Event Archive

Search our archive of past events at the Library! You can search by keyword - such as event title, subject, or presenter name - or by a date range. To search for an exact phrase, put it in quotation marks. If you know the specific date of an event, enter the same date in both fields. Search results will only show events that match ALL entered terms.

Format: 2014-10-31
Format: 2014-10-31
  • Historian Anne F. Hyde discusses her new book about the forces that were developing the American West long before the Louisiana Purchase made it a part of the United States.
    Thursday, April 3, 2014

    The popularized, and wholly myopic, story of the United States’ westward expansion entails great Anglo-American explorers, hardy pioneers, and disappearing Indians. But as historian Anne F. Hyde makes clear in a discussion of her Bancroft Prize-winning book, this chapter in our country’s history is more complex than that.

    The Louisiana Purchase didn’t procure entirely virgin wilderness. From previous French and Spanish ownership, there were existing political and military influences, and the territory also was held together — and divided — by ethnically mixed families, friendships, and other alliances.

  • The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 signaled America’s emergence as a global power. This documentary from the PBS American Experience series explores the story of this monumental undertaking, achieved in part by individuals with Kansas City ties.
    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    On August 15, 1914, the Panama Canal opened, connecting the world’s two largest oceans and signaling America’s emergence as a global power. American ingenuity and innovation — some of it supplied by individuals with Kansas City ties — had succeeded where, a few years earlier, the French had disastrously failed, stymied by disease, weather, and geography.

    The story of this monumental undertaking — the visionaries who pushed for it and nameless laborers who made it happen 100 years ago — is explored in this documentary that first aired in 2011. The screening previews a new exhibit, The Land Divided, The World United: Building the Panama Canal, opening at the Linda Hall Library on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

  • Join like-minded teens for an evening of food, open mic poetry, and a performance by award-winning spoken word artist, Lemon Andersen.
    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    Dramatist, actor, spoken word artist, writer, and Tony Award-winning poet Lemon Andersen performs selections of his poetry during the kickoff event for this year’s Teen Poetry Month at the Kansas City Public Library.

    The evening opens with a 6 p.m. reception. Audience members can sign up for open mic participation starting at 6:30 p.m., and Andersen’s presentation begins at 7:30 p.m.

    Appropriate for ages 13 and up.

  • Kansas filmmaker Kevin Willmott discusses and screens his spoof of ‘50s science fiction films. A rocket ship from the 1930’s enters a time warp, landing its crew in a modern America with a black president and young African American men who cannot keep their pants up.
    Sunday, March 30, 2014

    Filmmaker Kevin Willmott discusses and screens his satiric Destination: Planet Negro, a spoof of 1950s science fiction films in which a rocket ship from the 1930s enters a time warp, landing its crew of three in a modern Midwestern metropolis. There, they must contend with such unbelievable developments as a black president and young African American men who cannot keep their pants up.

    Willmott is an associate professor of film at the University of Kansas. Among his feature films are Ninth Street, C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America, The Only Good Indian, and the upcoming Jayhawkers.

  • Actors with The White Theatre at the Jewish Community Center present selected scenes from the classic Harper Lee novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.   Appropriate for grades 5 – 12.
    Friday, March 28, 2014

    Actors with The White Theatre at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City present selected scenes from the classic novel by Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird. Set in Alabama during the Great Depression, the story follows the journey of young schoolgirl Scout Finch, her older brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus, an attorney who has been appointed to defend a black man framed for a crime he did not commit.

    Appropriate for grades 5 – 12.

  • On the 75th anniversary of the end of the Spanish Civil War, Donald P. Wright of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College offers an overview of the “dress-rehearsal for World War II.”
    Thursday, March 27, 2014

    On the 75th anniversary of the fascist march into Madrid and General Franco’s declaration of victory, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s Donald P. Wright offers an overview of the Spanish Civil War. He emphasizes the political origins of the conflict, the war itself, and the legacy it left in Spain and greater Europe.

    This event is part of the Library’s continuing examination of the pivotal year of 1939.

  • Columbia University’s Robert Jervis maintains that though the United States is now unusually secure, there persists a widespread sense that the world is in fact deeply threatening.
    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

    In this year’s Park University Hauptmann Lecture, international policy expert Robert Jervis maintains that though the United States is now unusually secure, there remains a widespread sense among both policy elites and the general public that the world is in fact deeply threatening. How are we to resolve this puzzle?

    Jervis is the Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics at Columbia University and past president of the American Political Science Association. Among his books are The Meaning of the Nuclear Revolution and Perception and Misperception in International Politics.

  • Douglas C. Waller examines the colorful life and career of William Joseph Donovan, director during World War II of America’s first national intelligence agency –  the OSS – and the intellectual father of today’s CIA.
    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

    Tapped to be Franklin Roosevelt’s spymaster during World War II, William Joseph “Wild Bill” Donovan became a mythic figure in the history of espionage, directing the Office of Strategic Services — America’s first national intelligence agency — and becoming the intellectual father of today’s CIA.

    Biographer Douglas C. Waller looks at the man who introduced the U.S. to the dark arts of covert warfare while often risking his own life unnecessarily. Waller reveals a complex figure who won a Medal of Honor in World War II, earned millions as a Republican lawyer on Wall Street, and gave ammunition to his political enemies through a series of extramarital affairs.

  • Larry Tye discusses the first full biography of not only the fictional Man of Steel but also the real-world writers, artists, publishers, and performers who have kept the caped character an essential part of American culture for seven decades.
    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

    Larry Tye discusses his book Superman, the first full-fledged biography of not only the fictional Man of Steel but also the real-world writers, artists, publishers, and performers who have kept the caped character an essential part of American culture for seven decades.

    A former reporter for The Boston Globe, Tye now runs the Boston-based Health Coverage Fellowship, which helps the media cover critical health care issues. His books have addressed baseball legend Satchel Paige, the birth of the public relations industry, and how Pullman porters helped create a black middle class.

  • Retired librarian Sherrie Smith explores the treasure trove of rare books found in the Lincoln, Nebraska, home of retired university professor T.J. Fitzpatrick – and explains how many of them came to be housed in the Library’s Missouri Valley Room.
    Sunday, March 23, 2014

    After the deaths in the early 1950s of botanist T.J. Fitzpatrick and his wife, a treasure trove of rare books was found in their modest home in Lincoln, Nebraska.

    Retired KCPL librarian Sherrie Smith traces the strange history of these early 20th century “hoarders,” who amassed a fabulous collection of rare books, pamphlets, and Western Americana. In 1953, Missouri Valley Special Collections purchased more than 20,000 items from the Fitzpatrick estate.

    Smith spent several years working with the Fitzpatrick collection, especially its extensive Mormon collection and Lewis & Clark volumes.