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Return home. See our program listing. Our current schedule. Meet the people involved. Test your historical knowledge. Please contact us for additional information. HFK Presents...for the kids at heart.
Photo montage (1).HFK Presents....historical portrayal for the kids at heart.    



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  Looking for a brochure?  

HFK Presents 2013-14


Printable Program Descriptions


Library & Hist. Society Brochure (Spring)


St. Nicholas Brochure


Mistakes Happen, High School


Mistakes Happen, College

  Teacher Inservices  

Museum Workshops


HFK Presents Newsletter


HFK Presents: 5 Minutes
of History

Leadership Programs
We the People
Featured programs.

Meriwether Lewis

Burnham’s Chicago

Teddy Roosevelt

Haunted History

The Legend of St. Nicholas

Early Movers & Shakers

Illinois Inventors

Benjamin Franklin

“It was a pure joy talking with someone who loves their work and does such an outstanding job. I do hope I get another chance to see another wonderful presentation. ”

– District IV Director
Daughters of the American Revolution


“Terry's presentation as
Ben Franklin on Constitution Day lent an uplifting dimension to a day that is too often overlooked by students. Terry was willing to tailor his program to our needs. It was as if we were in the presences of Ben Franklin himself. Students asked to have their picture taken with him. Terry was both historically accurate and amusing in his presentation. He is a must see!"!

-Office of Student Life
Berkshire Community College
Berkshire, MA


“Ben Franklin was a great addition to our Constitution Day activities. HFK Presents provided us a great opportunity to learn more about United States history in a fun but meaningful way. Ben Franklin was educational and entertaining, and we look forward to his return to our campus!"

-Elgin Community College
Elgin, IL


“Just a special word of thanks for a spectacular presentation--so well received by all. It made yet another Annual meeting of the Historical Society of Des Plaines memorable. I'm not sure how we can ever top this!”

-Des Plaines Historical Society
Des Plaines, IL


“I always know we have had a good presentation by the amount of members who ask when we can have the presenter back! I had several members find me immediately to offer such praise. We can't wait to schedule Terry for next year!”

-Will County Farm Bureau
Joliet , IL


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  Our Blog: www.leadershipinhistory.blogspot.com

Programs for adult groups...

For more than 10 years, as owners of HFK Presents, actor and professional speaker Terry Lynch and his wife Laura, a certified educator have combined their careers to develop programs for older students and adults that not only educate, but entertain.

When audiences saw our historical programs for children, many people told us that they wish learning about great historical figures could have been this much fun when they were in school. They enjoy our presentations, but they’re for kids, right?

Colleges, libraries, historical societies, and many other organizations were left wondering: what about the adults?! Learning isn’t just for children, and everyone likes to have fun. So how could we bring history to life for the “kids at heart”?


What types of programs do we offer?

Terry has spoken to groups of all ages using his years of theatrical and improvisational training at Northern Illinois University, Second City Training Center, and i.O Theater, to create unique, interactive presentations that are both informative and motivational.

Terry's wife Laura, a certified educator and member of Who’s Who in American Education and Who’s Who Among Young American Professionals, researches and co writes the programs as well as develops inservices and workshops.

Most recently, Terry and Laura wrote Mistakes Happen: An Historical Guide to Overcoming Adversity, and Terry has been an occasional contributor on the "WGN-TV Morning Show".

HFK Presents offers leadership programs, historical portrayal programs and workshops for school districts, museums and historical societies, corporations, as well as keynote addresses for organizations.

Scroll down to see the various programs offered by HFK Presents. Our books are also available for purchase below.

  Leadership Programs
  Through humor and storytelling, audience members will learn effective leadership strategies, develop important everyday decision making skills, and discover that even great leaders make mistakes! Terry will work with you to customize a program that will speak to your audience and help them to discover THEIR greatness! Below is a list of the available programs.

Mistakes Happen: An Historical Guide to Overcoming Adversity


“History is full of people who threw
up their hands and said 'Now What?'

