Meet the Past Features Amelia Earhart Portrayed by Ann Birney
April 1, 2009
Kansas City Public Library Director Crosby Kemper III interviews Amelia Earhart, portrayed by Ann Birney, as part of the Library’s Meet the Past series on Tuesday, April 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Born in Atchison, Kansas, Earhart was declared missing July 2, 1937, while attempting to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe. She was declared dead on January 5, 1939. Earhart made her transatlantic flight in 1928, following Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic the previous year. The flight earned her the Distinguished Flying Cross from Congress.
Earhart was also a bestselling author. She penned three books: 20 Hrs. 40 Min., a journal of her transatlantic flight; The Fun of It, a memoir of her flying experiences and an essay on women in aviation; and Last Flight, featuring the journal entries she sent back to the United States during her circumnavigational flight attempt.
Birney has portrayed Earhart more than 500 times over the last 15 years. She was selected to be the first historic performer at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Birney holds degrees from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Emporia State University. She did graduate work at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Creighton University, and Kansas State University. She earned her Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Kansas in 2002.
Production for the Meet the Past television series begins in April with three programs filmed before a live audience at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. Additional episodes will be filmed in May, June, and July. The series will air in a regular prime-time timeslot on KCPT (channel 19) in the fall of 2009.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the filming. Call 816.701.3407 to indicate your interest in attending or you may RSVP online. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage located at 10th and Baltimore.
Meet the Past features Kemper interviewing prominent historical figures (as portrayed by veteran Chautauqua performers) with Kansas City-area connections.
Major funding for Meet the Past has been provided by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.