200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

#Military

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Armistice Day 1945 parade Downtown Bloomington

Armistice Day parade, 1945.

This photograph offers a partial view of the 200 block of North Main Street, looking southeast. The Unity Building, one of the great office buildings, was lost in a fire in 1988.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

George Stewart World War I veteran

World War I veteran, 1940s.

This photograph shows George Stewart, a local (and well-decorated) World War I veteran. Though hard to believe, at one time Bloomington had separate Legion posts for black and white veterans.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Armistice Day, 1945 Courthouse Square, Bloomington

Armistice Day salute, 1945.

Veterans Day was first known as “Armistice Day.” Seen here is the 1945 Armistice Day ceremony a little more than two months after the end of World War II.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Gold Star Mothers Undated

​The American Gold Star Mothers, undated.

The American Gold Star Mothers organization consists of mothers who have lost a son or daughter to military service. This photograph is undated, though far left is Hazel Millard, founder and president of the Bloomington Gold Star Mothers chapter.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

American Legion Carnival Bon-Go Park, July 3-8, 1933

Aerial view of Bon-Go Park carnival, 1933.

The American Legion Louis E. Davis Post No. 56 sponsored a six-day carnival at Bon-Go Park, the popular leisure grounds a few miles south of downtown Bloomington. The carnival included the Beckmann and Gerety Shows, billed as “America’s cleanest carnival.”

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Eighth Grade Graduates Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home, 1928

Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School eight grade graduates, 1928.

Twelve eighth grade graduates from the Illinois Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home (later renamed the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School, or ISSCS) pose for this late spring 1928 photograph. Unfortunately, the only students positively identified are Richard Griffith (middle, back row) and Thelma Capshaw (second from left, front row).

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Illinois Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home Home Band, 1930

ISSCS band, 1930.

The Pantagraph recounted the story of the Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home Band, organized in 1897-98 and active into the 1960s. This state-run home in north Normal changed its name to the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School (ISSCS) in 1931.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

ISSCS Bus, School Street, Normal Late May 1958

Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School bus, 1958.

From the end of the Civil War to the 1970s, Normal was home to a state children’s home known as the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School (ISSCS). These kids attended University High at what was then called Illinois State Normal University. The drop-off / pickup stop for ISSCS students was School Street, just north of North Street, near the Fell Gates and today’s ISU Planetarium.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

B-29 Bomber Visits Courthouse Square June 13, 1950

B-29 Bomber, 1950.

Back during the early years of the Cold War the fuselage of a U.S. Air Force B-29 Superfortress was put on display on the McLean County Courthouse Square, presumably as part of a patriotic road show to celebrate America’s technological, industrial, and military might. Air Force personnel were on hand during the June 13, 1950 stop in Bloomington to explain the bomber’s workings and answer questions.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

ISSCS Christmas Circa 1950

Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School children, 1950.

Christmastime at the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School in Normal included many traditional activities, such as trimming the tree. Seen here are ISSCS students decorating a Christmas tree placed in front of the state orphanage’s Norman-style residential cottages.

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