World War II

Norma Productions

June has arrived, liberating children from schools all over Kansas City and vexing adults with the impossible task of keeping them entertained. If you're looking for a mental escape from this annual phenomenon, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics suggest sheltering your mind in the safety of a good movie.

Steve Walker

The Wedding Plan, PG

Courtesy Andrew Stuart Bergerson

Did Nazis fall in love?

Of course they did, though it may be hard to associate the idea of that emotion with a society that committed human atrocities. But as the Third Reich was rising, individuals in Germany fell in love with each other just like people all over the world fall in love every day.

Kansas Citians have a chance to hear what that felt like when actors stage a script-in-hand reading on Sunday, thanks to a trove of letters between two wartime lovers.

Toronto International Film Festival

Sir Winston Churchill is revered as one of history's greatest politicians due to his leadership during World War II, but the British Bulldog also had a soft spot for science. Today, we hear about his rediscovered essays on the environment, anatomy and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Then, we explore the life of John Coltrane with the writer and director of a new documentary about the jazz legend's career.

Aidan Monaghan / LCOZ Holdings, LLC

Rest easy: You don't have to traverse the dense jungle of the Amazon to discover something worth watching this weekend. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have already surveyed the untamed wilderness of the movie industry, and have emerged with recommendations you can watch from the comfort of your friendly local theater.

Cynthia Haines

Frantz, PG-13

Taber Andrew Bain / Flickr - CC

As V-E Day approaches, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Rick Atkinson discusses the lasting impact and significance of World War II. Then, many consumers remain wary of check-cashing and payday-lending businesses. We speak with a professor of city planning who worked as a check casher in New York City to research the industry and find out why low- and middle-income Americans are using them in increasing numbers.

Protagonist Pictures

What better way to spend a dreary weekend than taking in a few good movies at your local independent theater? If you have a hard time making up your mind, let Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics help out with their latest recommendations. They'll ensure your hair stays dry, but maybe not your eyes.

Steve Walker

Graduation, R

Toronto International Film Festival

With the Kansas City FilmFest going on this weekend, there's no shortage of great cinema to take in (not to mention the New York Dog Film Festival and Pooch Party). For those of us not lucky enough to get tickets to that event, though, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have a few recommendations that can fill the festival void.

Mongrel Media

While certain Missouri and K-State backers may have felt a little schadenfreude last weekend, fans of KU basketball had a tougher time, as the team lost to Oregon in an Elite Eight game in Kansas City's Sprint Center. Thanks to Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics, downtrodden Jayhawks fans have something other than the ongoing NCAA basketball tournament to watch this weekend, though their recommendations may not elicit any less emotion.

Steve Walker

Doug Kerr / Flickr -- CC

It runs from Baltimore to Provo, Utah, and the 1985 World Series was nicknamed after it. And did you know that they started building the very first stretch of it in Missouri, but the first section to be completed was in Kansas? A look at how Kansas and Missouri have been shaped by I-70.

Plus, we hear from a woman who has driven a stretch of I-70 so much that she wrote a song about it.

 

Guests:

elizaIO / Flickr - CC

We know we're supposed to reduce, reuse, and recycle our waste, but can local companies that make recycling their business turn a profit? Then, an eyewitness to the attack on Pearl Harbor shares her experience in Hawaii during World War II.

Daniel Wood / KCUR 89.3

As part of events marking  the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the city of Mission, Kansas, hosted a memorial at the Sylvester Powell Junior Community Center. About 70 local residents, including a number of veterans and current servicemen and women, attended. Among them, one of the last survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack.

Dorwin Lamkin, a 94-year-old Shawnee resident,  was a hospital corpsman in the USS Nevada’s sickbay when the battleship was hit by a Japanese torpedo and started to sink.

Régine Debatty / Flickr -- CC

Even though he was born in the United States, artist Roger Shimomura still gets asked where he’s from. Or he’s told that he speaks English really well.

“The presumption is that if you’re Asian, you must be foreign to this country,” he told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Great ideas may be hard to come by, but a new book has us thinking all that's needed is a change of scenery. We also remember the attack on Pearl Harbor, 75 years after it catapulted the nation into WWII. This week's Statehouse Blend Kansas features freshman Democrat Cindy Holscher.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

First, a recollection of the Chief's overtime victory over the Broncos Sunday night. Then, a look at an agency that settled a case last month involving charges of illegal kickback payments, but is still doing business with the state of Kansas. Finally, Author Candice Millard recounts the adventures of a young Winston Churchill as detailed in her latest book.

