There are many military sites in and around Kansas City. The city has a rich and storied Civil War history and is the site of the National World War I Museum. Nearby Independence is the hometown of President Harry Truman whose decisions regarding the atomic bomb led to the end of World War II. Leavenworth, Kansas is also a short drive from Kansas City and features Fort Leavenworth, the third oldest active military installation in the country.
National World War I Museum
100 W. 26th StreetKansas City, Missouri 54108816-784-1908www.theworldwar.org
Allow at least 2 ½ hours
At the National WWI Museum and Memorial, groups will experience an extraordinary emotional and intellectual experience. The museum honors the men and women of the “War to end all wars”. The technology and interactive exhibits let visitors experience the trenches and bomb craters. This state-of-the-art complex at the Liberty Memorial uses highly-interactive technology to bring history to life, and to foster timely discussions of ethics, values, decision making and conflict resolution. The museum was designated by Congress as the nation’s official WWI Museum. Group pricing is available for groups of 15 or more. Tickets allow guests access to all galleries, special exhibits and the Liberty Memorial Tower. Tickets may be used on two consecutive days. If purchased Sunday, the second day is Tuesday.
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
500 W. U.S. Highway 24Independence, Missouri 64050800-833-1225www.trumanlibrary.org
Allow approximately 2 hours
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2007, the Truman Presidential Library and Museum recounts the life of America's 33rd president, Harry S. Truman. One of only 11 U.S. Presidential Libraries, the museum's two permanent exhibits chronicle the Missourian's private life and political career, with exhibits depicting his most difficult decisions like the use of the atomic bomb, the Cold War and recognizing Israel. President Truman and his wife, Bess, are buried in the Museum's courtyard. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Guided tours are also available, if requested at least four weeks in advance.
20 Reynolds AvenueLeavenworth, Kansas 66048800-844-4114
Allow 1 hour
Fort Leavenworth was established in 1827, making it the third oldest active military installation in the nation. Some of its sights include the National Cemetery, one of the first ten national cemeteries established by President Abraham Lincoln; the US Army Command and General Staff College; a 17 Stop Historical Wayside Tour; Memorial Chapel, one of the oldest chapels in the Army which was built by military prisoners; a swale of the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails; and many historic 19th century buildings including the Rookery, the oldest house in Kansas built in 1834. Guides are available to step on your tour bus and facilitate a tour. Call in advance to make arrangements.
Frontier Army Museum
20 Reynolds AvenueFort Leavenworth, Kansas 66048913-682-4113usacac.army.mil/cac2/csi/FrontierArmyMuseum.asp
Allow 45 minutes
The Frontier Army Museum tells the story of Fort Leavenworth from 1827 to 1917 and the history of the frontier Army from 1804, when Lewis and Clark passed by present day Leavenworth and Fort Leavenworth. Rotating exhibits highlight uniforms, weapons and equipment used during the fort's early days. Items include Brig. Gen. Henry Leavenworth's dress coat and saber, his portrait by George Catlin, the carriage presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln rode in 1859, and a sleigh owned by George and Libby Custer. The newest permanent exhibit is the "Beyond Lewis and Clark - the Military Exploration of the American West”.
John Wornall House
6115 Wornall RoadKansas City, Missouri 64113816-444-1858wornallhouse.org
Allow approximately 1 hour
When visitors step inside the John Wornall House Museum, they enter another century. In 1858, Kentuckian John B. Wornall built this elegant home in the Greek revival style. Accurately restored to the period, its interior spaces and authentic furnishings demonstrate why the house was called the most pretentious house in the area. The house was used as a hospital by both armies during the Battle of Westport in the Civil War. Guided tours and discounts are available for groups of 10 or more with advance reservations.
227 East 28th TerraceKansas City, Missouri 64108816-472-4990www.uchskc.org
Allow about 45 minutes
Union Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in the city and includes many gravesites of people connected to the Civil War, including Josephine Anderson, sister of “Bloody” Bill Anderson who was killed in the 1863 jail collapse that provoked William Quantrill to retaliate, raiding and burning nearby Lawrence. A war monument dedicated to the memory of 15 Confederate unknown prisoners of war, is also located on the grounds.
Over There Café (located at the National World War I Museum)
Ophelia’s Restaurant (on the historic square in downtown Independence, MO)
Country Club Plaza Restaurants (north of Wornall House Museum)
Harvey Girls lunch at the train depot (Leavenworth, KS) - 800-844-4114
High Noon Saloon (Leavenworth, KS)