National Archives at Kansas City

Location:

National Archives at Kansas City
400 West Pershing Road
Kansas City, MO 64108

Exhibits at the National Archives at Kansas City

National Archives at Kansas City Calendar of Events

All activities are free and open to the public unless noted.

Reservations are requested for all programs and workshops by calling 816-268-8010 or emailing kansascity.educate@nara.gov.

Tuesday, March 1 - 5:30 reception/6:00 p.m. film
Film Screening and Discussion
Girl Rising

From Academy Award®-nominated director Richard Robbins,
Girl Rising journeys around the globe to witness the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world. Viewers will watch the stories of nine girls living in developing countries who confront challenges and overcome impossible odds to pursue their educational dreams. Film running time is 1 hour and 40 minutes. Moderator Q&A discussion with audience to follow film. See film information and the trailer [girlrising.com]. Facilitator for the discussion after the event will be Letitia Harmon. Letitia Harmon is an International Human Rights Consultant working with Strategic Applications International. She has degrees from Seattle Pacific University and University of Washington in International Relations. She has focused on South Asian Political Economy and Women's Rights and is currently working with organizations in Kenya to combat gender-based violence. This program is sponsored by UNA Women, a committee of the United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City and the Lawrence D. Starr Global Studies Institute at the University of Saint Mary. Program partners include the Mu Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., SAFEHOME, and the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA).

Tuesday, March 15 – 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Election Day

The National Archives at Kansas City is a polling site.

Tuesday, April 5 – 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Election Day

The National Archives at Kansas City is a polling site.

Tuesday, April 19 – 6:00 p.m. reception/ 6:30 p.m. program
Author Discussion
Harry and Arthur:  Truman, Vandenberg, and the Partnership That Created the Free World by Lawrence J. Haas

Following the end of World War II, President Harry S. Truman and Senator Arthur Vandenberg, a Republican from Michigan, worked closely together to create a new U.S. foreign policy. Lawrence J. Haas, Senior Fellow for U. S. Foreign Policy at the American Foreign Policy Council, will discuss how Truman and Vandenberg built a tight partnership with one another to meet the emerging Soviet threat and to rebuild Europe. Working in strong bipartisan fashion at a bitterly partisan time, they crafted a dramatic new foreign policy through which the United States stepped boldly onto the world stage for the first time to protect its friends by containing Soviet expansionism, and to promote freedom and prosperity through such means as the United Nations and the Marshall Plan. These two men—unlikely partners by way of personality and style—transformed the United States from a reluctant global giant to a self-confident leader; from a nation that traditionally turned inward after war to one that remained engaged to shape the postwar landscape; and from a nation with no real military establishment to one that now spends more on defense than the next dozen nations combined. Presented in partnership with the UMKC Truman Center, Truman Presidential Library, and International Relations Council.

Thursday, April 21 - 6:00 reception/6:30 p.m. film
Film Screening and Discussion
20th Century Civil Rights and Liberties documentary film series with GKCBHSG
In Search of History:  The Night Tulsa Burned

Post film discussion will be led by Dr. Shawn Alexander from the University of Kansas.
Tulsa's Greenwood district is the site of one of the most devastating race disturbances in the history of the United States. Before May 31, 1921, Tulsa's black business district known as Greenwood flourished in spite of segregation. It boasted of several restaurants, theaters, clothing shops and hotels. Dubbed the "Black Wall Street," Greenwood was an economic powerhouse. After May 31, 1921, Greenwood would never be the same. The tension mounted between the black and white communities over an incident that allegedly occurred in an elevator at Drexel building in downtown Tulsa involving Sarah Page, a 17-year-old white elevator operator, and Dick Rowland, a 19-year-old black man. There are several versions of what supposedly transpired, but the most common being that Dick Rowland accidentally stepped on Page's foot in the elevator, throwing her off balance. When Rowland reached out to keep her from falling, she screamed. Many Tulsans came to believe through media reports that Rowland attacked Page although no sufficient evidence surfaced to substantiate the claim. The incident was further escalated by a local newspaper headline that encouraged the public to "Nab Negro for Attacking Girl in Elevator." The strained relationship between the white and black communities, the heightened jealousy of the success of the Black Wall Street area and the elevator encounter led to the Tulsa Race Riot. Armed white men looted, burned and destroyed the black community. When the smoke cleared, mere shells of buildings were all that remained of the business district. The Red Cross estimates that more than 300 people were killed and approximately 1,200 homes were destroyed. Program presented in partnership with the Greater Kansas City Black History Study Group.

Thursday, April 28 – 6:00 p.m. reception/6:30 p.m. program
Author Interview
Looking In-depth at Kansas City’s Early Negro History an interview with Sonny Gibson conducted by Dr. Debra Sheffer, professor of history at Park University

Local author and researcher Sonny Gibson has collected and organized over 25+ years of material which resulted in his book, Kansas City’s Early Negro History that details Kansas City’s history of African Americans. Sheffer will interview Gibson and discuss his decades of research. Presented in partnership with Park University Alumni Association.

Tuesday, May 3 - 6:00 p.m. reception/6:30 p.m. program
Author Discussion
Bigger Bombs for a Brighter Tomorrow: The Strategic Air Command and the America War Plans at the Dawn of the Atomic Age, 1945-1950 by Dr. John Curatola

After World War II, the United States felt secure in its atomic monopoly. With the American "Pax Atomica" in place, the free world held an apparent strategic advantage over the Soviet bloc and saw itself as a bulwark against communist expansion. But America's atomic superiority in the early postwar years was more fiction than fact. From 1945 until 1950, the U.S. atomic arsenal was poorly coordinated, equipped and funded. The newly formed Atomic Energy Commission inherited from the Manhattan Engineer District a program suffering from poor organization, failing infrastructure and internal conflict. The military establishment and the Air Force's Strategic Air Command little knew what to do with this new weapon. The Air Force and the AEC failed to coordinate their efforts for a possible atomic air offensive and war plans were ill-conceived, reflecting unrealistic expectations of Air Force capabilities and possible political outcomes. This lack of preparedness serves as a case study in the tenuous nature of American civilian-military relationships. Program presented in partnership with the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Thursday, June 9 - 6:00 reception/6:30 p.m. film
Film Screening and Discussion
20th Century Civil Rights and Liberties documentary film series with GKCBHSG
The Power Broker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights

Post film discussion will be led by Gwen Grant, president and CEO of the Urban League of Kansas City. Civil rights leader Whitney Young, Jr. has no national holiday bearing his name. You won’t find him in most history books. In fact, few today know his name, much less his accomplishments. But he was at the heart of the civil rights movement – an inside man who broke down the barriers that held back African Americans. Young shook the right hands, made the right deals, and opened the doors of opportunity that had been locked tight through the centuries. Unique among black leaders, the one-time executive director of the National Urban League took the fight directly to the powerful white elite, gaining allies in business and government. In the Oval Office, Young advised presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, and guided each along a path toward historic change. The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights follows Young as he shuttles between the streets of Harlem and the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies, tying the needs of Main Street to the interests of Wall Street. The film shows the pivotal events of the civil rights era — Brown v. Board of Education, the March on Washington, and the Vietnam War — through the eyes of a man striving to change the established powers in a way no one else could: from within. His close ties with powerful whites sometimes came at a cost, including an attempted assassination described as part of a “black revolutionary plot.” Some called him “Whitey” Young, and mocked him as “the Wall Street of the civil rights movement.” But this didn’t stop his fight, or his legacy. As Nixon said in Young’s eulogy, “He knew how to accomplish what other people were merely for.” Program presented in partnership with the Greater Kansas City Black History Study Group.

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