Event Video

To view a video recording of a previous Library special event, click the icon. The Library offers recordings only with the permission of the presenter.

  • Author Kirstin Downey discusses her book about FDR’s Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins who implemented the forty-hour work week, child labor laws, Social Security, unemployment compensation, and other essential New Deal programs.
    The Woman Behind the New Deal: Frances Perkins
    Wednesday, August 28, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    She is no longer a household name, but during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration Frances Perkins was one of America’s most influential women. As the first female secretary of labor she was responsible for implementing programs that reshaped society and business and established the social safety net we enjoy today.

    Biographer Kirstin Downey examines Perkins’ life and enduring impact in a discussion of her book The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins – Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Minimum Wage.

  • Former Kansas City Star columnist Steve Penn discusses his new book about Pete O’Neal, the leader of the Kansas City Black Panthers who was convicted on a weapons charge, fled to Africa and during four decades in exile has become an honored community leader in Tanzania.
    Case for a Pardon: The Pete O’Neal Story
    Friday, August 23, 2013
    Central Library

    Former Kansas City Star columnist Steve Penn joins U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II for a discussion of Penn’s new book Case for a Pardon: The Pete O’Neal Story.

    In 1970 Kansas City Black Panther leader O’Neal – facing a four-year jail sentence after his conviction on a weapons charge – fled to Africa. In his more than four decades of exile in Tanzania, O’Neal has become a force for progress. He is a founder of the United African Alliance Community Center, which provides the community with free art, music, film, and educational opportunities.

  • On the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Kansas, historian Tony R. Mullis of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth examines the notorious massacre and the years of back-and-forth atrocities that led up to it.
    The Sack of Lawrence and the Guerrilla War
    Wednesday, August 21, 2013
    Central Library

    On the 150th anniversary of William Clarke Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Tony R. Mullis of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, examines the notorious massacre and the years of back-and-forth atrocities by Confederate bushwackers and pro-Union Jayhawkers that led up to it.

    Mullis is a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force and the author of Peacekeeping on the Plains: Army Operations in Bleeding Kansas.

  • Time magazine editor-at-large  David Von Drehle holds a public conversation about The Future  of Space Exploration with The Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach. The two will also discuss the recent sale of The Post to billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com.
    The Future of Space Exploration and the Sale of The Washington Post : Joel Achenbach
    Tuesday, August 20, 2013
    Central Library

    The August Dateline: Washington event at the Kansas City Public Library was supposed to be about outer space. Just outer space. Host David Von Drehle and The Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach were to talk about the future of NASA and the American space program now that our astronauts are being launched from sites in Russia. But the recent sale of The Post to billionaire Jess Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, gives special meaning to the event.

    Not only is Achenbach a current Washington Post employee, but Von Drehle is a former Post reporter. So it’s only natural that they will devote part of the evening to discussing this seismic upheaval in the world of American journalism.

  • Lawyer and author James P. Muehlberger digs into the 1869 killing of a bank cashier by the James brothers - long thought to be part of their first robbery - and finds it was actually an assassination attempt meant to avenge the death of Confederate guerrilla “Bloody Bill” Anderson.
    The Lost Cause: The Trials of Frank and Jesse James
    Thursday, August 15, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    The 1869 killing of a bank cashier in Gallatin, Missouri, has long been considered the first in a long line of robberies by Jesse and Frank James. But in a discussion of his new book, lawyer and author James P. Muehlberger maintains that it wasn’t a robbery attempt at all. Rather, as documents that Muehlberger discovered show, it was a carefully planned execution meant to avenge the death of Confederate guerrilla leader “Bloody Bill” Anderson during the Civil War.

  • Library Director Crosby Kemper III conducts a public conversation  with Gail, president and owner of Gail’s Harley-Davidson, and one of the few female Harley-Davidson dealership owners.
    A Conversation with Gail of Gail’s Harley-Davidson
    Tuesday, August 13, 2013
    Central Library

    Library Director Crosby Kemper III conducts a public conversation with Gail of Gail’s Harley-Davidson.

    A native of Belton, Missouri, Gail worked as a teenager at her father’s motorcycle shop and entered the male-dominated white-collar business world as a Harley-Davidson finance manager. In 2000 she purchased the dealership from her parents, becoming one of the few female Harley-Davidson dealership owners. Today Gail’s is the largest Harley dealership in the Midwest and one of the top in the country. In 2006 it was named one of the Top 10 Small Businesses in Kansas City by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

  • Payton Kelly - the creative force behind more than 30 Boulevard Beer labels - discusses the creation of the brand’s visual signature... one that is easily recognized wherever the company’s products are sold.
    Unfiltered Label Design
    Thursday, August 8, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Marketing studies have shown that, like other consumers, beer drinkers often make purchases based not just on taste, but often on the packaging and label on the bottle.

    Over the last two decades Payton Kelly, creative director for Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company, has hand drawn more than 30 labels for Boulevard’s many products, creating a visual signature that is recognized wherever the products are sold. Now Kelly discusses the design and execution of his distinctive logos for products like Boss Tom’s Golden Bock, Bully! Porter, Nutcracker Ale, Dark Truth Stout, and Single-Wide I.P.A.

  • Historian Rachel St. John shows how the U.S.-Mexico border has gone from a line on a map to a clearly marked and heavily regulated divide between two nations.
    Line in the Sand
    Tuesday, August 6, 2013
    Central Library

    Following the conclusion of the Mexican-American War in 1848, the border between the two countries remained in flux, a flexible barrier that restricted the movement of some people, goods, and animals without impeding others. In a discussion of her new book, historian Rachel St. John shows how government officials, Native American raiders, ranchers, railroad builders, miners, investors, immigrants, and smugglers contributed to the rise of state power along the border and developed strategies to navigate the increasingly regulated landscape.

  • Author Robert Rebein discusses his new book about growing up in, leaving, and returning to Dodge City, Kansas, the iconic cowboy town molded both by its Old West heritage and a New West reality.
    Dragging Wyatt Earp: A Personal History of Dodge City
    Sunday, August 4, 2013
    Central Library

    Author Robert Rebein explores what it means to grow up in, leave, and ultimately return to the iconic Western town of Dodge City in a discussion of his new book.

    The essays that make up Dragging Wyatt Earp range from memoir to reportage to revisionist history. Rebein contrasts his hometown’s Old West heritage with a New West reality that includes salvage yards, beefpacking plants, and bored teenagers cruising up and down Wyatt Earp Boulevard.

  • In his new biography of the creator of Communism, Jonathan Sperber challenges many of our misconceptions about this political firebrand, presenting Marx’s personal story within the larger historical stage of a European continent roiling with political and social unrest.
    Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life
    Thursday, July 25, 2013
    Central Library

    As the man behind Communism, Karl Marx has been revered as a prophet and blamed for some of the darkest atrocities of modern times. In his new biography of Marx, Jonathan Sperber challenges many of our misconceptions about this political firebrand-turned-London-émigré-journalist, presenting Marx’s personal story within the larger historical stage of a European continent roiling with political and social unrest.

    Sperber is the Curators’ Professor of History at the University of Missouri.