Missouri Bicentennial

2021: Missouri Bicentennial

Trails Regional Library and the University of Central Missouri partnered to produce a virtual speaker series on the topic of the Missouri Bicentennial. The series of videos focuses on notable events from the last 200 years in Johnson and Lafayette Counties. Talks by guest speakers on a variety of subjects are common in public libraries, but adaptations have become necessary in the months since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The list of topics in the series include the impact of World War I, Warrensburg and women’s suffrage, Blind Boone and indigenous cultures of the area, among others. The videos feature experts being interviewed by UCM Professor of History Jon Taylor and will be produced by students from the UCM Communication Department, led by Digital Media Production Coordinator, Joe Moore.

“This series will allow us to ensure that, despite the circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be able to continue to provide engaging, thoughtful discussions on topics important to our patrons,” said Trails Regional Library Assistant Director, Kyle Constant. “The bicentennial is a subject of great interest and through the help of this grant and our partners at the University of Central Missouri, the experience of hosting an expert talk for our patrons is still possible.”

The grant is funded by The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and administered by the Missouri Humanities Council.

Read the article in MO Humanities, Winter 2020, about the project here.

View each video in the series by clicking the accordion tabs below.

Bicentennial Video Series

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Jeremy Amick focused on the important military veterans who have served from the area and specifically mentioned the role Sanford Sellers and his sons, Sanford Sellers, Jr. and James M. Sellers, played in developing the Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington.

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Dr. Amy Laurel Fluker presents on her recently published book about how Missouri has remembered both its Union and Confederate pasts and specifically focused on the history and significance of the Confederate Home in Higginsville.

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Dr. Mary Barile discussed how Warrensburg influenced Blind Boone and how Melissa Fuell Cuther, also from Warrensburg, became the first African American woman to write about the life of a Black musician—Blind Boone.

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Dr. Sara Brooks Sundberg shared the research that she and her students conducted about the suffrage movement in Warrensburg and specifically explained how Laura Runyon, UCM Professor of History, played a key role not only in the Warrensburg suffrage movement, but in the Missouri statewide movement.

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Local historian and author Lisa Irle discusses the importance of Old Drum and its legacy.

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Greg Olson shares his knowledge of the Native Americans who once called Lafayette and Johnson counties home prior to white settlement.

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Dr. Delia Cook Gillis rounds out the speakers’ series by making a presentation on the life, career, and legacy of Felice Hill Gaines, who was the first Black professional staff member at UCM.