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Never-before-seen artifacts set for WWI Museum

Two special exhibitions will open Sept. 1 at the National World War I Museum
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The National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Mo.

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This fall for the first time since its grand opening, the National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Mo. will reveal two new special exhibits with historical objects never before seen by the public.

"The First World War in Color: International Treasures from the National World War I Museum" and "Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace" both debut on Sept. 1, 2009 and will remain through November 29, 2010. Admission to the two exhibitions is included with admission to the National World War I Museum and are supported by the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund.

The First World War in Color: International Treasures from the National World War I Museum
"The First World War in Color" will include one-of-a-kind uniforms, helmets, books, textiles, medals and unique personal items from the Great War. Other extraordinary artifacts include original paintings, vivid posters, color photographs, postcards and documents. These items show a different part of war than typically captured in black and white photography. Expect to see everything from parades of armies marching in the world’s capitols, awash with colorful uniforms and flags, to the quiet radiance of past battlefields covered with red poppies.

The exhibition is located in the Museum’s Exhibit Hall, an original 1926 building that flanks the Liberty Memorial Tower. The exhibition is made up of newly acquired historical objects from countries around the world that represent the vivid colors of the Great War.

The National World War I Museum has been collecting treasures that span the globe since the end of the Great War and still actively collects. Since its grand opening in 2006, thousands of new objects have been acquired by the Museum. One of the largest and most significant acquisitions, donated by Joseph and Blanche Touhill of St. Louis, Missouri, includes the objects that make up the core of the “treasures” exhibited in The First World War in Color.

“We were simply stunned with the quality of European uniforms that Joe and Blanche Touhill donated to the Museum – both in their rarity and excellent condition,” explains Vice President of Museum Programs Eli Paul. “We hope this special exhibition inspires others to consider donating artifacts to the National World War I Museum. While we have the most comprehensive collection in the United States there are still significant historical objects that we are seeking.”

Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace
"Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace", presents Charles M. Schulz’s lovable beagle, Snoopy, as his alter ego, the Flying Ace. The exhibit showcases 42 of Snoopy’s most exciting adventures in his transformed doghouse—now a Sopwith Camel airplane —from the time he faced a deadly bout of influenza to sparring with the Flying Ace’s archenemy, the Red Baron.

Memorable for both children and adults, the exhibit expands beyond a pop culture icon to include vintage objects related to World War I aviation. These include a Prussian mounted officer’s ulanka (tunic) like the one worn by the real Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, snapshots of von Richthofen, a German airplane fabric section from a Fokker D7 rudder, airman insignia, flying goggles and a British Lewis .303 caliber aircraft machine gun produced for the French. Additional cartoons and original artwork published during World War I are also showcased in this display.

"Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace" is located in the Museum’s permanent gallery for the duration of the special exhibition's one-year run.

Schulz served as a sergeant in the United States Army and had always wanted to draw adventure comic strips but had been told to stick with what he did best—funny kids. However, after 15 years as a cartoonist, on Sunday, October 10, 1965, he finally had the opportunity to create his hero: Snoopy, the World War I Flying Ace.

"Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace" is organized by the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center and toured by ExhibitUSA, the national touring division of Mid-America Arts Alliance, a non-profit regional arts organization based in Kansas City, Missouri.

The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum is closed Mondays, except for Memorial Day and Labor Day. It is also closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Last tickets for the Liberty Memorial Tower are sold at 4:15 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on the day of your visit. The Liberty Memorial is operated in agreement with the Kansas City, Missouri Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners. For more information call 816-784-1918 or visit

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