Civil War Events @ the Library

Upcoming Civil War Events

As part of the Indie Lens Pop-Up film series, the Library and KCPT–Kansas City PBS screen the documentary Tell Them We Are Rising, which charts the history and impact of our nation’s historically black colleges and universities. Local HBCU alumni lead a subsequent discussion.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Plaza Branch
As part of the Indie Lens Pop-Up film series, the Library and KCPT–Kansas City PBS screen the documentary Tell Them We Are Rising, which charts the history and impact of our nation’s historically black colleges and universities. Local HBCU alumni lead a subsequent discussion.
 
George Saunders discusses his best-selling Lincoln in the Bardo, winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for best original novel. The book movingly imagines Abraham Lincoln’s night in a cemetery, tortured by the loss of his son, the Civil War, and a ghostly world shared by Willie and his fellow dead.
George Saunders
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Plaza Branch
George Saunders discusses his best-selling Lincoln in the Bardo, winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for best original novel. The book movingly imagines Abraham Lincoln’s night in a cemetery, tortured by the loss of his son, the Civil War, and a ghostly world shared by Willie and his fellow dead.

Past Civil War Events

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.

Battlefield researcher Douglas D. Scott describes his recent studies of Civil War battlefields in Missouri, including the battles of Wilson’s Creek and Boonville.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Central Library

Civil War battlefields stubbornly conceal their secrets and their archaeology remains a buried, largely untapped source of historical information. Douglas D. Scott, developer of methodology that has enabled archaeologists to systematically investigate battlefields all over the world, discusses his recent studies of Civil War battlefields in Missouri, as well as the site of the Centralia Massacre.

Retired from the National Park Service, Scott is an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Nebraska.

LaDene Morton, author of The Waldo Story: The Home of Friendly Merchants, traces the 170-year history of this residential and business district, from its founding to the fire that swept through the business district in 2007.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Waldo Branch

LaDene Morton, author of The Waldo Story: The Home of Friendly Merchants, traces the 170-year history of the district. The story begins with Waldo’s founding on the open prairie south of the Town of Kansas, and embraces the Civil War, the coming of the railroad, and Waldo’s key role in the Kansas City housing boom, when it emerged as a desirable residential area.

Morton is a former researcher and policy analyst at Midwest Research Institute.

Mark E. Neely, Jr., author of  Lincoln and the Triumph of a Nation, examines charges that Lincoln played fast and loose with the Constitution during his presidency.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Plaza Branch

In pursuing the Civil War, did Abraham Lincoln play fast and loose with civil liberties?

Pulitzer Prize winner Mark E. Neely, Jr., author of Lincoln and the Triumph of a Nation, rejects that idea and argues that Lincoln’s interpretation of the Constitution was well suited to tolerate the stresses of wartime.

Neely is McCabe-Greer Professor of Civil War History at Pennsylvania State University.

Co-presented with the Truman Library Institute; co-sponsored by KCUR’s Up to Date.

LaDene Morton traces the 170-year history of Kansas City’s residential/business district as depicted in her book The Waldo Story: The Home of Friendly Merchants.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Plaza Branch

LaDene Morton, author of The Waldo Story: The Home of Friendly Merchants, traces the history of the district from the Civil War and the coming of the railroad to Waldo’s role in the Kansas City housing boom. Throughout the years the ever-adaptable Waldo neighborhood always seems to find ways to stay modern and prosperous.

Morton is a former researcher and policy analyst at Midwest Research Institute, and past vice president of the Applied Urban Research Institute. She runs the consulting firm I/O & Company.

Military historian Ethan S. Rafuse delves into the life and accomplishments of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, perhaps the Confederacy’s greatest military strategist.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Central Library

Ethan S. Rafuse of the military history department of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth discusses the life and accomplishments of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson.

Precisely 150 years after the Battle of Shiloh, military historian Gregory S. Hospodor recreates the bloody clash that convinced Americans that the Civil War would be a long, grueling conflict.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Central Library

In April 1862 a Union force under Ulysses S. Grant and a Confederate army led by Albert Sidney Johnston clashed in southwestern Tennessee in the Battle of Shiloh. Precisely 150 years later, military historian Gregory S. Hospodor discusses what was to that point the bloodiest fighting of the Civil War and explains how it brought home to both sides the grim reality of the conflict.

Journalist and author Guy Gugliotta discusses his new book about the raising of the U.S. Capitol, a project meant to symbolize national unity even as the country slid ever closer to secession and Civil War.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Central Library

Guy Gugliotta discusses his new book about the raising of the U.S. Capitol, a process steeped in irony.

Even as the majestic structure rose, the Union it represented was drifting toward Civil War. Among the historic characters in this drama was Jefferson Davis, a big supporter of the project – until he left Washington to become president of the Confederacy. (And the engineer in charge of construction, Montgomery Meigs, feuded bitterly with the architect, Thomas U. Walter).

Musician/historian James Christopher Edwards tells the tale of Confederate guerilla “Bloody” Bill Anderson through songs from his new CD about Quantrill’s raiders, Blood on the Border.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Westport Branch

Musician/historian James Christopher Edwards brings the Civil War in Kansas and Missouri to life in this musical program about the notorious bushwacker “Bloody” Bill Anderson.

Edwards’ program is drawn from his new CD Blood on the Border, a musical narrative about Quantrill’s Raiders. Edwards has taught classical and folk guitar, and holds a master’s degree in history (with an emphasis on the Civil War in Missouri) from the University of Missouri.

Historian Adam Arenson examines the efforts of St. Louis’ intellectuals and mercantile elite to make their city the capital of a vast Western empire in the wake of the Civil War.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Plaza Branch

Adam Arenson, assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at El Paso, examines the efforts of St. Louis’ intellectuals and mercantile elite to make their city the capital of a vast Western empire in the wake of the Civil War.

That ambitious dream was never realized, but the city grew to be a vital cultural and commercial hub. The largest city along the border between free and slave states, St. Louis became a microcosm of the dueling moral systems and competing national visions that dominated mid-19th century America.

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