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#Military & Wartime

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

World War II Home Front Gas Rationing, July 1943

Gas rationing, 1943.

Ted Colteaux hands over his gasoline ration book to Lee Harris of Harris Super Service Station. During the summer of 1943, the federal government’s Office of Price Administration cracked down on abuses in the gasoline rationing program.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Up and Over Downs May 1953

Aerial view of the village of Downs, 1953.

Even the small Village of Downs had a post-World War II housing boom (relatively speaking). Note also that there was no Interstate 74 in 1953!

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

LeRoy Fall Festival September 1963

LeRoy Fall Festival, featuring a tank, 1963.

Billed as “Illinois largest free fall festival,” the LeRoy Fall festival live entertainment in downtown LeRoy. This M41 Walker Bulldog light tank was part of the festivities, but we’re not sure if it was part of a parade or was used as a static display for Cold War-era military recruitment.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Red Cross Nurse’s Aide Corps World War II Home Front

Red Cross WWII nurses, 1943.

Volunteers for this wartime home front program pledged 150 hours or more annually for non-technical nursing at stateside military and civilian hospitals. More than 200,000 women served in the Red Cross Nurse’s Aide Corps. Unfortunately, no one is identified.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

U.S. Declares War The Pantagraph, December 8, 1941

Congress declares war on Japan, 1941.

The U.S. Congress declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941, in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor the previous day. On December 8, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his “Day of Infamy” speech to a joint session of Congress at 12:30 p.m. (the address was reprinted on page 7 of that day’s Pantagraph, shown here).

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

The Shape of Things to Come Brunton’s First Delivery Truck, 1908

Brunton truck, 1908.

This 1908 scene shows Campbell Brunton behind the wheel of the very first truck owned by the family business, Brunton’s Parcel Delivery and City Express. At the time Campbell worked as a clerk for his father Frank G. Brunton.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 130: Dogs of War, 1946 Bella and Her Two Surprises

U.S. Army veteran Dwight Pierceall of Normal, Dog Bella, and two puppies

U.S. Army veteran Dwight Pierceall of Normal received quite a shock on June 6, 1946, when he opened a crate sent from Europe. Inside was Bella, a canine refugee from war-torn Europe. That wasn’t the surprise though...

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the week: Dogs of War, 1946 Bella and Her Two Surprises

World War II dogs, 1946.

U.S. Army veteran Dwight Pierceall of Normal received quite a shock on June 6, 1946, when he opened a crate sent from Europe. Inside was Bella, a canine refugee from war-torn Europe. That wasn’t the surprise though, as Pfc. Pierceall had received the part Airedale about a year earlier when he was stationed with U.S. Army combat engineers in Heidelberg, Germany.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Flag Day, 1948

Local Girl Scouts hoist Old Glory at Forrest Park in south Bloomington in preparation for Flag Day 1948. Running the Stars and Stripes is Mary Jane Anderson, assisted by Joanie Magirl. In the background (left to right) are Karen Figg, Carole Colteaux, and Peggy Bennington. Happy Flag Day from the Museum!

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 120: Carl Loeseke’s Homing Pigeons, 1938

Seen here is Bloomington restaurateur Carl J. Loeseke tending to many of his homing pigeons at his 1103 W. Moulton St. (now MacArthur Ave.) residence

Seen here is Bloomington restaurateur Carl J. Loeseke tending to many of his homing pigeons at his 1103 W. Moulton St. (now MacArthur Ave.) residence on Bloomington’s west side. This photograph dates to mid-June 1938.

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