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4.17 | “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.”

On This Day in 1970, an estimated 40 million people watched on television as Apollo 13 splashed down safely in the South Pacific. The lunar module was supposed to be the third mission to land on the moon, but an explosion in one of the oxygen tanks during the flight forced astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise to orbit the moon instead and return to earth. A few weeks afterward, Lovell and Swigert were honored in Chicago with a parade. See our collection of images.

Ceremony to honor Apollo 13 astronauts and crew, Chicago, 1970. Chicago Sun-Times collection, CHM, ST-19080034-0007; M. Leon Lopez, photographer

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The Chicago History Museum is situated on ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi people, who cared for the land until forced out by non-Native settlers. Established in 1856, the Museum is now at 1601 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, its third location. As a major museum and research center for Chicago and U.S. history, the Chicago History Museum strives to be a destination for learning, inspiration and civic engagement. Through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming, the Museum connects people to Chicago’s history and to each other. To share Chicago stories, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents, images and other items that are relevant to the city’s history. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. 

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories