Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Kansas City, (MO)… The National Archives at Kansas City will host Kenneth LaMaster on Thursday, August 5, at 6:30 p.m. for a discussion on his book US Penitentiary Leavenworth. LaMaster will be available to sign copies of his book after the discussion. A 6:00 p.m. reception will precede the event. In addition, attendees are encouraged to view the exhibition Mugged!: Facing Life at Leavenworth prior to the discussion.

Located twenty-five miles north of Kansas City, Kansas, the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas, opened its doors in 1895 as the nation’s first Federal Penitentiary. That year, a St. Louis architect William Eames of Eames and Young Architects began working on the plans for the prison. This prison would become notorious for hosting famous offenders from across the country and would become known as Leavenworth Penitentiary. In his book, LaMaster takes readers on a behind-the-scenes journey through the halls of the United States Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas. Included are photographs of the men who served time at the prison from the 1890s - 1990s, along with documentation on how the prison was constructed and what day-to-day life was like for many of the inmates.

Since 1979 Ken LaMaster has worked in all three of Leavenworth's famous prisons. His career began as a Correctional Specialist at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth. In May of 1982 Ken went to work at the then Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing as a Correctional Officer and in July of 1983 he began his career as a Correctional Officer for the Federal Bureau of Prisons at the United States Penitentiary Leavenworth. LaMaster credits his love of history to his father Kenneth Sr., a World War II veteran that often spoke of his experiences during the war and his days with the 2nd Armored Division, U.S. Army. In 2002, LaMaster became the official institution historian and has researched every aspect of the prisons history up to present day.

Copies of U.S. Penitentiary Leavenworth will be available for purchase at The Kansas City Store at the National Archives. This event is free and open to the public. For more information or to make a reservation call 816-268-8010 or register by e-mailing:

Mugged!: Facing Life at Leavenworth is organized by the National Archives at Kansas City.

Admission, hours, and additional information

Mugged!: Facing Life at Leavenworth is a free exhibition and will be open through August 7, 2010. The National Archives at Kansas City is open Tuesday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. for exhibits viewing and Tuesday-Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. for research. Free parking is available for National Archives visitors, with additional free parking available in the Union Station Parking Garage on the west side of Union Station.

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to more than 50,000 cubic feet of historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by nearly 100 Federal agencies. Serving the Central Plains Region, the archives holds records from the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The facility is located at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108. It is open to the public Tuesday - Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for research, with the exhibits open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit:

1 comment:

Fort Leavenworth said...

Wish I could make it to this. Sounds like it's will be very interesting.