KC Public Library Blog

One Step at a Time

March: Book One

A personal memoir carries a glance into American history. Illustrate this story as a graphic novel. When these elements blend, it takes readers back in time. Here, we travel sixty years. We join those central to the Civil Rights movement, watch the sit-ins, and ask ourselves, “Do I have the courage that they did?”

The Annexation That Wasn’t

Robert T. Van Horn

January 21, 1879: The Kansas Senate approves a proposal to move the state border eastward in order to annex Kansas City, a plan that is blocked by the Missouri legislature.

Book Reviews

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A Study in Scarlet

Doyle did not invent the detective story or the mystery novel, but he did establish something of a template in his stories of the brilliant, but quirky, Sherlock Holmes.

Program Notes: Idiot’s Delight (1939)

Idiot’s Delight movie poster

Idiot’s Delight features Clark Gable’s only on-screen singing/dancing performance. It was very timely film in 1939. Today, not so much. Still, as one of that year’s hits it’s part of our year-long film series Hollywood’s Greatest Year.

Bowled Over

Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs

January 15, 1967: The Kansas City Chiefs battle the Green Bay Packers in front of 63,036 fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum and another 60 million on television, losing the game 35 to 10 (in what will become known as Super Bowl I).

Book Reviews

The President and the Assassin by Scott Miller

The President and the Assassin by Scott Miller

At the beginning of the Twentieth century, the United States enjoyed an economic boom along with a rise in the anarchy movement leading to the assassination of a President.

The "Godmother of Guadalupe"

Dorothy Gallagher with children

January 8, 1894: Dorothy Gallagher, who becomes a founder of the Guadalupe Center at 1015 West 23rd Street to aid Mexican immigrants, is born in Kansas City.

Program Notes: Bachelor Mother (1939)

Bachelor Mother movie poster

Bachelor Mother (1939) is a prime example of a production that cannily employed comedy to dance through forbidden territory. Ginger Rogers got to show off her comic chops and an impeccable sense of timing.

Book Reviews

My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams

My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams

I still find myself fascinated with the correspondence between John Adams and his lady. While My Dearest Friend is not the first collection of their correspondence, the collection, covering the entirety of the relationship between John and Abigail, is one of the most complete selections.

We Are the World

Multiculturalism is a complex concept, and a seven-syllable word, to boot. Little kids might not be able to say it, let alone understand it. How does a kid in preschool wrap his or her head around it? Luckily, there are a few books that take this abstract idea and make it really accessible. Here are three that I like.

Malala’s Brave Example

Malala Yousafzai: Education Activist by Rebecca Rowell

Can teens make a difference? Anyone who says “no” hasn’t heard of Malala Yousafzai. The sixteen year survived a bullet to her head a little over a year ago. Why? She spoke out about the importance of girls being educated, something that the Taliban did not allow. Now that she is out of the hospital and living in England, she continues vocally attesting to girls’ right to attend school.

Program Notes: Ninotchka (1939)

Ninotchka movie poster

For most of her career, the great Swedish star Greta Garbo was known as a dramatic actress. A tragic actress, in fact. Few, then, were prepared for 1939’s brilliant comedy Ninotchka.

Ringing in the New

Construction view of Convention Hall, 1900

December 31, 1900: Fifteen thousand of Kansas City's elite brave the cold to usher in the new century at Convention Hall. The revelers were in an optimistic, even jubilant mood. In just 50 years, the region that is now greater Kansas City had grown from a few small towns into a thriving metropolitan area of 268,000.

Teen Advisory Board Members Needed!

Do you want to make a difference at the library? Do you want your voice heard? Join TAB!

Coming Up

1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year

Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind. The Wizard of Oz. Stagecoach. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Wuthering Heights. What these great films have in common is the year in which they hit America’s movie screens.