A complete and detailed exhibit on the Union Station Massacre @ Union Station, Kansas City
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The Union Station Massacre was a major event of the Public Enemy era. The massacre sent shock waves across America, and changed the way high profIle crimes were handled. The FBI in its modern form was established in response to this notorious event in Kansas City. Many people flock to Union Station to this very day to visit the location, and to seek answers for themselves.
At this point, the amout of information presented on the massacre is insufficient. We feel that a full exhibit is necessary for Union Station, so that the public may be educated on the proper history of this event. Union Station has a great opportunity to present the case and evidence, gather historical artifacts, and to teach the community in an interactive museum setting. Forensic evidence, facts about the conspiracy, and questionable details from the investigation(s), can be presented in an open presentation, where the public can formulate their own opinions. There are many ways this can be done, and there are some of us who would even be willing to volunteer some of our time to help see this off the ground.
Some of the current problems with what has been presented:
There is inaccurate information presented at Union Station. Two of these inaccuracies are:
1)Frank Nash is presented as a mobster.
Nash was not a mobster. Nash was involved with the criminal underworld in various ways, but was primarily a bandit, and a member of various bank robbing gangs.
2)The kiosk claims that Nash was the only one convicted for his involvement in the massacre.
Nash was never convicted of any involvement in the massacre. Nash was killed during the shootout, and obviously could not have been convicted. Adam Richetti was the only one convicted, and was subsequently executed in MO State Penn gas chamber.
Some other things that need a lot of attention, and should be pointed out at Union Station:
Jim Pendergast had a lot to do with Union Station being built where it stands today. With his power, Big Jim could have stopped train traffic from being moved from the West Bottoms (Union Depot), as relocating it would be a major loss to his business ventures. Instead of opposing the new depot, he fully supported Union Station being built, as he felt it would better the community.
There is no mention of John Lazia at Union Station, nor is there any mention of the Harvey House connection to the massacre. Considering Lazia's involvment in the conspiracy, this needs some serious looking into.
Another weak area/ opportunity lost, is the lack of historical reenactments. While the Living History App is pretty amazing (even in spite of it not working some of the time), a lot of interaction can come from reenactors. This does not just pertain to the massacre, but to all historical figures who visited/ frequented Union Station.
The biggest argument that Union Station has presented to our initiative is SPACE. While we understand that there is always a limitation when it comes to space, we are also aware that there are areas that can be configured to house an exhibit of this importance. Union Station is all about innovation, so making necessary adjustments is a great challenge, and an opportunity for a world class, one of a kind exhibit.
The second biggest argument seems to be that Union Station is a family atmosphere, so people may get offended by an exhibit of this nature. This particular stance has a baffling effect, as Union Station has had some pretty controversial exhibits in the past. Noone is asking this exhibit to be in plain view of the public eye, especially in the view of children. Keep in mind that people are fascinated by outlaws of our past, but they are still aware that the actions of these figures was far from upstanding. One great example of a well known outlaw in the KC area would be Jesse James. There is already artwork of the massacre being sold at Union Station, along with a few books that talk about the subject.
In conclusion, we are not looking for this exhibit to glorify the criminal element, but true history should be taught to the community. This is not only a vital need for educational purposes, but an exhibit of this nature could bring in many more visitors, which is a huge monetary opportunity. We would also like to see more to memorialize the lives lost as a result of the massacre, as well as those who perished during the construction process.
The people who want this exhibit are not going away, so why not take advantage of this situation, and make it a win/ win for everybody.
The Union Station Massacre is still a great mystery, and Kansas City deserves this exhibit.
Please visit us here for more questions or any info regarding our cause.
Thank you for your time.
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