A series of programs discussing the “monumental” painting Gassed, the essential role of women during the course of World War I and the lasting effects of Russia’s sudden exit from the Great War are among the March events at the National WWI Museum and Memorial
On March 3, 1918, Vladimir Lenin’s new Soviet Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany, ending Russia’s participation in the First World War. Exactly 100 years later, award-winning author, Russian-military history expert and professor at the U.S. Naval War College, Dr. David Stone, explores how Brest-Litovsk shifted the course of the war, planting the seeds of conflict in Eastern Europe that are still with us today during a free program at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 3.
In conjunction with the special exhibition John Singer Sargent Gassed, the Museum and Memorial hosts several programs during the course of the month examining the painting hailed as “monumental” by the New York Times. At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, renowned American art expert Robert Cozzolino explores how American artists imagined the war and its impact in a free program.
During a free program on Wednesday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m., the legacy of the painting as well as chemical weapons is examined in a series of three brief presentations. Photojournalist David Carson, war correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner for his coverage on protests in Ferguson, Mo., shares his experiences on being the observer of violent history. Dr. Dean Gray, Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance at MRIGlobal, outlines recent advances on the detection and protection against chemical weapons. Capt. Tim Hornik, Vice President of the Heartland Regional Blinded Veterans Association, discusses his work with veterans who, like himself, lost their eyesight due to combat injuries.
At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, the Museum and Memorial hosts Elizabeth Cobbs, author of The Hello Girls: America’s First Women Soldiers, for the free program Women at War: The Hello Girls. Hundreds of women, fluent in multiple languages, served within the U.S. Army Signal Corps, playing a pivotal role in wartime communication. They became known as “The Hello Girls.” This year, Women’s History Month coincides with the 100th anniversary of the overseas deployment of the Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit.
The Museum and Memorial hosts several family-friendly programs during the month, including Story Time – Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 17. During World War I more than 4,000 British war ships were painted with bright, bold patterns to confuse foes on their speed and direction. Educators will share Chris Barton’s stunning story – recognized by the New York Public Library as one of 2017’s “Best Books for Kids” – of how the Atlantic sparkled with ships of every stripe followed by a craft session. On Sunday, March 11, the Living History Volunteer Corps shares stories of the Great War era about how gas warfare changed the landscape of combat. The Museum and Memorial also offers a special edition of Hands-on History related to gas warfare each Saturday at 1 p.m. and a regular edition of Hands-on History on Saturdays at 11 a.m. On Saturday, March 24 at 10 a.m., the Downtown Neighborhood Association hosts its annual Easter Egg Hunt, featuring petting zoo animals, cookie decorating, bounce houses, bubbles, temporary tattoos, games, crafts and much more.
At 2 p.m. on International Tolkien Reading Day (Sunday, March 25), enjoy a Hobbit-worthy discussion featuring Roberta Park, President of the Tolkien Society of Kansas City, as she speaks about the beloved author’s experiences in World War I and how they informed his writings in a free program.
Other events occurring in March include: a performance by the Kansas City Actors Theater of “Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme” (2 p.m., Mar. 18), and Glamourous Night: An Ivor Novello Musical Revue presented in partnership with William Jewell College (7:30 p.m., Mar. 23 and 2 p.m., Mar. 24).
The National WWI Museum and Memorial holds the most comprehensive collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of the war.
March National WWI Museum and Memorial Events
- Every Wednesday: World War Wednesdays (all general admission tickets $8)
- Every Thursday, 2:30 p.m.: Complimentary Tour (FREE with paid admission)
- Every Saturday, 11 a.m.: Hands-on History (FREE)
- Every Saturday, 1 p.m.: Gassed Hands-on History (FREE with paid special exhibition admission)
- Saturday, Mar. 3, 1 p.m.: Revolutions: The Treaty of Brest-Litovsky (FREE with RSVP)
- Sunday, Mar. 11, All Day: Day in the Life: Gas Warfare (FREE)
- Thursday, Mar. 15, 6:30 p.m.: Seeing Gassed (FREE with RSVP)
- Saturday, Mar. 17, 10:30 a.m.: Story Time – Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion (FREE with RSVP)
- Sunday, Mar. 18, 2 p.m.: Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (FREE with RSVP)
- Thursday, Mar. 22, 6:30 p.m.: Women at War: The Hello Girls (FREE with RSVP)
- Friday, Mar. 23, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Mar. 24, 2 p.m.: Glamorous Night: An Ivor Novello Musical Revue (FREE with RSVP)
- Saturday, Mar. 24, 10 a.m.: Downtown Neighborhood Association Easter Egg Hunt (FREE)
- Sunday, Mar. 25, 2 p.m.: Talking Tolkien: Tolkien Society of Kansas City (FREE with RSVP)
- Wednesday, Mar. 28, 6:30 p.m.: Enduring Legacies of Gassed (FREE with RSVP)
- Thursday, Mar. 29, 5:30 p.m.: Modernist Happy Hour (FREE)