Watkins Museum to mark Veterans Day with speaker, exhibit

The Watkins Community Museum of History will commemorate Veterans Day, on Sunday with a program on German prisoners of war in Kansas during World War II. At 2 p.m., Matthew Thompson of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene will present a talk titled “From Fatherland to Farmland: German POWs in the Great Plains.” He will discuss the use of German prisoners of war to provide farm labor in Kansas and how the prisoners interacted with rural Kansans. The program is sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council’s The Way We Worked Speakers Bureau.

The museum, located at 1047 Massachusetts St., will be open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday to give visitors an opportunity to view a new acquisition of World War II artifacts donated by the Treece family of Lawrence. In 1944, Lt. Commander Richard Treece received gifts from Ambrym islanders including a grass skirt, headdress, baskets, bracelets and other items that reflect native culture. These gifts will be on display on the third floor and showcase the interaction between U.S. soldiers and the native population of the occupied countries.