National Archives at Kansas City


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

Wednesday, September 23 –6:00 reception/6:30 p.m. program
Author Lecture and Signing
The Buffalo Soldiers: Their Epic Story and Major Campaigns by Dr. Debra Sheffer.
This fascinating saga follows the story of the Buffalo Soldiers as they participated in key events in America's history. Sheffer discusses the impetus for the earliest black military service, how that service led to the creation of the Buffalo Soldiers, and how these men—and one woman—continued to serve in the face of epic obstacles. The work celebrates their significant military contributions to the campaigns of the American frontier and other battles, their fighting experiences, and life on the plains. Starting with the American Revolution, the book traces the heroic journey of these legendary servicemen from the period when black Americans first sought full citizenship in exchange for military service to the integration of the military and the dissolution of all-black regiments. Several chapters highlight the special achievements of the 9th and 10th United States Cavalry and the 24th and 25th United States Infantry. The book also features the accomplishments—both of the unit and individuals—of the Buffalo Soldiers in battle and beyond. Program presented in partnership with Park University.

Thursday, October 1 - 6:00 reception/6:30 p.m. film screening
20th Century Civil Rights and Liberties documentary film series and discussion with GKCBHSG
Free Angela and All Political Prisoners
Film and discussion in recognition of the 45th anniversary of the arrest of Angela Davis, an American political activist, scholar, and author. Davis emerged as a prominent counterculture activist and radical in the 1960s, as a leader of the Communist Party, and had close relations with the Black Panther Party through her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, although she was never a party member. Her interests included prisoner rights; she founded Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex. She is a retired professor with the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California-Santa Cruz, and a former director of the university's Feminist Studies department. Davis was arrested, charged, tried, and acquitted of conspiracy in the 1970 armed take-over of a Marin County, California, courtroom in which four persons died. Post film discussion will be led by Dr. Delia Gills of the University of Central Missouri. Program presented in partnership with the Greater Kansas City Black History Study Group.

Thursday, October 8 - 6:00 reception/6:30 p.m. program
Author Discussion
Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower:  Myths and Realities of the Civil Rights Strugglewith Irwin F. Gellman
More than half a century after Eisenhower left office, the history of his presidency continues to be clouded by myth, partisanship, and a lack of public understanding of how Ike’s administration worked or what it accomplished. We know—or think we know—that Eisenhower distrusted his vice president by keeping him at arm’s length; that he did little to advance civil rights; that he sat by as Joseph McCarthy’s reckless anticommunist campaign threatened to wreck his administration; and that he planned the disastrous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. None of this is true. In his research, Gellman reveals a different Eisenhower, a man whose complex relationships with Harry Truman and Richard Nixon were important toward advancing the cause of civil rights. Eisenhower finished desegregating the armed forces, a process that his predecessor, President Truman, began. Eisenhower, along with Nixon, not Lyndon Johnson, pushed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 through the Senate. Eisenhower was determined to bring down McCarthy and did so. Gellman will discuss the myths and realities surrounding the civil rights records of Truman and Eisenhower, and put their accomplishments--and limitations--into historical context. Program presented in partnership with the Truman Center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City; the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library; and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library.

Thursday, October 15 - 6:00 reception/6:30 p.m. panel discussion
Panel Discussion
Diversity and Inclusion: How Does Kansas City Rate?
Panelists include Lewis Diuguid, The Kansas City Star editorial board; Judy Hellman, Jewish Community Relations Bureau; Stuart Hinds, University of MO-Kansas City/Gay & Lesbian Archives of Mid-America; Jennifer Omillian, Certified ADA Coordinator at the University of Missouri-School of Health Professions, Disabilities Studies and Policy Center; Arzie Umali, University of MO-Kansas City/Women’s Center; and moderated by Bette Tate-Beaver. This program is presented in partnership with the American Association of University Women.

Thursday, October 22 - 6:00 reception/6:30 p.m. program
Author Lecture and Signing
Hoover’s War on Gays:  Exposing the FBI’s “Sex Deviates” Program by Douglas M. Charles
At the FBI, the “Sex Deviates” program covered a lot of ground, literally; at its peak, J. Edgar Hoover’s notorious “Sex Deviates” file encompassed nearly 99 cubic feet or more than 330,000 pages of information. In 1977–1978 these files were destroyed—and it would seem that four decades of the FBI’s dirty secrets went up in smoke. But in a remarkable feat of investigative research, synthesis, and scholarly detective work, Douglas M. Charles manages to fill in the yawning blanks in the bureau’s history of systematic (some would say obsessive) interest in the lives of gay and lesbian Americans in the twentieth century. His book, Hoover’s War on Gays, is the first to fully expose the extraordinary invasion of U.S. citizens’ privacy perpetrated on a historic scale by an institution tasked with protecting American life. Program presented in partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Archives of Mid-America and the Truman Center at the University of Missouri – Kansas City; and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum.

Thursday, October 29 – 6:00 reception/6:30 p.m. program
Author Lecture and Signing
The Country Club District of Kansas City
LaDene Morton will discuss her latest book on Kansas City history, The Country Club District of Kansas City. Morton examines the first 50 years of J.C. Nichols’ visionary development and the period of Nichols’ lifetime where he was singularly influential in creating the community. While the book includes chapters covering the chronological history, and the larger historical context in which the District came to be, the stories about the “community feature” of the District provide the nostalgia. The strength of the District came from Nichols’ insight into how features such as architecture and aesthetics, the schools and churches as institutions, and creating community through creating shared experiences, all played important roles in building the District into what Nichols termed, “America’s Best Residential Section.”

Tuesday, November 10 – 6:00 p.m. reception/6:30 p.m. program
Evening Lecture
Dr. Mark Hull on The Nuremberg After
Hull focuses on the subsequent Nuremberg Military Tribunals that involved 12 cases that each concerned defendants with a common thread – mobile killing squads, high commanders, judges, industrialists, doctors, etc. Note: the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials is on November 20 (1945). Program presented in partnership with the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; the Truman Center at the University of Missouri-KC; the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library; and the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education.

Tuesday, December 1 - 6:00 reception/6:30 p.m. film screening
20th Century Civil Rights and Liberties documentary film series with ASALH
Eyes on the Prize: Awakenings
The beginnings of the U.S. civil rights struggle is profiled, including the Emmett Till murder trial, the Rosa Parks arrest, and the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott. Post film discussion will be led by Dr. Clarence Lang and Professor Madison Lacy of the University of Kansas.
Program presented in partnership with the Greater Kansas City Black History Study Group.

Thursday, January 21 – 6:00 reception/6:30 p.m. program
Author Lecture and Signing
A Young General and the Fall of Richmond by Bill Quatman
Despite his military achievements and his association with many of the great names of American history, Godfrey Weitzel (1835–1884) is perhaps the least known of all the Union generals. After graduating from West Point, Weitzel, a German immigrant from Cincinnati, was assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans. The secession of Louisiana in 1861, with its key port city of New Orleans, was the first of a long and unlikely series of events that propelled the young Weitzel to the center of many of the Civil War’s key battles and brought him into the orbit of such well-known personages as Lee, Beauregard, Butler, Farragut, Porter, Grant, and Lincoln. Weitzel quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to brigadier general and, eventually to commander of Twenty-Fifth Corps, the Union Army’s only all-black unit. After fighting in numerous campaigns in Louisiana and Virginia, on April 3, 1865, Weitzel marched his troops into Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, capturing the city for the Union and precipitating the eventual collapse of the Southern states’ rebellion.

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