Be Part of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium's 50th Anniversary

Special display will feature visitor memories and memorabilia

Celebrate the James S. McDonnell Planetarium's 50th Anniversary!ST. LOUIS – The Saint Louis Science Center is collecting photos, videos and stories of visitor experiences at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium for a special display to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Planetarium.  More than 18.5 million visitors have walked through the doors of the Planetarium since it first opened in 1963.  It is one of the nation’s leading education facilities on astronomy, aviation and space exploration.

“Tell us your story. Share your pictures,” said Bert Vescolani, President and CEO of the Saint Louis Science Center.  “People have been married in the Planetarium, celebrated birthdays and bar mitzvahs.  Those are milestones in life. We want you to share those memories, but we also want to hear about your first laser show or when your child first looked into the Gemini 6 Space Capsule and said ‘I want to be an astronaut.’ Those are the stories that connect us to one another and from one generation to the next generation.”

If you have a photo or story to share, send it electronically to  If you have a video, you can post it to YouTube and send a link to

If you do not have a digital copy of your photo, bring it to the Science Center and staff will scan it. You can also bring in any Planetarium memorabilia and tell your story by visiting the Memory Station in the Planetarium Lobby on the following dates and times:

  • Monday, February 18 (Presidents’ Day) Noon to 3 PM
  • Friday, March 1, 6 PM-9 PM
As a teenager I was a member of the St. Louis Astronomical Society. We meet once a month downtown and will never forget when we were told we could meet at the new Planetarium. It hadn't open to the public yet and I felt very honored. Our meetings were held downstairs in this beautiful new section ofthe Planetarium. Before I graduated from high school I landed a job at McDonnell Aircraft, with the highest recommendations in drafting from the school district. I soon was working on blueprint originals on the Phantom F-4C. Shortly there was a opening in the Tech Art Department and was accepted after what seemed to be weeks of waiting while my Secret clearance's were approved. That was one of the strangest place to work. Every design I worked on had no descriptions, just job numbers. Except when there came to Gemini 12 parts came to me to work on. I was so proud to actually do work on the spacecraft.
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