The Independence Historical Museum, owned and operated by the Ladies Library and Art Association, stands as one of the city's prime cultural attractions. Housed in the former city post office building, it has over 20
Zoo residents include sun bears, buffalo, monkeys, cougars, a swan pond, caymans, eagles, and a flock of tame peacocks who roam the grounds. One of the more famous inhabitant was Miss Able, the first monkey in space. She resided at Monkey Island until her blast off in 1960.
William Inge, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, was born and raised in Independence. Each year Independence Community College hosts a three-day festival to honor him as well as other nationally known playwrights. Past honorees include Arthur Miller and Neil Simon.