Gov. Michael Parson to Kick Off Museum Reopening Events on Weekend of July 30
With the COVID-19 pandemic now on the decline, America’s National Churchill Museum (ANCM) will reopen to the public on Friday, July 30, 2021, after a 16-month closure. The day will kick off a weekend of celebratory activities, including a reopening ceremony with remarks by Missouri Gov. Michael Parson at 11 a.m. CST.
Parson’s ceremony and others will be livestreamed. A complete schedule for the weekend, in which admission to the museum will be free, can be found on ANCM’s website.
President Donald P. Lofe, Jr., says the museum’s upcoming reopening is important for the College, the local community, and Westminster’s global community.
“Winston Churchill’s historic address had a significant and enduring impact on this campus and throughout the world,” Lofe explains. “Reopening America’s National Churchill Museum after a long closure caused by the pandemic is cause for celebration, and the College warmly invites our campus, national, and worldwide communities to participate.”
During the museum’s closure, the brass chandeliers hanging from the 35-foot high ceiling of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, a centerpiece of the museum, have remained on night and day as a constant reminder that “the museum would persevere through the pandemic,” says Timothy Riley, the Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout Director and Chief Curator of the Museum.
Despite the museum’s closure, staff remained at work on important projects, including conducting an inventory of the facility’s vast collection, digitizing documents and other artifacts, enhancing programs for elementary and high school students, and developing innovative webcasts for a global audience.
Employees have also continued ongoing preservation work on the historic church, which was designed in the 17th century by Sir Christopher Wren. Originally built in London, St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, was bombed during the Blitz in World War II and reconstructed on the Westminster campus more than 20 years later to commemorate Winston Churchill’s 1946 “Iron Curtain” speech at the Historic Gymnasium.
During the public closure, ANCM hosted a successful webcast on March 5, 2021, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Churchill’s speech.
Riley adds that the museum staff is excited to be reopening the museum for its guests.
He says, “While we will still adhere to various COVID-19 precautions, we want to invite all Missourians and visitors from around the country to join for this special occasion.”
For more information on the museum’s reopening ceremonies on July 30-Aug. 1, please contact Suzie Whitmar, Manager of Guest Services and Museum Operations, at 573-592-5396.