Join renowned writer and author of the acclaimed The Last of the Doughboys for a lively lecture during the centennial anniversary of the Americans joining World War I. Based upon his popular 2014 New York Times series, Rubin will discuss his latest book Back Over There: One American Time-Traveler, 100 Years Since the Great War, 500 Miles of Battle-Scarred French Countryside, and Too Many Trenches, Shells, Legends, and Ghosts to Count, a thoughtful meditation on Rubin’s journey to American WWI battle sites in France. Part history, part first-person travelogue, and part exploration of how human memory is passed down among generations, this talk of Rubin’s evocative book is not to be missed! Cash bar/small plates available. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium
As the commemoration of the Centennial of World War I (2014-19) continues, the National World War I Museum and Memorial serves as a fitting place to honor and recognize the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country during Memorial Day weekend. The Museum offers events throughout the weekend for people of all ages, including a free public ceremony on Memorial Day featuring renowned photographer Michael St Maur Sheil, whose work has been seen by millions of people throughout the world. Admission to the Museum is free for veterans and active duty military personnel, and half-price for the general public all weekend.
Soon after the outset of World War I, the poster was recognized as a means of spreading national propaganda with unlimited possibilities. Posters as Munitions, 1917 showcases the depth and breadth of the collection through a series of works on exhibition for the first time at the Museum. Posters from France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the United States and more are featured, providing a sense of the global nature of this form of communication. Exhibition open Feb. 21, 2017 – Feb. 18, 2018 in Memory Hall.
Vive l’Amérique: French Children Welcome Their American Ally
When the U.S. entered WWI in April 1917, a school teacher in the Montmartre district of Paris asked his students to write essays and express in drawings how this would affect their lives. A century later, Le Vieux Montmartre Historical Society loans 30 of these drawings and two essays on this subject to be on exhibit the first time anywhere in the world. Exhibition open March 21 – Oct. 15, 2017.
Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys 1917-1918
Michael St Maur Sheil’s portraits of WWI battlefields are featured in an outdoor photographic exhibition which tells of the healed scars of the First World War through our only remaining living witness: the fields of battle themselves. Once places of devastating violence, we now see landscapes of great beauty, testament to peace and remembrance. Open March 31 – Aug. 20, 2017
The Centennial exhibition showcases the incredible events that occurred worldwide from America’s official entry into the war and Russia’s upheavals from an Imperial state to Bolshevik rule. The stalemated battles on the Western Front and in other theaters and troubles on the home fronts also led to societal changes, mutinies and revolts. Exhibition open April 7, 2017 – April 8, 2018 in Exhibit Hall.
History is brought to life in this family-friendly program in which kids of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts. Complimentary with paid admission | Near Paul Sunderland Glass Bridge
Thursdays at 2 p.m.
Complimentary Museum Tour
Explore the Main Gallery with one of our knowledgeable Museum Guides on a tour. Space is limited on a first come, first serve basis. Sign-up on Thursdays at the Museum ticketing window. Complimentary with paid admission | Museum Main Gallery
Saturday-Sunday May 6-7, 7:30 p.m. & 2 p.m.
Mid America Freedom Band Spring Concert
The spring concert takes listeners on a journey from the bottom of the sea with Alex Shapiro’s "Immersion" to sweeping panoramic earthly vistas with James Mobberley’s piece "Fantasy in Earth Tones." Sydney Hodkinson’s "Stone Images," Daniel McIntosh’s "Earth," and pieces from Nick Omiccioli, Manuel de Falla, and Ralph Vaughan Williams are also featured. Tickets are $10 in advance at freedomband.com or $12 at the door | J.C. Nichols Auditorium
Exercise your green thumb with The Modernists, in partnership with Kansas City's botanical garden, Powell Gardens, as we dig in to the history of victory gardens and food rationing on SoT's enchanted patio. Ticket includes a delicious signature cocktail, small bites, gardening tips, and a starter kit for growing your own victory garden at home (apartment friendly!). Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty for victory! Tickets are $15 for members, $20 for general public.
