. It came closer to destruction over its seven decades as a museum ship than it ever did in combat.
A sometime engineer, freelance writer, amateur historian and model-maker, Lardas is currently a technical writer living in League City.
Although he graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, he spent most of the next 30 years as a space navigator and a software engineer on the Shuttle program.
Lardas’ down-to-earth interests include model-making and writing — interests which he combines in numerous articles to modeling magazines as well as stints as the Hobby Master for “Boy’s Life” and the Model Master for “English Street,” an English language publication in Hong Kong. He is also the author of 17 published books focusing on history with ten of them related to maritime and naval history.
This free of charge lecture on Saturday, Jan. 25, will be held in the red barn meeting room at the Republic of Texas Plaza, 5117 N. Main St. in Baytown. The program will begin at 10 a.m. (doors open at 9:30).
Lardas will have copies of his book, “The Battleship Texas,” as well as his other books available for purchase after the lecture, which he will be happy to sign and personalize.
Reservations are encouraged as seating is limited. To be guaranteed a seat, call 281-421-2099, and leave a message with name, phone number, and the number attending. You can also reserve seats by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The historic buildings at the Republic of Texas Plaza will be open for free tours following the program until 3 p.m.
For more information about the Baytown Historical Preservation Association and its activities, visit their website at www.baytownhistory.org.