The Museum houses a rich variety of arms, equipment and paraphernalia, giving visitors glimpses into the lives of Soldiers and Airmen who have served throughout the 160 year history of the Kansas National Guard.
There is a mock Civil War encampment complete with a period stove, artillery piece and even hard tack – depicting the experience of the thousands of Kansans who served during that troubled time.
The Spanish-American War was the first time Kansas units were sent outside of the country’s borders. The 20th Kansas, led by Medal of Honor winner Colonel Frederick Funston (Iola, Kansas) achieved great notoriety for its superb performance in the Philippines. On display are photos, weapons and even the muster books for the Kansas Regiments.
Due to the scale of World War One, the National Guard was forced to change and all Kansas units were renumbered into the Federal system. The 35th Infantry Division was born out of this and displays pertinent to both World War One and World War Two are housed in the 35th Infantry Division Wing at the Museum. Weapons, equipment, vehicles and rations are all on display within the wing.
New Exhibits – Please come in and see the new exhibits!
The Partnership for Peace Program is an important part of the National Guard mission. Kansas currently works with Armenia and conducts several missions both to and from Armenia every year.
The “Battle of the Bulge”. Beginning in mid December 1944, Germany launched one last offensive in western Europe. Usually titled “The Battle of the Bulge”, it pitted worn out American units against some of the best soldiers and equipment Germany had available. Over the next month desperate battles were fought in the woods and villages around Bastogne, Belgium.
Landmine, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) exhibit. Landmines and IEDs present a threat in both military and humanitarian operations. In contemporary operations, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIL and a number of other military groups as well as some organized military forces have used these weapons against American soldiers and local civilian populations. Soldiers go through courses in emplacing mines as well as marking and defusing land mines they encounter while deployed.
Sports figures within the Kansas National Guard. The Kansas Guard has had many notables within its ranks. The founder of basketball, James Naismith served in its ranks as did the prominent personalities in football, baseball and tennis.
150 years ago, the deadliest conflict in American history waged. Kansas was an early battleground as proslavery and antislavery forces collided. Following these early conflicts Kansas units found themselves patrolling the Missouri border (and conducting periodic excursions into Missouri) as well as ensuring the safety of the settlements in western Kansas. One of the largest campaigns occurred in October of 1864 when the Confederacy launched a major offensive through Missouri and Kansas called Price’s Raid (named after the Confederate commander). Organized Kansas regiments, supplemented with several regiments of Kansas militia were called upon to stop this offensive at Byram’s Ford, Westport and Mine Creek and numerous other places along eastern Kansas.
A century ago the Kansans fought in World War One. Most Kansans fought under the flags of the 35th “Santa Fe” Infantry Division, the 42nd “Rainbow” Infantry Division, and the 89th “Rolling W” Infantry Division. As we near the centennial mark, the museum plans on several exhibits commemorating this conflict.