Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Pritzker Military Museum & Library The PMML features books, exhibits, live webcasts, and audio podcasts about the military history and affairs.
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#OnThisDay in 1918, on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, the Great War comes to close following the signi...
11/11/2019

#OnThisDay in 1918, on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, the Great War comes to close following the signing of the armistice that took place earlier that morning at 5:45 am. This armistice signing brought an end to a war that left nine million soldiers dead and another 21 million wounded, not to mention the close to five million civilians that died from disease, starvation or exposure.

A year after the war had ended, King George V of England declared that November 11th would be marked as Armistice Day and celebrated with two minutes of silence at 11am, the hour that the agreements went into effect. This was originally announced when the New York Times mentioned this in a front-page headline that also informed the world that Americans would be observing the day too, through ceremonies throughout the country.

In a special address to the nation, President Woodrow Wilson discussed the colossal changes that the violent and gory conflict had provoked upon the world. Our European Allies fought for more than four years and we joined them for more than a year and a half. The world landscape was left forever changed; empires were destroyed, European borders were completely transformed and huge evolutions in weaponry and manufacturing came into play. All of this led President Wilson signing a proclamation #OnThisDay in 1919 that commemorated the end of the fighting in World War I as Armistice Day.

Subsequently, Congress passed a resolution in June of 1926 urging all state governors to observe the newly found holiday, eventually making November 11th a national holiday by 1938. Later, in 1954, President Eisenhower renamed the holiday to Veterans Day in response to a collective call for veterans of World War II to be recognized as well. A 1968 law forcibly moved the observance of the holiday to the fourth Monday in October. However unpopular, the law remained in existence until President Ford signed a law moving if back to the original date of November 11th in 1978.

To learn more about this period in history, please check out this page on our website: https://bit.ly/2KayoWG

This Saturday at 9 a.m. tune in to WTTW-Prime to watch best-selling author Neal Bascomb discuss his book “The Escape Art...
11/08/2019
Neal Bascomb | The Escape Artists | Pritzker Military Presents | Pritzker Military Museum & Library | Chicago

This Saturday at 9 a.m. tune in to WTTW-Prime to watch best-selling author Neal Bascomb discuss his book “The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War”.

In the winter trenches and flak-filled skies of World War I, soldiers and pilots alike might avoid death, only to find themselves imprisoned in Germany’s archipelago of POW camps, often in abominable conditions. The most infamous was Holzminden, a land-locked Alcatraz of sorts that housed the most troublesome, escape-prone prisoners.

Drawing on never-before-seen memoirs and letters, Bascomb brings this narrative to cinematic life, amid the twilight of the British Empire and the darkest, most savage hours of the fight against Germany. At turns tragic, funny, inspirational, and nail-biting suspenseful, this is the little-known story of the biggest POW breakout of the Great War.

Stream this episode now on our website: https://bit.ly/2mNjw7P

In honor of Veterans Day this Monday, November 11th we wanted to highlight our Holt Oral History Project and a special o...
11/08/2019

In honor of Veterans Day this Monday, November 11th we wanted to highlight our Holt Oral History Project and a special opportunity we’ll be offering on Monday!

A vital component in the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, the Holt Oral History Program is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing the unique Stories of Service of the citizen soldier, not just high ranking officers or recognizable faces from history, but every man and woman who has ever volunteered, served, or sacrificed for the Armed Forces or their country during a time of need.

We look forward to lending our listening ear to more veterans as they continue to come in and share their stories! As such, we’ll be offering Holt Oral History Drop-In hours from 10am-1pm on Monday. If you or anyone you know would like to come by the Museum & Library for a quick 30 minute discussion with our Holt Oral History Manager, Leah Cohen, please don’t hesitate to reach out or drop by.

Each interview provides a distinctive, highly personal take on the inner-workings of the U.S. military throughout the years. These personal accounts then become available to the larger community, where they can be listened to and learned from, either through the PMML website or by downloading the oral history podcast.

We hope to hear more stories on Monday and to see you at the Museum & Library, which will be FREE in honor of the holiday.

