The Illinois State University homecoming parade has passed through Uptown Normal since the 1920s. Pictured here from the 1958 parade are members of the visiting Northern Illinois University marching band heading east on North Street. In the football game later that afternoon, the #Redbirds dispatched the NIU Huskies 33-18. Illinois Wesleyan University also held its homecoming on this day.
This view of the Town of Normal and Illinois State University, taken in 1966 from either Hewett or Manchester halls, two recently opened high-rise dormitories, looks west. Visible in the distance are Hancock Stadium and the Tri-Towers residential complex (Haynie, Wilkins, and Wright halls). The houses shown here were later razed to make way for the ISU Student Center (completed in 1973) and Milner Library - Illinois State University (1976).
On September 9, 1958, a one-ton wrecking ball made quick work of Illinois State University’s first campus building, affectionately known as “Old Main.” Today, a memorial featuring the building’s bell can be found on the north end of the Illinois State Quad.
Back in 1907, the Illinois State Normal University Teachers finished the season undefeated against college-level competition—9 wins and 0 losses. The Teachers earned victories over Wesleyan (twice), Milliken, Monmouth College, Knox College, Northern Illinois, Bradley, Western Illinois, and Eastern Illinois.
Watterson Towers, a 28-story residence hall complex located on the Illinois State University campus, opened in 1969. It houses some 2,200 students and is generally regarded as one of the tallest college dormitories in the world.
Normal was the longtime home to the state-run orphanage known as the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School. “Home Kids” (as they often called themselves) attended University High School, Normal IL on the Illinois State University campus (or, Illinois State Normal University, as it was known at the time).
On Sunday, October 24, 1965, demonstrators from Illinois State University marched along Main Street to downtown Bloomington to protest the acquittal in Alabama of Ku Klux Klan gunman Collie Leroy Wilkins in the murder of Civil Rights Movement worker Viola Liuzzo.
Back in the 1960s when Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University still played each other in football, pranks were common among the more mischievous members of the respective student bodies. For instance, several days before the September 23, 1967 game, IWU boosters "boosted" the Illinois State Victory Bell from its locked garage on the Normal campus. It was then clandestinely moved to the Wesleyan campus and chained to the old science building.