NATIONAL WWI MUSEUM AND MEMORIAL

National WWI Museum - Michael Weaver

 

DESCRIPTION: 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. 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.

ADDRESS: 2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO 64108 USA

LOCATION: Located in Midtown Kansas City, near Crown Center and Union Station, and just south of the intersection of Pershing Road and Main Street.

PHONE: 816-888-8100

WEBSITE: www.theworldwar.org

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The National WWI Museum and Memorial provides visitors with an unparalleled educational and entertainment experience, sharing the sights and sounds of the First World War through the latest audio and video technologies, hands-on displays and realistic battlefield scenes.
  • With more than 350,000 objects and documents, the museum holds the most diverse collection of Great War items in the world.
  • Each visitor’s journey begins with a surreal walk across a glass-floored bridge. A somber field of 9,000 red poppies lies below, each flower representing 1,000 military deaths.
  • A large-scale, multi-layered timeline presents interwoven stories, sharing the domestic, social and cultural impacts of the war to convey the individual and diverse experiences of war.
  • Key exhibits include a chilling recreation of No Man’s Land, replica trenches showing daily life, interactive touch screens with strategy games and activities, an authentic tank used in battle, a three-story screen which displays a short film of how America became involved in the global conflict and a six-minute epilogue that sets the stage for 20th Century geopolitics and beyond.
  • Visitors can ascend to the top of the Liberty Memorial Tower, one of the largest war memorials in the world at 217 feet tall.
  • The museum’s collection includes large remnants of the Pantheon de la Guerre – formerly the world’s largest painting at 402 feet by 45 feet that originally featured 6,000 prominent Allied nations figures from WWI.

HOURS: Regular hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tue. - Sun.;  summer hours (Memorial Day – Labor Day): 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily.

ADMISSION: Adults $18, seniors (ages 65+) $14, youth (ages 6-18) $10. Children five and under are free. Military (Active Duty/Veterans/Dependents with ID) $14. General admission tickets include access to the Main Gallery, exhibition spaces and Lower Level. Tickets to featured exhibitions and to the Liberty Memorial Tower (when available) are available separately. Visit theworldwar.org for the most current information.

ANNUAL ATTENDANCE: 1.1 million visited the National WWI Museum and Memorial in 2023.

HISTORY: Officially designated as the National WWI Museum and Memorial by Congress, the facility is the first American museum solely dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of the Great War. Just two weeks after the November 11, 1918 Armistice, Kansas Citians embarked on a campaign which would one day create the National WWI Museum and Memorial. A community-based fundraising drive in 1919 raised more than $2.5 million in less than two weeks to build the Liberty Memorial.

The site dedication in 1921 was attended by the military leaders of the five Allied nations—the only time in history these five were together at one place. After three years of construction, the Liberty Memorial opened on Nov. 11, 1926, immediately becoming an iconic landmark. Major restoration of Liberty Memorial began in 1998, and the new Museum opened in December 2006.

WHERE TO GET LUNCH: You can eat like a soldier at the museum’s Over There Café. You can enjoy the cafe without purchasing a ticket to the museum. Menu items include sandwiches, salads, pizzas, soups and other delicious items. 

HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES: Interactive touch screen tables allow visitors to explore WWI in greater detail, play strategy games and examine digitized versions of WWI artifacts up close. Visitors can also see primary documents up close on subjects like animals in wartime service, America’s mobilization and more.

WHAT’S NEARBY: The museum is minutes away from several Kansas City attractions. For starters, explore Science City and the Kansas City Rail Experience at Union Station. Then tour the Hallmark Visitors Center and enjoy a performance at the award-winning Coterie Theatre in Crown Center.

ANNUAL SPECIAL EVENTS: In addition to ceremonies on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, the museum also hosts Taps at The Tower, an event during the summer where guests are invited to listen to the simple Taps bugle call during a brief, moving ceremony. On July 4, the Museum and Memorial hosts the Stars and Stripes Picnic, Kansas City’s official fireworks celebration featuring entertainment, food trucks and local vendors.

DID YOU KNOW: Ralph Appelbaum, who designed the National WWI Museum and Memorial, has been involved in more than 120 museum projects in the last 25 years. His previous works include the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. His firm, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, is the largest interpretive museum design firm in the world. For more information, visit www.raany.com.

DON’T FORGET: Take time to see one of the best views in the city. The Liberty Memorial Tower offers an impressive and unobstructed view of the Kansas City skyline ($6 ticket, or add it to a combo ticket for just $3 extra).

GROUP TOURS: Please call 816-888-8110 to schedule group tour visits. School field trips should call 816-888-8113. These visits should be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Take the MAX to any of the bus stops adjacent to the Museum grounds along Pershing Road or Main Street, or take the Kansas City Streetcar to the Union Station stop (Pershing & Main). 

PARKING: Free parking is located on the south side of the museum in the U-shaped drive and in the West Visitors Lot.

PUBLIC RELATIONS CONTACT: Karis Erwin, 816-888-8122 or kerwin@theworldwar.org  

Media Contacts

Derek Byrne
Derek Byrne (KC/Regional Media)
Visit KC
816-691-3828
dbyrne@visitkc.com
Derek Klaus
Derek Klaus (National Media)
MMGY NJF
816-608-2816
visitkc@njfpr.com

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