Rod Beemer

SINCE 1964 THE AUTHOR has spoken to hundreds – perhaps thousands – of audiences in Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and California. The programs delivered to groups large and small were tailored to the needs and topics of libraries, historical societies, medical professionals, educational professionals, museums, church groups, board of director meetings, and chamber of commerce meetings among others.

Schedule 2017

Presently unavailable for speaking engagements for the remainder of 2017.




Friday · March 24, 2017
Chisholm Trail Symposium
120 N Main St, Cimarron, KS 67835
6:00 PM – Beverages, snacks, live music
7:00 PM – Presentation on author’s book Notorious Kansas Bank Heists


Saturday · April 1, 2017
Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
200 S E 4th St, Abilene, KS 67410
2:00 PM – Presentation on Mother Nature’s impact on trail drives
Thursday · April 13, 2017
Pioneer Memorial Library
National Library Week Celebration
375 W 4th St, Colby, KS 67701
12:15 PM – Presentation on author’s book Notorious Kansas Bank Heists




Friday · July 7, 2017
Fort Wallace Museum
Great Fort Wallace & Western Kansas 1867 Exposition
2655 Highway 40 Wallace, KS 67761
TBA – Presentation on the Army’s Frontier Scouts
Saturday · July 15, 2017
Kansas Corral of Westerners Meeting
Hitching Post Restaurant (click for map)
100 SE 5th Street, Abilene, KS 67410
11:30 AM – Lunch in the meeting room
Following lunch – Presentation on author’s book Notorious Kansas Bank Heists







The following are popular program topics, which include digital slideshow presentations. Typical programs run about fifty minutes, but topics and duration may be tailored to fit your requirements. The author does have his own multimedia equipment if necessary, but will need access to standard electrical power to include the image projection aspect of the program. Please contact the author at least two weeks prior to your scheduled event to make arrangements.

Notorious Kansas Bank Heists

Gunslingers to Gangsters

For most law-abiding citizens it’s hard to imagine robbing a bank. But this fun and engaging presentation takes you to the heart of the action with tales of some of the most notorious bank heists in Kansas history. Join author Rod Beemer as he shares from his award-winning book about strange, comical, and bizarre robberies to deadly and unsolved thefts. He’ll also discuss the professionals who did the robbing as well as those who tried to stop them. So, hang on to your hat and get ready for a wild ride into Kansas’s bank heist history.


And Armor-Piercing Projectiles

It’s not the wind that kills. It’s the deadly flying debris. The dramatic air pressure dynamics that are the very definition of a tornado result in terrifying and incredible phenomena. And all of it is not really even remotely understood. How does straw pierce a tree trunk like an arrow? How does an ordinary sock puncture a car hood? What forces drive wood into and through the steel beams of a bridge structure? Author Rod Beemer examines these examples and more along with some personal research regarding high velocities in this fascinating presentation.

Supersonic Winds and Hard Water

Hailstorms and Tornadoes

The immense sweep of the trans-Mississippi prairies and plains breeds some of the most intense weather systems on the planet. Within the towering summer thunderstorms lurk the devastating hailstones and tornadoes that fascinate and plague Great Plains dwellers each spring and summer. Naked chickens. A sock through a car hood. Wood embedded in steel. These are just a sampling of the power of storms. Exploring these weather systems exposes a wealth of facts and phenomena that are sure to educate and entertain.

Awesome and Awful

A Fright More Terrifying than the Indians

“Nothing else, not even Indians, was dreaded as much as the plume of smoke that indicated that a prairie was on fire.” — Lewis Nordyke, Cattle Empire

“Awesome and awful” says it all concerning these incredible conflagrations that roared across the prairies and plains during the nineteenth century. Everyone living in, or passing through, this area after the first killing frost of the fall did well to keep an eye scanning the heavens for that telltale plume of smoke that meant death and destruction was stalking the earth. The story of how the newcomers coped with these fires is often high drama, often tragic, but always fascinating.

Demise of the American Buffalo

Why the Legendary Herds Nearly Vanished

Enormous herds of buffalo once roamed the vast prairies and plains of the North American continent. Then in the 1800s their numbers dwindled almost to the point of extinction. What was the reason for the drastic reduction in population of the American buffalo? Was it a singular cause or a combination of many factors? Some of the often-touted answers can be shown to be incorrect. Author Rod Beemer delves into this surprisingly controversial question and dissects the debate, exposing the fallacies and myths of their demise.

Chasing Custer

Mapping His Finest Hour

Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, commanding eleven companies of the 7th U.S. Cavalry and ten companies of the 19th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, marched west out of Fort Sill, I.T., on March 2, 1869. His purpose was to find and persuade a band of Cheyenne Indians to move onto their reservation or, in General Sheridan’s words, give them a “sound thrashing.” One hundred and forty years later, March 2, 2009, I left Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and drove over two thousand miles in an effort to map the route Custer marched during this last campaign of Sheridan’s winter offensive. The conclusion I reached was surprising and, according to one Custer historian, adds something new to the Custer story.


The Four Individuals Responsible for Settling the West

Without the transformative products these four men brought to the industrial revolution, the settling of the trans-Mississippi West prairies and plains would have developed much slower, or perhaps stalled short of ever being populated by the newcomers. The transformation they orchestrated ushered in the unprecedented growth of our nation that led to our rise on the global stage. They ignited a revolution without weapons or gunpowder. Who were they? The identities of these four men just may not be who you think.

Custom Presentation

Tailor-Made for Your Event

A special custom presentation can be crafted to meet the specific topic of your event. Research and writing time in preparation will necessitate some additional cost based on the subject matter involved. Please contact the author at (785) 392-5195 or email to discuss details in arranging a tailor-made presentation for your occasion.

Presently unavailable for speaking engagements.