General George Washington suddenly appeared one Thursday during the History Comes Alive Day at Cantingy Park, Wheaton, Illinois. Yes it’s true.
Along came a group of “backpackers, all military kids from the Chicago land area who wanted to learn about the history that is found all over Cantigny. So off they went, and here in this photo, General Washington is shown standing under the BIG RED ONE display in the Faces of the First Exhibit in the First Division Museum with the first group of “backpackers”.
What’s the BIG RED ONE? The 1st Infantry Division of the United States Army, and it’s been serving our nation since June 8, 1917. Throughout the world, the legendary “Big Red One” has become recognized not only for its exemplary combat record, but also because of its peacetime duties.
Colonel Robert R. McCormick, a prominent editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune was also a commander of the First Division. One of the most defining moments in his life was the Battle of Cantigny in France, May 28, 1918. McCormick renamed his estate from Red Oaks to Cantigny to honor the first American victory in World War I.
Each of the backpack reporters toured Cantigny, interviewed the curators and museum staff and had the opportunity to view artifacts and the archives found in the Collections and McCormick Research Center. Coming soon, a series of video interviews sharing their experience – History Comes Alive at Cantigny!