Previous Special Events

Friday, June 12, 2015

Program: 6:30 p.m. • Reception Follows

On the eve of the annual West 18th Street Fashion Show, Kansas City’s fashion industry harkens back to its illustrious past – to the golden age of the 20th century when more than 150 garment design and manufacturing companies boasted a workforce of more than 5,000.

A panel of seamstresses from the Garment District heyday—Cherry Barthel, Sarah Guillen, Loretta Ortiz, Catalina Reyes, and Fatma Konyalioglu—sit down with Jennifer Lapka Pfeifer, the co-executive producer of this year’s fashion show, to share their unique stories. It was their skill and work ethic that powered the Garment District, and they serve today as a valuable resource for the growing number of individuals making a living in Kansas City’s fashion community.

Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Kansas City Public Library and the West 18th Street Fashion Show.

Friday, June 12, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Some are born to be heroic, and others just bumble into it. Jay Cady and Leslie Seifert-Cady utilize juggling, a touch of magic, and the adventures of library hero Dewey Decimal as they explore feats of skill, daring, and just plain, dumb luck. Appropriate for all ages.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Revolutions historically have come in waves, and the world appears to be riding one now – from the Arab Spring to anti-austerity protests in Greece to the more recent Occupy movement.

In a discussion of his new book, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges examines the social and psychological factors that foster rebellion. And he makes the case that environmental destruction and wealth polarization are planting the seeds of modern revolt in the U.S. and around the globe.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

One of the grandest experiments of American urban planning, the Country Club District, lies tucked in the heart of Kansas City. Initiated in 1905, it eventually spilled over 6,000 acres and attracted national attention to a city still forging its identity.

In a discussion of her new book, author LaDene Morton examines a project that required a half-century of careful development to fully fulfill the vision of founder J.C. Nichols. Home today to many of the city’s most exclusive residential areas and commercial properties, the district’s boundaries still are unmarked. Only now is the entirety of its story being told.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

At the height of World War II, the city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee—then known only as the Clinton Engineering Works—boasted 75,000 people and yet did not appear on any map. Thousands of civilians, many of them young women, were recruited to the secretive site and trained not to talk about what they did or knew.

This was where the U.S. enriched the uranium that led to the first atomic bombs, a fact not revealed to workers until the bombs were dropped on Japan in 1945.

Journalist Denise Kiernan recounts the women’s experiences in a discussion of her book The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II. The presentation continues the series War Stories: World War II Remembered, which is co-presented by the Truman Library Institute and made possible by funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The federal government has been keeping tabs on foreign visitors to these shores for decades. In 1940 the Immigration and Naturalization Service began issuing each of them an Alien Registration number, and in 1944—in the midst of World War II—began to use this number to create individual case files called Alien Files or “A-Files.” They contain all records from any active case of an alien not yet naturalized—visas, photographs, applications, affidavits, and official correspondence—gathered as the individual passed through the U.S. immigration and inspection process.

Archivist Elizabeth Burnes of the National Archives of Kansas City shows how the enterprising genealogist, biographer, or historian can access this treasure trove of information. The National Archives preserves and makes available to researchers more than 450,000 A-Files for individuals who were born in 1910 or earlier, many of them with direct connections to this area.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Location: City Market, 400 Grand St.

Join us on the first Saturday of every month (June–October) as the Friends of the Kansas City Public Library present the eighth annual City Market Summer Book Sale, from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. At the City Market, 400 Grand St. - North Walkway next to the Steamboat Arabia. For additional information, contact, or call 816.701.3468.

Friday, June 5, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Join a musical safari, encountering an array of African animals whose names are set to rhythm. Then, pick a percussion instrument and let the jungle jam begin. As the rhythms of the animals blend, a joyful sense of community begins to develop. Appropriate for all ages.

Additional appearances at the Library:

Tuesday, June 9 | 10 a.m.
Southeast Branch, 6242 Swope Pkwy.

Thursday, June 4, 2015
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

A growing number of well-known companies including Google, Facebook, Intel, eBay, and LinkedIn have this much in common: They were founded or co-founded by immigrants.

Stuart Anderson, who heads the nonprofit National Foundation for American Policy, draws from his report American Made 2.0: How Immigrant Entrepreneurs Continue to Contribute to the U.S. Economy in discussing the substantial role of immigrant entrepreneurs and professionals in the country today. Despite continued federal restrictions on skilled immigrants, a third of all U.S. venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012 had at least one immigrant founder and employ nearly 65,500.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Japan is in the middle of a historic experiment. Nearly a quarter-century after the end of its post-World War II economic miracle, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is boldly attempting—through massive government spending, monetary easing, and an overhaul of Japan’s highly regulated economy—to end a long period of political paralysis and revive the country, lifting it into a leadership role in Asia.

Michael Auslin, a resident scholar and the director of Japan studies at the Washington, D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute, examines the effort and the lessons it may hold for the West. Many of Japan’s problems are mirrored in America and Europe. Its success, or lack of it, could signal whether they are on a similar path to low growth, political incompetence, and social malaise.

Kansas City Public Library Beta