Floods have always brought forth "the Kansas City Spirit." Every time raging waters have risen, the area's citizens have shown the resiliency to come together and rebuild.
Following the flood of 1951, Hallmark Cards founder Joyce C. Hall commissioned the popular artist Norman Rockwell to capture this spirit in paint on canvas.
Hall's words to the artist were: "Paint a picture of the Kansas City Spirit that will forever symbolize that thing in good men's hearts that makes them put service above self and accomplish the impossible."
Bruce Mathews examines the inspiration for that painting - which now hangs in City Hall -in The Kansas City Spirit on Saturday, June 8, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the Westport Branch, 118 Westport Road.
Mathews will discuss stories of civic spirit from his book The Kansas City Spirit: Stories of Service Above Self, which recalls some of the defining moments in local history and examines the contributions and personal stories of individuals whose lives exemplified that spirit.
This event is sponsored by the Westport Historical Society as part of its Second Saturday speaker series.
Admission is free. A reception follows at the Harris Kearney House. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407.