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Neighbors of DuPage

McCormick Day at Cantigny Park July 26

Jul 19, 2018 09:54AM

An actor portraying Amy McCormick waves to the crowd at last year's McCormick Day celebration.

Wheaton, IL, July 18, 2018 — Cantigny Park will commemorate the birthday of its benefactor, Colonel Robert R. McCormick, on Thursday, July 26, from noon to 5 pm. 

McCormick Day is Cantigny’s annual gift to the community—parking, activities and birthday cupcakes (while supplies last) are complimentary!

McCormick, former editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, was born on July 30, 1880. He lived on the 500-acre country estate from 1920 until his passing in 1955. His will designated Cantigny as a public park for education and recreation. On McCormick Day, Cantigny remembers the Colonel’s remarkable life as a gentleman farmer, First Division soldier, public servant and media industry innovator.

Many activities at this year’s McCormick Day celebration will follow a military theme, a salute to Colonel McCormick’s service in World War I and the Battle of Cantigny 100 years ago.

A true citizen-soldier, McCormick joined the Illinois National Guard in 1915 and served on the Mexican border in 1916. At the time, he was editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. He further volunteered for service in World War I with the First Division (now the 1st Infantry Division, the famous “Big Red One”), eventually earning the rank of Colonel.

The Battle of Cantigny in 1918 was the only major battle in which McCormick participated, but the experience affected him deeply. Upon returning to the United States, he changed the name of his Wheaton estate from Red Oaks Farm to Cantigny.

McCormick Day events are planned for all ages and interests. Here’s the full agenda:

Parade Field (12 to 4 pm)

  • Obstacle Course
  • Learn to March
  • Camo Face Paint
  • Thank A Vet
  • Adopt-A-Bull
  • Smokey The War Dog
  • Buster Boo Brigade

Visitor Center (meet in “the backyard”)

  • Garden Tour: 12 pm and 2 pm
  • History Hike: 1 pm and 3 pm

McCormick House 

  • Museum Open House: 10 am to 5 pm
  • First Division speech by Colonel McCormick reenactor John Hartness: 11 am, 12 pm and 1 pm
  • Flag Care: 12 to 4 pm
  • Wartime Reporter Photo Station: 12 to 4 pm
  • Amy McCormick living history performance by Ellie Carlson: 2 pm

First Division Museum

  • Dress Like a WWI Soldier: 12 to 4 pm
  • WWI Dog Tag Craft: 12 to 4 pm

First Division Museum Tank Park

  • Tour with a Tanker, M1917 WWI Tank: 1 pm and 3 pm
  • Scott Green Magic Show: 4:15 pm

Exedra (gravesite)

  • Wreath laying ceremony honoring Colonel Robert R. McCormick by American Legion Cantigny Post 556 (2:30 pm)

McCormick House East Lawn

  • Birthday cake cutting with Amy and Colonel McCormick: 3 pm

Cantigny Park is open every day during the summer from 7 am to dusk. Visit Cantigny.org to see a calendar of upcoming concerts, tours, workshops, lectures and special events.