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Week Ahead

Remembering D-Day, 75 years later

General Dwight D. Eisenhower (center) gave orders to troops on June 6, 1944, the day of the D-Day invasion.AFP/Getty Images/File/AFP/Getty Images

One of the largest military operations ever staged took place so long ago that precious few of the more than 156,000 American, British, and Canadian troops who stormed the beaches in northern France are still with us to tell first-hand about the day that changed the course of World War II against the Nazis.

The D-Day invasion of Normandy’s heavily defended beaches happened on June 6, 1944. You can read all about it in print or on the Internet, or watch a program on TV. A much better experience is to go see the International Museum of World War II’s exhibit marking the 75th anniversary of this monumental event.


Two years in the planning and with help from many soldiers and civilians, the exhibit will open to the public on Friday and be on display through the end of the year, while the museum is still housed at 8 Mercer Road in Natick. (There are plans to move the museum, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, into larger quarters in Washington, D.C.)

Included in the exhibition are more than 100 D-Day artifacts from the museum’s collection featuring “plans, photographs, maps, documents, resistance radios, sabotage devices, weapons, and uniforms, showcasing all the planning that went into one of the crucial battles that determined the outcome of World War II,” according to the museum.

“Nothing like it had ever happened in history,” Kenneth Rendell, the museum’s founder and director, writes of D-Day. “It was unimaginable to all but a few military leaders. The enormous effort that went into the complex and detailed planning, as seen here in this exhibition, is evidence of how crucial it was that this invasion be successful.”

For more information, visit imwwii.org.

There are other events in Greater Boston commemorating the anniversary, including a series of activities in Hamilton, the military home of record for General George S. Patton Jr. in World War II, through Thursday. Locations for the activities (such as a community picnic, keynote lecture, and food truck festival) include the Patton Homestead, 650 Asbury St.; Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, 14 Union St.; and the Community House, 284 Bay Road. Visit pattonhomestead.org.


In other matters of note this week, Reading is holding two weeks of community events through June 15 to celebrate the town’s 375th anniversary. Festivities include concerts, a townwide art show, food events, community gatherings, a dog parade, local history events, an app-based scavenger hunt, and fireworks, topping off a year of planning by Reading 375, a nonprofit created for the purpose. Visit reading375.com.

On the South Shore, the town of Hull is also celebrating its 375th, and regional nonprofit Hull Artists is set to reveal the winning design for an “official Hull 375 T-shirt” at a kickoff party on Friday, 6-8 p.m., at Gallery Nantasket, 121 Nantasket Ave. In addition to the winner, the gallery will also unveil its new summer show that runs through the end of August. The show features works by 25 local artists and crafters. Visit hullartists.com.

In Boston Sunday through June 15, a group of community activists called Boston For All is holding three events in Jamaica Plain — a run/walk, a restaurant week, and an art sale — to raise money for girls’ empowerment, refugees, and legal advocates for immigrants. Boston For All founder Jeremy Fischer says the weeklong festival is a cooperative effort among local activists, restaurants, and artists, in partnership with a city councilor and state representative.


The “Run For All 3” will take place 10 a.m.-noon Sunday on the Franklin Park Playstead, near White Stadium; “Dining for a Difference,” with six local restaurants donating a portion of sales on a designated night, runs Sunday through Friday; and “Art for All” is set for 1-3 p.m. on June 15 at Spontaneous Celebrations, 45 Danforth St. Visit bostonforall.org/week.

L. Kim Tan can be reached at tan@globe.com.