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Archive of: June, 2016

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.

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.

Frank Simpson’s Steers Farmer City, July 1957

Cattle farming, 1957.

Ralph G. Blue (right) and Harold Davis (with clipboard) weigh steers using a scale box. They’re seen here in early July 1957 at Frank Simpson’s feedlot outside of Farmer City in DeWitt County.

Idle Youth Miller Park, July 1957

Boys sitting around, 1957.

These unidentified boys are seen here a few days before Independence Day 1957, hanging out at Miller Park on Bloomington’s west side.

Black Baseball in Bloomington August 1944

12- to 16-year-olds play baseball, 1944.

These 12- to 16-year-olds played American Legion ball sponsored by the local Louis E. Davis Post. They’re posing here on Illinois Wesleyan University grounds. That’s the Van Leer Memorial Chime Tower at Broadview Mansion looming in the background.

Old McLean County Jail Undated

Old jail house, undated.

The view here is from the corner of Madison and Monroe streets, downtown Bloomington, looking southwest. That’s the fifth jail in McLean County’s history.

Auto Hotel Downtown Bloomington

Fireproof automobile garage, 1937.

In July 1937, a group of Bloomington businessmen purchased the old post office building and then razed the post office in order to build Bloomington’s first fireproof automobile garage. The Auto Hotel opened in late June 1938.

Museum exceeds $3 million campaign goal

The McLean County Museum of History has surpassed its $3 million campaign goal to fund significant improvements including a new permanent exhibit and Museum-wide technology upgrades. Campaign Co-Chair and Board President Carolyn Yockey made the announcement Thursday, June 16, 2016 during the Museum’s annual meeting and History Makers Gala. The Extending Excellence campaign has secured $3.36 million in pledges. New exhibits and programs will continue to roll out through 2019.

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.

Why So Serious? Knight of Pythias, 1934

Knight of Pythias, 1930s.

The Knights of Pythias, a fraternal society organized in the 1860s, maintained a Bloomington chapter for more than a century. Seen here are unidentified members of Damon Lodge No. 10. Although this photograph is undated, research tells us that the local Pythians celebrated their 64th anniversary in Bloomington on February 19, 1934.

Ironworkers and Old Glory June 1990

Ironworkers holding a flag, 1990.

In this June 1990 scene, Ironworkers Mike Wallace and Chris Bomen shake hands in front of an American flag displayed on the last steel beam secured on a five-story addition for Brokaw Hospital.

One Dress, Eleven Brides

Myrtle Abbott McCarty, married 30 November 1904

This beautiful wedding gown was recently donated to the museum. First worn in 1904, it was subsequently worn by 10 brides – all descendants of the original wearer, Miss Alice Myrtle Abbott.

Adlai at Bloomington Country Club September 1953

Adlai Stevenson visiting Bloomington, 1953.

In September 1953, Adlai E. Stevenson (right) spent five days in Bloomington, his boyhood home, visiting friends and family. Earlier this week we posted another photo from this visit.

Bloomington Bloomers Fans Field, 1913

Bloomington Bloomers, 1913.

For nearly of four decades Bloomington fielded a team in the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League. In 1913, the Bloomers finished a disappointing seventh in the eight-team league.

The Duke in Pontiac June 11, 1957

Duke Ellington in Pontiac, 1957.

This is a photo of one of Duke Ellington’s many visits to this stretch of Central Illinois. Ellington and his orchestra performed at the Elks Country Club in Pontiac in June 1957.

Mystery Photos The Museum needs your help! Mystery Solved!

Classroom photos, 1946.

Thanks to Mary Jennings Arbogast and her husband Dan, as well as Darlene Coleman, for assisting the museum in determining that these photographs show the Thomas Metcalf School fifth grade class, circa 1946. They also helped us identify many of the students and the teacher, Christine Thoene. Mary Jennings (Arbogast) is shown in the second photograph, front of the table, left side.

FDR’s Death, April 1945 Flags at Half-Staff for 30 Days

Flag at half staff, 1945.

Franklin D. Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, early in his fourth term as U.S. president. In response, Illinois Gov. Dwight H. Green ordered flags at all public buildings set at half staff for thirty days. Seen here is the flag in front of Old Main on the Illinois State Normal University campus a day or two after Green’s order.

Booker T. Washington Home West Side of Bloomington, Undated

Home for Colored Children, undated.

Established in 1918, the McLean County Home for Colored Children was located on the 1200 block of W. Moulton St. In the late 1960s, the Booker T. Washington Home merged with the Lucy Orme Morgan Home, a group home for white girls.

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