VE-Day 75th Anniversary

Event Details

Sat, May 9, 2020
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

First Division Museum
Saturday, May 9th
10 AM – 5 PM
Free with Paid Parking

Some activities and performances are weather pending.

G.I. Jive like it’s May 1945!

Step back in time and come dressed in your best 1940’s inspired vintage fashions to help us celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe!

Some activities and performances are weather pending.


First Division Museum

Scheduled Events

Cheer for Victory: Radio Announcement Show (11 AM) – Help us kick off the day with a swinging reenactment of the announcement of victory in Europe on May 8th, 1945. Guests will get to participate in a group cheer. Seating is first come first serve.

Irving Sisters 1940s Musical Review (1 PM – 2 PM) – Sit back and enjoy the musical stylings of the talented Irving Sisters, as they perform popular tunes of the 1940s. Seating is first come first serve.

Drop-In Activities (10 AM – 5 PM)

World War II History Trail – Meet costumed interpreters as they share stories of soldiers on the battlefield and women’s Homefront efforts. Featuring vehicles from the First Division Museums Historic Vehicle Collection.

Family Activities – Join in the celebration by making a poppy craft, trying on some soldier gear, or staring in a vintage WWII propaganda poster. While supplies last.


Around Cantigny Park

Robert R. McCormick House Open House and Radio Show (1 PM – 4 PM) -The 1940s returns to the McCormick Mansion with staged “live radio news broadcasts” in honor of VE-Day in Freedom Hall! Breaking news is gone in a flash and so are our quick radio broadcasts! The broadcasts will last roughly 10-15 minutes and happen periodically throughout the day at: 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, and 3:30.

Second Saturday Boat Races (12 PM – 3 PM) – Colonel Robert R. McCormick used the Chicago Tribune to help support servicemen and women; he even championed bringing the captured U505 to Chicago.  See if you can build a toy boat that will float and then race it against a friend.


Visitor Center
Drop-In  (10 AM – 4 PM)

Victory Boutique– Visit and shop vintage vendors and veteran-owned businesses that will have you looking swell. Download the vendor packet here or contact Amanda Goossens at agoossens@cantigny.org or at 630-260-8126.
World War II Newsreels – Drop in for continuous viewing of newsreels featuring World War II highlights.

Parade Field
Rockford Peaches Baseball (2 PM)
– Root for the home team, the Rockford Peaches, in a 1940’s baseball game with the All-American Girls Baseball League.