-- Laura & Terry Lynch


Today, no one knows what the future may hold! During these uncertain times, who can the average person look to for guidance? Let the past inspire the future.

Speaker Terry Lynch has had the opportunity to research some of this country's most famous leaders. Through his research, he has found that not everything in the lives of our most prestigious Americans ran smoothly.

Those who came before us made mistakes, overcame adversity, and are now in the history books as examples of how to persevere in spite of "perceived failure".


Let the past inspire the future as you learn:

Everything is on purpose

Not to let the little mistakes cloud the greatness to come

Great leaders learn from their mistakes


Audience members will not only learn effective leadership strategies, but will develop important everyday decision making skills.

Companion book is available for purchase for $10.00


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One Size Does Not Fit All

  A leadership program demonstrating that not every organization can
"buy off the rack". You may need the diplomacy of Ben Franklin, the guidance of Lewis & Clark, and the determination of Theodore Roosevelt to tailor the leaders that fits.



We the People

  The ideas of a farmer, banker, lawyer, printer and silversmith helped to form the foundation of our country. Every voice must be heard. Let our past inspire your future!


  High School and College Programs

Students in high school and college are looking for programs that speak to them. They want relevant and useful information. Our programs for these students will, like our leadership programs help them discover their greatness.


Available Program:

Mistakes Happen: A Guide to Overcoming Adversity

This program may be customized for both high school and college students


Who hasn't made a mistake? Why is it that some people succeed after making a mistake, while others seem to fail? The answer is not difficult, it's all in how you pick yourself up after the fall.

Programs are available year round and are perfect for:

  • Orientation, Welcome Week
  • Back to School Programs
  • Holiday Festivities
  • Greek Life Events
  • Assemblies, In-class Programs
  • Student Leadership Gatherings
  • Student Conferences
  • Summer Programs
  • Academic, Athletic, and Club Banquets
  • Staff Development ...and MORE!

Click here and let Terry tell you why
you should have him speak at
your college or university today.


Now Available!

A companion Book to the HFK Presents program:

Mistakes Happen: An Historical Guide
to Overcoming Adversity



Plus S & H



Click Here to See the Book Trailer









Discover the Origins of :

St. Nicholas characters in various countries
Popular Christmas symbols
Worldwide Christmas traditions



Click here for the book trailer

$10.00 USD

Plus S & H


  Inservices and workshops
  Teacher Inservices

Laura & Terry Lynch (HFK Presents)are now ISBE Approved Professional Development Providers. Contact them for info on how to have HFK Presents at your next school or regional in-service! All presentations available year round Download our brochure.

Workshops available:

S.O.S.!! Save Our Social Studies
Planning, Delivering and Engaging Students in Social Studies Instruction


Actions Speak Louder Than Words
How to Maintain Credibility as a Role Model for Your Students


What Do You Do With People Like That?
Strategies for Effective Collaborative Relationships and Communication

(Also appropriate for college orientation programs)

  Other Workshops Available

Museum or Historical Society Educators, Docents or Volunteers:

Developing Presentations Skills: Learning to Read Your Audience

This workshop, developed for museum and historical society educators, docents and volunteers will help them develop or brush up on their presentation skills. How do you keep everyone from grandma to the sullen teen interested in the information you find fascinating! Learn some of the tricks of the trade for reading the patrons of your organizations and making sure they get the most from their visit. Interactive Workshops are 60-90 minutes long.

  Historical Portrayal Programs
  Let leaders from the past, lead us to the future! These 45 minute, one man interactive programs give audiences a new, first person perspective on the people and events that make up our history and culture. Remember, history happens when you least expect it!
Do American's Need to Brush Up
on Their Civics?

The answer is is a resounding YES! Lately, it seems the emphasis in the American school system has been on passing standardized tests for funding. What have we lost in the process? Learning!

Today, the average American might have difficulty passing the test for U.S. citizenship. Don't believe it? Click on the link below. Newsweek asked 1000 people the following questions from the test... 38% failed.
How do you measure up?