11/07/2019

Another technical difficulties day here at the PMML. We apologize that our Facebook video still isn't working. But you can watch the Admiral Rickover panel on our website: pritzkermilitary.org

#OnThisDay in 1918 the German plenipotentiaries who were to receive the armistice terms from Marshal Foch presented them...
11/07/2019

#OnThisDay in 1918 the German plenipotentiaries who were to receive the armistice terms from Marshal Foch presented themselves to the French outposts near La Capelle at 10 o'clock, beginning the end of the world’s Great War.

Unbeknown to most, the Germans began making armistice proposals in early October of 1918. Originally, the Germans attempted to open discussions with U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, fearing that the British and French would insist upon unforgiving terms. Unsuccessful in receiving what they had hoped from President Wilson, the Germans sent a late-night radio message to Marshall Ferdinand Foch, commander-in-chief of the Allied forces. Their message was a request asking for permission to send a delegation through the lines to negotiate a potential armistice, requesting a cease fire to do so. Within 45 minutes of receiving the radio message he replied by giving the Germans permission to come over the lines but ignored their cease-fire request.

At 8pm #OnThisDay in 1918, preceded by a trumpeter and carrying white flags, three automobiles carefully made their way through a horrid landscape riddled with artillery craters and barbed wire in no-man’s land in northern France. The envoy of German representatives switched to a French car and then boarded a train, embarking upon a long night of travel. The next morning, they pulled into a railroad siding along Foch’s railroad car within the Forest of Compiègne, which is where the armistice discussion and original meeting took place.

Attached to this post is an image from our collection depicting the event when Germans surrendered in WWI, illustrated by F.E. Schoonover.

To learn more about this period in history, please be sure to check out this link to our Lest We Forget exhibit: https://bit.ly/2rfK1Fg

#OnThisDay in 1860 Abraham Lincoln is elected the 16th president of the United States, becoming the first Republican to ...
11/06/2019

#OnThisDay in 1860 Abraham Lincoln is elected the 16th president of the United States, becoming the first Republican to win the presidency.

Running against southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, Constitutional Union candidate John Bell, and Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas, a U.S. senator for Illinois, Lincoln eventually defeated all three of his opponents despite only receiving 40% of the popular vote.

The Kentucky-born lawyer first gained national recognition during his campaign against Stephen Douglas for a U.S. Senate seat in 1858. Throughout the senatorial campaign Lincoln argued against the spread of slavery, while Douglas continued to push the idea that each territory should have the right to decide whether it would become a free or slave state. This remarkable series of public encounters surrounding the issue of slavery that eventually became known as the Lincoln-Douglas debates, was lost by Lincoln.

Despite losing this senatorial campaign, national attention was brought upon the young Republican party candidate, eventually leading to Lincoln winning the party’s presidential nomination in 1860. Lincoln again faced Douglas in this 1860 presidential election and was victorious this time around, which is what led to the secession of the Southern states.

Seven states had seceded by the time Lincoln was officially inaugurated into office on March 4, 1861, formally establishing the Confederates States of America. With a month, the American Civil War began as Confederates forces opened fire on the Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Tides turned against the Confederacy in 1863 as Lincoln emancipated the slaves and won reelection the following year, in 1864.

President Lincoln was later assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. by Confederate sympathizer John Wilks Booth. The assassination came five days after the American Civil War had effectively ended after General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

To this day Lincoln is remembered as one of the greatest American presidents and politicians, not only for his ability to preserve the Union and bring an end to slavery, but also for his unique character and powerful oratory skills.

If you'd like to learn more about President Lincoln, please be sure to check out this list of books about his legacy: https://bit.ly/34CqNrO

This week at the Museum & Library we are hosting two programs!Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 5th author Larrie Ferreiro v...
11/05/2019

This week at the Museum & Library we are hosting two programs!

Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 5th author Larrie Ferreiro visits the Museum & Library to discuss his book which recasts the American Revolution in a revealing new light. Starting at 6pm (CST) Dr. Farreiro will discuss the untold story of how the American Revolution's success depended on substantial military assistance provided by France and Spain. Instead of viewing the American Revolution in isolation, Brothers at Arms reveals the birth of the American nation as the centerpiece of an international coalition fighting against a common enemy.

