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.
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
The Independence Public Library is still located at the corner of Maple and Fifth, in the structure as it was built by the Carnegie Foundation in 1907. The Library currently houses 61,700 volumes of print and non-print materials, with a patron registration of 9,880
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.
Houses a wide variety of exhibits that invite visitors to examine and experiment. Register on a computer, hear sounds on the echo tube, ride the Anti-gravity Simulator, or experience the hair-raising Van de Graaff generator. You may even want to visit with the life-like Albert Einstein.