Opening Monday, June 20th, from 9 am - 5 PM
On June 20, the Museum will be free to Illinois residents in celebration of Juneteenth. The Pride and Juneteenth flags will greet you as a reminder that the Field is welcome to all.
Juneteenth serves as a holiday to commemorate the end of chattel slavery. On June 19th, 1865, the Union declared victory over the Confederacy and proclaimed that all previously enslaved persons were free. Juneteenth symbolizes the end of a battle, but also the beginning of reconciliation.
If this is your first time hearing of Juneteenth or leaning into conversations about racism, anti-racism, and white supremacy, feel free to utilize this Anti-Racism Resource Guide to start your journey. We encourage you to take time today to push past the comfort of silence and complacency and be at the forefront of social justice and change. If you are all too familiar with the fatigue of engaging in racial and social justice work, we encourage you to take time to rest and reflect. Self-care is resistance.
While visiting the Museum today, don’t miss these opportunities to celebrate and reflect on what it means to be free:
Michelle Duster Presentation, 10am-11am
In the presentation “Exploring Juneteenth: How the 1893 World’s Fair Connects to the Legacy of Ida B. Wells and the Continued Quest for Freedom,” Michelle Duster, author, public historian, and great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, will discuss why there was such controversy about the limited representation of African Americans at the Fair, as well as the social, economic, and political realities that African Americans faced after the Civil War despite promises of freedom and equality.
Meet a Scientist, 11am-1pm
Despite a lack of organized representation, individuals (like Ida B. Wells) made their own opportunities to represent their work and the progress of African Americans in the 30 years since the Civil War. In the Grainger Science Hub, engage with Field Museum staff, stories, and specimens from our collections that keep this history alive today.
Explore our public exhibitions guided by the question: What does it mean to be free?
Catch the closing week of Plant Medicine; a story of Chicago community-building vacant lots transformed into gardens that provide healthy food and new strategies in neighborhoods facing structural racism.
Free Admission Guidelines
Tickets for Free Days are only available to Illinois residents on-site and cannot be reserved in advance. Please ask a Visitor Services staff member for the special offer and show your Illinois proof of residency. You cannot take advantage of Free Days when buying tickets online.