National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
100 W. 26th St., Kansas City, Mo.
(816) 784-1918 www.theworldwar.org
Since opening in December 2006, the National World War I Museum has welcomed tens of thousands of annual visitors to its 80,000-square-foot facility at the base of Kansas City’s 217- foot Liberty Memorial. Now a generous gift from the estate of a private collector has ensured the museum will meet its teaching mission for years to come.
The 1,700-item collection centers on the machine gun and its impact on the war. The late Carl Hauber, whose father served in World War I, had acquired all but one of the known machine gun models used during the war. Related relics include ammunition, muzzle guards, gunners’ insignia, condensation units from water-cooled machine guns, and a chain-mail shoulder pad and mitts used by U.S. gunners to handle overheated barrels.
Visitors enter the museum via a glass skywalk over a field of 9,000 poppies (one for every 1,000 wartime combat deaths). Inside are two multimedia theaters and state-of-the-art exhibits showcasing everything from a tank, cannon, guns and uniforms to period maps, photos and video. The museum is open Tues.–Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. year-round.
Originally published in the May 2010 issue of Military History. To subscribe, click here.