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.
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.
Located 13 miles southwest of Independence, just off of Highway 75, is an authentic, reconstructed log cabin located near the original site where famous author Laura Ingalls Wilder lived as a child. Near the cabin, the remains of what could possibly have been the well that Pa and Mr. Scott dug. An 1