This Thursday, November 6th a panel of distinguished U.S. Navy veterans will sit down at 2pm (CST) to discuss the legacy of Admiral Rickover, who is considered by many as the father of the U.S. nuclear Navy. A poor Jewish kid from Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood, Admiral Hyman G. Rickover served more than 30 years as the head of the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Program and more than 63 years on active-duty. We’re very excited to learn about his story throughout Thursday’s program!

Tickets to both events are still available for purchase and/or reservation. If you’re interested in joining us for either of these wonderful programs, please be sure to check out the link below.

Upcoming Programs: https://bit.ly/2CdtyUo

We wanted to take today to thank everyone that came out and joined us this weekend for any and all parts of the 2019 Lib...
11/04/2019

We wanted to take today to thank everyone that came out and joined us this weekend for any and all parts of the 2019 Liberty Gala Weekend. We are so happy to have seen so many attendees and are looking forward to hearing from more of you on how you thought this weekend’s events unfolded.

Friday’s all day symposium was full of impactful moments and enriched the dialogue about the Battle of the Bulge. We heard from 5(!) Pritkzer Literature Award winners and are excited to share their words of wisdom via podcasts and shows soon. Thanks to all of our symposium guests and hosts, without your help Friday’s events wouldn’t have been able to happen. An additional thank you goes out to so many of our members who came to listen in our auditorium most of the day; your support means the world to us and we always love to see both familiar faces and new ones walking among the Museum & Library floors.

Saturday was also a success. Dr. Morrow’s Book Club discussion was full of smiling faces and focused listeners. We hope that everyone who joined us enjoyed their time (and the goody bags). Finally, this year’s Gala was an absolute blast and we couldn’t be any happier with the turn out. We hope that everyone in attendance enjoyed the program, the videos, the auction and all the great company in attendance.

During the night, Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium Ron Gidwitz presents a map of the Battle of the Bulge to Veteran Dick Duchossois. Afterwards, we caught a special moment between the two as Duchossois pointed out where his company and friends were during the Battle and talked more about his personal experience in Belgium.

Keep an eye out for more photos coming soon. Here’s to another successful year at the PMML!

This Saturday at 9 a.m. tune in to WTTW-Prime to watch Benjamin Runkle discuss his book “Generals in the Making: How Mar...
11/01/2019
Benjamin Runkle: Generals in the Making | Pritzker Military Museum & Library | Chicago

This Saturday at 9 a.m. tune in to WTTW-Prime to watch Benjamin Runkle discuss his book “Generals in the Making: How Marshall, Eisenhower, Patton, and Their Peers Became the Commanders Who Won World War II”.

As the U.S. Army’s triumphant homecoming from World War I was quickly forgotten amidst two decades filled with economic depression and growing isolationism, Marshall, Eisenhower, MacArthur, Patton, Omar Bradley, Lucian Truscott, Matthew Ridgway, and their brothers in arms toiled in a profession most Americans viewed with distrust. Before they became legends, these young officers served their country in posts from Washington D.C. to Panama, from West Point to war-torn China. They taught and studied together in the Army’s schools, attempting to innovate in an era of shrinking budgets, obsolete equipment, and skeletal forces.

Generals in the Making is the first comprehensive history of America’s World War II generals between the wars, an invaluable prequel to every history of that war.

Stream this episode now on our website: https://bit.ly/2ne5cFK

Shakespeare famously wrote that some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Part military history and part group biography, Generals in the Making tells the amazing true story of how George Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, George Patton,....

Our final session of ON WAR 2019 will feature Pritzker Literature Award Winner John H. Morrow, Jr.! He will be up at 3pm...
11/01/2019

Our final session of ON WAR 2019 will feature Pritzker Literature Award Winner John H. Morrow, Jr.! He will be up at 3pm CST. Catch it in our video here or on our website.

11/01/2019

We hope you are enjoying Dr. Gerhard Weinberg, who is speaking right now, at our ON WAR 2019 Symposium. You can catch all the action right here in our video feed or through our livestream on our website. We hope you will listen in!

The next conversation will start at 11:30am CST, with Dennis Showalter.