Newsweek Excerpts from the U.S. citizenship test


Pierre Salinger and the 1000 Days of Kennedy's Camelot
Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Our 35th President


“In 1960, when John Kennedy ran for office,
people were not interested in his private life."

--Pierre Salinger


This program will not only cover the assassination, but the 1000 days that made up the Kennedy administration. It is told through the eyes of one of Kennedy's most trusted insiders, his White House Press Secretary, Pierre Salinger. Learn about the close relationship Salinger had with the President, and his unique perspective on some of the most dangerous times in our country's recent history.



Over There: The War to End All Wars
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI


“Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile."
--World War I marching song

It has been 100 years since the beginning of World War I. This war, more than any other, broght with it major changes to the leadership in Europe, changes in warfare, and changes to society, especially for women. Hear how World War I resulted in--to quote a song from another war-- a world turned upside down.




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The War of 1812: Mr. Madison's War

“Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps
the most to be dreaded...?Madison.
– James Madison

James Madison did NOT want to be involved in another conflict with the British. He tried every diplomatic channel to avoid war, and found himself backed into a corner. Encouraged to declare war by some very vocal members of Congress, Madison found himself having to clean up the mess left to him by his predecessor, Thomas Jefferson.


Also ask about
"James Madison:
Father of the Constitution"


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Stephen A. Douglas

Stephen Douglas."Tell my children to obey the laws, and uphold the Constitution."

– Stephen A. Douglas

Stephen A. Douglas was an influential state and national political figure. This program about the senator from Illinois may be performed in one of two ways. Hear about the life of Douglas and his time as Illinois senator, and the second most powerful man in the nation, OR hear the history of Illinois, the Lincoln years, as seen through the eyes of Lincoln's political rival, Stephen A. Douglas.


Alexander Hamilton: The American Rags to Riches Story

“Man is a reasoning rather than
a reasonable animal."

– Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton was born in the Caribbean and abandoned as a child. How did these humble beginnings plant the seeds of opportunity for this founding father? Ironically, he in turn created opportunities for others by helping to create a government he could never run as President.


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Benjamin Franklin


“Be mindful of the past.”– Benjamin Franklin

Inventor, statesman, and founding father—he seemed to do it all! Learn more about the man who not only harnessed electricity and helped shape the country that would come to be known as the United States, but also entertained people with his satirical writing and adages.



Illinois Inventors

Illinois Inventors.

“...take a keen interest in something and luck must be with you.” – Marvin Camras 

A 20th-century newspaper hawker, will give you the inside scoop on these Land-of-Lincoln legends, and their inventions: Marvin Camras (tape recorder), Laurens Hammond (electronic keyboard), Charles Pajeau (Tinker Toys), Levant Richardson (ball bearing roller skates), Ives McGaffery (vacuum cleaner) and Whitcomb Judson (the zipper).

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Mudslinging, Muckraking and Apple Pie:
Presidential Campaigns, the Great American Pastime

“I can and do forgive all my enemies.But those vile
wretches who have slandered her must look to God for mercy."

--Andrew Jackson reagrding the death of his wife, Rachel


It seems now more than ever, presidential campaigns are getting down and dirty. How did this campaign craziness get started? Believe it or not, they have actually gotten more civil over the years! Don't believe it? In this program, hear stories of the mudslinging and muckraking of the Jefferson v. Adams campaign of 1800, the Jackson v. Adams of 1828, the Lincoln v. Douglas of 1860, and Grant v. ANYONE! Also covered in this program is the 1912 election of Teddy Roosevelt when he decided to start his OWN political party.


Hysteria in Salem


" I am no more a witch than you are a wizard. If you take my life away, God will give you bood to drink." -Sarah Good

Marking the 320th anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials, Magistrate John Hathorne recounts the hysteria, paranoia, and resulting trials that took place during the mid 17th century in Salem Massachusetts.

