National World War I Museum and Memorial Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

Museum Offers Free Admission to the Public & Free Activities Dec. 6-11

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The newly Congressional-designated National World War I Museum opened to critical acclaim in 2006. Ten years and more than 2 million visitors later, the National World War I Museum and Memorial is saying “thank you” to Kansas City area residents and supporters who made the Museum possible by offering free admission to the public and a host of free activities during Anniversary Week Dec. 6-11.

“This is our opportunity to say ‘Thank you Kansas City’ for creating one of the world’s great museums,” said National World War I Museum and Memorial President and CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor. “Area residents raised the funds to build the Memorial and original Museum in 1919 and they once again rose to the challenge in the late 1990s to facilitate renovation and construction of this magnificent facility. To be certain, this is a Museum of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Between Tuesday, Dec. 6 – Sunday, Dec. 11 the Museum offers free admission to the general public and an array of free activities, including daily complimentary tours (2 p.m.) and daily editions of its family-friendly Hands-on History program (3:30 p.m. & 11 a.m. Saturday/Sunday). The Museum also offers the opportunity of a lifetime on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9-10 from 5-8 p.m. to ascend to the top of the Liberty Memorial Tower for breathtaking panoramic night time views of downtown Kansas City.

Additionally, the Museum is hosting several noteworthy programs during the week. At 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato joins panelists Alvin Brooks, Joanne Katz and Dr. Matthew Naylor in a discussion on her project “In War and Peace – Harmony Through Music” in a program presented in partnership with The Harriman-Jewell Series.

The following evening at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, the Museum commemorates the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor by welcoming Doolittle Raider/WWII veteran Lt. Col. Dick Cole and Dr. Dennis R. Okerstrom for a conversation about Cole’s military service, the impact of Pearl Harbor and the present day meaning of WWII. The program is presented in partnership with Park University, The National Archives at Kansas City, The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum and The Truman Center at UMKC.

A complete list of activities can be found at theworldwar.org/10years. Anniversary Week activities are made possible by Premier Sponsors AMC Theaters and VML and Partner Sponsors Henderson Engineers, Inc., JE Dunn Construction and State Street Corporation.

Anniversary Week Activities

  • Tuesday, Dec. 6 – Sunday, Dec. 11
  •  Daily: Free Admission to the Public
  •  Daily: Complimentary “Top 10” Self-Guided Tour – the Museum curatorial team provides a self-guided tour of the top 10 acquisitions in the last 10 years to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Museum expansion.
  •  2 p.m., Daily: Complimentary Public Tour – explore the Main Gallery with one of our knowledgeable Museum Guides on a tour.
  •  3:30 p.m. Daily (also 11 a.m. Saturday/Sunday): Hands-on History – history is brought to life in this family-friendly program in which kids of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts.
  •  6:30 p.m., Tuesday: In War and Peace – Perspectives on Conflict Resolution – join us for a panel conversation featuring Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato as she discusses her project, “In War and Peace – Harmony Through Music” with panelists Alvin Brooks, Joanne Katz and Dr. Matthew Naylor. Presented in partnership with the Harriman-Jewell Series.
  •  6:30 p.m., Wednesday: 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor: Conversation and Commemoration – Doolittle Raider veteran, Lt. Col. Dick Cole, USAF (Ret.), and Dr. Dennis R. Okerstrom reflect on the impact of Pearl Harbor and the present day meaning of WWII. Presented in partnership with Park University, The National Archives at Kansas City, The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum and The Truman Center at UMKC.
  •  5-8 p.m., Friday/Saturday: Liberty Memorial Tower – the Museum offers the rare opportunity to ascend to the top of the Liberty Memorial Tower in the evening for breathtaking 360 degree panoramic views of downtown Kansas City (weather permitting). Guests are encouraged to wear weather-appropriate clothing and to note that there are 45 steps to take in order to reach the top. 
  •  1 p.m., Saturday: Family Friendly: War Game – the Museum screens the award-winning animated short film about the unlikely Christmas Truce on the Western Front.
  •  All Day, Sunday – Day in the Life – 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 how Christmas was celebrated by soldiers during the war.

 A complete list of activities is available at theworldwar.org/10years.

About the National World War I Museum and Memorial

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The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war. The Museum takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National World War I Museum and Memorial inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit theworldwar.org.

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