Civil War Events @ the Library

Past Civil War Events

We think of the Civil War in terms of great land battles. But the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s John T. Kuehn argues that the war on water – on rivers, in harbors, and on the high seas – was just as important.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Central Library

Americans are familiar with Civil War land battles—but much less so with the war at sea, from the development of ironclad warships and submarines to the more mundane naval blockade that created economic starvation in the South.

In this one-man show, historic re-enactor Charles Everett Pace portrays the slave who fled to freedom and became one of America’s most eloquent voices for abolition and civil rights.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Central Library

Veteran re-enactor Charles Everett Pace brings his one man show to Kansas City to portray prominent abolitionist and social reformer Frederick Douglass.

Historian Hal Wert marks the  75th anniversary of the year when Europe faced a period of escalating tensions, diplomatic crises and armed agressions that culminated in the German blitzkrieg of Poland and the outbreak of World War II.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Central Library

2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the year when Europe faced what Winston Churchill memorably called “the gathering storm” — a period of escalating political tensions, diplomatic crises, and armed aggressions that culminated in the German blitzkrieg of Poland and the outbreak of World War II.

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.
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?

In recent years the Missouri-Kansas “border war” has taken on economic implications, with both states enticing businesses to jump across the state line. KMBC’s Micheal Mahoney moderates a panel of experts discussing whether this practice is healthy or harmful.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Central Library

Competition between Kansas and Missouri goes back to the years before the Civil War, when Jayhawkers and “border ruffians” battled over the issue of slavery. But in recent years the “border war” has taken on economic implications, with both states launching initiatives and introducing legislation to entice businesses to jump across the state line.

Is this poaching of jobs and industries healthy or harmful? A panel of experts examine the history and impact of this conflict and discuss what—if anything—should be done about it.

Historian Amy S. Greenberg discusses her book about the controversial war that divided the nation even as it gave the U.S. control of the vast Southwest.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Central Library

Long viewed as unjust and mercenary, the Mexican-American War allowed the U.S. to seize control of vast expanses of the Southwest, paved the way for the Civil War, and led to the political rise of Abraham Lincoln.

Historian Amy S. Greenberg discusses her book A Wicked War and its cast of colorful characters: James K. Polk, the dour president committed to territorial expansion; Henry Clay, the aging statesman with one last great speech up his sleeve; and Lincoln’s archrival John Hardin, to name just a few.

In the first of two True Life/True Grit programs, Bambi Nancy Shen discusses her memoir about her birth in Saigon, her childhood in a Japanese concentration camp, and her life of survival at the crossroads of world events.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Central Library

True grit doesn’t simply exist only in the Old West.

The country/bluegrass duo Granville Automatic performs original songs inspired by Civil War battles.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Plaza Branch

The country duo Granville Automatic performs songs from An Army Without Music, a recording project in which each song is inspired by a Civil War battle. And since they are appearing on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga, Vanessa Denae Olivarez and Elizabeth Elkins will debut their new song about that confrontation.

Editors Jonathan Earle and Diane Mutti Burke and three fellow historians who contributed to their book -- Kristen Oertel, Jeremy Neely, and Jennifer Weber – discuss the era of Bleeding Kansas, its overall impact on the Civil War, and the lasting divisiveness it spawned.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Plaza Branch

Long before the Civil War began violence was commonplace along the Missouri-Kansas border. There a recurring cycle of robbery, arson, torture, murder, and revenge was established over the same issues that would fuel the larger conflict.

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.
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.

Pages