Saturday, May 25, 2013

May 25 – Kansas City

Kansas City here we come!  Our first stop was the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank.  We were able to view the automated, multi-story vault where millions of dollars are stored awaiting distribution to member banks.  Large counting machines inspect, count and package currency. Bills that are worn out are automatically shredded. Our parting souvenir was a bag of shredded money; I wonder if we can piece them back together?

The Hallmark Visitor Center was nearby at the Crown Center.  There we learned about founder, JC Hall who began by selling post cards in 1910.  Business in greeting cards expanded and the rest is history! Hallmark ranks in the 10 best companies to work for. We saw collections of ornaments, cards and toys and three presses used in card production.

After lunch we traveled to the Negro League Baseball Museum/American Jazz Museum at 8th and Vine.  In the 1900s Jim Crow laws prohibited integrated professional baseball teams.  Black players formed their own teams and barnstormed the country playing all comers.  In 1945 Jackie Robinson was recruited from the Kansas City Monarchs to play on a major league team.  This historic event was a key moment in baseball and civil right, and it also prompted the decline of the Negro Leagues. Through video, uniforms, players stories and sculptures we saw what game day was like.

The American Jazz Museum brings jazz to life through sound clips, videos and record art. The Masters Exhibit highlights the music of Charlie Bird Parker, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald.  The Blue Room, designed to resemble a 1930s nightclub, features live music several nights a week.

Photographs were not permitted in either museum.

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