“How is the M.S.I. Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the U-505’s Capture?” by S.M. O’Connor

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of U.S. Navy Task Group 22.3’s capture of the U-505 on Sunday, June 4, 1944.  Today, the German long-range attack submarine is a U.S. Navy war prize, a museum ship, and a National Historic Landmark.  She has been on display at the Museum of Science and Industry (M.S.I.) since 1954, and the M.S.I. is celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the U-boat’s capture with a special ceremony, free tours of the U-505, and a new exhibit.  Further, June 3-5, 2019 are Illinois Free Days at the M.S.I.[1]

Ordinarily, there is no additional fee to walk around the U-505 in her exhibit hall, but the twenty-five-minute-long U-505 Submarine On-board Tour costs $18 for adults and $14 for children.  Note that on June 4th only, the U-505 Submarine On-board Tour will be free.

To help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the U-505’s capture, a new exhibit will also be opening in the Rita & John Canning Gallery on the Lower Level (ground floor) on June 4, 2019, U-505 Submarine 75 Stories.  It will consist of seventy-five photographs and artifacts that are normally kept in the M.S.I.’s Collections storage and Archives, including personal journals and log books.  This is a chance to gain insight into the lives of the American sailors and German submariners, the battle in which Task Group 22.3 captured the U-505, and the capture itself.  Bill Kurtis, whose voice can be heard giving narration to several videos in the exhibit (and has been a friend of the M.S.I. for a number of years), was also Master of Ceremonies at a wreath-laying ceremony in the McCormick Foundation Exhibition Hall.[2]

Often stylized as the “Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago” or the “Museum of Science + Industry” the institution is located at the northern end of the Chicago Park District’s Jackson Park, on the south side of 57th Street, between Lake Shore Drive to the east and Cornell Drive to the west, in the East Hyde Park neighborhood of the Hyde Park Community Area (Community Area #41) on the South Side of Chicago.  Founded by Sears, Roebuck & Company President Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932) in 1926, through The Commercial Club of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry opened in three stages between 1933 and 1940.  It occupies the Palace of Fine Arts from Chicago’s first World’s Fair, the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893).

Normally, the M.S.I. is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  However, it will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, 2019; Monday, May 27, 2019; and from Saturday, June 22, 2019 through Sunday, June 30, 2019.  It will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 26, 2019.

The address is 5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60637.  The Website is https://www.msichicago.org/ and the phone number is (773) 684-1414.


[1] On Illinois Free Days, the Museum Entry (general admission to the M.S.I.) is free for residents of the state who show valid proof of residency.  No further Chicago residency discounts apply on Illinois Free Days.

[2] Bill Kurtis has a special place in the hearts of Chicagoans because even though he is nationally known as a new anchorman for C.B.S., as producer and host of Investigative Reports and Cold Case Files for the A&E (Arts & Entertainment) cable station, and his narration for the Will Ferrell comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), he was a well-regarded news anchorman for Chicago’s C.B.S.-owned TV station W.B.B.M./Channel 2 both before and after his stint in New York City.

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