(Video clips  and samples are posted below.)


Speaker. Lecturer. Panelist.

"Keeney’s passion is to unearth the lost voices of American history  -- stories of unselfish sacrifice, as he calls them -- and through those voices bring out the character of the nation we live in today."

Mr. Keeney is a highly energetic speaker with a passion for his audiences.  He delivers a fast-paced, presentation using photos, videos. and audio clips.  He routinely speaks at universities, history symposiums, fund raisers and formal dinners, and non-profits. His speeches combine fascinating historical material with engaging visual images and video clips.

His speeches include:

The Eleventh Hour. On November 11, 1943, at the height of World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt boarded the USS Iowa and crossed the Atlantic Ocean. And not just Roosevelt. With him were the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff, including the future Secretary of State George Marshall,  and 65 top war planners from the War Department. What was worth such an extraordinary risk?  Meet Roosevelt, Churchill, and Staling via a study of the Tehran Conference as seen through private diaries, transcripts and notes in a revealing 45 minute lecture that highlights the drama an demands of diplomacy on the most senior level.

Recently given to:

The USS Iowa, San Pedro

EAA Chapters

Treyton Oaks Towers Lecture Series

The Filson Historical Society

The Alphabet Soup of Nuclear War (Based on the book 15 Minutes: General Curtis LeMay and the Countdown to Nuclear Annihilation/St. Martins). Fail safe,  the H-Hour Control Line, the dead hand switch, ECM, PCTAP (Positive Control Turn Around Point) ,  Alternate Airborne Command Post -- Dr. Strangelove had it right -- but he only scratched the surface of the blizzard of spooky-sounding  acronyms and extreme contingency plans the United States had during the Cold War. A retrospective and why it matters today. (See clip.)

D-Day: Air Power’s Finest Hour. (Based on the book The Pointblank Directive)

Lost in the Pacific, based on his book Lost in the Pacific. (See clip.)

Lights of Mankind. (Based on the book by the same title.) 


Douglas Keeney (far right) with author Barbara Perry and scholar Allen Lynch speaking to the audience at the Virginia Film Festival. Speaking as author of 15 Minutes: General Curtis LeMay and the Countdown to Nuclear Annihilation.

Recent events:

The Virginia Film Festival, University of Virginia

United States Air Force Association Annual Meeting, 2013, Washington, D.C. (speech and signing) 

The Filson Historical Society

Sandhurst (England)

EAA Warbird Chapters (several)

FAA Flight Safety Seminar speaker

Xavier University

Univ of Rhode Island

Univ of Nevada/Las Vegas Nuclear symposium

Pacific Battleship Center, San Pedro



Speaking at The Filson Club in a typical small group setting. 



Lost in the Pacific: Incredible Stories of WWII Survival and Why It Matters Today

A 45-minute keynote and lecture based on the book, Lost in the Pacific. The speech covers air sea rescue in World War II with an emphasis on the Pacific. Video and photos underscore the  inspiring stories of airmen forced to ditch after WWII combat missions in the Pacific. The facts of their survival and rescues  are surrounded by a sense of duty, honor, courage and ingenuity -- indeed, through these stories, audiences see the character of a great nation.

This keynote is based on the inspiring stories from the book Lost in the Pacific.

Synopsis. Lost in the Pacific is about air-sea rescue in World War II with a focus on the Pacific. The keynote, like the book,  is based on a collection of incredible, true, never-before-published  first-person stories from crash survivors. The focus throughout is on the airmen. Young aviators survived  combat, ditched in the ocean, spent weeks on  a raft or deserted islands, fought off sharks, alligators, evaded (and attacked) Japanese patrols; they blew up bridges on their way out, lost 40 pounds, suffered terribly --but when they came  back and were healthy, to a man they had one but question: when can I get  back in, coach?

Lost in the Pacific tugs at anyone’s heartstrings yet inspires as these incredibly brave, ingenious, determined  aviators tell what they did to survive -- and through their experiences remind us what this great generation did to build the nation we live in today.

The keynote uses a highly visual Powerpoint which contains period photography, audio and video.


A selection of images from the speech Lost in the Pacific: Incredible Stories of World War II Survival and Why It Matters Today. (Below) A clip from the book signing and lecture (no audio). (Bottom) The  finale of the keynote set to Amazing Grace. 

 Actual rescue footage from WWII. Used in lecture.

The day comes to a close at a seaplane base when a call comes in for one more rescue. A PBY finds the aircrew, brings them back and they are put into ambulances. A montage of faces concludes the clip -- reminders of the young men who fought in World War II to preserve world freedom.  Used in lecture.


Earth at Night as Seen From Space -- A visual feast and an engaging presentation with the latest images of our cities at night as seen and photographed by our astronauts including a video segment that "flies" from Chicago to New York across the ocean to London, across Europe to Italy and ends in Cairo -- all at night.  Dozens of stunning images, including a where-are-we-now segment that audiences love.  Engages people intellectually and fascinates them visually. Author will sign books and remain for your executives.

Where are we now? The River Nile and Cairo.

Hap Arnold is congratulated as he walks on the Normandy Beaches one week after D-Day. Arnold directed the air war that gave Eisenhower air superiority on D-Day.

D-Day: Air Power's Finest Hour -- Our most popular speech based on the book, The Pointblank Directive. The war effort against Germany was stalled, American bombers weren't getting through, and D-Day was just six months away. How did we turn the corner?  Some would have you believe it was the P-51 Mustang or the abundance of machines flowing out of our American factories. Rather, the air war turned on people -- people who despite the press of World War II were bold enough to stop and say, with unflinching determination, "we can do better." Based on the book The Pointblank Directive, this 47 minute lecture  is a gripping, heavily illustrated, energetic presentation for aviation and history groups.   Speaker: Douglas Keeney. Author will sign books after speech. Video clips available.


New York Times bestselling author and historian, Douglas Keeney