The Kansas City Museum opens a new exhibition on Saturday, October 15, 2016 in the Carriage House of the Kansas City Museum (3218 Gladstone Blvd., KCMO 64123). In the Line of Duty: A History of the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department from 1868-1968 explores stories of courage and dedication that comprise the heritage and development of the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department (KCFD). From its humble beginnings in the late 1800s to international fame, and from technological triumphs to tragic losses, the KCFD has over 100 years of proud service to its community.
In the Line of Duty will focus on the first 100 years of the KCFD, from 1868-1968, and is presented by the Kansas City Museum in collaboration with the Kansas City Fire Historical Society (KCFHS), led by its president Paul Ferguson and curated by KCFHS historian Ray Elder—a retired KCFD Captain. Featuring historical objects and archival materials from the collections of the Kansas City Museum and the KCFHS, as well as items on loan, the highlight of the exhibition will be a restored 1927 Ahrens Fox fire truck from the KCFHS.
“The partnership with the Kansas City Fire Historical Society is very important to the Kansas City Museum, and we were honored to work closely with Paul Ferguson and Ray Elder on this exhibition. In the Line of Duty opens as the Museum introduces a new mission that focuses on offering exhibitions, programs, and experiences that reflect Kansas City’s evolution and spirit, and engage visitors in unfolding stories about Kansas City’s vibrant history, cultural heritage, and pride” Anna Marie Tutera, Executive Director of the Kansas City Museum, said.
An exhibition opening reception for the public will be on Friday, October 14 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. At this reception, Northeast News Publisher Mike Bushnell will unveil and dedicate a permanent memorial to fallen firefighters John Mesh and Larry Leggio, who died in a structure fire after a building collapsed in this Historic Northeast on October 12, 2015. The memorial is imported Black Indian Granite measuring almost four feet square and weighing 700 pounds. It will be laser etched with images of both Mesh and Leggio and will bear their badges with numbers as well as a short dedication to both firefighters. The project was undertaken by Mike Bushnell, who covered the fire, General Manager of Snyder’s Supermarket, Pence Enterprises, and IAFF Local 42, and other local businesses.
In the Line of Duty runs through March 25, 2016. Self-guided exhibition tours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday at the Kansas City Museum. For more information, visit kansascitymuseum.org.
BACKGROUND ON THE KANSAS CITY MUSEUM
Located at 3218 Gladstone Boulevard in the Historic Northeast community of Kansas City, Missouri, the Kansas City Museum is comprised of five original buildings, including the mansion Corinthian Hall, which was built in 1910 by Robert Alexander Long. The estate became a public museum in 1940. It is owned by the City of Kansas City, Missouri and operated and managed by the City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department. The Collection contains more than 100,000 artifacts and several thousand more archival materials that interpret Kansas City’s local and regional history.