Kansas Citians will have a rare nighttime chance to view the downtown cityscape from atop the Liberty Memorial tower on Dec. 9 and 10.
The 217-foot tower will be open to 8 p.m. each day as the National World War I Museum and Memorial marks its 10th anniversary. Admission to the museum will be free from Dec. 6 to 11. The museum will also offer complimentary tours each day at 2 p.m. during that period, as well as other programs.
“This is our opportunity to say ‘Thank you Kansas City’ for creating one of the world’s great museums,” museum CEO Matt Naylor said in a statement.
The museum has logged more than 2 million visitors since it opened in 2006, after an extensive restoration of the once-crumbling Liberty Memorial. The restoration was primarily fueled by $45 million from a voter-approved temporary half-cent sales tax. During restoration, the cavity beneath the memorial deck was prepared for a new museum to display the vast collection of World War I objects owned by the private Liberty Memorial Association.
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In 2004, voters approved another $20 million in bonds to add to private fundraising to create a world-class museum designed by the same firm responsible for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. In all, the restoration and museum cost more than $100 million in public and private funds.
The World War I museum will partner with the National Archives on Dec. 7 to present Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole, the last surviving member of the famed Doolittle Raiders of World War II. A 6 p.m. reception at the museum will precede the 6:30 p.m. program. Cole will be joined by professor Dennis Okerstrom of Park University, who will discuss Pearl Harbor on the 75th anniversary of the attack. The event is free, but reservations are required. Go to www.theworldwar.org.