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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Jim Ameche and WJBC December 1949

Jim Ameche helped WJBC Radio inaugurate new building, 1949.

National radio personality Jim Ameche (center) helped WJBC Radio inaugurate its new transmitter building, new pylon antenna, and other capital upgrades by serving as master of ceremonies for a three-hour variety show, aired December 7, 1949.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Bloomington Coliseum June 1938

Coliseum in Bloomington, 1938.

Opened in December 1898, the Coliseum was a field house-type structure with phenomenal acoustics. It hosted everything from famed sopranos to Jazz Age dance bands. Interestingly, the old Coliseum stood directly across Front Street from the “new” (now 10-years old) U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Memorial Day 1960 African-American Legionnaires

Memorial Day parade, 1960.

The Redd-William American Legion Post color guard heads north on East Street in downtown Bloomington during the Memorial Day parade of May 30, 1960. Redd-Williams was the Legion post for local African-American veterans.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Memorial Day, May 30, 1935 Downtown Bloomington

Memorial Day parade, 1935.

Memorial Day 1935 in Bloomington included a parade that began at the McBarnes Memorial Building on East Grove Street.
This photographs shows the local Boy Scout contingent heading south along the 100 block of South Main Street.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

When Uptown Was Downtown Normal Theater, 1967

Normal Theater, 1967.

This photograph is undated but we know the Robert Redford-Jane Fonda romantic comedy “Barefoot in the Park” played at the Normal in late September through early October 1967.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Society Horse Show Fans Field, Bloomington, 1953

Bloomington Horse Show, 1953.

Seen here is “High Tide,” first-place winner of the June 20-21, 1953 horse show in the hackney singles stake. Owned by S.S. Ferguson of Heyworth, “High Tide’ was driven by Orris Gray (holding the reins). Presenting the trophy (center) is Philip Schandein. Joe Wiltermood is on the left.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Irvin Theatre, June 1938 202 E. Jefferson St., Bloomington

Irvin Theater, 1938.

Opened in 1915 as the finest movie house in the Twin Cities, the Irvin (or at least its marquee) is seen in this June 1938 sidewalk-and-street scene. The view is looking east. The old theater was torn down in the fall of 1987 and today the site is a surface parking lot for Second Presbyterian Church.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Smell that Smoke! Cecil Cone’s Barbecue, May 1953

Barbecue, 1953.

In early May 1953, former Bloomington Mayor Cecil Cone brought past and present city officials together for a barbecue at his home, 703 E. Market St. Seen here (left to right) are Mary and Cecil Cone, Clarine Mather, and city councilman Monroe Dodge.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival Lunch & Learn Talk Today, 12:10 to 12:40 p.m.

Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival, 1970.

A fascinating discussion was given on the myriad of court battles surrounding the May 30-June 1, 1970 rock & roll festival in southern McLean County. As seen in this photograph, not all of the estimated 60,000 spectators were hippies, yippies, freaks, Bohemians, peaceniks, avant-garde radicals, druggies, merry pranksters, flower children, long-hairs, or drop-outs!

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Depression-Era Skaters Bloomington, Circa 1930s

Children with skates, undated.

This lovely photo is a mystery. The year, location, and those pictured are unknown.

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