Previous Special Events

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Following the conclusion of the Mexican-American War in 1848, the border between the two countries remained in flux, a flexible barrier that restricted the movement of some people, goods, and animals without impeding others. In a discussion of her new book, historian Rachel St. John shows how government officials, Native American raiders, ranchers, railroad builders, miners, investors, immigrants, and smugglers contributed to the rise of state power along the border and developed strategies to navigate the increasingly regulated landscape.


Sunday, August 4, 2013
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Architectural historian & preservation consultant Cydney Millstein examines how the TWA Headquarters Building at 18th and Main streets became the home for the Barkley advertising agency. Millstein is the founder and principal of Architectural & Historic Research, LLC, the oldest cultural resources consulting firm in Missouri. She is co-author of Houses of Missouri, 1870-1940.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Author Robert Rebein explores what it means to grow up in, leave, and ultimately return to the iconic Western town of Dodge City in a discussion of his new book.

The essays that make up Dragging Wyatt Earp range from memoir to reportage to revisionist history. Rebein contrasts his hometown’s Old West heritage with a New West reality that includes salvage yards, beefpacking plants, and bored teenagers cruising up and down Wyatt Earp Boulevard.


Friday, August 2, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

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

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

Appropriate for all ages.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Over decades, Mexican film producer Jacque Gelman and his wife, Natasha Gelman, built one of the world’s most significant private collections of Mexican art.

Now the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s Stephanie Fox Knappe explores their treasure trove in a talk complementing the museum’s exhibit Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection on display through August 18, 2013.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Library director Crosby Kemper III holds a public conversation with NCTQ President Kate Walsh about the recently released Teacher Prep Review: A Review of the Nation’s Teacher Prep Programs.

Once the world leader in education, the United States has slipped well into the middle of the pack. While there is no shortage of causes for America’s educational decline - budget cutbacks, poverty, crowded classrooms, and shorter school years – a prime culprit is teacher education, according to a major new study by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).


Sunday, July 28, 2013
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Bev Chapman screens and discusses her new documentary about Nawang Gombu, who became the first man to twice scale Mount Everest, pioneered a safer style of mountaineering in the Himalayas, and became a champion of Sherpa culture.

Heart of a Tiger was filmed in Colorado, Washington state, California, Switzerland, Austria, and India, and features early mountaineers like Jim Whittaker, “Bull” Kumar, and Jim Wickwire.

Chapman was for 26 years a reporter for KMBC-TV. She retired in 2010.


Friday, July 26, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The trio of Mark Lowry, Raymond DeMarchi, and John Currey present a variety of musical styles performed on percussion instruments from all over the globe.

Appropriate for all ages.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

As the man behind Communism, Karl Marx has been revered as a prophet and blamed for some of the darkest atrocities of modern times. In his new biography of Marx, Jonathan Sperber challenges many of our misconceptions about this political firebrand-turned-London-émigré-journalist, presenting Marx’s personal story within the larger historical stage of a European continent roiling with political and social unrest.

Sperber is the Curators’ Professor of History at the University of Missouri.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Homer Plessy—a man of seven-eighths Caucasian descent and one-eighth African descent who was nevertheless considered black under Louisiana law—boarded a train car reserved for whites and was promptly arrested. Hearing the appeal of his conviction, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896 upheld the Louisiana statute, thus ushering in a half-century of legally sanctioned segregation under the "separate but equal" doctrine.

Williamjames Hull Hoffer examines that controversial decision and its repercussions in a discussion of his book about the landmark case. Hoffer is associate professor of history at Seton Hall University.