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Red, White, and Kaboom! Independence Day 1941

Nine-year-old Tommy Roberts of Bloomington stocks up on fireworks for the July 4, 1941 festivities.

The Museum wishes you and yours a happy—and safe!—Fourth of July

Independence Day 1964 Miller Park, Bloomington

For well over a century, Miller Park on Bloomington’s west side has served as home to many the city’s Fourth of July activities, including the evening fireworks show.

Who remembers when Miller Park featured a Ferris wheel and other carnival-like rides? Who remembers spending Independence Day at Miller Park with friends and family?

Tree Planting, Lincoln School April 22, 1938

In a pre-Arbor Day observance, members of Lincoln School’s eighth grade class watch Jack Elledge shovel dirt around a newly planted elm tree. Lincoln School, located in Bloomington’s South Hill neighborhood, is now operated by the city’s parks & recreation department as a community center.

Did anyone out there attend Lincoln School back in the day?

Last-minute Valentine’s Shopping Livingston’s, February 1953

Leon Jaeger, an underwriting superintendent for State Farm Insurance, examines a frilly item for his wife Ruth several days before Valentine’s Day 1953. That’s longtime Livingston’s department store clerk Litta Ballow lending a helping hand.

John Pratt, February 1953 Valentine’s Day Groom

John Pratt, who in a few days time would marry Geraldine Dillon in a Valentine’s Day ceremony, is seen here in a downtown Bloomington store sampling scents for his bride-to-be.

John Pratt, who in a few days time would marry Geraldine Dillon in a Valentine’s Day ceremony, is seen here in a downtown Bloomington store sampling scents for his bride-to-be.

Valentine’s Day 1947 Raymond School, Bloomington

a little boy handing a little girl a valentine in their classroom

The Pantagraph ran this photograph on Valentine’s Day 1947—nearly 70 years ago. Seen here are Raymond School students Jackie Myers and Carol Ann Kominoski sharing a special valentine’s moment … while the teacher isn’t looking, of course!

Do you have any school day valentine memories?

Holiday season comes to an end January 4, 1965

Woman dumping her Christmas tree, 1965.

Christmas tree unceremoniously dumped curbside come early January. Here’s Patricia Miller disposing of her family tree.

Happy New Year!

New Year's Day card, 1914.

This New Year’s Day card, circa. 1914, comes from the Museum’s Greeting Card Collection.

New Year’s Eve 1948 In with the new, out with the old …

Photo of a father and his unhappy child, 1948

Staged photograph of Father Time and Baby New Year. Unfortunately, we don’t know the name of either the unhappy toddler.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Santa card, undated

The Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and members of the McLean County Museum of History wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Santa in Action, 1953

Action shot of Santa, 1953.

"Action shot” of Santa was taken in Bloomington, demonstrating here how he comes down a chimney without leaving his clothes “all tarnished with ashes and soot.”

Santa on Parade December 1948

Christmas parade, ft. Santa, 1938.

On December 5, 1948, Santa arrived in Bloomington. Today, the one-story building right behind Santa is J' soul BBQ.

Christmas 1953

Two toddler on Christmas, 1953.

The Pantagraph ran a series of Christmas Day photographs such as this one, yet these two toddlers were not identified.

Toy, toys, and more toys Christmastime 1953

Christmas shoppers, 1953

Downtown Bloomington holiday shoppers in mid-December 1953.

Holiday Shopping Downtown Bloomington, December 1953

Christmas shoppers, 1953

Shoppers out and about downtown Bloomington in mid-December 1953

Santa No Replacement for Mama Downtown Bloomington, December 4, 1948

Crying child sits on Santa's lap, 1948

Santa arrived by train to Bloomington and spent much of the day greeting children. This little girl became separated from her mother, and not even Santa could calm her down.

Livingston’s Christmas Rush 1953

Christmas shopping, 1953.

Livingston’s was one of several gone-but-not-forgotten department stores. We know this wonderful photo was taken in mid-December 1953.

Christmas Seals, 1937

Christmas Seal design, 1937.

Richard Young is seen here showing an enlarged reproduction of his 1937 Christmas Seal design. More than 10,000 letters with Christmas Seals were sent in the hopes of raising money to fight Tuberculosis.

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 Jack’s Christmas tree December 1952

Herman Jack holding young Christmas tree, 1952.

In 1950, farmer Herman Jack planted 1,500 evergreen seedlings. In late December 1952 Jack selected one of the surviving 1,300 evergreens.

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