First Division Museum at Cantigny
1 S 151 Winfield Road
Wheaton, IL 60187
1 S 151 Winfield Road
Wheaton, IL 60187
Memorial Day to Labor Day: Tuesday -Sunday 10AM - 5PM
February: Friday - Sunday 10AM - 4PM
Remainder of Year: Tuesday - Sunday 10AM - 4PM
Mem. Day-Labor Day: Tu-Su 10-5
$7.00 Cantigny Parking Fee. Museum Free.
Paul Herbert, Executive Director
Keith Gill, Director of Museum Operations
Teri Bianchi, Exhibits Manager
Andrew Woods, Research Historian
The First Division Museum presents the history of the famed 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, "The Big Red One," within the broader context of modern American military history using contemporary, interactive exhibits. The main exhibit hall covers the division's history beginning in World War I up through its fight in the Gulf War. Visitors can explore a WWI trench and trench barracks while the sounds of exploding shells and diving planes are heard overhead, sit in a landing craft for the invasion of Normandy, WWII, then move out onto Omaha Beach as it looked the day after D-Day, 1944, or walk through the jungles of Vietnam and see a three-screen, panoramic presentation of the Division's Vietnam history. The museum also boasts an outdoor exhibit consisting of several artillery pieces and nearly a dozen tanks arranged along the various walkways leading up to the museum.
The original museum was opened in 1960 as the Cantigny War Memorial of the First Division on the estate of the late Colonel Robert R. McCormick who served in the 5th Field Artillery, First Division, during World War I. McCormick was also the long time editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune during its golden era. After his death in 1955, he left his estate to be managed as a recreational and educational park. In 1992 a brand new museum was constructed with state-of-the-art exhibits on a 14-acre, wooded site within the park and renamed the First Division Museum.
The collections of the FDM cover both the official and personal history of the 1st Infantry Division. Strengths of the artifact collection include uniforms, flags and colors, insignia, medals and decorations and art. The permanent art collection includes over one thousand WWI posters, original drawings, paintings and sculptures.
The Robert R. McCormick Research Center has a wide range of materials that cover U.S. military history and specifically the 1st Infantry Division. This would include general military histories, unit histories, reference books, periodicals, official records, and donated materials such as diaries, memoirs, letters and photos from veterans. The RRMRC is a non-circulating facility whose stacks are closed to the public. Researchers may use all materials in the reading room with the help of RRMRC staff. Appointments are strongly suggested. For those who can not come to the museum, research requests may also be made by phone, mail or e-mail. The RRMRC is open during regular museum hours, Tuesday through Friday.
The museum provides guided tours of our main exhibit hall to registered school groups, a teacher's guide and resource packet to the museum, a D-Day educational resource packet, and our History Trunk Program. The History Trunk Program offers a hands-on supplement to classroom teaching by giving students an opportunity to handle uniforms and field gear used by soldiers in a specific war. School tours are booked at 630-260-8161. History trunks are reserved by calling 630-260-8274. Finally the Military Vehicle Program restores, maintains, operates, and periodically displays some of the most well-known vehicles of the WWII and Cold War eras on the museum grounds.
Cantigny First Division Foundation and McCormick Tribune Foundation
Access: General Public, Students, Scholars
Appointment required: No
Our foundation publishes the Cantigny Military History Series. These are publications on modern warfare and related issues, with an emphasis on the history of the 1st Infantry Division and its role in American military history. Books in the series include unit histories, service memoirs, combat narratives, battle and operation analyses, and conference proceedings. Visit our website for more information.
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