Tag Archives: museum

WWI was NOT an unmitigated blessing

 Museum and Memorial Museum and Memorial Built By Kansas Citians, Embraced By the Nation Soon after World War I ended, Kansas City leaders formed the Liberty Memorial Association (LMA) to create a lasting monument to the men and women who had served in the war. In 1919, the LMA and citizens of Kansas City raised more than $2.5 million in just 10 days. The equivalent of roughly $34 million today, this staggering accomplishment reflected the passion of public sentiment for the Great War that had dramatically changed the world. “The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial inspires thought, dialogue, and learning to make the experiences of the World War I era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations.” - Mission Statement, National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial    http://theworldwar.org/explore/museum-and-memorial

Museum and MemorialBuilt By Kansas Citians, Embraced By the Nation
Soon after World War I ended, Kansas City leaders formed the Liberty Memorial Association (LMA) to create a lasting monument to the men and women who had served in the war. In 1919, the LMA and citizens of Kansas City raised more than $2.5 million in just 10 days. The equivalent of roughly $34 million today, this staggering accomplishment reflected the passion of public sentiment for the Great War that had dramatically changed the world.
“The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial inspires thought, dialogue, and learning to make the experiences of the World War I era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations.”
– Mission Statement, National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
http://theworldwar.org/explore/museum-and-memorial      

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.   Janne, her son Michael, and I are going over to that WWI National Museum and Memorial on Wednesday.  Wednesdays, instead of it costing $16 to see it, a person can fork out $7 and still experience the full value of it.

Even though the coincidence of the 100th Anniversary of WWI beginning and the 4th of July, 2014, might leave a person thinking otherwise, WWI did have a downside.  The end of Russian rule by the Romanovs, for instance was mitigated somewhat by the rise of Communism, in the opinions of some scholars. 

And there was the 1918 Influenza epidemic, which arguably mightn’t have happened without WWI.  Sure, WWI gave us tanks, warplanes, better artillery and machine guns.  And we’d have had one hell of a time having WWII without having WWI first.

But it can still be argued that a lot of things about WWI could have been better.  Could have made WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Grenada, the Cold War, and the various Gulf Wars and Afghanistan adventures better.

The simple truth is nobody.  NOBODY won WWI.  Damned thing might as well not have been fought at all for all the good it did.  But acclimated everyone to the concept of fighting the bloodiest wars in human history, conceding the illusion of victory, and walking away losers. 

The USSR was briefly the big winner of WWII, along with West Germany and Japan.  The losers?  Britain, France and the US.  If you don’t believe it, take a look at the US economy, GNP and industry.  Then let your eyes gaze on a world map so’s you can examine the French and British empires today.  Compare that  to Germany, Japan, Korea, any AXIS power except Italy.

So while you’re celebrating the 4th of July and the beginning of WWI this week, do some thinking.  How can you do it better this time around?  How can you keep the losers from winning it?  Resign yourself you will repeat history.  And next time, try using your heads.

Old Jules

 

 

Cash for Negroes

This advertisement in the Kansas City Star isn't sufficiently well explained to allow me to ease your thoughts by elucidating the reasons it's included in the Johnson County Museum.

This advertisement in the Kansas City Star isn’t sufficiently well explained to allow me to ease your thoughts by elucidating the reasons it’s included in the Johnson County Museum.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

The Kansas City area has as much history as any area of its size in the United States.  Every few hundred yards there’s a sign, “California Trail crossed here“, “Santa Fe Trail  crossed here“,   “Oregon Trail crossed here“, and “Overland Trail crossed here“.

The Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant near De Soto was a huge operation during WWII, the Korean War and somewhat so during Vietnam.  Today it's mostly in ruins, a superfund cleanup site with no funding remaining.  This sign was evidently from one of the times when they had plenty of money to throw away feeding workers.

The Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant near De Soto was a huge operation during WWII, the Korean War and somewhat so during Vietnam. Today it’s mostly in ruins, a superfund cleanup site with no funding remaining. This sign was evidently from one of the times when they had plenty of money to throw away feeding workers.

Yet over and over again as you puruse the exhibits in the Johnson County Historical Museum you’ll find yourself muttering, “Why is this place so Goddamned lame?”

Thanks to Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant employees sweating like good Americans the Korean War didn't last as long as it did and not as many people were killed and injured as actually were.  All our boys have come home from Korea now thanks to these Americans.

Thanks to Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant employees sweating like good Americans the Korean War didn’t last as long as it did and not as many people were killed and injured as actually were. All our boys have come home from Korea now thanks to these Americans.

Some historians possessing PHDs have believed almost all babies born to pioneers nine months after resting overnight within this geographical area were conceived here.

When you have a labor shortage you have to appeal to the baser instincts of every potential labor pool.  Gypsies, tramps and thieves.  Safecrackers.  Negroes.  Patriots.  Whatever works.

When you have a labor shortage you have to appeal to the baser instincts of every potential labor pool. Gypsies, tramps and thieves. Safecrackers. Negroes. Patriots. Whatever works.

There used to be cowboys and Indians, stagecoaches, battles between  the north and south, raids, rapes, plunderings, blunderings, Quantrill, Bloody Bill Anderson, Jessse and Frank James, the Daltons, the Youngers.

Probably similar things are being spoken in Chinese today somewhere in Asia.

Probably similar things are being spoken in Chinese today somewhere in Asia.

But Kansans know everyone was pretty much passing through, either time-wise, or on their way somewhere else geographically.

Harry Truman and Joe Stalin fought on the same side in WWII.  But both had to readjust their thinking rapidly, think on their feet as shown here, because five years later they were on opposite sides.

Harry Truman and Joe Stalin fought on the same side in WWII. But both had to readjust their thinking rapidly, think on their feet as shown here, because five years later they were on opposite sides.

Part of the problem is that even though human beings live fairly long lives, human memories are short and budgets are ‘budget-years‘.  Budget decades might allow for long-term alliances and loyalty between friends measured in years or longer.  But budget-years demand constant realignment to keep the funding rolling in.

To help everyone remember when there's a war going on a lot of strategies have been tried.  War Dad caps were only partially successful because older guys frequently became confused about who's the enemy this week.  Especially if they were shooting at the friends and dodging bullets they fired a short while back.

To help everyone remember when there’s a war going on a lot of strategies have been tried. War Dad caps were only partially successful because older guys frequently became confused about who’s the enemy this week. Especially if they were shooting at the friends and dodging bullets they fired a short while back.

Weaponry ideology has been attempted on numerous occasions.

This was intended as a morale builder.  Unfortunately it allowed friendly fire to be identified with too much certainty by those on the receiving end to become a trend.

This was intended as a morale builder. Unfortunately it allowed friendly fire to be identified with too much certainty by those on the receiving end to become a trend.

But attempting to get Kansans out of the yellow brick road mindsets and into  the Jesse James and John Dillinger approaches to history doesn’t seem to lead anywhere.

If one of those guys had long hair I'd lean to believing it was Bonnie and Clyde.

If one of those guys had long hair I’d lean to believing it was Bonnie and Clyde.

Maybe there’s still something from the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant days still to be learned and useful.

The US might yet make use of an explosion proof clock.  I sort of wish i had me one if I leaned to having wall clocks.

The US might yet make use of an explosion proof clock. I sort of wish i had me one if I leaned to having wall clocks.

Old Jules