Missouri bicentennial. 200 years of history, images of faces

KPL Bicentennial Programming

August 10, 2021, will mark the two hundredth anniversary of Missouri’s entry as the 24th state to enter the United States. Places all over the state will be celebrating the Missouri bicentennial, find out more on the state’s website. Kirkwood Public Library has a rich history in the community. The library itself is over 90 years old, and the city of Kirkwood is 150 years old. Our goal for our Bicentennial projects is to highlight some of the struggles and achievements both Kirkwood and the State of Missouri have endured, while looking toward a bold future full of hope for all our residents. Stay tuned for more programming as 2021 continues!

This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

Upcoming Bicentennial Programming

Bicentennial Segments on Our Podcast

KPL Podcast logo Bicentennial edition smiling microphoneOur great podcast with hosts Ryan & Jigisha will also be sharing some Bicentennial stories this year. You can find the segments on the following podcasts. Take a listen!

To listen to the podcast and follow along all year – subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.


Upcoming Events

We need Kirkwood Stories. Go to www.kirkwoodpubliclibrary.org/bicentennial to submitWe need your stories!

We’re putting together a Passport to Kirkwood Program, highlighting the organizations, people, businesses that shape the Kirkwood Community, today and through the past. We will host an interactive map on this page, with audio links to the different spots in the community that share a story. Part oral history, part outdoor walking or driving tour, this program would highlight both where we’ve come from and where we plan to go.  But in order to put this together, we need your stories!

What are we looking for? Stories that are 2-4 minutes in length, highlighting the community. It could be a story about the first time you rode the train, or a story about a place in Kirkwood that’s near to your heart. If you’re a history buff, it could be a short story about the history of a location in Kirkwood!  If you think you have an awesome story to share, fill out the form below – and feel free to share with others you think would have great stories to tell.


Past Programming

Black Men in White Coats – Film Screening & Discussion

A film screening event will take place for Black Men in White Coats on May 16th at 1:30PMLess black men applied to medical school in 2014 than in 1978 and black men have the lowest life expectancy in the United States. With only 2% of American doctors being black men, this comes as no surprise.  This documentary dissects the systemic barriers preventing black men from becoming medical doctors and the consequences on society at large.

Watch the documentary any time between May 14th at 9AM and May 17th at 9AM, then join us for a discussion on May 16th at 1:30PM to talk about the film and taking Missouri’s healthcare into the future. Register to watch the movie online: https://indiescreening.com/screenings/537 Register for the discussion on our calendar.


To the Top! A Gateway Arch Story

Gateway Arch in background with an image of To the Top! The story of the gateway arch book on top.The Gateway Arch is not just one of the most recognizable monuments in the world — the Arch itself and the museum below, along with the Old Courthouse adjacent, tell many stories of the growth of our country, the interactions among different groups of people, and the formation of the state of Missouri. Families can hear Amanda read her book “To the Top! A Gateway Arch Story,” which follows two kids making a trip to the site for the first time with their grandfather, who was just a young man himself when the Arch was constructed. Amanda’s reading will be followed by trivia questions, Q&A, and a hands-on “Build Your Own Arch” activity (supplies available beginning on 5/28 at the library). Bring your kids on a virtual journey to the top of the Gateway Arch! Best for ages 4-10.


Author Talk: The Broken Heart of America with Walter Johnson

Walter Johnson will be joining us virtually to talk about his book, The Broken Heart of America. From Lewis and Clark’s 1804 expedition to the notorious 1857 Dred Scott decision, to the 2014 uprising in Ferguson, American history has been made in St. Louis. As acclaimed historian Walter Johnson shows in The Broken Heart of America, the city exemplifies how imperialism, racism, and capitalism have persistently entwined to corrupt the nation’s past.

Sign-up for the event, and you can also sign-up for the Community for Hope & Understanding Book Club. They are reading the book over two months in July and August. Email Joy Weese Moll to sign-up at cfuhbookgroup@gmail.com. Put a copy of the book on hold today.


This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.