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Timeline

Important Dates and Facts in the History of The Field Museum

July 22, 1889 - The Mayor appoints a committee to organize the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.


September 16, 1893 - Charter from the State of Illinois creates the Columbian Museum of Chicago.


May 21, 1894 - Trustees vote to change the Museum's name to Field Columbian Museum.


June 2, 1894 - Opening Day for the Field Columbian Museum at the former Palace of Fine Arts Building in Jackson Park, what is now the Museum of Science & Industry.


November 10, 1905 - Trustees vote to change the Museum's name to Field Museum of Natural History to honor Marshall Field, the Museum's first major benefactor and to emphasize its natural sciences collection in anthropology, botany, geology and zoology.


1906 - The search for The Field Museum's new, permanent home was not without controversy as the architect of the Plan for Chicago, Daniel Burnham, fought for legislative permission to build the Museum along Chicago's lakefront.


1914 - Construction begins on new home for Field Museum of Natural History at its new site in Grant Park at a cost of $7 million. Architectural firm: Graham, Anderson, Probst and White. Architect: Peirce Anderson. See Field Museum Bulletin article, "The Burnham Plan and Field Museum"


September 28, 1917 - Cornerstone laid for new building.


March 1920 - Specimens moved from Jackson Park site to Grant Park site. See the Library's flickr photo set, Moving the Field Museum (1920)


May 2, 1921 - Opening Day at present Grant Park location.


1922 - A new era of extensive expeditions is inaugurated and continues until the beginning of the Great Depression. Eight expeditions are completed by 1923 and several continue until 1924. These expeditions focused on obtaining objects for the Museum's exhibitions.


December 6, 1943 - Trustees vote to change the Museum's name to Chicago Natural History Museum.


1945 - In the Post World War II Era, The Field Museum begins a new kind of exploration focusing on scientific research instead of collecting items for its exhibitions.


1962 - First exhibition of "Tutankhamun Treasures" on display at the Museum from June 15-July 15. See Bulletin articles, "Tutankhamun Treasures Coming to Museum" and "An Invitation to an Exhibition of the Tutakhamun Treasures"


March 1, 1966 - Trustees vote to change the Museum's name back to Field Museum of Natural History. See Field Museum Bulletin article, "Field Museum Again"


September 5-7, 1969 - The first North American Paleontological Convention is held at the Field Museum.


1977 - "Treasures of Tutankamun" draws millions of visitors to the Museum from April 15-August 15. See entire Bulletin issue here


May 2000 - Sue, the largest, most complete, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered is unveiled to the public.


September 12, 2005 - Collections Resource Center (CRC) opens, expanding the Museum's collection space by 186,000 square feet and 45,000 storage drawers and shelves. See In the Field


March 10, 2006 - new permanent exhibition, Evolving Planet, opens.


May 26, 2006 - "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" brings over 130 Egyptian treasures back to The Field Museum. Many, like Tutankhamun's royal diadem, were not shown in the 1977 tour. See various articles In the Field here.


July 2009 - The EY 3D Theater, "Chicago's only completely digital 3D theater", is opened to the public at The Field Museum. See theater information and purchase tickets here.


October 19, 2011 - The Field Museum's bathroom is voted the best in the country. Click here for the full story.