August 14, 2022
We began the annual festival in 2008 to raise awareness of Cantigny’s connection to France and how we got our name. The French theme commemorates an important chapter in the life of Robert R. McCormick, Cantigny’s benefactor. In 1918, at age 37, Colonel McCormick commanded an artillery unit at the Battle of Cantigny, about 75 miles north of Paris, as a member of the U.S. Army’s First Division. The experience made a major impression on the Colonel. Upon returning to Wheaton, he renamed his estate after Cantigny, the tiny village where he and his fellow soldiers attacked and defeated the German forces who were holding it. It was America’s first significant battle of World War I.