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The National WWII Museum’s 20th Anniversary

On June 6, 2020, The National WWII Museum will celebrate its 20th anniversary and commemorate the 76th anniversary of D-Day. Though the Museum will be open to visitors on this special day, we will also celebrate online with a full schedule of digital programming.

Overview


On June 6, 2020, The National WWII Museum will celebrate its 20th birthday on what is already among the most meaningful days on our calendar—the anniversary of D-Day. This year marks the 76th anniversary of those pivotal landings, the legacies of which were the sole focus of our institution when it first opened in 2000. Two decades later, while our mission has expanded to honor the stories and sacrifices of servicemembers across every battle and theater of World War II, we are still reminded every day of those fateful hours on the beaches of France. Though the Museum will be open to visitors on this special day, we will also celebrate online with a full schedule of digital programming that includes a special live conversation looking back at the 20 years of history, growth, and expansion since the Museum's founding in 2000, as well as a livestream of the Museum’s annual Dr. Hal Baumgarten D-Day Commemoration reflecting on the legacy of the iconic battle.

 

Schedule of Events


"Time Will Not Dim the Glory of Their Deeds:" The Cemetery at Omaha Beach and the Commemoration of the D-Day War Dead
Monday, June 1
11:00 a.m. (CT)

Ben Brands, a historian with the American Battle Monuments Commission, will discuss the initial establishment of the cemetery at Omaha Beach, which occurred in the days immediately following D-Day.

The Meaning of D-Day: A Roundtable Discussion
Tuesday, June 2
11:00 a.m. (CT)

Join us for a roundtable discussion on the significance of D-Day and its legacy. Led by Dawn Hammatt, Director of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, the roundtable features historians Tyler Bamford, PhD, Allyson Gates, PhD, and Benjamin Schneider, PhD.

In Command of Overlord: Strategic and Operational Leadership in the Great Invasion
Wednesday, June 3
11:00 a.m. (CT)

Join Rob Havers, PhD, President & CEO of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, and our very own Rob Citino, PhD, as they discuss the D-Day landing and Normandy campaign through the modern military lenses lenses of strategy—identifying long-term goals and providing the resources to meet them—and operations—plans to dominate the battlefield, foil the enemy, and win at the lowest cost.

Conversation with D-Day Veteran
Friday, June 5
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (CT)

Join Curator of Oral History Joey Balfour as he discusses the Normandy landings with a veteran who experienced the invasion firsthand.

Dr. Hal Baumgarten D-Day Commemoration Ceremony
Saturday, June 6
11:00 a.m. (CT)

Presented in memory of D-Day veteran and Museum friend Dr. Harold “Hal” Baumgarten, this commemoration ceremony will mark the 76th anniversary of the D-Day invasion with a solemn remembrance of the events of June 6, 1944, and conclude with a moment of silence.

The Dr. Hal Baumgarten D-Day Commemoration Endowment, made possible by the generous gift of Karen and Leopold Sher, ensures that Dr. Baumgarten’s legacy will live on in perpetuity and helps the Museum fulfill its mission to educate future generations about the events of World War II and its lasting impact.

Celebrating 20 Years: The National WWII Museum
Saturday, June 6
12:45 p.m. (CT) - “Celebrating 20 Years” Video Premiere
1:00 p.m. (CT) - Live Discussion

Boysie Bollinger, longtime Trustee and one of the Museum’s biggest champions, together with the Museum’s Founding President & CEO Emeritus Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, PhD, and current President & CEO Stephen Watson, will reminisce about what it was like to be a part of the grand opening festivities on June 6, 2000; how World War II history has become a larger part of the nation’s fabric, spurring the expansion of The National WWII Museum; and the Museum's continued transformation into one of the premier cultural and educational institutions in the world.

D-Day at The National WWII Museum
Saturday, June 6
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (CT)

The National WWII Museum will be open to the public for normal business hours on our 20th anniversary. While we may not be able to have all of the festivities we originally planned, we will have independent family activities, including a Social Media Scavenger Hunt and the premiere of a video celebrating our 20th anniversary. Timed tickets are now available online—plan your visit today!


The Museum’s 20th anniversary commemoration has been generously supported in honor of Richard L. Duchossois from his loving children.

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