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The Muster Roll

Speaker Series

Sponsored by the Sherrin H. and Bruce A. Baky Foundation

As part of the Alliance’s mission to provide interesting and compelling programming for the public, the annual Speaker Series is held in cooperation with the Washington Memorial Chapel. This series, which runs from September through May, gathers an array of historians, scientists, authors, archeologists, actors and performers to share with the public their multiple points of view on history, the natural world and the ongoing commemoration of Valley Forge.

September to April presentations are free and held at Washington Memorial Chapel, on Route 23 in Valley Forge, on Tuesdays at 7 pm. The May presentation will be held in the theater at Valley Forge. A complimentary reception follows each talk.

For directions to the Chapel, visit

November 1, 2016
The Storm: Philadelphia, 1765–1790

The executive producer of History Making Productions will show and discuss the filming of Storm: 1765–1790, the fourth episode in History Making Productions’ award-winning series entitled Philadelphia: The Great Experiment. Storm focuses on the deep and passionate divisions in Philadelphia during the American Revolution between Loyalists, Revolutionaries, and those who wanted nothing to do with either side. Relying extensively on originally created re-enactment scenes, Sam will help us understand how all the elements of the series are pieced together for the commercial television audience. He will also discuss the importance of making history accessible to as wide an audience as possible and the challenges of doing so in the age of 140 characters.

About the Speaker

Sam Katz

Sam Katz is a lifelong Philadelphian who has had a unique career in public and project finance, venture capital, civic affairs, development, politics, and documentary filmmaking.

He spent twenty years as CEO of Public Financial Management and worked with cities, counties and state governments throughout the nation on financial distress and capital funding. Sam structured the financing for such Philadelphia sports facilities as the Wachovia Center and Camden Yards. More recently he chaired the State authority that exercised oversight over Philadelphia’s finances. He was also a candidate for Mayor of Philadelphia (1991, 1999, 2003) and Governor of Pennsylvania (1994).

Over the past eight years, Sam has been producing documentary films on the history of Philadelphia including the fourteen-part EMMY award winning series, Philadelphia: The Great Experiment and Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia. These films are available online at and are free of charge.

Sam and Connie Katz have lived in West Mt. Airy for 35 years and are active members of Germantown Jewish Centre. They have four grown children, two of whom live in Philadelphia, and two grandsons.

Dec 6
An Inventory of an Army: What the British Surrendered at Yorktown
Bob Sullivan
A unique perspective on the British Army through the equipment and accoutrements surrendered on October 19, 1781.
Jan 3
Preview of the Museum of the American Revolution
R. Scott Stephenson, Ph.D.
Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution, opening April 19, 2017, will tell the dramatic story of the founding of our nation through immersive gallery experiences, object theaters, and recreated historical scenes.
Feb 7
Ben Franklin’s Navy
Tim McGrath
The rarely told combination of adventure, intrigue, comedy and tragedy that is the story of Franklin as the unofficial leader of the Continental Navy.
Mar 7
The Revolution’s Last Men: The Soldiers Behind the Photographs
Don N. Hagist
The six surviving soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War were interviewed and photographed in 1864. A researcher and writer tells their stories.
Apr 4
Meet Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton, as interpreted by Eben Kuhns
The young Hamilton and his views on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Presented in cooperation with the American Historical Theater.
May 2
Special Location: Park Theater • Advance Tickets required due to capacity
George & Martha Washington: In Perfect Felicity
George & Martha Washington, interpreted by John Lopes & Carol Spacht
General and Mrs. George Washington share the story of their courtship and 40-year marriage.