Civil War Events @ the Library

Past Civil War Events

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.

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.

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