Kansas City Public Library Director Crosby Kemper III interviews President Harry S. Truman, portrayed by Ray Starzmann, as part of the Library’s Meet the Past series on Tuesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Truman served as an artillery officer during World War I and served as a county official and later United States Senator. He earned his first measure of national prominence as head of the wartime Truman Committee, which investigated war profiteering. That earned him a spot as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vice president in 1944. Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his fourth term, and Truman assumed the presidency.
Truman is perhaps best remembered for his role in ending World War II, including the use of the atomic bomb. However, several other Truman initiatives – the Marshall Plan, his support of the United Nations, recognition of the State of Israel, integration of United States Armed Forces, and his advocacy for what he called the “Fair Deal” – also contributed to his legacy.
Starzmann is on the staff of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. A native of Philadelphia, he attended Girard College and later earned a political science degree from Park University in Parkville, Mo. He met and visited with President Truman on several occasions.
Starzmann is a veteran Chautauqua performer, having portrayed Truman numerous times throughout Missouri and across the country.
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.
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.
Admission is free. Click here  or call 816.701.3407 to RSVP. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at 10th and Baltimore.