Locked in the grips of WWII, mankind was introduced to the power of the rocket during one of the most destructive eras in the history of civilization. Hitler's Germany nearly brought the world to its knees with the introduction of the V-2 late in the war. The technology was revolutionary and the purpose was simple — world domination.
April 11, 2014, a new temporary exhibit opens in the Cosmosphere's Rotunda. The exhibit, "If Not for D-Day, Doomsday: The Potential Impact of the V-2 Rocket," explores the potentially devastating effect the V-2 rocket could have had to the outcome of WWII, had it garnered enough support from Germany during its initial development.
The exhibit will be on display through June 15, 2014, and features informational panels and highlights artifacts from the Cosmosphere's collection that are not on display in the Hall of Space Museum. Highlighted artifacts include a V-2 model, rocket head "igniter" and metal skin restored by SpaceWorks.
The exhibit opening is the first in a series of events leading up to the D-Day 70th Anniversary Tribute at the Cosmosphere.
April 21, 2014, a new documentary will join the Cosmosphere's lineup, "D-Day: Normandy 1944." June 6, 1944: The largest Allied operation of World War II began in Normandy, France. For the first time ever on giant screens, "D-Day: Normandy 1944" provides a new perspective to audiences of all ages of this monumental event that changed the world. Narrated by Tom Brokaw, the film pays tribute to those who gave their lives for our freedom... A duty of memory, a duty of gratitude.
Complimentary tickets for veterans and active duty military personnel for "D-Day: Normandy 1944" at the Cosmosphere between Memorial Day and Independence Day are underwritten by Elliott Mortuary, Hutchinson, Kan. Show times and pricing available on cosmo.org.
April 25–27, 2014, Cosmosphere members are invited to exclusive complimentary screenings of the film at 5 and 6 p.m. A special reception for members and their guests, April 27 from 5-6:30 p.m., will feature wines from the Normandy region and light hors d'oeuvres, hosted by Jillian's Italian Grill. Three Kansas authors will be in attendance at the reception, courtesy of BlueBird Books. Lowell May, Mark Schock and Linda McCaffrey will be greeting attendees and selling and signing copies of their books, "P.O.W.'s in Kansas, 1943-1946" (May, Shock); "Camp Concordia: German P.O.W.'s in the Midwest" (May); and "I'm Praying Hard for You – Love Letters to a Death Camp" (McCaffrey).
June 7, 2014, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., the D-Day 70th Anniversary Commemorative Service honors all who have served in the armed forces with a presentation of Colors and a keynote speech by retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Sam Gemar, shuttle astronaut (STS-38, STS-48, STS-62). This event is free to the public.
"We are honored to have the opportunity to celebrate our nation's heroes in such an important historical year," said Richard Hollowell, Cosmosphere CEO. "Our veterans and active military give so much to this country, as we remember the incredible sacrifices made by the armed forces in World War II, it's a privilege to be able to show our gratitude and give something back."
"D-Day: Normandy 1944" and the D-Day 70th Anniversary Commemorative Service are made possible through underwriting by Eagle Communications and The Hutchinson News; sponsorship by Elliott Mortuary; and community partners BlueBird Books, Hutchinson Clinic, Jillian's Italian Grill, and Pizza Ranch.