National World War I Museum | KCUR

National World War I Museum

Luigi Toscano

Seventy large portraits in the courtyard of the National World War I Museum and Memorial put visitors face-to-face with Holocaust survivors.

The portraits, created by the photographer Luigi Toscano, include seven survivors from Kansas City. One of those is Sonia Warshawski, the Prairie Village tailor whose story was told in the 2016 documentary "Big Sonia."

Seg. 1: Holocaust Survivor Photos | Seg. 2: Barnstorming Tour

Sep 30, 2019

Segment 1: Kansas City is part of a global mission to collect and exhibit Holocaust survivor portraits.

Luigi Toscano wants people to look in the eyes of Holocaust survivors. His large-format photographs displayed in cities worldwide have elicited strong responses, ranging from a reunion of two former schoolmates separated by war to violent attacks in Vienna, where entire communities showed up to repair and protect the art.

Records of the War Department General and Special. Staffs.

One day in September of 1918, First Lieutenant George Robb's job was to take a French town called Sechault from the Germans who'd claimed it. At the time, he was commanding a group of African-American soldiers of the 369th Infantry called the Harlem Hellfighters.

Robb was wounded in what became a machine-gun fight that day, as were many of the men he fought beside. Some of them, including Robb, were recommended for the Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor in action against an enemy, and typically presented by the president of the United States.

Segment 1: A New York Times reporter sees votes for Quinton Lucas as votes for neighborhoods.

The weekend before Kansas City's mayoral election, a story appeared in the New York Times suggesting that this election came down to a choice: continued emphasis on downtown, or a shift toward prioritizing neighborhoods struggling in downtown's shadow. The author joins us to reflect on the outcome.

Segment 1: An American tradition revived.

In their first iteration, victory gardens provided much needed food for Americans at home and abroad fighting World War I. Now the victory garden concept can be seen in community gardens helping social organizations and food pantries, which often struggle to stock and distribute fresh fruits and vegetables.

Tim Hursley / Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Google says Kansas City will be the first city in the United States to have its own place on the search engine's Arts & Culture platform.

"So all in one place, you're going to see over 2,000 artworks and artifacts, over 40 online stories, all telling the history of Kansas City and its art scene today," said project manager Jamie Burchfield. "And you can see that content through online exhibits, through virtual reality tours, through ultra-high resolution photographs of artwork." 

Anne Kniggendorf / KCUR 89.3

In contrast to today's two ongoing wars that seem to touch only a few Americans, World War I touched everyone, killing an estimated 16 million people, both soldiers and civilians.

"It was probably the most important event in most of those peoples' lives," says Doran Cart, senior curator at the National WWI Museum and Memorial. "There was a real concern for some kind of concrete reminder that 'I was here,' or 'This is what our life was like during that time.'"

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Jackson County's new sheriff says he's trying to make the department "an environment where it's not fear-based, it's respect-based."

When the previous sheriff of Jackson County resigned in the midst of a sex scandal, former Kansas City police Chief Darryl Forte was asked to serve as interim sheriff. On Nov. 6, he was selected by voters to fill the post for a full term. Forte told us of the policy and personnel changes he has made already, and what he's working to do for a department he says is dysfunctional.

It’s likely you’ve never heard of John Lewis Barkley.

The Missouri native fought in World War I, winning the Congressional Medal of Honor and later writing a book about his experience. Yet his book, “No Hard Feelings!” and his name remain in relative obscurity, even as the nation marks the 100th anniversary of World War I’s end.

That surprises Steven Trout, who helped get the book reprinted under the title “Scarlet Fields” in 2014.

“I’m astonished, in fact, and I don’t really know the reason,” he told St. Louis Public Radio.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

With poetry, red poppies and praise for peace, Kansas City on Veterans Day remembered soldiers from all wars as it commemorated the centennial anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.

The National World War I Museum and Memorial

Of the 40 million people who died in World War I, only 441 were from around Kansas City. With so few casualties from this area, how did the national museum and memorial for this war end up here?

Mike Vietti, the museum's marketing director, hears this question a lot.

"This really was, in many respects, a crowdsourced National Museum and Memorial," Vietti says.

To understand why Kansas City was up to that challenge requires remembering what the city was like a hundred years ago.

1918 in Kansas City

Segment 1: How to remember war.

How World War 1 was a pivotal moment in how we memorialize wars, with Kansas City's Liberty Memorial playing a key role.

National WW I Museum and Memorial

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row…

—from “In Flanders Fields,” written by Lt. Col. John McCrae in 1915 to honor a fallen comrade.

More than 5,000 poppies, the symbol of the fallen soldiers of World War I, will illuminate Kansas City's Liberty Memorial beginning on Nov. 2. The display marks the centennial of Armistice Day, the Nov. 11 truce that ended four years of horrific slaughter in Europe.

