Missouri History with the Rolla Public Library

The Rolla Public Library was founded in 1934. It was originally established as a children’s library and expanded significantly during World War II. By the 1960s we became a central feature of downtown Rolla and one of the many significant attractions alongside Route 66.  We enhance the quality of life by providing resources for lifelong learning, creating opportunities to connect with others, and fostering a love of reading. Like many other libraries, we recognize 2021 as an opportunity to celebrate the Show Me State and her contributions to the American experience. Here is the schedule of events…

-Fri Jun 18 2021 “Missouri Innovators” with Paul W. Bass

Paul W. Bass is the author of “Missouri Innovators,” “The History of Fort Leonard Wood Missouri,” and “Pioneer Churches of Springfield Missouri.” Join Derek Zboran and the Rolla Public Library for our interview with Bass about Missouri’s rich historical legacy of trailblazers. Watch live and chat questions directly to the author! (A recording will also be available.)

-Fri Jun 25 2021 “Missourians and World War II”

About 450,000 Missourians served in the military during World War II. Each one has their own unique story. Learn about two brothers from Phelps County who experienced combat in Europe, and what we know about them based on the letters they wrote home.

-Mon Jun 28 2021 “Dale Carnegie: From Rural Missourian to Self-Help Icon” with Steven Watts

Before Tony Robbins or Oprah Winfrey, there was Dale Carnegie. Born into poverty in rural Missouri, he transformed the self-help industry with his books “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and “How To Stop Worrying and Start Living.” Join Derek Zboran and the Rolla Public Library for an interview with Steven Watts, who authored the first major biography of this influential Missouri trailblazer. Watch live and chat questions directly to the author! (A recording will also be available.)

-Fri Jul 9 2021 “History & Newspapers”

Newspapers combine pictures, headlines, facts, and stories to create narratives about national events. Old newspapers often contain a wealth of information about local affairs and people. Learn about the pride that Missouri communities took in the Moon Landing of 1969, and listen as retired historian Mark Stauter explains how a historian uses old newspapers to study local history.

-Fri Jul 16 “D-Day and Missouri Generals” with John McManus

John McManus has written extensively about World War II and won the Gilder Lehrman Prize for Military History with his book, “Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943.” Join Derek Zboran and the Rolla Public Library for our virtual interview with him. We will discuss Operation Overlord and two Missouri generals who contributed to the liberation of Europe during WWII. Watch live and chat questions directly to the author! (A recording will also be available.)

-Mon Jul 19 “Missouri Animals and the Overland Trails” with Diana Ahmad

Diana Ahmad has written extensively about the American West, including the unique relationships that developed between frontier settlers and the animal life that surrounded them. Join Derek Zboran and the Rolla Public Library on Monday 5-6PM, July 19th, for a discussion of her book: “Success Depends on the Animals: Emigrants, Livestock, and Wild Animals on the Overland Trails, 1840–1869.” Watch live and chat questions directly to the author! (A recording will also be available.)

-Fri Jul 23 “Exploring History Through Tools and Other Objects”

How would you live if you didn’t have electricity? Not too long ago, many Missourians lived and worked without electric lights, electric powered tools, or even running water! One way to get to know history is to explore objects like tools, which can help us understand how people from the past lived and worked.

-Fri Jul 30 “Dewey Defeats Truman” with A.J. Baime

New York Times best-selling author A.J. Baime joins Derek Zboran and the Rolla Public Library for a discussion of the thrilling presidential election of 1948. Discover how Missouri underdog Harry S. Truman defied the media and members of both major political parties to be elected POTUS. Watch live and chat questions directly to the author! (A recording will also be available.)