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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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Thousands of images from our vast collection are available for you to search, license, download, and print. We encourage the use of our images for a variety of personal, nonprofit, and commercial purposes and all proceeds support the Chicago History Museum and our mission to share Chicago’s stories. Learn more.


The Chicago History Museum, a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history, is located at 1601 N. Clark Street. The Museum has dedicated more than a century to celebrating and sharing Chicago stories through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming. The Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents and images to help audiences connect to the city and its history. The Chicago History Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. The Chicago History Museum is a 2016 winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest award given to these institutions for their community engagement and having an impact on the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories