Previous Special Events

Friday, January 10, 2014
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The folks behind the Kansas City FilmFest lend insight into the world of animation through a variety of old-fashioned, film-related crafts and children’s film presentations.

This program is appropriate for grades K-6.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

On January 8, 1815 — 199 years ago — the vaunted British Army suffered an epic defeat by makeshift American forces under the command of Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans in what became the closing act of the War of 1812. Jackson’s remarkably improbable victory, which took place two weeks after the peace treaty ending the war had been signed, brought him national acclaim and led directly to his election to the presidency in 1828.

Richard Barbuto, deputy director of the department of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, delves into this triumph of American arms, the last time U.S. and British forces ever fought against each other.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What if Adolf Hitler had realized his dream of an art career and never turned to politics? What if Judas had saved Jesus of Nazareth? What if Ho Chi Minh had leveraged his experience as a cook in a Harlem restaurant into a corporate empire selling oven-ready dessert pastries? Or if Benjamin Franklin had become a clergyman? Or if Napoleon had kept Louisiana for the French?

Phong Nguyen, author of the new book Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History, reimagines the biographies of a dozen of history’s heroes and villains, and explores how the world would be a far different place.


Sunday, January 5, 2014
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

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.


Sunday, December 29, 2013
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

Gone With the Wind. The Wizard of Oz. Stagecoach. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Wuthering Heights.

Hollywood’s greatest year was 1939, with more memorable movies released than at any other time. Each week throughout 2014, the Library will screen one film from that year: Westerns, musicals, dramas, romances – even titles from the long-running Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, and Andy Hardy series.

To kick off this celebration of celluloid, former Kansas City Star film critic Robert W. Butler — now with the Library’s public affairs staff — provides an introductory survey of the films and personalities that made 1939 so memorable.


Friday, December 27, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Christmas is over . . . now what?

Come in from the cold and celebrate winter. Plaza Branch staff members will have crafts, stories, and other fun activities centered around our coolest time of year.

Appropriate for all ages.


Friday, December 20, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Homemade gifts make the best holiday giving, but you might not know how to get started. The Plaza Branch staff is here to help your kids with crafts to give others or keep for themselves.

Supplies will be provided. Parents are asked to stay with their children to assist.

Appropriate for all ages.


Friday, December 13, 2013
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Grab your little ones and celebrate the traditions of a Victorian family Christmas.
Wornall House staff members fill the evening with storytelling, parlor games, carols, and a fun history lesson on the origins of Victorian Christmas traditions.

There also will be a beautiful holiday sleigh available as a setting for family or individual photographs.

Appropriate for all ages.


Sunday, December 8, 2013
2:00pm @ Plaza Branch

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.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

By 1940, Kansas City authorities had finally deposed “Boss Tom” Pendergast. In the spring of that year, teams of laborers from the Works Progress Administration began a months-long effort to produce Jackson County’s first systematic property tax assessment.

Part of their job was to photograph every taxable structure in the county. Many of those photos survive in the Missouri Valley Special Collections.

Local historian John Simonson traces the project and presents fascinating examples from this remarkable photographic record from 1940.