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Learn World History from Your Own City


Article by City Lifestyle

Photography by Provided

Soon after World War I ended, Kansas City leaders formed an organization to create a lasting monument to the men and women who had served in the war. In 1919, the organization and citizens of Kansas City raised more than $2.5 million in just 10 days. The equivalent of more than $35 million today, this staggering accomplishment reflected the passion of public sentiment for the Great War that had dramatically changed the world.

After more than $100 million was raised for renovations and an expansion, the National WWI Museum and Memorial reopened in 2006 to national acclaim. Since then, more than two million people have visited the Museum, including Former Vice President Dick Cheney, General Colin Powell, President Barack Obama (as a presidential candidate in 2008), Senator John McCain, Former Vice President Joe Biden and actor and singer Kevin Costner. Additionally, Frank Buckles, America's last surviving WWI veteran, visited the Museum and Memorial over Memorial Day weekend in 2008.

In 2004, the organization was designated by Congress as the nation’s official WWI museum. In 2014, the Museum and Memorial received a second designation from Congress, recognizing the memorial as a national monument and effectively recognizing the complex  as the National WWI Museum and Memorial.

Today, the Museum and Memorial operates as non-profit organization dedicated to remembering and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. , The organization holds the most comprehensive World War I collection in the world and has been recognized by outlets such as TripAdvisor and Yelp as one of the top 25 museums in the nation and by CNN and USA Today as one of the best military-related museums in the world.

Do you need to make an appointment or call ahead?

We would strongly encourage you to purchase tickets in advance. When buying a ticket online, you will receive an email confirmation with your ticket. You can skip the line and simply show an attendant your ticket on a mobile device or print your ticket at home and bring it with you. You will also have your own entrance for faster admission into the Museum.

What are the hours of operation?

Regular Hours

  • Tuesday - Sunday
  • 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Summer Hours

  • Daily, Memorial Day - Labor Day
  • 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Over There Café

  • Days the Museum is Open
  • Until 3 p.m.

Are masks required?

  • Ample social distancing space is available throughout the galleries.
  • In conjunction with the Mayor of Kansas City’s executive order, as of Monday, June 29, guests are required to wear face masks inside the Museum. Guests are not required to wear face masks on the exterior grounds of the Memorial. Please visit the City of Kansas City’s website for more information and to view the limited number of exceptions.

What resources are available onsite?

Is anything currently unavailable?

  • The Liberty Memorial Tower, the Edward Jones Research Center and the Ellis Gallery are unavailable.
  • Interactive elements that require touching of items, such as touchscreen displays, have been modified or are unavailable.
  • Complimentary wheelchairs and scooters are unavailable.
  • Water fountains are unavailable.
  • Elevators are available for ADA accessibility only.
  • Checking of coats, backpacks, luggage, etc. is unavailable.
  • Audioguides are available, but without headphones (guests may use their own).
  • Self-serve beverages stations are unavailable.

What are some upcoming events?

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100 Years of Collecting

June 2, 2020 – March 7, 2021, Exhibit Hall

The National WWI Museum and Memorial began collecting directly from the First World War in 1920 and has amassed the most comprehensive Great War collection in the world. In a tremendous stroke of foresight, the organization’s founders determined that the collection should be inclusive of every nation that actively participated in the war. 100 Years of Collecting provides a window to examine incredibly diverse objects and documents, as well as the opportunity to see how this monumental collection came to fruition. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with 100 Years of Collecting – Art in Memory Hall.

Download this bingo activity sheet for a fun learning activity to use in the exhibition!

A Global History of the 19th Amendment

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 6:30 PM

 Did you know the passage of the 19th Amendment is inextricably tied to WWI? Or that American women’s suffrage is a global story? Join Dr. Mona Siegel, Professor of History at California State University, Sacramento, for a program that investigates the ways American women’s final push for suffrage was shaped by world historical events. Drawing from her new book, Peace on Our Terms: The Global Battle for Women’s Rights After the First World War, Siegel’s talk highlights how women's activism in Europe, Asia and the Middle East aided the final push for ratification of the 19th Amendment, and explores why African American, labor and pacifist suffragists from the United States chose to advocate for women’s rights abroad in 1919, even as the fight for suffrage was reaching a perilous climax at home. 

FREE with RSVP | Zoom Conference

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