Henry Ford


"An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous" – Henry Ford

There was more to Mr. Ford than the
automobile industry. Ford hoped to be as big a success in politics, as he was at running the Ford Motor Company. Hear how his uncompromising opinions worked for the auto industry, but did not make him a man of the people.


Teddy Roosevelt

  Theodore Roosevelt.

“Lead By Example.”--Teddy Roosevelt


You may not be able to charge up San Juan Hill as Roosevelt did, but develop your leadership skills as you learn how to use Teddy's approach to life and elevate others along with you.


Burnham’s Chicago

Burnham.“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood.”

– Daniel Burnham

Daniel Burnham, architect of the 1909 Chicago Plan, leads you through the history of the city he loved so well. From the Fort Dearborn Massacre to the Columbian Exposition of 1893; from the Union Stockyards to the city’s fabulous architecture. Burnham will introduce you to the people and events that shaped the “Windy City,” and helped transform it from the “Wild Onion” to the “City of the Big Shoulders.”


A Day at the Fair with Daniel Burnham

“The adage that " All roads lead to Rome " must, for the year 1893 at least, be changed to "All roads lead to Chicago,"

–Rand, McNally & Co.Handbook of the
World's Columbian Exposition

To commemorate the 120th anniversary of the 1893 Columbian Exposition, relax for a day at the fair with Chicago architect and Director of Works for the Columbian Exposition, Daniel Burnham. Audience members will learn about the origins of the fair as well as the exhibits, people and politics involved with the creation of the White City.


Historical Illinois

Historical Illinois.

“If a country is not worth protecting, it is not worth claiming. " – George Rogers Clark 

Travel the timeline of Illinois from the prairies to the urban societies of today. Hear how historical figures and events helped to meet the people's changing needs as the population grew. This show is great for study of IL statehood. It can also be used as a focus for students studying the Illinois Constitution.

Lewis and Clark

Meriwether Lewis.

“The work we are doing now is, I trust, done for posterity, in such a away that they need not repeat it.”

– Thomas Jefferson 

Meriwether Lewis, member of the Corps of Discovery Expedition explains how our country expanded west from the Mississippi River. How was the land of the Louisiana Purchace explored? What were these explorers hoping to find? Included are the stories of the Coprs' travels west from St. Louis to the Pacific.

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George Washington: Mount Vernon to Washington D.C.


“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." --George Washington


His commitment to his family was as important to him as his commitment to his soldiers, and later a fledgling nation. Learn what brought Washington from a surveyor of land, to the leader of a nation.


Oh the Humanity!: The Hindenburg Disaster



“It's fire and it's crashing!...This is one of theHindenburg.
worst catastrophes in the world!"
--WLS Reporter Herb Morrison


On May 6, 1937, WLS reporter, Herb Morrison was sent to Lakehurst Navel Air Station in New Jersey to cover the first anniversary of transatlantic passenger service. What he witnessed that day turned out to be one of the greatest disasters of the 20th century. Hear Morrison explain the historical significance of the dirigible Hindenburg, as well as recount the horrific details fo that day.


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Andrew Jackson, the Story of Ol' Hickory


“Our federal union, it must be preserved."Jackson.

--Andrew Jackson


Andrew Jackson, our seventh President, and voice of the "common man" as he tells the tales of his 1812 wartime exploits, his disagreements with congress, and his tumultuous presidency.


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Early Movers and Shakers


Early Movers and Shakers.

“Give the lady what she wants.” – Marshall Field 

Turn-of-the century period clothing help bring the stories of these early entrepreneurs to life. Terry will share the success stories of Marshall Field, William Wrigley, Charles Walgreen, Ray Kroc and Frederick Maytag.


The Underground Railroad


“If you're anywhere in Illinois,you're not too far from a place where the Underground Railroad operated." --Glennette Tilley Turner 


Discover the first hand story of William Hayes, conductor of the underground railroad in Randolph county in IL. His mission, to aid in the abolishment of slavery, assist in the illegal transport of runaway slaves, as well as the eventual court trail for his actions. A wonderful supplement for Black History Month.


