Friday, January 13, 2012

World War I Museum

This is the Liberty Tower
Got a chance to get to the World War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri today! Wow!! What an awesome museum! If you ever find yourself in Kansas City I would definitely recommend a visit. This is the only museum dedicated to WWI in the entire United States. Being a retired history teacher and knowing much of the history already, but when you teach it to high school students you really  must "rush" through a lot of it to get to all the other required topics. World War I had so much international facts and details to understand to really be able to get why the US eventually joined the war and this museum had it all! 
Lots of artifacts from all sides, but what is neat is how the museum is set up. The Liberty Tower is in the center and the museum is built around it's base. There is an introduction movie to set up the story of what is going on in the world. 1/3 of the museum is the explanation of the international world events from 1914 - 1917 and how the war progressed, in addition to pointing out other world events going on. Then there is a second movie that explains how the war got bogged down and then ultimately decisions made by the German War Committee to resume 'unrestricted submarine warfare', which is ultimately what got the US involved in the war. The second 1/3 of the museum is the US involvement in the war with some great artifacts! The area between the two thirds has some really cool interactive displays that allow you to look at and learn, but to also create some things using WWI art. Additionally in this area are audio rooms, where your group can sit down and choose to listen to people on topics dealing with the war, music, prose, and poetry. Nice respite as you must walk through the rest of the exhibits. 
There are also two other areas that I was able to view, the Exhibition Hall, which was the old, not the newly renovated/added on to museum, which displayed lots of other artifacts. And the Memory Hall with a focus on more personalities of the war and additional displays that explained the entire museum and significance of all of the 'parts' of the museum.
There is just too much to talk about here, but it's a great place to visit. Unfortunately I didn't get to go up into Liberty Tower due to ice. It snowed night before last here and there is still some snow and ice on the ground....just enough to be frozen and create a problem and keep people from being able to go up. It was still a great visit. They have a great gift shop and the Over There Cafe!
Great way to spend the day in Kansas City!!
This is the bridge you cross to go to the museum, with 9,000 poppies below and each represent 1,000 casualties. The reason for the poppies is that is what was in France near Flanders.
1917 Harley Davidson that was used in the war. All original parts with the exception of tires, and spark plugs...the things you must replace to make it work!

A case with guns...rifles and pistols. These were all from the European section so were mostly German, Austro-Hungarian, and French.

French can't see the big holes that are in the other side which put it out of commission.

This is a picture of the bridge with the reflection of the Liberty Tower with the window panes and you can see the poppies below. Very neat picture that the volunteer suggested!!

One of the many propaganda posters and of course this one was aimed at women!


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