Sunday, June 18, 2017

City Market Kansas City MissouriCity

City Market Entrance Kansas City MO/ Geoff W Sutton 2017

We walked about the City Market during a June 2017 visit to Kansas City. It's a good place to mix with people from many cultures selling a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, beautiful flowers, and various items suitable for unique gifts.

An historic marker identifies an old trading post.

There are several restuarants offerring a variety of ethnic foods in addition to other vendors. Many offer tempting samples. It's a good place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

We found parking nearby and there's a local city tram serving the area.

The market is also home to the Arabia Steamboat Museum- also worth a visit.

Arabia Steamboat Kansas City MO

Arabia Collage Geoff Sutton 2017
We are glad we went to see the Arabia Steamboat Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

The local explorers display tons of buried treasure they found when the excavated this pre-Civil War Steamboat, which sank in 1856. The museum tells the story of the ship and the discovery along with the process of restoration, which the explorers learned as they sought to preserve the contents of the mud-covered horde along with parts of this iconic 1800s boat.

Tons of treasure but only a few cents
We were fortunate to meet two of the explorers who answered questions following the brief introductory video. The film provides an overview and though not like those you will find in the best museums, you get a sense of adventure as you join in the exploration and awesome find. The authenticity comes through in a way that glitzy presentations can not capture.

An award-winning pitcher/ Arabia Steamboat/ Geoff W Sutton 2017

The displays are nicely designed and the lighting is much better than in some museums so you can actually read the inofrmation boards and take decent photos without flash.

Arabia Steamboat Treasure

Many of the items were for sale at area stores so some displays capture life in pioneer days as seen from the perspective of a frontier shop. Whether from the US or elsewhere, the Arabia Steamboat Museum offers a unique glimpse into this segment of Midwestern US history.

Ready for an 1800s store
One exhibit offers a hands-on educational talk on preserving sunken cargo.  There will be more to see in the future. The museum appears full yet there were some 60 of the 200 tons left to explore and restore.
Brief history of the Steamboat
Notes and tips

Check the website for times and more details.
There are clean restrooms near the exit.
There is a museum store on the main floor where you purchase tickets and shop.
The first part of the tour is guided.
Toys and working models make it interesting for young and old.
There are places to sit within the museum.
There's adequate parking neaby.
The area is served by a local city tram.
There are many fine restaurants in the nearby City Market.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

National World War I Museum Kansas City Missouri USA

WWI Museum 2017

The National World War I Museum in Kansas City is worth a day's visit to appreciate the mutliple history-changing events that are a part of the guiding timeline. The U S entered the war just two months ago plus 100 years, 6 April 2017.

In addition to typical storyboards, many objects are on display including large guns and vehicles. An audio tour is available in addition to the audio-visual presentations, storyboards, and answers from staff.

Entry is via a two-day ticket purchased at the lower level-below the large tower. Visitors are ushered in to a circular timeline after crossing poppy fields seen through a floor of glass.

The introductory film adds little to the presentation unless you have not recently read or learned about the war from another source.

A second film is not far along in the museum and heldforth some promise of greatness based on the lifesized diorama below the screen. unfortunately, the diorama was not not incorporated into much of the video. The seating is limited here and mostly without support unless you sit agains the back wall. Lighting is poor and reflects off the glass barriers.

The collection of objects is a primary reason to view the museum in order to get a better sense of the context of the war- there's a plane, tank, vehicles, field guns, and many display cases containing weapons and uniforms. 

Although it is clearly an American Museum focusing on the role of the US in 1917-1918, the museum does include narratives and artifacts from the other major powers and tries to give visitors a true sense of the range of countries involved in this truly "world" war.

The roles of women and minorities are a part of the war and the crucial homefront. Some displays give a sense of other issues of the time-- for example-- women could not vote.

Above the main hall is a central tower that contains an elevator plus several steps leading to an impressive view of Kansas City. It is included in the entrance fee, which is good for two days. There are also exhibits in the two side buildings. On the day we visited, there was an outdoor photography display of scenes relevant to the story of the war.

There are plenty of places to picnic and park in the nearby park. Inside the facility is a cafeteria and gift shop.

There are plenty of places to sit and rest throughout the museum.
During our visit, all staff were friendly and helpful.
Restrooms are in several locations.

See More of My World War I Travels


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Truman Library and Museum Independence Missouri

The Truman presidency was marked by several major world changing events. A visit to the Truman Presidential Library in Independence Missouri offers an opportunity to view the rise of this uncommon "common" man from a small town to leader of the most powerful nation of the mid-twentieth century.

Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) was born 8 May, 1884 in Missouri. He was vice president under Franklin Delano Roosevelt and became the 33rd US president when Roosevelt died after less than three months into his last term.

After growing up on the family farm in Independence Missouri, he worked at several jobs before serving in WWI at age 33. He returned to marry Elizabeth Wallace in 1919. They had one daughter, Margaret.

After entering local politics, he became a U S Senator, the vice president and president. He ran for office and famously defeated the expected winner, Republican John Dewey.

The Library and Museum contains a number of papers and artifacts providing the backdrop to his career and the major events that marked his presidency. He will perhaps be best known for his much examined decision to drop the first and second atomic bombs, linked to the ending of the war against Japan in 1945.

President Truman's Famous Desk Sign
The Buck Stops Here

Some thoughts and notes on visiting

The introductory film is somewhat interesting and set in a large comfortable theater; however, it was very blurry, which may be due to the need to focus so check before sitting down.

The museum includes many storyboards, which include newspaper headlines and some artifacts. Scheduling your visit could depend on how much time you wish to spend reading. If you have read a biography and know the major events of US and world history during the Roosevelt and Truman years then, there will not be a lot of additional information in the major narrative.

The lighting in some parts is too low to read some displays.

Parking was not a problem when we visited in June, 2017.

The facility and the restrooms were clean.

There is an entry fee, which is good for two days. For us, a half-day was enough.

See the website for more details.