Harry Truman rose through public service - from county official to President of the United States - with the help of Kansas City's notorious Pendergast political machine.
But somehow Truman avoided the corruption and controversy that was the hallmark of Tom Pendergast's organization.
Area filmmaker Terence O'Malley examines the relationship of these two men in Harry Truman and & Tom Pendergast on Sunday, February 17, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Employing clips from his most recent documentary, Harry & Tom, O'Malley chronicles the Pendergast machine's ruthless rule of local government for nearly three decades during which liquor, jazz, prostitution, and other vices flourished.
Harry Truman, a failed haberdasher, got his political start with the machine. But to what extent was he complicit in Pendergast's corrupt regime?
An insurance executive by day, O'Malley has produced, written, and directed two previous feature documentaries: Nelly Don: A Stitch in Time about local fashion maven and garment industry icon Nell Donnelly, and Black Hand, Strawman, a history of organized crime in Kansas City.
This presentation is part of the Missouri Valley Sundays, a program of the Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Central Library. The series is made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Admission is free. RSVP online or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.