Press/Journalists
Press Release
April 25, 2003
Celebrate the Louisiana Purchase Treaty's 200th Anniversary at Union Station Kansas City on Wednesday, April 30

Contact:
Sarah Biles, Public Relations Specialist
816-460-2252 (office) or 816-813-0210 (cell)

(Kansas City) — Celebrate history before it's history on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 when Union Station Kansas City commemorates the 200th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty. Part of the original treaty is on display in the traveling exhibit American Originals: Treasures from the National Archives at Union Station through Sunday, May 4.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. visitors can talk with reenactors from the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery expedition team in period costumes and meet a Newfoundland dog like the one who traveled with the expedition in 1804. There is no charge for these events. Admission to American Originals is included with a General Admission ticket ($9 for adults, $8 for seniors and $7 for children 4-12). Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Outside the exhibit, reenactors will portray Private John Thompson and Private Silas Goodrich, both members of the Corps of Discovery. The men will have artifacts on display similar to equipment used on the actual trip. Learn about the scientific discoveries and the way the crew used nets and spears to catch fish.

The Louisiana Purchase Treaty, dated April 30, 1803, gave the United States 828,000 square miles of land extending from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. The territory, purchased from the French, became 15 states and constitutes nearly one-fourth of the nation. The price was $15 million, considered one of the best real estate deals ever. Other parts of the treaty are currently on public display at the Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, and in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La. The rest of the treaty remains at the National Archives in College Park, Md.

Kansas City is one of eight stops across the country for the American Originals exhibit. Since it opened January 31, more than 74,000 have seen the exhibit at Union Station. This includes more than 10,000 who saw the exhibit on President 's Day weekend in February when the original Emancipation Proclamation was also on display. Union Station's attendance already exceeds the totals of the previous four tour sites including New York, Chicago, and Atlanta. Other highlights of the American Originals exhibit include Thomas Edison's patent for the electric lamp, an order to arrest Susan B. Anthony, and John F. Kennedy 's handwritten notes for his 1961 inaugural address. American Originals was created by the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., and The Foundation for the National Archives.

When the National Archives in Washington, DC reopens its Rotunda on September 18, 2003, it will not only unveil the newly re-encased Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, but the start of a whole new National Archives Experience that will educate and inspire Americans. The National Archives Experience will help visitors, both in person and online, to discover and share in the spirit embodied in documents as diverse as the Emancipation Proclamation, Edison's patent application for the light bulb, census data, and recordings of Franklin Roosevelt's Fireside Chats.

Union Station Kansas City is a historical landmark and civic asset renovated and reopened to the public in 1999. It features a science center, national traveling exhibits, the region 's only 3D giant screen movie theater, live theater, shops and restaurants. A bi-state cultural sales tax, the first of its kind in the country, funded nearly half of the $250 million renovation. The remaining money was raised through private donations and federal funding. Union Station is a nonprofit 501c3 organization. Current operating costs are funded by general admission and theater ticketing, grants, private donations, commercial space leases and facility rental. The Station has partnered with the Truman Presidential Museum and Library, the University of Kansas and UMKC to offer additional programming. Union Station is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Union Station Kansas City, Inc. also operates the Kansas City Museum in Kansas City 's historic northeast neighborhood.

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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