Event Video

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  • Military historian Richard Barbuto commemorates the 199th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, in which the vaunted British Army suffered defeat at the hands of makeshift American forces under the command of Andrew Jackson.
    Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans
    Wednesday, January 8, 2014
    Central Library

    On January 8, 1815 — 199 years ago — the vaunted British Army suffered an epic defeat by makeshift American forces under the command of Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans in what became the closing act of the War of 1812. Jackson’s remarkably improbable victory, which took place two weeks after the peace treaty ending the war had been signed, brought him national acclaim and led directly to his election to the presidency in 1828.

    Richard Barbuto, deputy director of the department of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, delves into this triumph of American arms, the last time U.S. and British forces ever fought against each other.

  • Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle examines When Fashion Meets Power in a public conversation with Pulitzer-winning fashion critic, Robin Givhan of The Daily Beast and Newsweek.
    When Fashion Meets Power - Robin Givhan
    Thursday, December 5, 2013
    Central Library

    Time magazine’s David Von Drehle and Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion critic Robin Givhan discuss When Fashion Meets Power in the sixth and final offering of the 2013 Dateline: Washington series.

    As fashion critic for The Washington Post and now Newsweek and The Daily Beast, Givhan has generated controversy about what politicians wear, saying of one Hillary Clinton outfit, “Just look away!” She criticized Vice President Dick Cheney for wearing a green parka: “I don’t want to be represented by someone … who looks like he’s at a Green Bay Packer game.”

  • Even in death, Britain’s “Iron Lady,” Margaret Thatcher, divides and polarizes. Victor Bailey, Distinguished Professor of Modern British History at the University of Kansas, examines the legacy of the first female and longest-serving Prime Minister of the last century.
    The Iron Lady: How Should We Rate Margaret Thatcher? - Victor Bailey
    Wednesday, December 4, 2013
    Central Library

    Even in death, Britain’s “Iron Lady,” Margaret Thatcher, divides and polarizes.

    Victor Bailey, Distinguished Professor of Modern British History at the University of Kansas, examines Thatcher’s political career, from leader of the Conservative Party to becoming the first female and longest-serving Prime Minister of the last century.

    Looking at her efforts to transform an ailing economy, roll back the frontiers of the state, and bring trade unionism within the rule of law, he asks: What was Thatcherism? Was it good or bad for Britain? And how will Margaret Thatcher be rated as a prime minister?

  • Sportscaster Roger Twibell and a panel of NFL veterans – former Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson, former Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, and three-time Pro Bowl offensive guard Conrad Dobler – look at the complicated issue of player health and safety from both personal and institutional points of view.
    Big Hits, Lasting Hurts
    Tuesday, December 3, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Players in today’s National Football League are bigger and faster than ever — and that means devastating collisions on the gridiron. The health issues confronting these Sunday gladiators — from concussions to blown-out knees, and the medical care provided them after they retire from the game — are explored by CBS Sports Network’s Roger Twibell and a panel of experts.

    Former Kansas City Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson (now chairman of USA Football), former Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, and three-time Pro Bowl offensive guard Conrad Dobler look at the complicated issue of player health from both personal and institutional points of view and discuss the sport's future in the face of these safety concerns.

  • Historians from the University of Kansas – Theodore A. Wilson, Jonathan Hagel, Jennifer Weber, and Jeffrey P. Moran – take a fresh look at the impact and legacy of a president’s death.
    The Kennedy Assassination: 50 Years Later
    Friday, November 22, 2013
    Central Library

    On the 50th anniversary of one of America’s most traumatic events, historians from the University of Kansas – Theodore A. Wilson, Jonathan Hagel, Jennifer Weber, and Jeffrey P. Moran – take a fresh look at the impact and legacy of the death of President John F. Kennedy.

    They will discuss the countless theories that have sprung up around the assassination, the event’s depiction in and impact on popular culture, the central “what if?” of the assassination (would Kennedy have escalated or reduced our involvement in Vietnam?), and the connections between Kennedy’s death and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

  • Drawing from his book Dead Last: The Public Memory of Warren G. Harding’s Scandalous Legacy, historian Phillip G. Payne examines what is widely regarded as the most corrupt presidency in American history.
    Warren G. Harding - Phillip Payne
    Thursday, November 21, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    If George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are the saints in America’s civil religion, then the 29th president, Warren G. Harding, is our sinner, consistently judged a failure and ranked dead last among his peers.

  • Biographer Terry Teachout discusses his new book about Duke Ellington, the greatest jazz composer of the 20th century — and an impenetrably enigmatic personality whom no one, not even his closest friends, claimed to understand.
    Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington
    Wednesday, November 20, 2013
    Central Library

    Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was the greatest jazz composer of the 20th century – and an impenetrably enigmatic personality whom no one, not even his closest friends, claimed to understand. Biographer Terry Teachout sheds new light on this creative genius in a discussion of his new book about the grandson of a slave who wrote such classics as “Mood Indigo” and “Sophisticated Lady.”

    Teachout, a Kansas City resident from 1975 to 1983, is the author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Mencken, and the play Satchmo at the Waldorf. For The Wall Street Journal, he is drama critic and the author of “Sightings,” a column about the arts in America. He is the critic-at-large at Commentary, and writes the blog About Last Night.

  • Experts from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth – Ethan S. Rafuse, Terry Beckenbaugh, Gregory S. Hospodor, and Randy Mullis – weigh in on the impact Gettysburg had on the greater Civil War.
    Gettysburg: The Most Important Event of 1863?
    Tuesday, November 19, 2013
    Central Library

    Even for those of us unfamiliar with history, the very name “Gettysburg” suggests a monumental clash of armies. But beyond the chaos of the battle itself, what was the impact of Gettysburg on the greater Civil War?

    Four historians from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth address the question in Gettysburg: The Most Important Event of 1863?

    Participants include Ethan S. Rafuse, professor of military history, and associate professors Terry Beckenbaugh, Gregory S. Hospodor, and Randy Mullis.

  • Time magazine editor-at-large  David Von Drehle holds a public conversation about climate change with Justin Gillis, The New York Times’ prize-winning environmental reporter.
    Covering Climate Change: Justin Gillis
    Thursday, November 14, 2013
    Central Library

    Few journalists have studied the issue of global warming with the thoroughness of The New York TimesJustin Gillis, who has raised hackles by comparing global warming skeptics to opponents of evolution.

    Now, Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle holds a public conversation with Gillis about Covering Climate Change.

    Gillis, who reports and blogs on the environment for the Times, warns that “the hour is late … To head off the worst consequences of global warming, we needed to get started 20 years ago and we did not. If we started today it would be hard, and we’re not starting today.”

  • Journalist and historian Max Holland looks at the Zapruder film, the famous home movie of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, discussing how it was made, its status as the dominant record of a national tragedy, and how it has helped and hindered our understanding of that traumatic day in Dallas.
    Images from an Assassination
    Wednesday, November 13, 2013
    Central Library

    Several hundred spectators in Dealey Plaza witnessed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963. Everyone else experienced it through the eyes of Dallas dressmaker Abraham Zapruder, whose home movie of the shooting is among the most famous – and closely examined – films in history.

    Journalist and historian Max Holland looks at the Zapruder film, delving into how it came to be, its exalted status as the dominant document of a national tragedy, and how it has helped – or hindered - our understanding of precisely what happened 50 years ago this month.