Segment 1: Art isn't just fun and games.

To some, art seems more like a hobby rather than ‘real work.’ But, for many artists, that’s far from the truth. We visit with a Kansas Citian about what they discovered after being an artist for a year.

Segment 2, beginning at 23:03: How World War I sparked a lasting friendship between the United States and Australia.

John Singer Sargent / Public Domain

Segment 1: A great and dreadful tableau of Great War horrors.

courtesy: National World War I Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, Missouri.

The National World War I Museum and Memorial on Friday announced a big debut for its $5 million Wylie Gallery. The new 3,500-square-foot space inside the museum, set to open on February 23, will feature one of the world’s largest war-related paintings: John Singer Sargent’s Gassed

A new play, Trench Warfare, is about two infantry soldiers in World War I. We talk with the local musician who composed the score for the play; he shares how he evoked the feelings of WWI with a seven-piece orchestra and a computer.

Then: Sexual misconduct has been an issue in the Kansas and Missouri statehouses. Two women in politics from both sides of the state line compare notes from their experiences on the job.

Guests:

Karen Almond / Dallas Opera

Young Friends of Art, a networking group for The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, has been around for more than two decades. Then there are a few upstarts, like Kansas City Symphony's new Maestro KC, which "connects people to the music they love and the musicians who make it possible." 

Michael St Maur Sheil

The National World War I Museum and Memorial plans several events, along with free admission for veterans and active-duty military personnel, to celebrate Monday's national holiday recognizing the men and women who've died in service to the U.S. military. 

"For a lot of families, it's really a significant moment to honor those who have served and especially those whose lives were lost," says Matthew Naylor, the museum's president and CEO.

Charvex / Wikimedia Commons

As the centennial of the United States' entry into the First World War approaches, eyes across the globe are on Kansas City, Missouri. 

Today, we learn how the National World War I Museum and Memorial is commemorating the occasion, and who you can expect to see at the event.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

More than 3,000 people are expected to attend a centennial commemoration of the United States’ entry into World War I in Kansas City on Thursday.

COURTESY OF NATIONAL WORLD WAR I MUSEUM AND MEMORIAL

When does information become propaganda? We look back at posters from World War I, currently on display at Kansas City's World War I Museum, and draw connections to the memes of today.

Guests:

Courtesy World War I Museum and Memorial

Sally Keithley-McCulley shared a room with her sisters in Norfolk, England. Every morning of her childhood, she woke to see a photograph hanging over the bedroom’s fireplace: her father, in his World War I British soldier uniform, standing next to a horse.

A few weeks ago, Keithley-McCulley, now 91 and living in Shawnee, saw that the National WWI Museum and Memorial wanted people to vote on a favorite poster for its upcoming exhibition “Posters as Munitions.” She knew she wanted to participate.

Manitoba Provincial Archives - CC

Do moderates even exist in today's bifurcated political landscape? Today, we examine the ideals of centrism and learn about some of history's notable moderates. Then, we celebrate National Winnie the Pooh Day by remembering the morale-boosting bear of World War I who inspired the world-famous cartoon character.

U.S. Library of Congress

President-elect Trump's first formal news conference lasted into today's Up To Date broadcast, so the show is shorter than usual. 

We begin with a look at the many challenges media outlets face when, under increasing scrutiny from all sides, they are covering a presidential race unlike any other.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

A Kansas City nonprofit that helps connect homeless veterans with housing and jobs held a “stand down” Friday outside the World War I Museum and Memorial.

“We have an extraordinarily high homeless population,” says Art Fillmore, founder and co-chairman of Heart of America Stand Down. “A couple of years ago, it was up to around 1,700 homeless veterans.”

Fillmore says while city and county leaders have been proactive in addressing homelessness, that number is mostly going down as Vietnam veterans die.

courtesy: National World War I Museum and Memorial

Weeks after the end of World War I in 1918, Kansas Citians started fundraising for a memorial. A community fund drive raised more than $2.5 million, and Liberty Memorial opened on Nov. 11, 1926. In 2006, the National World War I Museum, a $102 million project "dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War" opened to the public

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

Florence Hemphill grew up in a small town in Kansas, and saw the horrors of World War I up close when she served as a nurse in France. She wrote more than a hundred letters, sharing her experiences with family members. 

Singer-songwriter Joe Crookston recently teamed up with the National World War I Museum and Memorial to tell her story – through art and music — at the Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Nurse, Please

Jan 4, 2016

The history of nursing started on the battlefield. The profession that emerged is still with us, but in a totally transformed medical landscape. Using an exhibit at the World War I Museum as a jumping off point, this discussion explores how the origins of nursing have shaped both the realities and misconceptions of the field today. 

Guests:

Pages