Kansas City’s tribute to the boys

PC-liberty memorial.jpg

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
December 5, 2012 


This week’s commemorative postcard is an official souvenir card from the American Legion Convention held here in Kansas City in 1921 commemorating the site dedication of the Liberty Memorial.

Architect H. Van Buren Magonigle of New York was selected from a field of 15 architectural firms nationwide to design a memorial to the “war to end all wars.” In 1919, a huge fund drive was held to solicit public donations for the memorial. Lumber baron and Northeast resident Robert A. Long was elected founding president of the newly created organization that spearheaded the drive to construct a memorial to honor the war dead from World War I.

Upon his election to the post, Long stated: “From its inception it was intended that this memorial should represent, on the part of all people, a living expression for all time of the gratitude of a grateful nation to those who offered and who gave their lives in defense of liberty and our country.”

A little over two weeks later, a staggering $2.5 million was raised, largely through public donations, for the construction of the Liberty Memorial. On Nov. 1, 1921, during the American Legion Convention, the site for the memorial was dedicated in front of more than 200,000 people who had turned out to support the effort. Also in attendance were commanders of a number of Allied forces, including Lt. General Baron Jacques of Belgium; General Armando Vittorio Diaz of Italy; Marshal Ferdinand Foch of France; Missouri native General John J. “Blackjack” Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces; and Admiral David Earl Beatty, commander of the British Navies. Roughly five years later on Nov. 11, 1926, the finished memorial was dedicated and opened to the public.

In 1994, the memorial closed after deterioration of the concrete deck, and its reinforcing steel surrounding the tower and temples raised fears that a visitor might fall through into a 40-foot-deep void below. Plans were drawn up to create a new museum dedicated to the preservation of artifacts and documents from WWI. Those plans angered historic preservationists who argued that the new entrance of the museum destroyed the entire south lawn of the memorial. Ultimately a newly dedicated National World War I Museum opened to the public on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2006. The museum painstakingly and often graphically depicts the daily life of the “Doughboys” during their struggle for liberty “Over There.”

 

 

Comments are closed.

  • A Dime and the Dinky

    7 hours ago
    by

    This week, in place of our weekly Historic Postcard feature we publish the third of a four-part series of short […]


    The Alleys of Childhood

    July 12th, 2017
    by

    Northeast News July 5, 2017 This week, in place of our weekly Historic Postcard feature, we begin a four-part series […]


    City Hall once stood at the City Market

    July 5th, 2017
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News June 21, 2017 In 1889, when cattle, pigs and all manner of livestock still roamed […]


    Hahatonka an oasis from city life

    June 28th, 2017
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News June 21, 2017


    A grand old flag with a grand old history

    June 21st, 2017
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News June 21, 2017 During the American Revolution, a number of patriots made flags for our […]


  • Early 1900s school site is now interstate interchange

    June 14th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News June 14, 2017 This view of The Paseo, between 15th and 16th streets, looks north […]


    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    June 14th, 2017
    by

      Northeast News June 14, 2017


    River trade diminished near turn of century

    June 7th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News June 7, 2017 “Boats on the river at the foot of Main Street, Kansas City, […]


    From packing meat to packing heat

    May 31st, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News May 31, 2017 Patrick Cudahy started in the meat packing business as a carrying boy […]


    The ‘most beautiful’ steel bridge

    May 24th, 2017
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News May 24, 2017 In 1936, the American Institute of Steel Construction selected the Hurricane Deck […]


  • What’s Happening

    Chief’s Forum

    Now is your chance to get involved. If you’re concerned about the ratcheting upward murder rate in this Cowtown, now […]

    retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

    Budd Park Community Day

    Saturday, July 22 was the second Budd Park Community Day, an event organized by the efforts of LifeConnection church, Northeast […]

  • Local Weather