Twelve episodes of the Meet the Past television series were taped before live audiences in Kirk Hall at the Central Library in 2009. The series features interviews with prominent historical figures portrayed by actors and veteran Chautauqua performers. The programs air on Kansas City Public Television (KCPT, Channel 19) on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. beginning October 8, 2009.
Learn all about the historical figures featured in Meet the Past with these recommended reading lists.
Thomas Hart Benton
Explore the life and career of Missouri-born artist Thomas Hart Benton in these books and film at the Library.
[Originally taped July 14, 2009]
Learn all about John Brown, the abolitionist who rose to fame during the Bleeding Kansas years in the mid- to late-1850s, was executed for his raid on the armory at Harpers Ferry, and elevated to legend in the years that followed.
[Originally taped September 1, 2009]
Annie Chambers ran a well-known brothel in Kansas City for nearly 50 years around the turn of the twentieth century. Read more about this local figure or check out a few books about the history of prostitution.
[Originally taped August 18, 2009]
Animator, film maker and entrepreneur, Walt Disney transformed the film and entertainment industries. Learn more about this American icon and his art in these books at the Library.
[Originally taped May 5, 2009]
Get to know the pioneering aviatrix Amelia Earhart in these books about her life and career or pick up a novel centered on her mysterious disappearance.
[Originally taped April 14, 2009]
Check out some of the poetry, prose, and plays written by Langston Hughes, the Missouri-born writer who became a leader of the Harlem Renaissance, or learn more about his life and work in these books at the Library.
[Originally taped April 7, 2009]
Discover the Missouri-born outlaw who became one of America’s most notorious bank and train robbers through these nonfiction accounts of his life, as well as through fiction.
[Originally taped June 30, 2009]
Learn all about Charlie “Bird” Parker, the Kansas City-born musician who became one of the most well-known jazz artists in America, with these books at the Library.
[Originally taped August 25, 2009]
Nell Donnelly Reed
Nell Donnelly Reed, a pioneer in the field of women’s ready-to-wear clothing in the 1920s and 1930s, was largely responsible for making Kansas City one of the largest ready-to-wear clothing manufacturing centers in the world. Learn more about her in these books, films, and articles.
[Originally taped July 28, 2009]
Discover the dreamer and visionary, Arthur Stilwell, whose crowning achievement was the railroad that became the Kansas City Southern.
[Originally taped June 9, 2009]
Harry S. Truman
The 33rd president of the United States and a native of Missouri, Harry S. Truman also served as an officer during World War I, a U.S. Senator, and Vice President. These books include general biographies of Truman and works that examine his presidency, as well as his memoirs, letters, and speeches.
[Originally taped April 28, 2009]
William Allen White
Learn all about William Allen White, the famous newspaper editor from Emporia, Kansas, and close friend of President Theodore Roosevelt, in these books at the Library.
[Originally taped May 19, 2009]