Radio Interviews

KCUR, Kansas City's local NPR station, hosts on its programs many of the authors and speakers that visit the Library. This page lists these interviews and provides links for you to listen to the programs.

  • Author Carolyn Brewer discusses the 1957 tornado that killed 39 people and left 531 injured and shares first-person narratives collected during a 50-year reunion and memorial rededication.
    Carolyn Brewer - Caught Ever After: Children of the Ruskin Heights Tornado
    Sunday, September 25, 2011
    Plaza Branch

    On the evening of May 20, 1957, an F-5 tornado tore into the communities of Ottawa and Spring Hill, Kansas, and Martin City, Grandview, Hickman Mills, and Ruskin Heights, Missouri. The storm left 39 people dead and 531 injured. More than 840 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed.

    Author Carolyn Brewer tells the story of the tragic event, as well as the rebuilding effort, through a series of first-person narratives collected during a 50-year reunion and memorial rededication.

  • Columnist and political commentator John Avlon discusses the history of the American newspaper column and shares his views on where the newspaper industry is headed in what has proven to be a tumultuous period for all media.
    John Avlon - Deadline Artists: America’s Greatest Newspaper Columns
    Thursday, September 22, 2011
    Central Library

    Columnist and political commentator John Avlon discusses his new book Deadline Artists: America’s Greatest Newspaper Columns.

    Deadline Artists is a celebration of the American newspaper column. It includes columns by several masters of the craft, including: H.L. Mencken, Ernie Pyle, Murray Kempton, Jimmy Breslin, and Mike Royko. It also includes columns written by public figures, including one by Theodore Roosevelt that appeared in The Kansas City Star.

  • Jack Becker, executive director of Minnesota-based Forecast Public Art and publisher of Public Art Review, discusses the complex, beneficial, and sometimes contentious role that art plays in the public realm.
    Jack Becker: Public Art/Civic Catalyst
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011
    Central Library

    Public art and its accompanying community participation contribute significantly to the identity of a city. In addition to inspiring dialogue and providing visual appeal, a varied civic public art collection often symbolizes the vitality of the city it inhabits.

    Jack Becker, executive director of Minnesota-based Forecast Public Art and publisher of Public Art Review, discusses the complex, beneficial, and sometimes contentious role that art plays in the public realm.

  • Daniel Serda reports his findings on immigration, discrimination, and preservation of Hispanic culture followed by Gene Chavez discussing the social and political dynamics that shape how communities co-exist and thrive.
    Daniel Serda and Gene Chavez: Nuestra Herencia Americana (Our American Heritage)
    Wednesday, September 14, 2011
    Central Library

    The 2011 Corinthian Hall lecture addresses minority heritage and a museum’s mission, capacity, and duty in this arena.

    Nuestra Herencia Americana (Our American Heritage) features Daniel Serda and his findings on immigration, discrimination, and preservation of Hispanic culture. Following Serda’s presentation, Gene Chavez discusses the social and political dynamics that shape how majority and minority communities co-exist and thrive.

    Co-sponsored by the Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall.

  • Kansas City natives Michael Herzmark and Melissa Wayne present a documentary on Selma as a microcosm of the issues facing America today. A town hall meeting moderated by Carl Boyd follows, highlighting challenges Kansas City faces.
    45 Years Across the Bridge: The Battles of Selma, Alabama
    Thursday, August 25, 2011
    Plaza Branch

    Filmmakers and Kansas City natives Michael Herzmark and Melissa Wayne present 45 Years Across the Bridge: The Battle of Selma, Alabama, a one hour documentary that frames the story of modern-day Selma as a microcosm of the issues facing much of America today.

  • Historian Terry Beckenbaugh marks the 150th anniversary of The Battle of Wilson’s Creek – fought just minutes from Springfield, Missouri – and explains how Confederate forces won the battle but lost the state.
    Terry Beckenbaugh: The Battle of Wilson’s Creek
    Thursday, August 11, 2011
    Central Library

    Terry Beckenbaugh of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discusses the first Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River, which took place in southwestern Missouri.

    On August 10, 1861, Union General Nathaniel Lyon — who was encamped at Springfield with nearly 6,000 men — led a surprise attack on 12,000 secessionist troops camped at Wilson’s Creek. While the Confederates won the battle, they were left in no condition to pursue the retreating Federal forces, and Missouri remained under Union control.

  • Library Director Crosby Kemper III leads a public conversation with Boulevard Brewing Company founder John McDonald exploring how his award-winning company became the largest craft brewer in the Midwest and the largest independent American brewer  in Missouri.
    A Conversation with John McDonald
    Wednesday, August 3, 2011
    Central Library

    Join a public conversation with local brewing pioneer John McDonald, founder of Boulevard Brewing Company.

    McDonald, recently named the 2011 Brewers Association Recognition Award winner, started the brewery in 1989 and hand delivered Boulevard beer to local restaurants in his pick-up truck. Today, his company employs over 90 people.

    Since 1989, the award-winning company has grown to become the largest craft brewer in the Midwest and the largest independent American brewer in Missouri.

  • On the 30th anniversary of Kansas City’s Hyatt Regency hotel walkway collapse, Steve Kraske of The Kansas City Star leads a panel discussion of a new book about the causes of the structural failure, the rescue efforts, and the many lessons learned.
    A Dance, Then Disaster: The Hyatt Tragedy and Lessons Learned
    Sunday, July 17, 2011
    Central Library

    July 17, 2011, marks the 30th anniversary of Kansas City’s Hyatt Regency hotel walkway collapse that killed 114 people and injured 216.

    Kansas City Star Books has partnered with the Skywalk Memorial Foundation to produce a new book — A Dance, Then Disaster: The Hyatt Tragedy and Lessons Learned.

    The book explores the structural failure, the rescue efforts, and the many lessons learned—from improved first-responder techniques to revised architectural and engineering standards.

    This presentation is part of the Missouri Valley Speakers Series.

  • Emory University historian Deborah E. Lipstadt examines the May 1960 capture of SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann by Israeli agents in Argentina and his  subsequent trial that electrified  the world.
    Deborah E. Lipstadt: The Eichmann Trial
    Wednesday, June 29, 2011
    Plaza Branch

    Emory University historian Deborah E. Lipstadt examines the May 1960 capture of SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann by Israeli agents in Argentina and his subsequent trial that electrified the world.

  • Celebrate the 40th birthday of Ziggy with an appearance by Tom Wilson, who has been responsible for the franchise since taking over from his father in 1987, and be among the first to see the new book celebrating four decades of Ziggy comics.
    Tom Wilson: Ziggy
    Tuesday, June 28, 2011
    Plaza Branch

    The Kansas City Public Library celebrates the 40th birthday of Ziggy with an appearance by Tom Wilson, who has been drawing the iconic cartoon since 1987. Wilson will discuss the release of a new book commemorating the 40th anniversary of the comic strip.

    Tom Wilson Sr. created Ziggy in 1971.