A look at Kansas City life during WWII era

Posted February 26, 2013 at 10:24 pm

February 27, 2013

For the first time in five years, the Kansas City Museum will display an exhibit on the second floor of Corinthian Hall.

Called “Ours to Fight For: Kansas City during World War II,” the exhibit will provide a glimpse into life in Kansas City during WWII. Visitors will see a selection of domestic propaganda posters published by the U.S. Government’s Office of War Information; artifacts pertaining to daily life in Kansas City during war time and some adult and children’s uniforms from Kansas City families.

Several of the wartime posters on display were created by illustrator Norman Rockwell. The propaganda posters published by the U.S. Government’s Office of War Information were created to secure public support for the war effort through civilian conservation, fundraising and recruitment. Eugene Zachman, a Kansas City resident whose father worked in the War Department in Washington, D.C., gathered the posters for the exhibit.

In 2008, public exhibits were put on hold as museum staff packed up the artifacts inside Corinthian Hall in preparation for extensive renovations to the Long family mansion built in 1910. To date, crews have replaced and restored windows, installed historically accurate doors, removed non-original construction and installed an HVAC system for visitor comfort and to further preserve future artifacts on display. Additional renovation projects top the list and are dependent on city funding, said Kansas City Museum Historic House Director Christopher Leitch.

Instead of waiting until the renovations were complete, museum staff decided it was time to “do what a museum does” and display several artifact exhibits at the museum as well as provide complimentary programming, Leitch said.

“Ours to Fight For” is being presented concurrently with the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s exhibit, “Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945.” The Kansas City Museum has partnered with the university and the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America to offer programming at the Miller Nichols Library related to the Holocaust.

Exhibit Details

“Ours to Fight For: Kansas City during World War II” will run from March 2 to May 19 at the Kansas City Museum, 3218 Gladstone Blvd., Kansas City, Mo., and tours will be held on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Group tours may be scheduled with Education Curator Rebecca Schroeder,  (816) 483-8300 ext. 1402. Admission is free.

“Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945” will run from Feb. 16 to April 10 at the Dean’s Gallery, Miller Nichols Library, UMKC Volker Campus, 800 E. 51st St., Kansas City, Mo. Exhibit hours are Sunday, 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Visitors will learn about the Nazis’ attempt to eradicate homosexuality and terrorize German gay men into social conformity with arrests, convictions and incarcerations of tens of thousands of men in prisons and concentration camps.

For more information, visit http://kansascitymuseum.org and click on “Events for adults.”