Meet the Past Series Concludes with John Brown

For Immediate Release:
August 21, 2009
Contact: Steven Woolfolk
Meet the Past Series Concludes with John Brown

Kansas City Public Library Director Crosby Kemper III interviews John Brown, portrayed by Kerry Altenbernd, in the final installment of the Library’s Meet the Past series on Tuesday, September 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.


The interview takes place nearly 100 years after Brown’s unsuccessful raid on the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry (then in Virginia, now present-day West Virginia), which began on October 16, 1859.


Brown was considered by many to be a hero and by just as many to be a terrorist. Abraham Lincoln called him a “misguided fanatic.” Jefferson Davis said he was a “blood-thirsty murderer.” Intellectuals such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau likened him to a 19th century “Christ.”


Altenbernd is director of the Douglas County Law Library and a board member of the Black Jack Battlefield Trust near Lawrence. He has portrayed John Brown on numerous occasions for many years.


A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Please call 816.701.3407 to indicate your interest in attending or you may RSVP online.


The series will air in a regular prime-time timeslot on KCPT (channel 19) during the 2009-10 season.


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.

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