Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Due to a quirk in the calendar in the year 1849, one school of thought contends that Missourian David Rice Atchison deserves to be considered the 12th president of the United States. His “term of office” lasted just 24 hours — most of which he slept through — and took place 165 years ago today.
On Sunday, March 4, 1849, Atchison was serving as president pro tempore of the senate, then third in line for succession to the presidency. Because James K. Polk’s term ended at noon on that day and Zachary Taylor didn’t take the oath of office until noon the next day, Atchison technically may have been the chief magistrate of the land during that interim period.
Chris Taylor, executive director of the Atchison County Historical Society and the world’s smallest unofficial presidential library, offers a whimsical and educational review of Atchison’s brief administration.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
This event has been canceled due to inclement weather.
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.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Bayard Rustin helped shape Martin Luther King Jr., and organized the historic 1963 March on Washington. Now his life partner Walter Naegle discusses Rustin’s vision, explains why his ideas are still relevant , and introduces a screening of the documentary Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.