Begun in 1942 to address labor needs in agriculture and the railroads, the U.S. government’s bracero program became the largest guest worker program in U.S. history, with hundreds of thousands of Mexican workers providing manpower from World War II through 1964.
Bittersweet Harvest, a new bilingual exhibition organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, examines the experiences of Bracero workers and their families, providing rich insight into Mexican-American life and historical background to today’s debates on immigration and guest worker programs.
In the 1890s Francis Marion Steele began photographing cowboys, recording the work and play of these iconic figures on the open ranges of southwest Kansas, southeast Colorado, northeast New Mexico, and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma.
This genre-crossing exhibit juxtaposes Steele’s photographs with passages from True Grit to help visitors envision the world in which heroine Mattie Ross and her companions Rooster Cogburn and Texas Ranger LaBoeuf had their adventures.
Before and during the Civil War, Confederate guerrillas – men like William Clarke Quantrill, “Bloody Bill” Anderson, and Frank and Jesse James – battled federal troops and Jayhawker irregulars along the Missouri-Kansas border.
That brutal era comes to life in Guerrillas in Our Midst, an original exhibit of drawings and photographs from the Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections. It covers not only the war but also its aftermath, when former bushwhackers like the James brothers turned to outlawry.
Hixon transformed the field of portrait photography in Kansas City and the surrounding region during a career that spanned more than seven decades. His studios—the first in the Brady Building at 11th and Main Streets, and the second just one block west in the Baltimore Hotel—welcomed thousands of patrons throughout the 1910s and 1920s.
James Whale’s Frankenstein was a somber adaptation of Mary Shelly’s 1818 novel about a scientist who builds a creature from dead bodies and gives it life. It made an overnight star of actor Boris Karloff, who played the mute “monster.” The Bride of Frankenstein employed most of the same creative team that produced the original Frankenstein four years earlier. Yet this sequel is a much different animal – and much superior.
Watch the 2010 film version of True Grit. Then join discussion facilitator Kaite Stover for a lively conversation comparing the written word to its cinematic interpretation. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to read Charles Portis’ novel prior to attending the film screening.