SW Kansas Museum Featuring Bob Dole

A museum in Southwest Kansas is honoring and remembering  the late Senator Bob Dole with a new temporary exhibit.  The Finney County Historical Museum in Garden City opened the 2022 display year this week with a new short-term exhibit in the Front Door Gallery that focuses on the life and career of Robert J. Dole, who died in December as one of the best-known Kansans in history.

According to the museum, entitled “Bob Dole, One of the greatest of the Greatest Generation,” the exhibit incorporates many of the Russell native’s connections to Finney County and Southwest Kansas, as well as his dedication to the Sunflower State.

The Front Door Gallery is a small space inside the museum’s main entrance at 403 S. Fourth Street, adjacent to the pedestrian arches at Lee Richardson Zoo.  Admission is free and viewing hours run from 1 to 5 p.m. seven days weekly, with the exception of federal holidays Jan. 17 and Feb. 21.  All other museum displays are accessible simultaneously.

The exhibit, which will remain in place through mid-March, incorporates nine large-format licensed photographs from Dole’s life and career, including his nearly three dozen years in the U.S. House and Senate, his Senate leadership and his three campaigns for president.  Visitors can also learn a little about Dole’s early life; his World War II heroism, when his combat wounds left him with lifetime disabilities; his links to the local community and area; his post-Senate career after 1996; and the way he pursued both partisan politics with bi-partisan initiatives.

The Front Door Gallery hosts four to six changing exhibits each year, and recently concluded 2021 with a series of five.  Front Door Gallery Exhibits are supported by the Steve Stone Memorial Fund.

In addition to the Bob Dole exhibit, the museum has just added a new feature in the gift shop, with colorful T-shirts featuring the emblems of three well-remembered Garden City businesses — Dicks Dairy, which was located on north Taylor Avenue; Myers Dairy, which operated the downtown soda shop and fountain now known as Traditions; and Gardiner Dairy and Ice Cream, which like Myers, delivered milk and other dairy products throughout the community.

The gift shop, located inside the museum, is open simultaneously with exhibits and accepts cash, local checks and major credit cards.  The shirts are available in adult sizes up to 3X, with prices ranging from $16 to $21.  The store also stocks a variety of additional items connected to local, area and Kansas history and culture.

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Photos courtesy Finney County Historical Museum.

Top photo – Museum patron Kent Pendergraft views the exhibit.