Film Friday: The Englishman who went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain
As WWI roars across the Channel, two cartographers and the villagers of Ffynnon Garw battle over the definition of “mountain.” Determined to be on the map as a village with a mountain rather than a hill, the proud townsfolk get creative. This charming cult classic features Hugh Grant, Colm Meaney, Kenneth Griffith and Ian McNeice. Sponsored by the Capitol Federal Foundation. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium
Celebrate with Historic Kansas City and Barb Pahl, Senior Vice President for Preservation Field Services for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, by looking back at 2016 and discussing where preservation efforts are headed in this uncertain political climate. Reception with cash bar available at 5:30. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium
Drafted Service: 100th Anniversary of the United States Selective Service
From a volunteer army to conscripted service and back again, the Selective Service Act has deeply affected American military and our role on the global stage. Join a free and timely conversation of the Act and its effects with Dr. Beth Bailey, author and University of Kansas Professor of History; Dr. Richard S. Faulkner, author and supervisory professor of Military History at U.S. Command and General Staff College; and Mark Adams, Education Director of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium
Long live the king! Wait—who is the king? Only a clash between the jungle’s fiercest felines will decide! Join Museum educators for a family-friendly craft and reading of James Thurber’s fable on the dangers of pride and ambition. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby
May is a month for memorials and for getting outside. There is no better way to enjoy the weather than a brief outdoor walking tour. Learn about the many architectural and symbolic elements that make up the National World War I Museum and Memorial. FREE with RSVP (at capacity, waitlist available) | Meet at Guest Services inside the Museum
Find your connection to World War I during Memorial Day weekend through research stations at the Museum. With access to Fold3.com, Ancestry.com, the Museum’s online collections database, the American Battlefield Monuments Commission and the National Archives, discover how the Great War affected your family through records, photographs and much more. FREE to the public | Outside J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby
Saturday-Sunday, May 27-28, 10:30 a.m. & 3:30 p.m. | Monday, May 29, 3:30 p.m.
Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace Walking Tours
Join award-winning photojournalist and curator Michael St Maur Sheil on a brief walking tour of the special centennial outdoor exhibition Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys 1917-1918. Hear the stories behind the incredible contemporary photographs. Book purchase suggested and reservation required. Limited space available | Tour Begins at Guest Services station inside Museum
What’s it like to experience the battlefields of World War I in person? Find out details of the upcoming commemorative journey to breathtaking places in Europe with the National World War I Museum and Memorial and Battlefield Tour guide/photojournalist Michael St Maur Sheil. Museum staff will be on hand to answer questions. Free with RSVP | R.A. Long Education Center
As part of our Memorial Day Weekend programming, the Museum proudly welcomes the 35th Infantry Division Band for a rousing concert to commemorate those who have served and perished in our country’s armed forces. Comprised of professional musicians, educators, and college students, the 35th ID Band performs for more than 100,000 citizens annually, sharing the Army’s story with the public through music. FREE to the public | J.C. Nichols Auditorium
Sunday, May 28, 2 p.m.
Finding Your WWI Connection
Many Americans had family members who served overseas during the Great War. Others had family members who were German or Austrian immigrants affected by U.S. immigration policies during wartime. In this introductory session to WWI research, Dr. Mitch Yockelson will offer some hints and tips on how to go about researching relatives that may have served or been affected during the war. Information on how to request copies of military service files via the National Archives will also be available. Presented in partnership with The National Archives at Kansas City. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium
Kick off your summer with the largest free Memorial Day weekend event in the Midwest. The Kansas City Symphony, led by Music Director Michael Stern, performs patriotic favorites against the backdrop of Kansas City's historic Union Station. Celebration at the Station concludes with a fireworks display over the Liberty Memorial at the National World War I Museum and Memorial.Concert begins at 8 p.m. FREE to the public | Museum North Lawn
Monday, May 29, Open
Summer Hours Begin
The Museum is open 7 days a week beginning on Memorial Day.