KC Public Library Blog

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.

Local History

Carrie Westlake Whitney and Carl Busch: "A Christmas Greeting to Kansas City Children"

Carrie Westlake Whitney

In 1932 a poem titled “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” appeared in the newspaper, written by a local poet. The first stanza and the fourth read: Do you remember way back when / (Say, thirty, forty years) You never saw your sweetheart’s limbs / But judged her by her ears?

Death of a Legend

Arthur Bryant

December 28, 1982: Arthur Bryant, who established one of the most famous barbeque restaurants in the world, dies of a heart attack at the age of 80.

Program Notes: The Life of Emile Zola (1937)

The Life of Emile Zola movie poster

The Life of Emile Zola is anything but a conventional screen biography. This Oscar winner for best picture could more accurately have been entitled The Dreyfus Affair, for that notorious case of military injustice is the film’s centerpiece.

Local History

Dusting Off Kansas City’s Cowtown History

What’s the saying? One man’s trash is another’s treasure? Lucinda Adams recalls the day, five years ago, when she was led into a converted storage room in the old Kansas City Livestock Exchange building in the city’s West Bottoms.

Library Life

Remembering Joan Fontaine & Peter O'Toole

Joan Fontaine and Gary Cooper at the Academy Awards in 1942

Hollywood lost two of its great ones this weekend.
Joan Fontaine, a major star of the ‘30s and ‘40s, died at age 96, and Peter O’Toole, who will forever be identified with his performance in Lawrence of Arabia, died at age 81.

Striking a Chord

Foundry near Leeds, MO. Photo credit Tom Davidson, Jr.

December 16, 1936: One thousand members of the United Auto Workers conduct a sit-down strike at the Fisher Body plant in Kansas City, giving early momentum to what will become known as the General Motors Strike of 1936-1937.