Back in August we told you about the World War I in America program ( ).  I don’t know if we can claim any credit, but the Independence Public Library has received funding for programming in March 2017 ( ).

From the Library’s web site:

“The Independence Public Library is excited to announce that they have been awarded a programming grant entitled World War I and America, to commemorate the United States entering into WWI. The library was 1 of 120 libraries across the country to participate in this grant initiative, and out of those 120 libraries, the Independence Public Library was 1 of 50 selected to host a traveling exhibition.

World War I and America is a two-year national initiative of The Library of America presented in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, The National World War I Museum and Memorial, and other organizations, with generous support from The National Endowment for the Humanities.

This program series is designed to bring veterans and their families together with the general public to explore the continuing impact of the war by reading, discussing, and sharing insights into the writings of Americans who experienced it firsthand. Brandon West, the grant administrator for this series “is excited to bring this opportunity to Independence and Southeast Kansas as well as to be able to reach out to, support, and honor the veterans in our community.”

The library is in the process of planning an extensive program series to take place in March 2017. We are currently looking for veterans or active service members that have tattoos inspired by their service for an oral history project. We are working to document veterans and service member’s tattoos and the story behind them in a photography exhibit that will open at the same time as the World War I and America traveling exhibit. For more details about the tattoo exhibition contact Nancy Kishpaugh, or for more information about the entire WWI project contact Brandon West at 620.331.3030.”

Their programming can be found here:


Blair Tarr is the Museum Curator of the Kansas State Historical Society. He oversees the three-dimensional collections of the Society, but has special interests in the Civil War, Wichita-made Valentine diners, and Leavenworth's Abernathy Furniture. In the last few years he has also done a lot of cramming on The Great War. He is a past president of the Kansas Museums Association and the Civil War Round Tables of both Kansas City and Eastern Kansas. He is currently a board member of the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City.