Liberty Memorial

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Genre: 
Postcards

Postcard showing the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri This vantage point faces south-southwest towards Liberty Memorial from just south of Union Station. The back of the postcard includes a brief caption about the memorial and a short letter to Dollie Page of St Joseph, Missouri.

Genre: 
Postcards

Postcard showing the Liberty Memorial at night in Kansas City, Missouri. This vantage point faces north-northeast towards Liberty Memorial from its southern entrance. The back of the postcard includes a brief caption about the memorial and a short letter to Virginia Kathryn Way of Wahoo, Nebraska from her mother.

Genre: 
Postcards

Postcard showing the Liberty Memorial at night in Kansas City, Missouri. This vantage point faces north-northeast towards Liberty Memorial from its southern entrance. The back of the postcard includes a short letter to Mrs. F. N. Kendall of Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas City Life Insurance Building, 1920
Author: 
Jason Roe
Kansas City Public Library

On January 22, 1882, future architect William Drewin Wight was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1911, he joined his older brother, Thomas, in Kansas City, where they created the architectural firm of Wight & Wight. The firm went on to profoundly influence Kansas City's architectural landscape with prominent designs that included the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Jackson County Courthouse, the Kansas City Life Insurance Company Building, and City Hall.

William Volker
Author: 
Jason Roe
Kansas City Public Library

As the brainchild of Kansas City philanthropist William Volker, the Board of Public Welfare was the first modern welfare department in the United States, a groundbreaking forerunner to modern welfare programs, and intended as a counterbalance to the charitable activities of the city's political machines led by Tom Pendergast and Joe Shannon. The board was just one of Volker’s many memorable contributions that included the creation of Research Hospital, the establishment of the University of Kansas City (now UMKC), the Civic Research Institute, the purchase of the land for Liberty Memorial, and reportedly thousands of individuals who received his gifts when down on their luck.

Genre: 
Photographs

Wide shot of Kansas City Massacre aftermath. This event, also known as the Union Station Massacre, saw the deaths of Frank Nash, an Oklahoma train and bank robber; William J. Grooms, a Kansas City police officer; Frank E. Hermanson, another Kansas City police officer; Raymond J. Caffrey, an FBI specialist; and Otto Reed, the chief of police for McAlester, Oklahoma. Outlaws Vernon Miller, Charles (Pretty Boy) Floyd, and Adam Richetti were attempting to free Frank Nash from law enforcement custody.

Genre: 
Photographs

Dedication of the Liberty Memorial, a monument to those who served in World War I. From: Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Genre: 
Photographs

Liberty Memorial, monument to World War I, Kansas City, Missouri. This vantage point was taken from the Kansas City Union Station, facing south-southwest towards the monument.

Genre: 
Photographs

An autochrome photograph of Liberty Memorial as seen from the south, looking north with downtown Kansas City, Missouri in the background.

Liberty Memorial
Author: 
Ann McFerrin

The Liberty Memorial, one of Kansas City’s most recognizable landmarks, is the only major memorial and museum in the United States dedicated to World War I. On November 29th, after an editorial in the Kansas City Journal newspaper suggested a monument memorializing those who served in the [first] World War, Kansas City’s City Council appointed well-known lumber businessman Robert A. Long as chairman of the “Committee of One Hundred.” 

J.C. Nichols
Author: 
Mary Frances Ivey
University of Kansas
Jesse Clyde (“J.C.”) Nichols was a nationally renowned city planner in Kansas City from the first decade of the 20th century to the 1950s, whose legacy has come under intense scrutiny for his practices of racial redlining and segregation. Among his mixed legacies are several subdivisions in suburban Kansas City, the Country Club Plaza, and the national spread of deed restrictions and homeowner associations
Liberty Memorial Dedication
Author: 
Keith Eggener
University of Oregon

The Liberty Memorial arose during a period of widespread monument-building, one that ran from roughly 1880 to 1930. It was restored amidst a second such period, beginning in the 1980s and continuing to this day. Locally, these two eras correspond with Kansas City’s emergence as a modern metropolis, and with its most ambitious program of urban redevelopment thus far. In each case and in different ways, residents framed the war and its remembrance as a means to future gains. These framings offer telling views of the city’s history, its greatest monument, and the changing nature of memory.

Pages

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.