KC Public Library Blog

Program Notes: Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)

Letter from an Unknown Woman movie poster

Possibly the most European film ever made by an American studio, Letter from an Unknown Woman is a simple story that achieves astonishing complexity thanks to two terrific lead performances and the direction of Max Ophüls.

The First Edition of the Teen Zine!

It's finally here! After months of work from our teen editorial board, Unheard Voices is finally finished!

Evacuation Day

Order No. 11 by George Caleb Bingham

August 25, 1863: Following William Clarke Quantrill’s devastating raid on Lawrence, Kansas, Union General Thomas E. Ewing issues Order No. 11, forcing thousands of suspected Confederate sympathizers in Missouri to evacuate the rural areas surrounding Kansas City.

Program Notes: Ride with the Devil (1999)

Ride with the Devil movie poster

Ang Lee’s Ride with the Devil is an astonishingly accurate recreation of the chaos of the Kansas-Missouri border war, a fiercely partisan conflict of ambushes, lynchings, robberies and ruthless extermination.

Learn Something

Zinio for Libraries

Zinio

Free subscriptions to your favorite magazines? It sounds too good to be true, but patrons of the Library now have full access to the “online newsstand” Zinio.

Program Notes: The Apartment (1960)

The Apartment movie poster

More than a half-century ago, Fred MacMurray was stopped in the street by a woman who berated him for appearing in a “dirty movie.” The movie was The Apartment, which would go on to win Academy Awards for picture, director, screenplay, editing, and art design.

Aviation Takes Off

Charles Lindbergh

August 17, 1927: After flying to Kansas City in the Spirit of St. Louis, famed aviator Charles Lindbergh dedicates Municipal Airport while on a national tour to promote air travel.

Library Life

August Staff Reading Picks

The Sisters Brothers

We may have been busy with our Summer Reading Program the past few months, but your Library staff still found time to do their own reading! Here are just a few selections from our staff.

Program Notes: Quantrill’s Raiders (1958)

Quantrill’s Raiders movie poster

Quantrill’s Raiders is filled with howling historical inaccuracies. It's basically an outlaw movie, a standard-issue studio Western. We’re talking a B movie with B movie writing, B movie acting, and B movie action.

Coming Up

Quantrill in the Movies

Walter Pidgeon in Dark Command

Relatively few Kansans have gone on to be immortalized in the movies, but William Clarke Quantrill, the Confederate guerrilla leader infamous for the August, 1863, sack of Lawrence, Kansas, has been depicted on screen numerous times.

Book Reviews

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was, during the last 40 years of his life, perhaps the best known man of letters in England. And in James Boswell (1740-1795), a lawyer from Scotland with a lot of free time, it seems, he found perhaps the most diligent chronicler in the field of biography.

Program Notes: Stairway to Heaven (1946)

Stairway to Heaven movie poster

Stairway to Heaven is a romantic fable of such visual, verbal and emotional resourcefulness that one is hard pressed to think of another title that even comes close to its sublime satisfactions.

The Way to Santa Fe

Apache chief Dor-con-each-la in traditional dress

August 10, 1825: Representatives of the Osage tribes meet with American commissioners near present-day Council Grove, Kansas to negotiate a treaty giving the U.S. government rights to land for the establishment of the Santa Fe Trail, which will become a major trade route linking the greater Kansas City area to the Southwest.

Book Reviews

Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck

Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck

Just released in May, Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck examines the turbulent, fascinating and ultimately tragic life of Zelda Fitzgerald through the eyes of a fictional psychiatric nurse.

Program Notes: Kansas Raiders (1950)

Kansas Raiders movie poster

Though it’s inspired by the Kansas-Missouri Border War and is filled with characters drawn from history, Kansas Raiders says a lot more about assemblyline Hollywood moviemaking than it does about the era which it purports to depict.