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: 2015-08-02
Format: 2015-08-02
  • Philip White retraces Harry S. Truman’s remarkable (and ultimately successful) effort to salvage the 1948 election in a discussion of his new book, Whistle Stop: How 31,000 Miles of Train Travel, 352 Speeches, and a Little Midwest Gumption Saved the Presidency of Harry Truman.
    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    His approval rating low and his own party disenchanted, Harry Truman had the look of a one-term president — unlikely to win a return to office — in the summer of 1948. With ingenuity born of desperation, his aides hit upon a plan: Take to the rails, crisscrossing the country and putting Truman in front of as many voters as possible.

    Philip White, a guest lecturer at MidAmerica Nazarene University, recalls the remarkable journey in a discussion of his new book Whistle Stop: How 31,000 Miles of Train Travel, 352 Speeches, and a Little Midwest Gumption Saved the Presidency of Harry Truman. The trek, of course, ended with an election-day upset of Republican Thomas E. Dewey.

  • Caitlin Doughty sits down with Kaite Stover, the Library’s director of readers’ services, for a public conversation about the Los Angeles funeral director’s new book – both a witty memoir and eye-opening examination of the American way of death.
    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    Caitlin Doughty is out to change the way we deal with dying.

    Founder of the Order of the Good Death, a web forum promoting the open discussion of death, and host of the wry and popular web series Ask a Mortician, the 30-year-old Los Angeles funeral director sits down for a public conversation with Kaite Stover, the Library’s director of readers’ services, about U.S. attitudes toward death and death practices.

    Doughty’s appearance coincides with the release of her first book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, both a witty memoir and an eye-opening examination of the American way of death. It was The Kansas City Star’s FYI Book Club selection in September.

  • Coterie Theatre artists read from their favorite children’s books while the audience enjoys an opportunity to “jump into the story” on stage. This program is appropriate for all ages.   The Night the Scary Beasties Popped Out of My Head by Daniel & David Kamish
    Sunday, November 2, 2014

    Coterie Theatre artists read from favorite children's books, while young audience members enjoy an opportunity to “jump into the story” – adding their own improvisation. Dramatic Story Times take place one Sunday every month at 2 p.m. throughout the 2014-2015 school year, beginning October 5th, 2014.

    November's Selection:
    The Night the Scary Beasties Popped Out of My Head by Daniel & David Kamish

    Appropriate for all ages.

  • If trick-or-treating isn’t your thing, join us a screening of Tim Burton’s 1993 classic animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Appropriate for all ages.
    Friday, October 31, 2014

    If trick-or-treating isn’t your thing, join us a screening of Tim Burton’s 1993 classic animated film.

    Bored with the same old scare-and-scream routine, Jack Skellington – the Pumpkin King – longs to spread the joy of Christmas. But his merry mission puts Santa in jeopardy and creates a nightmare for good little boys and girls everywhere.

    Rated PG, the movie is recommended for ages 8 and up.

  • Americans unfamiliar or perhaps unconcerned with the Islamic State – ISIS – snapped to attention with the group’s recent beheading of two journalists. Brian L. Steed of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College lends historical context to the expanding Sunni organization.
    Thursday, October 30, 2014

    Americans unfamiliar or perhaps unconcerned with the Islamic State — ISIS — snapped to attention with the group’s beheading of two journalists.

    Middle East specialist Brian L. Steed, a military historian at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, lends historical context to the expanding Sunni organization. Its leader has taken the name of the first Caliph, or Muslim head of state, and like Islamic warriors of the 7th Century has pledged to “conquer Rome.” ISIS also echoes the words of 12th-Century Muslim leader Nur al-Din and his successor, Saladin, as they sought to extend their control from Mosul to Damascus and then Cairo.

    Steed presents a cultural, religious, and historical backdrop to today’s events.

  • Jeff Clements punctuates the argument in his book that the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision  to ease restrictions on political spending by corporations and labor unions “upended the American ideal that we are a government of people rather than a government  of corporate wealth.”
    Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    It has been a little more than 4½ years since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its controversial ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, sharply easing restrictions on political and campaign spending by corporations and labor unions. The argument over its merits has scarcely subsided.

    Supporters hold to the court’s assertion that political speech is “indispensable to decisionmaking in a democracy, and this is no less true because the speech comes from a corporation rather than an individual.” Jeff Clements is among the opponents — along with President Obama and a majority of the U.S. Senate — who see a ruinously unfair advantage for candidates who can cultivate the wealthiest donors. Clements, a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general and the founder of Free Speech for People, a nonpartisan movement to overturn the 2010 decision, makes his case in a discussion of his book, Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy from Big Money and Global Corporations.

  • This all-day family event screens award-winning shorts and a free family feature and offers interactive filmmaking workshops on important storytelling principles. Making a special appearance is Hallmark Cards artist and head of character development Pedro Martin.
    Saturday, October 25, 2014

    An offshoot of KC FilmFest’s annual Reel Spirit youth film competition, this all-day family event screens award-winning shorts and a free family feature and offers interactive filmmaking workshops on important storytelling principles.

    Making a special appearance is Hallmark Cards artist and head of character development Pedro Martin, who works with the animated hoops&yoyo characters and created Asteroid Andy. He discusses and shows clips of his work, including the conception of new Hallmark character Penny Paperheart, and introduces the animated movie hoops&yoyo’s Haunted Halloween.

  • The renowned Native American artist and storyteller known as Black Pinto Horse talks about his artwork, how it has empowered him as an adult, and how it made him a successful student in his younger years.   Recommended for ages 8 and up.
    Friday, October 24, 2014

    The renowned Native American artist and storyteller known as Black Pinto Horse talks about his artwork, how it has empowered him as an adult, and how it made him a successful student in his younger years. Weaving in traditional Native stories and teachings, he encourages healthy choices and respect.

    Co-presented by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

    Recommended for ages 8 and up.

  • On the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Westport, Terry Beckenbaugh of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College examines the defeat that sent Confederate Gen. Sterling Price into retreat and signaled the end of rebels’ conventional military presence in Missouri.
    Thursday, October 23, 2014

    In 1864, Confederate Gen. Sterling Price mounted a last-gasp raid into Missouri in hopes of capturing St. Louis and ultimately the state. The end of the line, for all practical purposes, was Westport, where Price’s army – after passing up St. Louis and then failing to take Jefferson City – absorbed a decisive defeat and began its retreat.

    On the 150th anniversary of the October 23, 1864, Battle of Westport, military historian Terry Beckenbaugh of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth explains how the encounter ended the conventional Confederate military presence in Missouri. He also examines the worst aspects of the guerrilla war that plagued the state from 1861-64.

  • Author Justin Martin discusses his book about the wild, decadent, and incredibly influential band of artists – including poet Walt Whitman – who hung out at Pfaff’s saloon in New York City in the 1850s and were considered the country’s original Bohemians.
    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    In the shadow of the Civil War, a circle of radicals in a rowdy New York tavern altered American society and helped set Walt Whitman on the path to poetic immortality.

    Author Justin Martin discusses his book, Rebel Souls, the first ever written about the colorful band of artists who hung out at Manhattan’s Pfaff’s saloon and were considered the country’s original Bohemians. Besides a young Whitman, they included actor Edwin Booth; trailblazing standup comic Charles Farrar Browne; author and psychedelic drug pioneer Fitz Hugh Ludlow; and actress, painter, and poet Adah Menken.