Published in the January 15, 2018 edition.

WAKEFIELD — Wakefield’s venerable Sweetser lectures are set for the spring of 2018. The lectures will take place in The Savings Bank Theatre, at Wakefield Memorial High School, 60 Farm St., Wakefield. The lectures will begin at 7:30 p.m. the evening of each lecture. The venue is handicapped accessible.

Tickets are available at the door before each lecture, at Smith’s Drug Store, 390 Main St., Wakefield, or by mail. Please send a self-addressed stamped envelope, to The Sweetser Lecture Series, P.O. Box 1734, Wakefield, MA 01880. A ticket for a single lecture is $10, with a discounted ticket for $25 good for all three of the series. Students are admitted for $5.

The Series is supported by a generous grant from The Savings Bank in Wakefield. Anyone wishing to become a Benefactor for $80 or a Patron for $40 to $79, with a mention in the program, can contact the series through the P. O. box.

Jerry Thornton kicks off the 2018 Series with “From Darkness to Dynasty: The First 40 Years of the New England Patriots,” the subject of his recent book. Thornton is the former co-hoist of WEEI Sports Radio Network’s “Dale and Holley with Thornton.” After several years’ absence, he has returned to Barstool Sports, a satirical sports and men’s lifestyle blog. Thornton is also a stand-up comic and promises to offer an entertaining evening, Wednesday, March 28.

Returning to the Sweetser Series after two years is Rick Beyer, bestselling author, history lecturer, and award-winning documentary producer. His lecture on the “Ghost Army of World War II” was well-received in 2016. This time Beyer will speak on the subject of his most recent book, “Rivals Unto Death: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.” The subject is timely with the musical “Hamilton” currently drawing sell-out audiences on Broadway. The show is coming to Boston in the fall of 2018, so Beyer’s lecture will give an interesting preview. Beyer will speak on Tuesday, April 10.

Rounding out the series on Wednesday, April 25, will be Juliette Kayyem. Her subject is “Home Sweet Homeland: Protecting America in an Age of Mayhem.” Kayyem is an acclaimed national security expert, bestselling author, journalist, and CNN security analyst. Formerly she was the Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A lawyer by training, she received her bachelor’s and juris doctor degrees from Harvard University. Her thoughts should be very interesting to hear in the current political climate.

The Sweetser Lecture Series began in the late 19th century with a bequest in the will of Cornelius Sweetser, a wealthy local shoe manufacturer. The net proceeds from the lectures are donated, as stipulated in the will, to Wakefield charities. Recent donations have been to the Interfaith Food Pantry, and the Wakefield efforts of the Salvation Army and Mystic Valley Elder Services.