Since its inception in 1854, Topeka has played a significant role in the nation's fight for freedom. From John Brown's battle for the abolition of slavery, to the historic 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that paved the way for desegregation in America's public schools, Topeka has been in the center of it all.
Topeka has been at the forefront of the fight for Civil Rights since the 1850s. At the Kansas Statehouse, you can see John Steuart Curry's "Tragic Prelude" mural illustrating the clash of forces that created the Bleeding Kansas legacy.
The Ritchie House, one of Topeka's oldest homes, was a meeting place for the free-state faction and served as a station along the Underground Railroad.
The Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site is an interactive museum about the 1954 Supreme Court case that ruled that segregation in public schools was a violation of the 14th Amendment.
The fight for equality continues at the Equality House, a resource center of the Planting Peace organization, promoting peace and positive change for the LGBT community.
Kansas State Capitol
300 W 10th St. 785-296-3966
Take a free tour explaining the Capitol's many unique architectural features, extensive murals and statues and see the many beautiful renovations.
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Call for tour schedule.
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site
1515 SE Monroe St. 785-354-4273
Gain an understanding of the role this 1954 Supreme Court decision played in the Civil Rights Movement. This interactive, experiential museum is located inside the historic Monroe Elementary School.
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
Charles Curtis House Museum
1101 SW Topeka Blvd. 785-357-1371
Tour the former home of Charles Curtis, the only Vice President of Native American descent. Marvel in the intricate decor and memorabilia from Curtis' political career.
Tours: Saturday 11 a.m.-3p.m. and by appointment.
Combat Air Museum
7016 SE Forbes Ave. 785-862-3303
See more than 30 military aircraft, from WWI to the present day, in addition to aircraft engines, artifacts and dioramas.
Hours: March to December 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday - Saturday
Great Overland Station
701 N. Kansas Ave. 785-232-5533
Formerly home to the Union Pacific Railroad Station, this museum brings Topeka's railroad heritage to life through guided tours, photographs, special exhibits and events.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 1-4 p.m.
Holley Museum of Military History
420 SE 6th 785-272-6204
Located inside the Ramada Convention Center Downtown, witness a 4,000-piece military collection of dioramas, models and artifacts from the Civil War through the Persian Gulf War.
Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
Kansas Museum of History
6425 SW 6th 785-272-8681
Learn about colorful characters and everyday folks from Kansas' past. See a full-sized Cheyenne tipi, covered wagon, 1950s diner and an 1880s locomotive.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 1-5 p.m.
Museum of the Kansas National Guard
6700 SW Topeka Blvd. 785-862-1020
Don't miss artifacts, equipment and materials from the history of the Kansas National Guard and 35th Division. Includes 30 outdoor exhibits, more than 100 indoor exhibits, a research library and photo archive.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.