National Archives at Kansas City
400 West Pershing Road
Kansas City, MO 64108
National Archives at Kansas City Calendar of Events
All activities are free and open to the public unless noted.
Thursday, June 9 - 6:00 p.m. reception/6:30 p.m. film
20th Century Civil Rights and Liberties documentary film series with GKCBHSG
The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights
Post-film discussion to 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 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.
Wednesday, June 15 - 6:00 p.m. reception/6:30 p.m. film
Uniquely Nasty and the Pursuit of Equality
Film screening of Uniquely Nasty: The U.S. Government's War on Gays with post film discussion moderated by Christopher Leitch. Guests include Kendall Seal, J.D. of Promoting Equality for All Missourians (PROMO) and Kristi Smith Wyatt of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
Uniquely Nasty explores a dark and little-known chapter of America’s recent political past, when gays and lesbians were barred from working for the U.S. federal government. Through its “sex deviates” program the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) secretly collected hundreds of thousands of files on the sex lives of American citizens. The film includes never-before-seen government memos from FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and John Steele, a top lawyer for the U.S. Civil Service Commission asserting that gays were “not suitable” for federal employment. Uniquely Nasty is a Yahoo News documentary film produced by Michael Isikoff and Alan Springer. This program presented in partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Archives of Mid-America at the University of Missouri – Kansas City; the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce; and Promoting Equality for All Missourians (PROMO).
Tuesday, June 28 – 6:00 p.m. reception/6:30 p.m. program
The Nazi Titanic: The Incredible Untold Story of a Doomed Ship in World War II by Robert P. Watson
Built in 1927, the German ocean liner SS Cap Arcona was the greatest ship since the RMS Titanic and one of the most celebrated luxury liners in the world. When the Nazis seized control in Germany, she was stripped down for use as a floating barracks and troop transport. Later, during World War II, Hitler’s minister, Joseph Goebbels, cast her as the “star” in his epic propaganda film about the sinking of the legendary Titanic. The German navy used the Cap Arcona to transport German soldiers and civilians across the Baltic, away from the Red Army’s advance. In the Third Reich’s final days, the ill-fated ship was packed with thousands of concentration camp prisoners. Without adequate water, food, or sanitary facilities, prisoners suffered, and many died, as they waited for the end of the war. Just days before Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945, the Cap Arcona was mistakenly bombed by the British Royal Air Force, and nearly all of the prisoners were killed in the last major tragedy of the Holocaust and one of history’s worst maritime disasters. Although the British government sealed many documents pertaining to the ship’s sinking, Watson has unearthed forgotten records, conducted many interviews, and used over 100 sources, including diaries and oral histories, to expose this story. As a result, The Nazi Titanic is a riveting and astonishing account of an enigmatic ship that played a devastating role in World War II and the Holocaust. Program presented in partnership with UMKC Truman Center, Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum.
Tuesday, August 2 – 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Polling site all day