KANSAS CITY, MO. – The free weekend eventLiving the Great War featuring living historians, educational programs, World War I-era vehicles and replica WWI aircraft, a program focused on Harry Truman’s military career and a pair of documentary screenings about John J. Pershing and The Hello Girls highlight August events at the National WWI Museum and Memorial.
Living the Great War features the Living History Volunteer Corps and other World War I living historians, who display their WWI-era collections in a camp setting on Saturday, Aug. 25 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and Sunday, Aug. 26 (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.). The free weekend event also includes educational programs each day at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., a children’s obstacle course, the First Division Museum at Cantigny's Liberty Truck, a 1918 Ford Model TT One Ton Truck and several replicated WWI-era aircrafts (weather permitting) courtesy of the Kansas City Dawn Patrol.
Black Jack Pershing: Love and Warshares the story of General John J. Pershing’s military career and his personal life, including tragedies seldom examined. Drawn from personal papers, archival photographs and film, the award-winning documentary also explains how the Missouri native rose to global recognition with an illustrious military career that included the Allied victory in WWI. Film creator Dr. Barney McCoy will host a Q&A after the free screening at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 2.
Hundreds of women, fluent in multiple languages, served within the U.S. Army Signal Corps, playing a pivotal role in wartime communication. Mastering the latest technology: the switchboard, these women became known as the “Hello Girls.” The Museum and Memorial offers a free screening of the documentary The Hello Girls on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m. that tells the captivating story of America’s first women soldiers and their fight for equality and recognition. Film creator Jim Theres hosts a Q&A after the screening featuring Carolyn Timbie, granddaughter of Grace Banker, who served as the Chief Operator of the U.S. Signal Corps’ women telephone operators and earned the Distinguished Service Medal for her service. The screening also includes the first public airing of the recently discovered only known audio recording of one of the operators, which was captured in 1979.
At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23, the Museum and Memorial hosts Dennis Giangreco, author of The Soldier from Independence: A Military Biography of Harry Truman for a free presentation about Truman’s military career. Being the only American president to have seen action in World War I, Giangreco examines how the pivotal decisions of the young soldier’s life influenced his later political career. A book signing follows the presentation.
Award-winning historian Shawn Faulkner leads a free discussion of how pivotal engagements, including the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, shaped the outcome of World War I on Aug. 29 at 6:30 p.m. The presentation features an in-depth look at the actions of this crucial time and explores the enduring impact of the year of the Armistice. The lecture is part of the John J. Pershing Great War Centennial Series presented in partnership with the Command and General Staff College Foundation.
Other events occurring in August include: Mrs. Wilson’s Knitting Circle (10:30 a.m., Aug. 4), Influenza, 1918 (2 p.m., Aug. 12), Sip and Stretch Pilates (6:30 p.m., Aug. 14),The Modernist Happy Hour (5:30 p.m., Aug. 30) and Hands-on History (11 a.m., every Saturday).
The National WWI Museum and Memorial holds the most comprehensive 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 personal experiences of the war.
August National WWI Museum and Memorial Events
- Every Wednesday: World War Wednesdays (all general admission tickets $8)
- Every Thursday, 2:30 p.m.: Complimentary Tour (FREE with paid admission)
- Every Saturday, 11 a.m.: Hands-on History (FREE)
- Thursday, August 2, 6:30 p.m.: Black Jack Pershing: Love and War (FREE with RSVP)
- Saturday, August 4, 10:30 a.m.: Mrs. Wilson’s Knitting Circle (FREE with RSVP)
- Tuesday, August 7, 6:30 p.m.: Women at War: Hello Girls Documentary (FREE with RSVP)
- Sunday, August 12, 2 p.m.: Influenza, 1918 (FREE with RSVP)
- Tuesday, August 14, 6:30 p.m.: Sip and Stretch Pilates (Admission $5)
- Thursday, August 23, 6:30 p.m.: Harry S Truman: The Soldier from Independence (FREE with RSVP)
- Saturday, August 25, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Living the Great War (FREE)
- Sunday, August 26, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Living the Great War (FREE)
- Wednesday, August 29, 6:30 p.m.: Pershing Lecture Series (FREE with RSVP)
- Thursday, August 30, 5:30 p.m.: Modernist Happy Hour (FREE)
About the National WWI Museum and Memorial
The National WWI 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 and Memorial holds the most comprehensive 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 and Memorial 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 WWI 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.