The American Housing Act of 1949 reshaped Kansas City in enduring ways, but was it for the best? Local historian Michael Wells, who works in the library's special collections department, examines how the law changed the metro's infrastructure and how its effects are felt today.

gleasonmovie.com

Some days are harder than others, but a little help from a loved one — or a stranger — can make all the difference. What better way to repay the favor than treating your friend to a film? This week, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have a selection of movies about vulnerable people in a seemingly callous world. 

Cynthia Haines

The Innocents, PG-13

imdb.com

From somber to sunny, this week's selections from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics are sure to get you right in the feels. Grab your box of tissues, a sweet treat or two, and get to know a few future classics before they end their run in local theaters.

Cynthia Haines

The Innocents, PG-13

We all remember the Titanic, but do you remember the Cap Arcona? The German luxury liner, regarded as the greatest ship since the Titanic, suffered a fate just as horrifying.

Guest:

Fifteen-year-old Jay Mehta took first place this summer in the National History Day competition for his depiction of Winston Churchill. Steve Kraske asks the Pembroke Hill student why the English Prime Minister inspired him, and what it took to channel his persona. 

The Truman Library hosts the regional History Day contest. Teachers can get involved by sending an e-mail to Mark Adams at mark.adams@nara.gov.

Colonel Bob Moore, Commemorative Air Force (CAF)

During World War II, 18-year-old Mary White spent her days soldering wiring on the instrument panels of B-25 Mitchell bombers at North American Aviation in Fairfax, Kansas. A true Rosie the Riveter, White never thought of it as a sacrifice — it was her duty to her country. She also never thought she would be recognized for her work, certainly not 70 years later.

Simon & Schuster

They came by the thousands from around the country to work on a project so secret, the town where they worked couldn’t be found on any map. We’ll hear about The Girls of Atomic City, also known as Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and their contributions to the building of the atomic bomb.

Guest:

Denise Kiernan is the author of The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story Of The Women Who Helped Win World War II.

70 years later, we catch up with Kansas City's own Riveter Rosies--the women behind the manufacturing of the aircrafts taken to battle in WWII. 

During World War II, the noses and tails of airplanes often were painted with cartoon characters, topless women or even some geographical landmarks. A history professor explains the meaning and stories behind those iconic designs.

LIbrary of Congress/Google Images -- CC

During World War II, the Hollywood Canteen in Los Angeles was a famous nightclub where civilian hostesses danced with Allied soldiers of all races. It was an oasis during a time of segregation — or was it? KU professor Sherrie Tucker interviewed people who frequented the club and heard about their different — and sometimes contradictory — experiences on the dance floor.

Guest:

Jennifer Teege was strolling through her local library in Hamburg, Germany when she happened upon a book about the daughter of a brutal Nazi commandant—and recognized her mother's picture. Her life was turned upside down as she learned more about her infamous grandfather. It resulted in her recently released book, My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers her Family’s Nazi Past.

Prison chaplains provide service for many souls, but what happens when your congregation is made up of the men who served under Adolf Hitler? The book Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis pieces together the life of Henry Gerecke, the U.S. Army chaplain given one of the most controversial assignments following World War II.  Guest

  • Tim Townsend​, editor at Timeline and author of Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis

 

How Elephants Helped Win World War II

Jul 24, 2014

  Tanks and ammo certainly played a big part in winning World War II, but the Pacific theater had another large asset—elephants.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk about the man who led these animals against the Axis powers and the bond he developed with these surprisingly gentle giants.

Guest:

Vicki Constantine Croke, author of Elephant Company

DVD Gurus: World War II

Jul 18, 2014

They fought on the beaches, in the air, on the sea... and on film. World War II made an indelible mark on pop culture, and it's especially evident on the silver screen.

A Look Into Kansas City's Past

Apr 10, 2014

1940 was a pivotal year for Kansas City. Tom Pendergast’s rule through corruption and debauchery had crumbled, leaving the new local government to reform a city hungry for jazz and liquor.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we examine how Kansas City was different in the World War II era. On the way, we take a look at how the “Paris of the Plains” changed from a den of iniquity to the city we know today.

Guest:

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and The James A. Reeds Family

They were a group of soldiers with something in common — a knowledge of art and how to preserve it.

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk about the Monuments Men, a special division from the Allied forces during World War II who braved the battlefields to save priceless art and architecture from the ravages of war.

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