Late last week I went back home to deliver a couple of talks at the University of Kansas.
While there, I took a side trip to downtown Kansas City, MO in order to spend a couple of hours at the National World War One Museum.
As it has only been open since December 2006, many folks may not yet be aware of its existence.
The museum has state-of-the-art facilities, extremely well done displays, and what may well be the world’s second largest collection of WWI artifacts (after the Imperial War Museum in Great Britain) all housed in a fantastic complex built beneath Kansas City’s Liberty Memorial. (The museum was designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, the same firm responsible for the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC)
Given that it’s America’s official museum to the Great War, it shouldn’t some as a surprise that the collection leans toward the USA’s role in the conflict. Still, there’s plenty material for those interested in the Western Front. For the time being, the museum’s holdings on Russia and Eastern Europe are slim, but if you live near Kansas City (or will be coming through sometime in the future) you really should plan to visit. It’s an important, though still unheralded, American treasure.