Search the Signature Event Archive to discover past Library events. Watch videos, hear speaker interviews, and listen to audio recordings of previous presentations. Search by keyword (event title, subject, or presenter name), location or by date range.
Drawing from copious research and interviews with principal participants for his new book Mafia Dreams: A True Crime Saga of Young Men at the End of an Era, author and former law enforcement officer Frank Hayde recounts the FBI’s efforts in the 1990s to stamp out the vestiges of organized crime in Kansas City.
Internationally known photojournalist and writer B.A. Van Sise discusses his exhibition Invited to Life, featuring selected black-and-white portraits from his 90-photograph, four-essay book Invited to Life: Finding Hope After the Holocaust. Van Sise traveled the United States for four years, documenting the lives and experiences of more than 150 Holocaust survivors.
In a discussion of his book The Last Million: Europe's Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War, historian and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist David Nasaw recounts the ordeal of more than a million refugees stranded in a devastated Germany after World War II. Among them were some 250,000 Jewish survivors of the Holocaust whose homes in Europe had vanished.
In a special Missouri Valley Saturdays presentation, Suzanne Hogan, creator and producer of KCUR public radio’s A People’s History of Kansas City, discusses the 3-year-old podcast and its illumination of unexpected and forgotten stories from Kansas City’s past.
Award-winning author, historian, podcast host, and New Yorker staffer Jill Lepore juxtaposes the political and personal in her new essay collection The Deadline. She discusses the essays, which crisscross over what she refers to as the “deadline,” the “river of time that divides the quick from the dead,” enveloping and digesting lockdowns, race commissions, and popular toys, as well as personal losses that riddle her life.
In the latest installment of the Library’s Turning Points series in partnership with the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, military historian Richard Barbuto looks back at the critical chain of events that altered the course of the War of 1812 and set a young America back on a path to greatness.
The Library wraps up this summer’s Off the Wall series of rooftop film screenings, featuring cats in non-starring but invariably scene-chewing roles, with 1992’s Batman Returns (PG-13, 126 min.). It’s a darkly intense, Tim Burton-directed sequel that still holds up today in no small part due to an indelible cast of characters – including Michelle Pfeiffer’s Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman.
Is it better for elderly loved ones to age in place or be cared for in a nursing home? A panel of experts examines the emotionally fraught issue in a special town hall session co-presented by Kansas City PBS. The program, moderated by Nick Haines, also previews clips from the station’s new 30-minute documentary How Should We Care?.
Amid the United States’ protracted involvement in Vietnam, its military confronted racial justice demands more directly than perhaps any other institution in the country. The University of Kansas’ Beth Bailey looks back on that reckoning in a discussion of her new book, An Army Afire: How the US Army Confronted Its Racial Crisis in the Vietnam Era.
Drawing from her book Ordinary Equality: The Fearless Women and Queer People Who Shaped the U.S. Constitution and the Equal Rights Amendment, author Kate Kelly discusses the more than 200-year fight against gender and sex discrimination in our country and examines the lives of 12 women who’ve helped wage it.