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Archive of: Entertainment

Santa at the Courthouse Square Downtown Bloomington, 1948

Christmas Parade ft. Santa, 1948

On December 4, 1948, Santa Claus arrived in Bloomington. Mr. Claus traveled to the Courthouse Square where some 6,000 children and their parents gathered on the Square to welcome Santa.

Herman Glaser, December 1952 Stanford’s Toy Maker

Homemade mechanical toy, 1952

Stanford resident and retired farmer Herman Glaser displayed several of his personally designed and built mechanical toys. This included a working 32-inch Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, and a yet-to-be-completed revolving Christmas tree.

Bloomington Author Wilson Tucker Book Signing, October 1947

Books signing, 1947.

Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker signing copies of his latest mystery novel, “To Keep or Kill,” at W.B. Read & Co., 210 N. Center St. in downtown Bloomington. Tucker enjoyed a second career as a mystery and science fiction writer, until he passed away in 2006.

Aaron Copland at IWU February 1958

Aaron Copland appearing at IWU, 1958.

Composer Aaron Copland, one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century, was the featured guest for Illinois Wesleyan University's Seventh Annual Symposium of Contemporary American Music in 1958. He is is seen here listening to R. Dwight Drexler, professor of piano and theory, and his wife, Maxine.

Nation’s Best Corn Huskers November 1939

Corn husking national champs, 1939.

Local, state, and national corn husking contests were all the rage in the 1930s. Seen here are the winners of the 1939 national husking championship outside of Lawrence, Kansas.

Beich Bowlers, 1942

Women's Bowling club, 1942.

Not much is known about this photograph. We do know that at least four of the five women shown here were working at Paul F. Beich Co., the local candy maker, at the time.

Cooksville Ball Club 1908

Young men in a baseball club, 1908.

Back in the early 20th century baseball was not only the National Pastime but the National Obsession. At this time even tiny communities such as Cooksville fielded competitive teams—though it’s possible this club included a “ringer” or two from elsewhere!

Put Up Your Dukes Small Fry Boxers, March 1958

Little League boxing, 1958.

Billy Kletz (left) and Jim Heafer get ready for the upcoming Small Fry Boxing Championship at the Western Avenue Community Center.

Radio Party, Sept. 1938 806 W. Market St., Bloomington

Group of friends working on a homemade radio, 1938.

In mid-September 1938, members of the “roundhouse gang” from the Alton Railroad Shops on Bloomington’s west side helped coworker Orville Jolly erect an antenna mast for his new custom-built radio.

Radio Party, Sept. 1938 806 W. Market St., Bloomington

Group of friends working on a homemade radio, 1938.

In mid-September 1938, members of the “roundhouse gang” from the Alton Railroad Shops on Bloomington’s west side helped coworker Orville Jolly erect an antenna mast for his new custom-built radio.

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.

Hang On Buddies! 1600 Block Fell Ave., Normal, Sept. 1963

Four boys riding two bikes, 1963

This scene shows four unidentified boys heading south on the 1600 block of Fell Ave. The white house is 1610 Fell Ave., and the house under the boys clasped hands is 1612 Fell Ave. No bike helmets in 1963!

Prairie Daze Hudson, July 12, 1980

Fraternity outhouse race, 1980.

Acacia fraternity members from Illinois Wesleyan University compete in the outhouse race at Hudson’s Prairie Daze summer fest back in 1980.

Art Floyd’s Collection Covell, August 1958

License plate collection, 1958.

Art Floyd displays his mounted license plate collection from his garage in the Dale Township. Floyd was a local fastpitch softball legend, having served as announcer at Bloomington’s O’Neil park since 1948.

Girl Scouts Learn Weather Forecasting Camp Peairs, Early August 1950

Girl Scout camp counselor and campers, 1950.

Kathleen Keeley, assistant counselor at the Girl Scouts’ Camp Peairs, talks to Dotty Laudeman and Karen Figg about the weather flag she holds in her hands.

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.”

LeRoy Centennial Queen October 19, 1935

LeRoy Centennial parade float, 1935.

This photo was taken of the LeRoy Centennial parade, held back in 1935. Rose Mae Bishop (seated) served as centennial queen.

LeRoy Centennial Parade October 19, 1935

LeRoy Centennial parade, 1935.

A merchant’s parade was one of the highlights of LeRoy’s three-day centennial celebration, 1935. Leading the parade and seen here was the drum and bugle corps of the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School of Normal.

Spirit of ’76 Withers Park, 1938

Kids in a parade, 1938.

These unidentified youngsters were part of a massive “Pioneer Day” parade in Bloomington on June 22, 1938. Although not a Fourth of July scene, strictly speaking, we think this photograph speaks to the traditions of Independence Day.

The course of true love never did run smooth … Shakespeare on the ISNU Quad, May 1941

Illinois State Normal University staged Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, 1941.

On May 23 and May 24, 1941, Illinois State Normal University staged Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the outdoor amphitheater that was once located at the south end of the Quad.

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