U.S. Grant: The Hero of Appomattox
Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War


Grant.“There was never a time when, in my opinion some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword."

– Ulysses S. Grant 

It has been 150 years since the beginning of the Civil War. Ulysses S. Grant, Commander of the Union Army, commemorates this anniversary as he reveals how the war impacted the lives of all Americans. The conflict was not restricted to the fields of battle. The war affected the lives of the average citizens as the nation struggled to remain united. Perfect for Civil War Commemorations.


The Legend of St. Nicholas

“The giver of every good and perfect gift has
called upon us to mimic His giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves."
-- St. Nicholas of Myra


You'd better watch out! Father Christmas tells the stories of St. Nicholas, the protector of children throughout the ages. Learn about the origins of:

  • St. Nicholas characters in various countries
  • Popular Christmas symbols
  • Worldwide Christmas traditions

A special show for November and December may be customized for ages 1-92, so no important secrets are EVER revealed!

New!! Companion book now available for $10.00

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Haunted History

Haunted History.“Sit Back and Listen...If You Dare!.”


Hear the entertaining and chilling tales of the historical hauntings of the Midwest. Stories of the S.S. Eastland, Brookfield Zoo, Fort Dearborn Massacre, and John Dillinger (just to name a few) help to guarantee goosebumps, while enjoying a bit of history at the same time! May be adjusted for geographical region.


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Edgar Allan Poe


“Sleep, those little slices of death--how I loathe them."
– Edgar Allan Poe

Literary chills abound in this spine tingling program. Edgar Allan Poe will give a brief biographical sketch of his life. The main focus of this program is the retelling of some of Poe's greatest works. Highlights include "The Raven" and "The Tell Tale Heart"


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Charles Dickens: A Tale with a Twist


Dickens.“Reflect upon your present blessings - of which every man has many - not your misfortunes of which all men have some"

– Charles Dickens

The great 19th century author Charles Dickens has a big birthday coming up in 2012 - he's about to commemorate the bicentennial of his birth! As this date quickly approaches, Dickens reflects on his life, and discusses some of his best loved works. How did the culture of his time influence his writings? Works discussed may include, but are not limited to: A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, The Cricket on the Hearth, as well as some of Dickens' short stories and non fiction works. A great introduction to English Literature!

This program may also be customized for the Christmas season. This option will exclusively include Dickens's Christmas stories of which there are many!

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Farming in America: The Growth of an Industry


“I will never put my name on a product that
does not havethe best that is in me..”

– John Deere 


Blacksmith John Deere discusses the influence he, Cyrus McCormick, and farmer Joseph Glidden had on the expansion of farming in America.


Over There: The War to End All Wars


“The world must be made safe for democracy”

–Woodrow Wilson 


It has been 100 years since the beginning of World War I. This war, more than any other, brought with it major changes to the leadership in Europe, changes in warfare, and changes in society, especially for women. Hear how World War I resulted in --to quote a song from another war-- a world turned upside down.


Leader of the Band--The March King



“The vocal cord will be eliminated by a process of evolution,
as was the tail of man when he came from theSousa. ape."

– John Philip Sousa


As a thirteen year old boy, Sousa ran away from home to join the circus. From these humble beginnings, he went on to become the band master of the United States Marine Corp Band and eventually conducted the President's own Marine Band under five Presidents. Along the way, he wrote 136 military marches! An exciting story of ambition and perseverance.


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HFK Presents Corporate


Make your corporate event entertainment a unique experience! Keynote speeches or performances are available from any of the HFK Presents personalities or any motivational speech.

Arrangements and fees are decided on an individual basis. Call for details


For bookings:

HFK Presents
P.O. Box 2337
Orland Park, IL 60462
phone: 708-218-7001 • fax: 708-349-7375
e-mail: info@hfkpresents.com