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.

  • Author Jamal Joseph discusses his life as a member of the Black Panther Party, prison inmate, activist, poet, filmmaker, and professor at Columbia University, the school he once claimed should be burned down.
    Jamal Joseph - Panther Baby
    Friday, September 21, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    As a member of the Black Panther Party, Jamal Joseph advocated burning Columbia University to the ground. Forty years later he’s a professor at Columbia. In his memoir Panther Baby Jamal takes readers from his Bronx childhood to Leavenworth prison and his current career in the arts.

    Joseph is executive artistic producer of the New Heritage Theater in Harlem. In 2008 he was nominated for an Academy Award for his contributions to the song “Raise It Up” from the film August Rush.

  • Be a part of the studio audience as KCPT tapes the latest installment of Meet the Past when Crosby Kemper III interviews President Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Patrick Lee.
    Meet the Past - Thomas Jefferson
    Thursday, September 20, 2012
    Central Library

    Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III returns for a conversation with Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Patrick Lee.

    Jefferson, America’s third president and author of the Declaration of Independence, was also a big supporter of the humanities.

    The event will be taped by KCPT for later broadcast.

  • A panel of historians from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff college of Fort Leavenworth examine the Civil War battle that provided the single bloodiest day of fighting in U.S. military history and led to the Emancipation Proclamation.
    Antietam: The Bloodiest Day
    Tuesday, September 18, 2012
    Central Library

    The Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862 is the bloodiest day in American military history. Now, exactly 150 years later, a panel of historians discusses the events of that day.

    Leading his Confederate troops into Maryland for their first fight on Union soil, Robert E. Lee was met at Antietam Creek by George McClellan’s federals. The battle claimed 23,000 casualties and resulted in a standoff. But after that the Union believed it could win, giving President Abraham Lincoln the confidence to issue his Emancipation Proclamation.

  • Join adults who have recently learned to read for an evening dedicated to the transformational power of reading. Nick Haines of KCPT-TV emcees and local writers read from their works.
    The Power of Reading: A Celebration of the Written Word
    Thursday, September 13, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    An estimated 225,000 adults in Kansas City are denied some of the simplest and most important moments in life because they cannot read.

    To celebrate the joy of literacy the Library hosts the fourth annual Power of Reading: A Celebration of the Written Word. KCPT’s Nick Haines emcees. Adult students from Literacy Kansas City share their stories. And local writers discuss the power of reading in their lives.

    Co-sponsored by The Writers Place and Literacy Kansas City.

  • 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.