Previous Special Events

Friday, August 8, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

In its second season, the Kansas City Opera Institute brings the most famous of the Mother Goose fairy tales, Puss in Boots, to the Library.

It’s the story of a young miller and his new pet, a remarkably smart and mischievous talking cat, which sets off to find his owner riches, romance, and true happiness. Appropriate for preschoolers and up.


Thursday, August 7, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Thrust into the nation’s highest office following Richard Nixon’s resignation, Gerald R. Ford faced the impossible task of achieving much in little time and in the face of great adversity.

Historian John Robert Greene examines the 38th president’s struggle to restore the prestige of the office — after Nixon’s misdeeds, during an ignominious departure from Vietnam, and amid Congress’ intentions to scale back presidential power — in a discussion of his book, The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Library focuses on 34-year-old Army National Guard Capt. Harry S. Truman in launching a series of programs commemorating the centennial of the start of the First World War.

D. M. Giangreco, author of The Soldier from Independence: A Military History of Harry Truman, shows how, as a field artillery battery commander in World War I, Truman already was making hard decisions that he knew to be right. He once saved a neighboring infantry regiment from a surprise German attack, only to be rebuked by his regimental commander; intervention by Gen. John J. Pershing headed off a career-killing court martial.


Saturday, August 2, 2014
4:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Eric Litwin’s Pete the Cat series has generated sales of 1.5 million books. Now, the children’s author is turning his attention to nuts – a new series of picture books, The Nuts, featuring daughter Hazel, son Wally, and mama Imma.

Litwin appears at the Library in conjunction with the release of Bedtime at the Nut House. A singer and entertainer as well as a writer, he delivers a fully interactive performance that also will highlight the beloved Pete the Cat. Appropriate for all ages.

Co-sponsored by Reading Reptile.


Friday, August 1, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Kansas City-based kid rocker Jim Cosgrove returns to the Library with a high-energy, interactive show that will get the whole family swingin’.

Appropriate for all ages.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Celebrate what would have been the 102nd birthday of Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman as Mark Skousen relates stories from his long friendship with the economist and libertarian icon.

Friedman was the intellectual architect of the free market reforms of the post-World War II era who today is recognized as the father of the Chicago school of economics and libertarian philosophy. His book, Capitalism and Freedom, has sold well over half a million copies in English and been translated into 18 languages.

Skousen, a former CIA economist, has taught at Columbia Business School, Barnard College, and Columbia University and written for Forbes magazine. He is editor in chief of the Forecasts & Strategies newsletter.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Progressive Henry Wallace ran for president in 1948 on a platform that advocated an end to the Cold War (he thought domestic fascism was more dangerous than any threat from the USSR), a stop to racial segregation, full voting rights for blacks, and universal government health insurance. On many issues, he was decades ahead of his time.

Yet Wallace could not shake his label as a Communist dupe. As Thomas W. Devine points out in a discussion of his book — winner of the Harry S. Truman Book Award — this was an issue that would trouble progressive and liberal politicians for decades to come.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

For 15 years, aspiring novelist Walter Kirn was drawn into the fun-house world of Clark Rockefeller, a secretive young banker and art collector and an outlandish, eccentric son of privilege. Only later did Kirn realize that the purported member of the wealthy Rockefellers was a brazen impostor, child kidnapper, and brutal murderer.

In a discussion of his new book, Blood Will Out, Kirn reflects on his bizarre journey from the posh private clubrooms of New York City to the courtrooms and prisons of Los Angeles. As Kirn uncovered the truth about his friend, a psychopath masquerading as a gentleman, he also confronted hard truths about himself.

Kirn is the author of Thumbsucker and Up in the Air, both of which were made into films.


Sunday, July 27, 2014
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

A former employee of Frank Lloyd Wright, Clarence E. Shepard specialized in residential architecture and was an artist and landscape engineer. He designed more than 600 houses in Kansas City, favoring the Prairie School style.

Among his work: the Judge Louis R. Gates House in Kansas City, Kansas, which has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a Kansas City Historic Landmark.

William Worley, a devotee of local history, discusses Shepard’s life and work. Worley, whose business interests include veterinary clinics, real estate development, and America’s largest chain of one-hour photo stores, co-founded the Kansas City Business Journal in 1982.


Friday, July 25, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

After five weeks of drama classes, participants in the Young Actors Workshop need an audience.

Enjoy comedic and dramatic performances by children from ages 3-17 under the direction of John Mulvey, who holds a Bachelor of Theatre Arts degree from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

Appropriate for all ages.