Event Audio

To listen to an audio recording of a previous Library special event, click the icon. The audio file will launch the media player on your computer.

The most recent recording displays at the top. The Library offers recordings only with the permission of the presenter. Please allow 7-10 days for the recording to be posted.

  • Historian Jim Denny examines the Civil War Battle of Island Mound, where black soldiers first proved they had the bravery and discipline to fight for freedom. This event is being held in conjunction with the October 27, 2012, opening of the Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site.
    Jim Denny - Battle of Island Mound
    Wednesday, September 12, 2012
    Central Library

    Historian Jim Denny examines the Battle of Island Mound, the first Civil War battle in which African-American soldiers engaged in combat and proved their courage. This event is keyed to the grand opening on October 27, 2012, of the new Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site near Butler, Missouri.

    Now retired, Denny was a historian for 33 years with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and continues to lecture and write about many aspects of local history.

  • Political scientist Samuel Popkin, a veteran of numerous presidential campaigns, examines how challengers get to the White House, how incumbents stay there for a second term, and how successors hold power for their party.
    Samuel Popkin - The Candidate: What It Takes to Win – and Hold – the White House
    Tuesday, September 11, 2012
    Central Library

    Why doesn’t practice make perfect? Why are the same mistakes replayed in every presidential election? Political scientist Samuel Popkin looks at three campaigns – George H.W. Bush’s muddled 1992 re-election effort, Al Gore’s flawed 2000 campaign, and Hillary Clinton’s mismanaged effort to win the 2008 Democratic nomination – and uncovers lessons that future candidates should heed.

    Popkin is a professor of political science at the University of California - San Diego.

  • How did America end up in Vietnam? Historian Fredrik Logevall explains the 40 years of political, military, and diplomatic miscalculation that led to U.S. involvement in Indochina.
    Fredrik Logevall - Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam
    Thursday, September 6, 2012
    Central Library

    Cornell University historian Fredrik Logevall discusses the origins of America’s least popular war, beginning with the 1919 Versailles Peace Conference that ended World War I, continuing through a half century of French rule, and on to America’s involvement in Vietnam. It’s a story of political, military, and diplomatic maneuvering and miscalculation.

    Logevall is John S. Knight professor of international studies at Cornell University. Among his books are America’s Cold War: The Politics of Insecurity, and Virtual JFK: Vietnam If Kennedy Had Lived.

  • Hoover biographer George H. Nash argues that our 31st president was a far more dynamic, accomplished,  and remarkable figure than the stereotypes suggest.
    George H. Nash - Herbert Hoover
    Thursday, August 30, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Seemingly austere and reportedly passive in the face of a national economic calamity, Herbert Hoover is somewhat of a political orphan. But biographer George H. Nash argues that Hoover was a much more dynamic, accomplished, and remarkable figure than the hoary stereotypes suggest.

    Between 1975 and 1995 Nash lived in Iowa near the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, where he prepared three volumes of the definitive biography of the 31st president.

    Co-presented with the Truman Library Institute; co-sponsored by KCUR’s Up to Date.

  • Battlefield researcher Douglas D. Scott describes his recent studies of Civil War battlefields in Missouri, including the battles of Wilson’s Creek and Boonville.
    Douglas D. Scott - Missouri Civil War Archaeology
    Sunday, August 26, 2012
    Central Library

    Civil War battlefields stubbornly conceal their secrets and their archaeology remains a buried, largely untapped source of historical information. Douglas D. Scott, developer of methodology that has enabled archaeologists to systematically investigate battlefields all over the world, discusses his recent studies of Civil War battlefields in Missouri, as well as the site of the Centralia Massacre.

    Retired from the National Park Service, Scott is an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Nebraska.

  • On the 149th anniversary of  his raid on Lawrence, Kansas confederate guerilla leader William Clarke Quantrill (portrayed by Aaron Worley) discusses his bloody and controversial career as a Civil War bushwhacker. The session is being taped for later broadcast by KCPT-TV.
    Meet the Past - William Clarke Quantrill
    Tuesday, August 21, 2012
    Central Library

    Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III returns for a conversation with William Clarke Quantrill, portrayed by Aaron Worley, on the 149th anniversary of Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Kansas.

    Quantrill earned notoriety for the 1863 raid on the abolitionist stronghold of Lawrence, in which some 180 unarmed men and boys were killed.

    The event will be taped by KCPT for later broadcast.

  • Novelist Thomas Mallon uses both drama and satire to take us behind the scenes of America’s biggest, wildest, most traumatic political scandal.
    Thomas Mallon - Watergate
    Thursday, August 9, 2012
    Central Library

    Many historians have written about the Watergate conspiracy. But can a novelist throw new light on this traumatic moment in American political history?

    Thomas Mallon does just that in Watergate, using drama and comedy to take readers behind the scenes of a national scandal, creating “a universal tragicomedy of ludicrous errors and malignant crimes, epic hubris and sorrow.”

    Mallon is the author of Henry and Clara, Two Moons, Dewey Defeats Truman, and Aurora 7.

  • Lawrence psychologist and author Dr. Wes Crenshaw offers insights into teen issues like sex and contraception, mental health, cutting, divorce, bullying, and suicide.
    Dr. Wes Crenshaw - Real Life Advice for Parents of Teens
    Thursday, August 9, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Dr. Wes Crenshaw Lawrence family psychologist and author of Dear Dr. Wes: Real Life Advice for Teens and Real Life Advice for Parents of Teens offers insight for parents on teen sexuality, mental health, cutting, divorce, bullying, and suicide. He'll be taking audience questions and suggesting ways to better relate to teens and tweens, especially those transitioning to middle and high school.

  • Douglas Hundley, an elder at the Second Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, explains why it is important to read and understand the King James Bible. The program complements Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible, an exhibit on display through August 10 at the Central Library.
    Douglas Hundley - Why Read the King James Bible
    Wednesday, August 8, 2012
    Central Library

    Why read the King James Bible? Douglas Hundley, an elder at the Second Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, answers that question.

    His talk is presented in conjunction with the exhibit Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible on display through August 10 at the Central Library.

    Hundley uses his love of the King James Bible as a stepping off point for an even more fundamental question: Why do we read?

  • Celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman as education reformer Virginia Walden Ford discusses the movement for school choice.
    Virginia Walden Ford - The Case for School Choice
    Monday, July 30, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    Celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman as education reformer Virginia Walden Ford discusses the movement for school choice.

    Friedman, the late Nobel Prize-winning economist, was a champion of capitalism and an advocate of school vouchers.

    Ford is the author of Voices, Choices, and Second Chances: How to Win the Battle to Bring Opportunity Scholarships to Your State.