Standing Ovation for Gary Powers, Jr. at University of Mary Washington’s Great Lives Series in February 2020


My organization has been honored to host Gary Powers, Jr. twice as a guest lecturer for our monthly “History in Our Backyard” lecture series. He also served as our inaugural discussant for “Movie Night” following the screening of Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies.” Gary is a polished, knowledgeable and riveting speaker who has brought Francis Gary Powers, Sr and his Cold War heroics to life for our audiences. He is a consistently popular speaker, drawing some of the largest attendees to our events. We look forward to future opportunities for Gary to speak to our organization and we highly endorse him for others seeking quality, impassioned presenters on the “U-2 Spy Incident.”

Eleanor A. O’Rangers
Southeastern Pennsylvania Cold War Historical Society

It is a pleasure for me to commend Francis Gary Powers, Jr. as a speaker, based on his presentation to the University of Mary Washington’s Great Lives Series in February, 2020. As the creator of this popular public lecture program in 2004, I have served since that time as its director. During that period, we have brought to campus approximately 300 prominent speakers from across the U.S. and beyond, including a number of Pulitzer Prize-winning biographers. Even among that distinguished company, Gary was particularly impressive, both because of his extensive knowledge of his subject and the effectiveness of his delivery. Especially commendable was the ease of rapport that he quickly established (and maintained) with his audience, as evidenced not only in his prepared remarks, but in his adroit handling of audience questions following his presentation.

William. B. Crawley
Professor Emeritus of History
University of Mary Washington
Fredericksburg, Virginia

Gary Powers has an interesting sense of this dangerous point of Cold War history; being a direct part of it through his family. He is a competent and knowledgeable historian, eloquent speaker and author as well as having his unique personal history to share that enthralls audiences who hear him.

Jim Walther
Executive Director
National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Gary Powers’ talk for the Univ. of Tennessee Center for the Study of War and Society, held at the East Tennessee Historical Society in Knoxville, left the audience rapt, on the edge of their seats, as he deftly and with masterful story-telling skills, and no notes at all, recounted his father’s fateful experiences in the downed U2 spy plane and what happened after, a key moment in the history of espionage. The event, and Powers’ narration, were unforgettable. 

–Prof. Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, UT History Department and UT Center for the Study of War and Society

Scroll UpScroll Up