Sunday, September 8, 2013
Built in 1942 in Johnson County, Kansas, the Sunflower Ordnance Works quickly became the world’s largest producer of rocket propellant, an essential part of America’s “Arsenal of Democracy” during World War II.
Anne Jones, curator of collections at the Johnson County Museum, and Matt Gilligan, the museum’s curator of interpretation, examine the plant’s long history as part of the defense industry, as well as the many ideas – like a Land of Oz theme park – proposed to use the space when the property’s military role ended in 1992.
Friday, September 6, 2013
Enjoy an evening of traditional and contemporary folk songs as Adam Miller performs his Singing Through History program. Miller is one of the premier autoharpists in the world and a natural-born American folksinger and storyteller. His performances at festivals and concert halls across the United States have won him fans of all ages. Miller is masterful entertainer who never fails to get his audience singing along.
Admission is free. Appropriate for all ages.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Writer Norma Cantú, internationally known scholar of Latino and Chicano literature and studies, reads from her book Canicula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera, a chronicle of life on the U.S.-Mexico border. She will also read from her poetry book manuscript Meditacion Fronteriza/Borderlands Meditation and from her novel-in-progress, tentatively titled Champú or Hair Matters.
Formerly a professor of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Cantú recently joined the UMKC Department of English and the Latina/Latino Studies Program. Her areas of interest and research include border studies, cultural studies, feminist studies, and folklore.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Long before the Civil War began violence was commonplace along the Missouri-Kansas border. There a recurring cycle of robbery, arson, torture, murder, and revenge was established over the same issues that would fuel the larger conflict.
Jonathan Earle, associate professor of history at the University of Kansas, and Diane Mutti Burke, associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, are editors of the new book Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri. They are joined by contributing writers Kristen Oertel of the University of Tulsa, Jennifer Weber of the University of Kansas, and Jeremy Neely of Missouri State University for a discussion that blends political, military, social, and intellectual history to explain why the region’s divisiveness was so bitter and persisted for so long.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
When police in Ohio raided Dollree Mapp’s home looking for evidence in a bombing, all they found were some “lascivious books.” Mapp appealed her pornography conviction, leading the Supreme Court under Earl Warren to address not only the search-and-seizure question but also the “exclusionary rule” concerning the use of evidence not specified in a search warrant.
Carolyn N. Long is associate professor of political science at Washington State University – Vancouver.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Programs and a traveling exhibit from the Metropolitan Community College’s Business and Technology Campus explore how to land in-demand “gold collar” jobs – electric utility lineman, computer-controlled machine programmer, welder/fabricator, environmental engineering technician – with just an associate’s degree or less.
The programs – 10 Gold Collar Jobs in KC and 10 Things that Get You Hired and 10 Things that Get You Fired – will be presented throughout the summer and fall at several Library locations.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
She is no longer a household name, but during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration Frances Perkins was one of America’s most influential women. As the first female secretary of labor she was responsible for implementing programs that reshaped society and business and established the social safety net we enjoy today.
Biographer Kirstin Downey examines Perkins’ life and enduring impact in a discussion of her book The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins – Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Minimum Wage.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Steve McDowell and Rick Schladweiler of the architectural firm BNIM and Kansas City Ballet Executive Director Jeffrey Bentley explore how the century-old Union Station Power House Building was transformed into the award-winning Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity.
The 2013 Kansas City Architecture Series examines how historic buildings in Kansas City’s downtown area have been repurposed and given new life.
Friday, August 23, 2013
Former Kansas City Star columnist Steve Penn joins U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II for a discussion of Penn’s new book Case for a Pardon: The Pete O’Neal Story.
In 1970 Kansas City Black Panther leader O’Neal – facing a four-year jail sentence after his conviction on a weapons charge – fled to Africa. In his more than four decades of exile in Tanzania, O’Neal has become a force for progress. He is a founder of the United African Alliance Community Center, which provides the community with free art, music, film, and educational opportunities.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
In 1937 the German ocean liner St. Louis set sail from Hamburg to Cuba. Aboard were nearly 1,000 Jews hoping to escape the Nazis. But midway across the Atlantic their visas were revoked. First Cuba, then the United States and Canada, refused to take the refugees, who were returned to Europe.
Scott Miller of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum reveals the varied fates of the 937 refugees aboard the St. Louis, following the clues through archives in Havana, Europe, Israel, and the U.S., and through New York City neighborhoods to track down leads provided by friends, family members, and others who knew these passengers.