Civil War Events @ the Library

Upcoming Civil War Events

Past Civil War Events

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.

Rutgers University Distinguished Professor of Law Earl M. Maltz examines the controversial 1856 Supreme Court decision that found blacks were not citizens of the United States.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Central Library

The slave Dred Scott claimed that his residence in a free state transformed him into a free man. When the Court decided otherwise, the ruling sent shock waves through the nation and helped lead to the Civil War.

Earl M. Maltz discusses his book Dred Scott and the Politics of Slavery and argues that the case revealed a political climate that had grown so threatening to the South that overturning the Missouri Compromise was considered essential.

Maltz is Distinguished Professor of Law at Rutgers University – Camden.

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, June 25, 2013
Central Library

Amy Greenberg’s appearance at the Kansas City Public Library initially scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, 2013 has been postponed to Tuesday, October 1, 2013 due to a death in the family.

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 Terry Beckenbaugh of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth explains the effect politics had on the Civil War and discusses the issues and ideologies that drove debate.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Central Library

Historian Terry Beckenbaugh maintains that the Civil War was inevitable given the failure of the nation’s political leadership to resolve fundamental questions over the nature of the American republic and the meaning of constitutional liberty.

Beckenbaugh examines the leaders of the North and the South, the issues and ideologies that drove debate, and the effect politics had on the war.

Beckenbaugh is an assistant professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Historian Jim Denny examines the Civil War Battle of Island Mound, where black soldiers first proved they had the bravery and discipline to fight for freedom. This event is being held in conjunction with the October 27, 2012, opening of the Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Central Library

Historian Jim Denny examines the Battle of Island Mound, the first Civil War battle in which African-American soldiers engaged in combat and proved their courage. This event is keyed to the grand opening on October 27, 2012, of the new Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site near Butler, Missouri.

Now retired, Denny was a historian for 33 years with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and continues to lecture and write about many aspects of local history.

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