Living History

Living History is Jackson County Historical Society's way of resurrecting the past with lively reenactments of many important moments in Jackson County History. Period costumes and regalia are just one part of the fun. Living History events are carefully researched and executed according to literature and artistic records for the most accurate and genuine historical representations.

The Jackson County Historical Society has an outstanding reputation for developing and publicly presenting exemplary Living History Programs. For information on upcoming living history events, see our Calendar.

Some of Our Previous Living History Events

Blood and Ashes

"BLOOD & ASHES", a series of commemorative events observing the 150th anniversary of General Order #11!

Three unique events are being organized by various partners to help celebrate the significant Civil War which was later captured in the evocative mural by Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham.

Jesse James Jr.

Jesse James Jr.

Son of A Bandit (2012)

We stepped back into 1898 to take on the trial of Jesse James Jr. (the son of the infamous bank robber) as depicted in the book Son of a Bandit: Jesse James and the Leeds Gang by local attorney and historian Ralph Monaco II.

The lively back-and-forth between the Kansas City legal giants of the time--Jackson County prosecutor, James A Reed and lead defense attorney, Frank Walsh--recreated the courtroom scene to decide whether James the younger and his gang robbed a train near the Leeds settlement.

Stump Speaking (2011)

In honor of Missouri artist, George Caleb Bingham's bicentennial, JCHS staged a "Stump Speaking" event by taking cues from the late painter's famous work of the same title.

The politicians took the stage to roundly debate the great issues of the day--slavery and states rights--at the
Independence Square and the Alexander Majors home in Kansas City.

Thomas Swope

Swope Murder Trial (2010)

Inspired by iles Fowler book Deaths on Pleasant Street: The Ghastly Enigma of Colonel Swope and Dr. HydeCHS reenacted the infamous murder trial involving a Kansas City physician and his father-in-law.

The trial was recreated for members of the Missouri bar who saw fellow attorneys - many of them alumni of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School play characters in this early trial of the school. See UMKC article.