Happy #Halloween from all of us at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library! We hope everyone has a safe and fun day! If y...
10/31/2019

Happy #Halloween from all of us at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library! We hope everyone has a safe and fun day! If you need a costume idea, might we suggest dressing up as your favorite service member? Or a #mask is always a good option....

Liberty Gala Weekend UpdateThe 2019 Liberty Gala weekend the begins this Friday, November 1st and continues through the ...
10/30/2019

Liberty Gala Weekend Update

The 2019 Liberty Gala weekend the begins this Friday, November 1st and continues through the next day, November 2nd. This year’s Gala weekend features a day-long symposium on military history with leading scholars in the field, an intimate members-only book club discussion with the 2019 recipient of the Pritzker Literature Award and culminates with an elegant gala at the Hilton Chicago.

We’re currently running very low on symposium seats and only have 14 available seats remaining. If you’d like to join us for a full-day of engaging programs, please be sure to purchase a ticket TODAY before they’re sold out. Price of ticket includes a continental breakfast, boxed lunch and a gift bag!

We currently only have 3 available tickets remaining for Dr. Morrow’s intimate book club discussion, and the price includes a signed copy of The Great War: An Imperial History! This is a member’s only event and we’re expecting this event to sell out by the end of today, please be sure to purchase your tickets NOW if you’re member and are looking to attend.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in attendance this year – whether it be at our symposium, the members-only book club or our Gala – your support means the world to us!

Symposium Tickets & Info: https://bit.ly/2psBGgT
Morrow Book Club Tickets & Info: https://bit.ly/36mX1t4

A photo from our collection, dated #OnThisDay 1944, showcasing a portion of the 600-ship convoy as part of the Battle of...
10/29/2019

A photo from our collection, dated #OnThisDay 1944, showcasing a portion of the 600-ship convoy as part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf and the subsequent Battle of Leyte. On board were 250,00 Americans and Gen. MacArthur.

The Battle of Leyte Gulf (October 23-26) is considered to have been the largest naval battle of World War II, making it potentially one of the largest naval battle in history. With the help of air support, the battle crippled the Japanese, which permitted the U.S. invasion of the Philippines, reinforcing the Allies’ control in the Pacific.

The Battle of Leyte raged from October to December 1944 and was code named King Two. It was the start of the Philippines campaigned of 1944-1945 whose goal was the recapture and liberation of the Philippines after 3 years under Japanese occupation. Japan used the Philippines as a gateway for resources such as rubber and oil. The Allies knew that regaining the area would allow them a strategic foothold in the Pacific theater. MacArthur also had a personal stake in this fight, after being forced out of are area in 1942, he promised to return victorious.

Japan’s losses from the Battle were dire. The Japanese Army lost 4 divisions, several combat units, and the Navy lost 26 warships, 46 transport ships and hundreds of merchant ships. More importantly, Japan would be all but cut off from its occupied territories in Southeast Asia, and the vital resource of oil that it needed. Additionally, Japan’s land-based air capability in the Philippines was reduced by 50%, which made defense of their troops in the island of Luzon almost impossible. Effectively, Japan had to give up hope of retaining the Philippines, conceding important land that could be used to threaten the Japanese mainland and islands.

Address

104 S Michigan Ave, Fl 2nd
Chicago, IL
60603

Adams/Wabash CTA elevated Monroe CTA subway

General information

Since opening in 2003, the Pritzker Military Museum & Library has produced over 300 programs including events with award-winning authors, interviews with Medal of Honor recipients, and Emmy-nominated panel discussions on military issues. Programs are presented in front of a live audience, webcast live on the Internet, and recorded for later broadcast on WYCC-TV/Channel 20 and WTTW-TW/Channel 11, PBS affiliates. Programs are also available for download as audio podcasts. Winner of the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the Pritzker Military Museum & Library features a collection of books and films on subjects covering the full spectrum of American military history, along with military-themed posters, photographs, medals, uniforms, and other artifacts from private donors and the collection of the Library’s founder, COL (IL) J.N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired).

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 18:00
Thursday 10:00 - 18:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00
Sunday 12:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(312) 374-9333

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