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: 2014-07-24
Format: 2014-07-24
  • 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.

  • Kansas City’s own De los Barrios Flamenco group presents an exciting evening of music and dance. Appropriate for all ages.
    Friday, October 4, 2013

    Kansas City’s own De Los Barrios Flamenco Group presents an exciting evening of music and dance.

    Get a taste of Spain with this entertaining and interactive program for children and adults. Dancers Tamara Carson and Amanda January, accompanied by Jarrod Stephenson on guitar, Rich Wheeler on saxophone, and John Currey on the Cajón, (a Peruvian percussion instrument ), heat up the stage with their captivating clapping and fiery footwork.

    Appropriate for all ages.

  • Drawing from his definitive biography Wilson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author A. Scott Berg looks at the president who was one of the past century’s most influential – and enigmatic – figures.
    Thursday, October 3, 2013

    A century after his inauguration, President Woodrow Wilson remains among the most influential figures of the 20th century—and one of the most enigmatic. Now, after more than a decade of research and writing, A. Scott Berg discusses his definitive biography Wilson, which looks not only at this leader’s public life but also his private passions.

    Berg is a winner of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

  • Musician Jeff Harshbarger – accompanied by his band The Revisionists — discusses and performs new and traditional songs reflecting the historic era in which True Grit unfolds.
    Wednesday, October 2, 2013


    Television and movie audiences have grown familiar with the cattle-driving, staccato, and triumphant theme music at the beginning of nearly every Western film or television program. Yet for their 2010 remake of True Grit, the Coen brothers employed somber and contemplative bluegrass and folk-inspired music.

    Navigating the gap between the rousing pomp of earlier Westerns and the more subdued soundtrack featured in the Coen brothers’ 2010 True Grit remake, Kansas City musician Jeff Harshbarger performs original songs inspired by the historic era in which the film unfolds. With his band The Revisionists he performs both new and familiar tunes keyed to the novel’s setting.

  • Historian Amy S. Greenberg discusses her book about the controversial war that divided the nation even as it gave the U.S. control of the vast Southwest.
    Tuesday, October 1, 2013

    Long viewed as unjust and mercenary, the Mexican-American War allowed the U.S. to seize control of vast expanses of the Southwest, paved the way for the Civil War, and led to the political rise of Abraham Lincoln.

    Historian Amy S. Greenberg discusses her book A Wicked War and its cast of colorful characters: James K. Polk, the dour president committed to territorial expansion; Henry Clay, the aging statesman with one last great speech up his sleeve; and Lincoln’s archrival John Hardin, to name just a few.