Harry S. Truman (Library of Congress)
Former president Harry S. Truman provided the leadership for the founding of the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City. The Round Table held its first dinner meeting on February 25, 1958 at the Bellerive Hotel, located at 214 E Armour Boulevard, Kansas City MO. Dr. Bert Maybee, a World War I comrade and personal dentist of Mr. Truman, was elected the first president of the Round Table.
The Round Table decided to hold its meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month and this is still in effect today. At the monthly meetings, we have a dinner followed by a speaker, who is a well-known authority on the various leaders, battles, or events of the Civil War.
In 1975, the members of the Round Table established the Monnett Battle of Westport Fund, which is a tax-exempt action component of the Round Table. The Fund’s goal is to preserve, mark, and interpret the sites associated with the Battle of Westport.
Round Table members have been very active in local preservation projects, including the Battle of Westport and the Big Blue Battlefield sites in Missouri and the Battle of Mine Creek in Kansas. The markers and the cannon at Loose Park and the preservation of the land along the Blue River are also evidence of our members’ hard work.
The first record located of a woman being in attendance at a Round Table meeting was Alberta Wilson in May 1978. In April 1981, Carolyn Pate of Lee’s Summit MO, became the first woman to be accepted to membership in the Round Table. Sandy Ackerson was elected as the first woman president of the Round Table in 1994.
Beginning in 1959, the Executive Committee of the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City implemented three service awards for the members of the Round Table and others interested in the Civil War. The three service awards are as follows:
Bruce Catton (Wikimedia Commons)
The Harry S. Truman Award was established in 1959. Noted Civil War historian Bruce Catton was the first recipient of this award. Criteria considered in the selection process includes:
1.Making a significant contribution to the dissemination and preservation of Civil War military history.
2.Being a distinguished scholar and author of Civil War military history.
3.Promoting and/or organizing an important project related to the knowledge and understanding of Civil War military history.
4.Participating in the selection, development, or preservation of historic Civil War military sites.
Lane Smith presents Harold Holzer with 2015 Harry S. Truman Award
A candidate must qualify in one or more of the above categories. The Award cannot be presented at a time interval of less than one year. It shall be awarded at the discretion of the Executive Committee based on appropriate time periods and candidate qualifications. The most recent recipient of the Harry S. Truman award is Harold Holzer, one of the country’s leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. Mr. Holzer received the Truman Award at the Round Table meeting in February of 2015.
The Valiant Service Award was established in 1983. The criteria for the presentation of this award is as follows:
1.Recipient must be a long-term member of the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City.
2.Recipient must have made a substantial contribution in terms of time, effort, and talent to the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City or to the Monnett Battle of Westport Fund, Inc.
3.Recipient must have served as an officer of the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City or of the Monnett Battle of Westport Fund, Inc.
4.The Award cannot be given on more than one occasion each year, but may be given at a longer time interval. It can be presented to more than one recipient on each occasion.
The most recent recipient of the Valiant Service Award is Betty Ergovich (2012).
The Civil War Preservation Award was established in 2001. Criteria used to decide which individual(s) or groups (organization, company, etc.) will receive this award is as follows:
1.Recipient(s) must be a member of the Round Table or their work must clearly contribute to the same goals of the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City.
2.A substantial effort of time, talent, and money must be contributed to the goals of the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City and/or the Monnet Battle of Westport Fund, Inc.
3.The contributions must relate to the future preservation of Civil War history, historical sites, or military history or the history of the organization.
4.Preservation of ground, artifacts, books and materials, accouterments, buildings, weaponry, clothing, speech, likeness, etc. must be toward a permanent goal.
In January 2002, past president of the Round Table, Steve Treaster was presented the first Civil War Preservation Award. Steve had been a leader in preservation efforts. In February 2002, the name of the award was changed to the Steve Treaster Civil War Preservation Award. The most recent recipients of the award are Jack Brooks, Orvis Fitts, and Arnold Schofield (2012).
The Civil War Round Table of Kansas City promotes the study and interpretation of our Civil War heritage and is dedicated to the preservation of historic Civil War sites.