The World War's profound effect on the United States is often overlooked. Although the United States actively took part in the conflict for only 18 months, the war effort introduced mass conscription, transformed the American economy, and mobilized popular support through war bonds, patriotic rallies, and anti-German propaganda. Nevertheless, many people desired a negotiated peace, opposed American intervention, refused to support the war effort, and/or even imagined future world orders that could eliminate war. Among them were members of the peace churches and other religious groups, women, pacifists, radicals, labor activists, and other dissenters.
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 – Oct. 31, 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.
More than 9 million combatants from the belligerent nations died in World War I, the largest number of any conflict in world history to that time. The World Remembers is an international education project whose purpose is to remember and honor these combatants during each year of the war by displaying their names in more than 60 locations throughout Europe and North America for a period of six weeks ending with the Western Front Armistice Day of Nov. 11. For 1917, more than 700,000 names of soldiers from 14 nations will appear. Accompanying the names are images of soldiers and civilians caught up in a global conflict. The Museum is serving as the only U.S. location for this moving display, on view adjacent to the entrance of the Edward Jones Research Center. The National World War I Museum and Memorial is a sponsoring partner of The World Remembers.
Sunday, Oct. 1, 9 a.m.
WWI 8K Double Race
Join us for the 2nd annual WWI 8K Double Race! “The Double” is a unique concept consisting of two stages and a halftime. A 5K begins at 9 a.m. followed by a 3K at 10:15 a.m. The length of the halftime depends on one's time for the 5K, which creates a need for strategic thinking as the combined times of the two stages determine the winners. At Noon, a Kid’s Cup race for children ages 12 and under takes place with a 1-mile double race split into two half-mile stages. All proceeds from the event benefit the Museum. For more information and to register, visit runsignup.com | Museum North Lawn
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, Oct. 7, Noon-5 P.M.
KC Games for Good
Enjoy a free family festival featuring the Kansas City Kite Club, a Kids Scavenger Hunt, appearances by Sluggerrr and KC Wolf, face painting and more. Exhibits by a number of civic and community service organization include special demonstrations by the Kansas City Fire Department and Police Department. Sponsored by St. Luke’s Health System and the Kansas City Plaza Rotary Club. Visit kcgamesforgood.org for more information | Museum Southeast Lawn
Come do your bit - knit! Just as in WWI, knitting is a way to share comfort and bring a community of friends together to talk, laugh and create. Whether just starting out or an expert able to share your knowledge, join us for a quick history lesson about conscientious objectors with Deb Rinehart and free WWI era specific pattern. BYONY (bring your own needles and yarn). Your own projects are welcome! FREE with RSVP | R.A. Long Education Center Classroom
Day in the Life: Soldiers of the War - The Western Front 1917
The Living History Volunteer Corps will be on site to share stories of the Great War era and make history come to life! The Living History volunteers will focus on the experiences of soldiers serving on the Western front in 1917. Free to the public.
Wednesday, Oct. 11, 6:30 P.M.
Total War Comes to the Fatherland: The German Home Front, 1914-1918
The bitter legacy of the home front experience for the Weimar Republic and, ultimately, Hitler's Third Reich haunts public memory. Join Dr. Scott Stephenson as he kicks off the 2017-18 John J. Pershing Great War Centennial Series with a presentation on the evolution of the German Empire, from a nation of wealth, unity, and resolve to one of despair and revolution in the aftermath of World War I. The John J. Pershing Lecture Series is presented in partnership with the Command and General Staff College Foundation.Cash bar available. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium
Join KC Parks and local food trucks for a Food Truck Festival to benefit the city’s beautiful fountains. Indulge on delicious food offerings from KC’s favorite food trucks and enjoy live music from local popular bands, and other activities for the whole family. A portion of proceeds goes toward the City of Fountains Foundation to support our city’s flowing treasures. FREE to the public | Museum Southeast Lawn
The National World War I Museum and Memorial is teaming with area amateur radio operators to host special event station WW1USA for 31 consecutive hours from Saturday, Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. through Sunday, Oct. 15 at 5 p.m. During this time, station operators will contact hundreds of other amateur radio operators across the world. Individuals are welcome to serve as a guest operator of WW1USA at any time during regular Museum hours with all guests receiving a special amateur radio operator certificate. Free to the public.
Saturday, October 14, 11 A.M.
Story Time: The Memory Coat
The Industrial Revolution’s promise of wealth and a better life drew many immigrants to the United States. Join Museum educators for a reading of Elvira Woodruff’s encouraging story of one family’s journey to pass inspection at Ellis Island. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby
The Elephant and Donkey in the Room: The Future of American Political Parties
Tired of polarized American politics? Join us for a lively discussion across the political spectrum with a panel including former chair of the DNC Howard Dean, President of IndependentVoting.org Jacqueline Salit, Republican Party Political Strategist Danny Diaz, UMKC Chair of Political Science Beth Miller Vonnahme, and independent candidate for U.S. Senate Greg Orman. Moderated by UMKC Professor and former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Allan Katz. Complimentary light snacks available prior to program. FREE with RSVP | J.C. Nichols Auditorium and Lobby This event is at capacity, but a livestream will be available for viewing on Oct. 16
Join The Modernists for drinks and general revelry on the final Thursday of each month at Tom’s Town at 1701 Main St. Open to members and non-members alike, we promise good company and conversation with even better whiskey. Learn more about upcoming events, membership and ways to support our local national treasure. FREE to the public (drinks not included) | Tom’s Town Distillery
The Mid America Freedom Band returns for a can’t-miss concert experience! This fall’s musical selection blends musical selections of those who pursued liberty and justice for all including Lincoln Portrait by Aaron Copland, Mark Camphouse’s Movement for Rosa, and O’Neal Douglas, Jr’s Vigil. Tickets available for purchase | J.C. Nichols Auditorium
In commemoration of America’s centenary entrance into World War I, The Folly Theater presents The Unknown Soldier, a Monkey Baa Theatre production for young audiences that explores themes of duty, courage, and sacrifice between the present day and World War I. Tickets can be purchased for the 9:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. performances at follytheater.org | Folly Theater