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: 2014-07-30
Format: 2014-07-30
  • Author Herbert Alan Johnson  examines the lasting impact of an 1824 decision that became a key moment in the ongoing tug-of-war for power between individual states and the federal government.
    Tuesday, October 15, 2013

    Author-educator Herbert Alan Johnson explains how a lawsuit over a steamboat monopoly ultimately led to Congress gaining the power to regulate interstate commerce. Johnson is distinguished professor emeritus of law at the University of South Carolina.

    Legal Landmarks is co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library, the Truman Library Institute, and the Federal Court Historical Society. The series is funded by grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Legacy Fund with additional support provided by Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP and co-sponsored by the University Press of Kansas and the University of Kansas School of Law.

  • Grammy-nominated children’s musician Zak Morgan presents his unique blend of wordplay and humorous storytelling. Appropriate for all ages.
    Friday, October 11, 2013

    With a background in children’s literature plus a Grammy nomination for his kids’ songs, Zak Morgan brings all of his life experiences and a simple delight in words and music to his live performances.

    Morgan’s celebration of wordplay and humorous storytelling are typical of his songwriting. Morgan aims to inspire his listeners to enjoy learning for its own sake while providing nonstop entertainment

    Appropriate for all ages.

  • Be part of the studio audience as KCPT tapes the latest installment of Meet the Past in which Library Director Crosby Kemper III interviews legendary African American horseman Tom Bass, as portrayed by Walter Coppage.
    Thursday, October 10, 2013


    Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III returns for a conversation with Tom Bass, portrayed by veteran actor Walter Coppage.

    Born a slave, Tom Bass became a world-famous horse trainer and equestrian showman. Though he spent most of his life in Mexico, Missouri, in the 1890s he operated a stable in Kansas City and became the first African American to ride in the American Royal Horse Show. He won countless equestrian awards and invented the Bass bit, a humane mechanism that protects a horse’s mouth during training. It is still in use today.

  • Former Royals great Willie Wilson discusses his 19 seasons as a Major League Baseball player, his record-setting career, and the drug conviction that might have ruined his life at the official launch of his new memoir, Inside the Park: Running the Base Path of Life.
    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Former Kansas City Royal Willie Wilson retired from Major League Baseball with 668 stolen bases (ranking 12th all-time) and 13 inside-the-park home runs (the most of any major leaguer playing after 1950). He was also among the first active major league players to serve jail time, having pled guilty to misdemeanor drug charges in 1983.

    Now Wilson and his co-author, former Kansas City Star sportswriter Kent Pulliam, discuss his life and career as chronicled in a new memoir.

  • Christopher Leitch moderates a panel of Kansas City residents who participated in the Bracero Program (1942-1964), which brought 300,000 Mexican laborers to the U.S. to work as farmhands and railroad workers.
    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Between 1942 and 1964, as many as 300,000 Mexican laborers—called braceros—were employed as farmhands or railroad workers in the United States. The Bracero Program eventually became the largest guest worker program in U.S. history.

    Veterans of the Bracero Program now living in the Kansas City area discuss their experiences in this panel conversation moderated by Christopher Leitch.

    The presentation complements Bittersweet Harvest, a bilingual exhibit about the Bracero Program on display through October 27, 2013, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

  • Former U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton joins Library director Crosby Kemper III for a public conversation about his new memoir which chronicles Skelton’s life from his boyhood and a bout with polio to his ascent to the powerful chairmanship of the House Armed Services Committee.
    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

    Former U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton discusses his new memoir Achieve the Honorable in a public conversation with library director Crosby Kemper III.

    Achieve the Honorable is the story of how Skelton, a native of Lexington, Missouri, overcame boyhood polio to launch a career on Capitol Hill. Along the way, the book provides glimpses into the lives of political titans like Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton, and treats readers to Skelton’s engaging humor and shrewd political insight.

  • Brett Cogburn introduces us to his great-grandfather, John Franklin “Rooster” Cogburn, who bore an uncanny resemblance to the curmudgeonly protagonist of Charles Portis’ acclaimed Western novel True Grit.
    Sunday, October 6, 2013


    The gruff U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, the central male character in Charles Portis’ True Grit, has been immortalized on film by both John Wayne and Jeff Bridges. But what if the one-eyed, overweight, blustery, larger-than-life lawman was inspired by a real person? Brett Cogburn introduces us to his great-grandfather, John Franklin “Rooster” Cogburn, who may (or may not) have inspired the fictional character.

    Brett Cogburn is the author of Panhandle and The Texans.

  • 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. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day
    Sunday, October 6, 2013

    Coterie Theatre Artists read from favorite children's books while the audience enjoys an opportunity to "jump into the story" and participate in an improvised story of their own making.

    Appropriate for all ages, Dramatic Story Time programs take place one Sunday each month at 2 p.m. throughout the 2013-2014 school year, beginning October 6, 2013.

  • Enjoy an afternoon filled with tales from the trail and crafts from the old west. Brother John Anderson shares stories about black cowboys. Down to Earth Riders,  founded in 2007 to encourage and empower youth through experiences with horses, will also be on hand .
    Saturday, October 5, 2013

    The Down to Earth Riders, a local African American Saddle Club, presents an afternoon of all things cowboy and cowgirl. Youth and adult members discuss the impact that riding horses has had on their lives, and display saddles and other equestrian tack.

    Brother John Anderson shares stories about black cowboys. There will also be a craft period.

    The Down to Earth Riders was founded in 2007 to encourage and empower youth through experiences with horses. Appropriate for all ages.

  • Historian Michael Searles explores the world of African-American women in the Old West, including Montana’s “Stagecoach” Mary Fields, who wore a six shooter, smoked cigars, and was given official permission to drink at her local tavern.
    Friday, October 4, 2013


    True Grit’s fictional heroine Mattie Ross had real-life counterparts—and not all of them were white. Women of color played their part in the history of the American West, and historian Michael Searles explores their world.

    Among his subjects is “Stagecoach” Mary Fields, who wore a six shooter on her hip, smoked cigars, and was given official permission to drink at her local tavern in Montana. Searles’ talk examines the little known history of black women with true grit in the West.