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Museum of Science & Industry Free Days, U-505 70th Anniversary Events in June

Here, we see the U-505, as well as artifacts on display and simulators stationed on her starboard side.
Here, we see the U-505, as well as artifacts on display and simulators stationed on her starboard side. Scott Brownell, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

The Museum of Science & Industry (M.S.I.) has Illinois Free Days – when Museum Entry (general admission) tickets are free for all residents of the state who show valid proof of residency – next week from Sunday, June 1, 2014 to Friday, June 6, 2014. M.S.I. is located at 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, at the northeast corner of Jackson Park in the neighborhood of Hyde Park on the South Side of Chicago.

Note that Chicago residency discounts do not apply on Illinois Free Days. The other Illinois Free Days this year are September 8-12, 15-19, 22-26, and 29th; October 6th & 7th; November 3rd & 4th; and December 8th & 9th.

Also, separate tickets must still be purchased to take on-board tours of the U-505, tours of the Coal Mine Old Ben #17, and to enter touring exhibits, as well as to see Omnimax films. On Illinois Free Days, tickets are $9 each for adults to take a tour of the Coal Mine, U-505, WOW!Tour, Fab Lab, Future Energy Chicago, Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, Earth Explorers, or see an Omnimax film.

M.S.I. also has weeklong celebrations for the 70th anniversary on Wednesday June 4, 2014 of the capture of the U-505 on Sunday, June 4, 1944. From the 4th to the 8th of June, M.S.I. submariner volunteers will be on hand in the exhibit The U-505 Experience.

U.S. Navy chief petty officers (C.P.O.s) from Great Lakes Naval Base who participated in the U.S.O. U-505 Naval History Program will return to M.S.I. to serve as exhibit facilitators. M.S.I. offers this program in partnership with the U.S.O. of Illinois and the Pritzker Military Library with the financial support of the Tawani Foundation.

On Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday only, the Dive Trainer in the U-505 exhibit “will be open for a hands-on lesson in U-boat buoyancy, and submarine-themed make-and-take activities will be featured throughout the exhibit,” M.S.I. stated.

Joe Mazraani, shipwreck diver and Captain of D/V Tenacious, will speak in the Little Theater from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 7, 2014. M.S.I. stated, “For nearly two decades, Joe Mazraani was a part of a team that feverishly researched and dreamed of exploring the elusive U-550. On July 23, 2012, near the end of a grueling round-the-clock side scan operation, the final resting place of the Grey Wolf was located in approximately 100 meters of North Atlantic water off the coast of Massachusetts.” Seating is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Kurt Haunfelner, M.S.I.’s Vice President of Exhibits & Events, will moderate “The History and Legacy of the U-505” on Sunday, June 8, 2014, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Little Theater. The panelists will be Ed Offley, author of Scorpion Down and Turning the Tide; Keith Gill, former Curator if the U-505, and Dick Klarich, M.S.I.’s Capital Programs Manager.

M.S.I. stated, “Join us for a special panel presentation in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the U-505’s capture.

Moderated by Kurt Haunfelner…the panel will discuss the U-505’s fascinating history, from the Battle for the Atlantic and the submarine’s capture to its legacy today as an exhibition at MSI.”

These lectures and The U-505 Experience are included in Museum Entry. The U-505 On-Board Tour and the Omnimax film D-Day: Normandy 1944 require additional, timed-entry tickets.