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: 2014-04-23
Format: 2014-04-23
  • Charles L. Cohen kicks off this year’s McKinzie Symposium with a discussion of the issues facing minority religions in a political landscape dominated by Christianity.
    Thursday, February 27, 2014

    To kick off this year’s McKinzie symposium—One Nation Under God: The Politics of America’s Religious Diversity—the University of Wisconsin’s Charles L. Cohen delivers a keynote address on the issues facing minority religions in America.

    Cohen is a professor of history and religious studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions.

  • Filmmaker Gary Jenkins discusses the rise and fall – thanks to a gang war - of Kansas City’s River Quay, and screens footage from his upcoming documentary, Gangland Wire.
    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    Kansas City’s River Market area was known in the 1970s as River Quay, a redeveloped home to restaurants and bohemian shops—and site of a violent Mafia turf war.

    The dispute left three establishments burned or blown up and several mobsters killed, devastating the district. Gary Jenkins, a local attorney and documentary filmmaker, was a Kansas City police detective at the time and part of a subsequent investigation that uncovered a multi-city mob conspiracy to skim money from Las Vegas casinos.

  • In a discussion of his new book, historian John B. Judis looks back to the Truman administration in an examination of the roots of the Arab/Israeli conflict and explains how it might be ended.
    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

    John B. Judis, senior editor at The New Republic, examines the half-century of raging conflict between Jews and Arabs—a violent, costly struggle that has had catastrophic repercussions in a critical region of the world.

    The fatal flaw in American policy, Judis says, can be traced back to the Truman administration. What happened between 1945 and 1949 sealed the fate of the Middle East for the remainder of the century and explains why every subsequent attempt to stabilize the area has failed—right down to George W. Bush’s unsuccessful and ill-conceived effort to win peace by holding elections among Palestinians and Barack Obama’s failed attempt to bring both sides to the negotiating table.

  • Jeff Orlowski’s documentary follows environmental photographer James Balog - initially a skeptic on climate change - as his travels convince him of the impact that humans have on the planet.
    Monday, February 24, 2014

    Chasing Ice is a 2012 documentary about the efforts of photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey to publicize the effects of climate change. It features scenes of a glacier calving event that took place at Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland, the largest outer-edge breakup of a glacier ever captured on film.

    Balog was skeptical about the science of climate change when he began his trip north, but over the course of the documentary he became increasingly convinced that climate change is real and, in large part, man-made. Chasing Ice represents his effort to bring the story to the public.

  • Join Library staff member Bernard Norcott-Mahany as he recounts “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (the movie Mitty is not the real Mitty) and other stories and cartoons by James Thurber.
    Sunday, February 23, 2014

    Join Bernard Norcott-Mahany as he recounts “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (the movie Mitty is not the real Mitty) and other stories and cartoons by James Thurber.

    Thurber, a writer and cartoonist for The New Yorker from the 1920s through the 1950s, has often been compared with Mark Twain as one of America’s premier humorists. Though very funny, Thurber’s stories have a darker side as well.

  • The annual Searching the Psyche Through Cinema film screening and discussion series returns for an examination of the cinema of the “Master of Suspense,” Alfred Hitchcock.  The Birds (1963; NR)
    Sunday, February 23, 2014

    A free series of films by Alfred Hitchcock who used film to explore his own neuroses and phobias, in the process revealing the psychological complexities we all share.

    The birds of the air begin attacking humanity … but that’s just one of the horrors in this disturbing depiction of madness and sexuality. Hitchcock’s new find Tippi Hedren (the director was obsessed with her) and Rod Taylor play a couple whose growing love must contend not only with a rampaging Mother Nature but also with his domineering and possessive mama (Jessica Tandy).

  • We think of the Civil War in terms of great land battles. But the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s John T. Kuehn argues that the war on water – on rivers, in harbors, and on the high seas – was just as important.
    Thursday, February 20, 2014

    Americans are familiar with Civil War land battles—but much less so with the war at sea, from the development of ironclad warships and submarines to the more mundane naval blockade that created economic starvation in the South.

    On the 150th anniversary of the Confederates’ loss of the CSS Hunley—which had been the first combat Submarine to sink an enemy warship—John T. Kuehn of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College examines the largely underappreciated role that naval warfare played in the Civil War. Kuehn, a former Navy aviator, is the author of two books on the Pacific theater in World War II and another on the military history of Japan.

  • In this one-man show, historic re-enactor Charles Everett Pace portrays the slave who fled to freedom and became one of America’s most eloquent voices for abolition and civil rights.
    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Veteran re-enactor Charles Everett Pace brings his one man show to Kansas City to portray prominent abolitionist and social reformer Frederick Douglass.

    Born enslaved in 1818, Douglass successfully escaped from bondage in 1838 and quickly rose to the front ranks of leading abolitionists, becoming the most famous black American of his day. In the years leading up to the Civil War, his incisive anti-slavery writings and mesmerizing speeches reached broad audiences in the United States and the British Isles. Following emancipation, Douglass continued to lecture and write on civil rights issues, including women’s rights and desegregation. He wrote several versions of his autobiography between 1845 and 1892.

  • Experts explain how Kansas City’s gay rights community was making strides long before the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York sparked the modern gay rights movement. Participating are Stuart Hinds, Kevin Scharlau, and Kay Madden.
    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    Well before the famous 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City sparked the modern gay rights movement, Kansas City had its own active gay rights community that was a meaningful participant in the larger national movement. Post-Stonewall, the city’s emerging gay and lesbian community strove to provide venues and services to address the growing needs of its members.

    Stuart Hinds, head of the LaBudde Special Collections at the UMKC Libraries; Kevin Scharlau, History PhD. candidate at UMKC; and attorney Kay Madden hold a lively discussion of the history of LGBT advocacy in the Kansas City area.

  • Drawing from official case files, the National Archives’ Jake Ersland explores the murderers, mob bosses, anarchists, bootleggers, and thieves – many from Kansas City – who have done time at the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas.
    Sunday, February 16, 2014

    Murderers. Mob bosses. Anarchists. Bootleggers. Thieves. They’ve all found a home at the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas, regarded for many years as the ultimate high-security prison.

    Now their stories are told by the National Archives’ Jake Ersland in an exploration of the Archives’ “Record Group 129,” the inmate case files for the Leavenworth penitentiary. Ersland gives an illustrated lecture on the history of these valuable research files and the untold stories they contain, many with a Kansas City connection.