One of the places you must visit on your trip to Kansas City, Missouri is the incredible National World War I Museum and Memorial. World War I is one of the deadliest confrontations in human history and soon after it was over, citizens joined to form the Liberty Memorial Association to create a monument to all the men and women who served in the war and lost their lives.
LMA and Kansas Citians raised more than $2.5 millions ($34 millions today) in just 10 days, an amazing accomplishment that reflected the intensity of public sentiment for the losses suffered in a war that changed the world forever. This site was dedicated by the supreme Allied commanders and the memorial made history by bringing these five leaders together in the same place for the very first time.
In 1998, the LMA and Kansas Citians restored the memorial and they made plans to expand it by building a museum to showcase the LMA’s incredible World War I collection of objects and documents. They started the collection in 1920 and they’ve become the proud owners of thousands of artifacts, photographs, documents, audio recordings, and more.
The World War I Museum and Memorial is one of the main cultural attractions in Kansas City and it has a lot to offer its visitors. The two main galleries are full of artifact exhibitions! The first gallery focuses on the beginning of World War I, before U.S. involvement, while the second gallery focuses on U.S. and civilian involvement to achieve peace.
Among the artifacts you’ll be able to see a Renault FT tank, uniforms like the Paul von Hindenburg’s Model 1915 Field Jacket, a 1917 Harley-Davidson Model J motorcycle, a 1918 Ford Model T ambulance, munitions, maps, photographs, propaganda posters, replica trenches, and you’ll also be able to experience interactive displays, audio recordings of the time, and educational films. You can also visit the Edward Jones Research Center, which is the home of over 75,000 documents and more.
The National World War I Museum opened its doors in 2006 and some of its famous visitors include former Vice President Dick Cheney, General Colin Powell, President Barack Obama, Senator John McCain, actor Kevin Costner, and America’s last surviving World War I veteran, Frank Buckles.
This is a special museum because it’s the only museum that focuses on sharing World War I history through the eyes of those who participated in it and lived it; their testimonies are used to guide the visitors through one of the largest collections of WWI artifacts and documents in the world.
You’ll find the National World War I Museum and Memorial at 2 Memorial Drive in Kansas City, Missouri. Regular hours are: Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. and summer hours are: from Monday to Friday from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. and Saturdays from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Admission is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors of 65 years old and older, $14 for college students who will have to present their ID, and $10 for youth of 6 to 18 years of age; children under 6 years old and members can visit for free. Call them at (816) 888 8100 for further information.