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Museum After Hours

Join us for our special Museum After Hours program series, 6:30 p.m. Fridays. The programs complement the Kansas Museum of History's special exhibit, Captured:  The Extraordinary Adventures of Colonel Hughes, and are held in recognition of the 100th anniversary of World War I.

June 10, 2016

Cherie Kelly, school programs manager, The National World War I Museum and Memorial presents “Animals of the Allies.” This family-friendly program looks at the mascots and other animals that took part in the Great War.

July 8, 2016

Tim Rives, deputy director, Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum presents “Searching for Eisenhower’s Climactic D-Day Words.” Given the importance of General Dwight D. Eisenhower's decision to launch the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, it is mysterious that neither he nor the commanders who witnessed his supreme moment could agree on what he said when he set the Allied force in motion. More than 70 years later, we still do not know what words unleashed the Allied assault on the Atlantic Wall.

August 12, 2016

Matt Thompson, independent public historian and former registrar, Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum presents “From Fatherland to Farmland:  German POWs in the Great Plains.” During World War II many German prisoners found themselves performing agricultural labor in states like Kansas, where they also developed a significant, albeit unofficial, cultural dialogue with the American citizens who lived nearby. The presentation addresses some of the political, social, and economic factors that led to such arrangements and offers some analysis of their longer term consequences.

September 9, 2016

Stacie Petersen, registrar, The National World War I Museum and Memorial presents “Do Your Bit—Knit!” Thousands of people unable to serve in the military picked up their needles and knitted for loved ones and their nations during World War I. Stacie Petersen addresses the history of knitting during World War I.

October 14, 2016

Jim Heiman, Metropolitan Community College, Independence, Missouri, presents “World War I Memorials and Monuments.” By the very nature of war, the first rituals for Kansas City area soldiers killed in combat were conducted locally in public ceremonies before they could ever be recognized in private services.  But even when the bodies of the dead were disinterred from the battlefields and cemeteries in France and brought back to Kansas City, private services soon gave way to public pilgrimages as semi-annual observances at the cemeteries began to include public monuments and memorials outside of the cemeteries. This presentation examines how Kansas City area war memorials at prominent places in both the Kansas and Missouri sides of the city became part of the public pilgrimages that ritualized war remembrance as private grief became public mourning.

November 18, 2016

Jonathan R. Casey, archivist and Edward Jones Research Center manager, The National World War I Museum and Memorial presents "J.R.R. Tolkien and the Battle of the Somme." This overview of Tolkien’s war service focuses particularly on the Somme, July through October 1916, and how his war experience may have influenced his literary work, namely The Hobbit and the Lord Of The Rings. The presentation includes images from the World War I Museum’s collections that match passages from the books.

December 9, 2016

Laura S. Taylor, curator of interpretation, National Museum of Toys and Miniatures presents "Toy Soldiers and Baby Dolls: Toys of the War Years." The early part of the 20th century was a period of great toy-making innovation.   More than playthings, these important artifacts reflect the historical time period in which they were made, from global conflict and economic depression to shifting attitudes in childrearing.

January 13, 2017 - Program canceled because of inclement weather

February 10, 2017

Lora Vogt, curator of education, The National World War I Museum and Memorial presents "Make Way for Democracy!: African Americans in World War I." The program features The National World War I Museum's online exhibit about African Americans in World War I.

March 10, 2017

Doran Cart, senior curator, The National World War I Museum and Memorial presents "A Kansas Nurse in the B.E.F., 1918: With the Tommies. Letters and other Memories from Florence Edith Hemphill, U.S. Army Nurse Corps, British Expeditionary Force in World War I." Nurse Florence Hemphill was from southeast Kansas but served in the British Army in World War I.  Her letters are preserved at The National World War I Museum and Memorial and have been edited and published by curator Doran Cart.

April 7, 2017

Charlie Pautler, museum director, Shawnee Town presents “The U.S. Doughboy Over There:  What He Carried and What He Dragged Home.” The program explores the material trappings of the U.S. soldier in WWI by examining original uniforms and equipment. The typical U.S. soldier brought back souvenirs from his time at the front, which will also be highlighted and discussed.

April 14, 2017

Kip Lindberg, director, Chemical Corps Museum, U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear School, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri presents "The Development of Chemical Warfare." The First World War saw the implementation of many types of new weapons. However, it was the introduction of poison gas that caught the World's attention, and has held it for the past century. The program will cover the development of chemical warfare in World War I: why poisonous gas use was initiated, what gases were used and what were their effects, and what is the legacy of chemical warfare 100 years later.

May 12, 2017

Kori Thompson, instructor, Hutchinson Community College presents "Serving America While Serving Time." As the U.S. came closer to entering World War I, men volunteered for service, including six inmates from the Kansas State Industrial Reformatory.  Many people questioned their morality and ability to serve. This presentation tells the story of these men and why, in 1918, the Kansas adjutant general instructed the draft boards and recruitment offices to induct them into service. Nearly 250 inmates and former inmates were either drafted or enlisted and served in some capacity during World War I, and some even died in combat.

June 9, 2017

Chris Cantwell, assistant professor of history, University of Missouri, Kansas City presents "Doughboys and Doughnut Girls: The Salvation Army and WWI."

July 14, 2017

The Kaw Valley Cornet Band presents Music of World War I, a variety of tunes that reflect the values, beliefs and attitudes during World War I. Music that spoke of a speedy victory at the start of the war changed to reflections on separation and sadness by its end. Music from the allied nations remind us this truly was a world war.

August 11, 2017

Mary Madden, education and museum director, presents more insights into Colonel Hughes’ fascinating life, which is currently the topic of the special exhibit by the same name. Madden will explore the history of his family, his service in Europe in World War I that he documented through 400 photographs, and stories from the daily diary he kept as a Japanese POW for 41 months in World War II.

September 8, 2017

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Ron Mastin presents Defending Freedoms. A native of Beloit, Kansas, Mastin graduated from the University of Kansas, and was commissioned a second lieutenant through the Air Force ROTC. While flying his 34th combat mission on January 16, 1967, he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a prisoner of war. He spent 2,239 days in captivity including years at the “Hanoi Hilton.”  Captain Mastin was finally released during Operation Homecoming on March 4, 1973.  He now lives in Georgia. We are proud to bring this decorated Vietnam veteran home for this program.