It's important for people to understand the history of any profession they practice. I think this is especially true for public relations, since its history is so varied, relatively recent, and because so many practitioners come into PR from journalism and other fields.
The upcoming issue of the Journal of Communication Management, due out in late November, has a special focus on public relations history. Yours truly has an article in the issue, and the others in the table of contents are interesting as well.
You can read more about the special issue from its editor, Tom Watson, in his blog, DummySpit. When he announced the special issue last October it was the single most visited post on his blog, showing an interest in PR history.
If you want to peruse the issue, you can do so for free for a limited time. Instructions are on his blog at the end of the Oct. 14 post.
Also, I'd be willing to offer a presentation of my article if the WMPRSA or other local parties are interested.