National WWI Museum And Memorial to Host 'Diggers And Doughboys' Special Exhibition, Night At The Tower & Presentation From New York Times Bestselling Author

The opening of a special exhibition exploring the military relationship between the United States and Australia through art, the fourth annual Night at the Tower gala and a presentation from New York Times best-selling author Neal Bascomb are among the September events at the National WWI Museum and Memorial.

Australian and American troops fought side-by-side for the first time in July 1918 during World War I. Since then, the Diggers (Australians) and Doughboys (Americans) supported each other in every major military conflict, including Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Opening Tuesday, Sept. 11 in Memory Hall, Diggers and Doughboys: The Art of Allies 100 Years On features incredible artwork from the Australian War Memorial Collection illustrating the unique comradeship between the two countries.

The fourth annual Night at the Tower is a progressive cocktail and dining experience that takes you far from the traditional seated dinner gala into an immersive adventure at the beautiful Museum and Memorial on Saturday, Sept. 15 from 7:15-10:30 p.m. Attendees have the opportunity to explore the exhibitions of this Kansas City landmark in an unparalleled fashion, while enjoying an evening featuring unique cuisine and interactive entertainment that engages the senses on every level. Tickets include unlimited themed food, beverages and desserts. A limited number of tickets are available at nightatthetower.org.

In the winter trenches and flak-filled skies of World War I, soldiers and pilots might avoid death only to find themselves imprisoned in POW camps. On Thursday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m., New York Times best-selling author Neal Bascomb discusses his highly-anticipated book, The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War, in a free program presented in partnership with Rainy Day Books. Using rarely seen memoirs and letters, Bascomb recounts the spellbinding story of the downed Allied airmen who masterminded the remarkably courageous-and ingenious-breakout from Holzminden, Germany's most infamous POW camp. A book signing follows the presentation.

More than 9 million combatants from the belligerent nations died in World War I, the largest number of any conflict in world history to that time. The World Remembers is an international education project whose purpose is to remember and honor these combatants who perished during each year of the war by displaying their names in more than 75 locations throughout Europe and North America for a period of eight weeks starting on Tuesday, Sept. 11 and ending with the Western Front Armistice Day of Nov. 11. In 2018, the names of more than 1 million soldiers who died in World War I will be shown. Combining 1917 and 1918, the Museum and Memorial collected more than 90,000 U.S. names for The World Remembers of the estimated 117,000 American soldiers killed during World War I. To date, this is the largest single repository of American soldier fatalities from the Great War. The Museum and Museum plans to continue its efforts to create the first comprehensive list of all American soldiers killed during World War I.

At the end of World War I, Alvin York's bravery was both glorified and questioned, prompting historians to debate the legacy of the WWI Sergeant. Colonel (ret.) and author Douglas V. Mastriano shares an eye-opening discussion of his book, Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne in a free program on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. Sorting fact from fiction, the author examines York's youth, service in the war and his return to a quiet civilian life, leading to some surprising conclusions. A book signing follows the presentation.

On Saturday, Sept. 22, Mid-Continent Public Library hosts the annual Veterans Salute at the Midwest Genealogy Center to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of our community's veterans. This year, Veteran's Salute honors the signing of the Armistice of 1918 that ended fighting on the Western Front during World War I. Attendees will be able to view displays of memorabilia from several different wars, have the opportunity to interact with representatives of veterans services organizations, experience the Museum and Memorial's "Hands-on History" program, enjoy a free tailgate lunch from Hy-Vee and view military vehicles on display. The keynote speaker at the event's opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m. is Dr. Matthew Naylor, President and CEO of the Museum and Memorial.

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was the largest operation of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I and remains the biggest campaign in American military history. On Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m., Patrick Mooney, Military Historian at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, delivers a free presentation on this seminal campaign, highlighting the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge and the crossing of the Meuse River.

Other events occurring in September include: Story Time: Raggedy Ann (10:30 a.m., Sept. 8), Czechs and Slovaks in the Great War (2 p.m., Sept. 8), Day in the Life with Living Historians (all day, Sept. 9), A Concert to Commemorate Sacrifice (7 p.m., Sept. 13), Watercolor and War (11 a.m., Sept. 22), Modernist Happy Hour (5:30 p.m., Sept. 27) and WW1USA Amateur Radio Station (all day, Sept. 29-30).

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.

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