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Holiday Shopping 1932 Downtown Bloomington

Snowy Holiday shopping, 1932.

This snowy Depression-era scene shows the corner of Main and Jefferson streets on the northeast corner of the Courthouse (now Museum) Square.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving card, undated.

This “Turkey Day” card comes from the Museum’s Greetings Cards Collection.

Thanksgiving Preparations November 1952

Ed Peifer and shopper, 1952.

Ed Peifer of Peifer’s Madison Market shows a shopper the finer points of the Thanksgiving turkey.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween card, undated.

O let us cast dull care away
Again be children for a day.

Jack Cruser ‘Ugliest’ Costume Winner, 1968

Young by with an ugly costume, 1968.

In 1968, the Normal Parks and Recreation Department and the Optimist and Rotary clubs sponsored a Halloween costume parade at ISU. Jack Cruser won the grand prize after taking first place in the “ugliest costume” category for those in the first grade or younger.

Halloween Party Mystery

Fraternal Halloween Party, 1918.

This photo is c.1918 and the room is in the Illinois House lobby. It is a Halloween party, though, with party hats decorated with pumpkins, black cats, and skulls.

Hougham’s Halloween Party? Village of McLean, ca. 1890

Old Halloween Party, 1890s.

Not much is known about this photo other than the handwritten caption indicating it was taken at Albert and Betty (or Bettie) Hougham’s home in McLean, about 1890.

Winning Pumpkins Normal Parks & Rec, 1963

Normal Parks & Rec winning pumpkins, 1963.

Gordon Jaeger, Town of Normal parks and recreation director, is shown here in late October 1963 posing with the eight winners in Normal’s pumpkin carving contest.

Memorial Day 1960

Memorial Day flowers, 1960.

Seen here is an unidentified woman laying flowers in an unknown cemetery in the Bloomington area.

Memorial Day 1960 African-American Legionnaires

Memorial Day parade, 1960.

The Redd-William American Legion Post color guard heads north on East Street in downtown Bloomington during the Memorial Day parade of May 30, 1960. Redd-Williams was the Legion post for local African-American veterans.

Memorial Day, May 30, 1935 Downtown Bloomington

Memorial Day parade, 1935.

Memorial Day 1935 in Bloomington included a parade that began at the McBarnes Memorial Building on East Grove Street.
This photographs shows the local Boy Scout contingent heading south along the 100 block of South Main Street.

Easter Egg Hunt’s Lost Children Miller Park, Bloomington, Undated

Lost children, undated.

Seen here is an undated photograph of the “Lost Children” area for an Easter egg hunt at Miller Park held by Bloomington Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department. The three children and adult are unidentified.

Twin City Stork Club New Year’s Day 1958

New Years baby, 1958.

Nancy Sue Hannah was the first Bloomington-Normal newborn of 1958, arriving 12 hours and 25 minutes into the new year. Also pictured here at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bloomington are the parents Esther and Larry Hannah. Nancy Sue was the first child for the couple, who lived at 815 W. Jefferson St. in Bloomington.

Happy New Year! Dale Miller’s Orchestra, mid-1930s

Dale Miller's orchestra, 1930s.

Beginning in Roaring Twenties, area ballrooms, dance halls and clubs featured tuxedo-clad bands (or orchestras, as they were often called) playing a heavily syncopated, post-ragtime, pre-swing jazz. These early jazz bands were in great demand come New Year’s Eve.
Seen here is the Dale Miller Orchestra in an undated publicity still.

Be of Good Cheer Livingston’s, Early 1950s

Livingston's Christmas, 1950s.

Seen here from the early 1950s is Livingston’s, the gone-but-not-forgotten local department store on the south side of the Courthouse Square. The giant waving Santas standing upon the store’s overhang were a beloved holiday tradition from the late 1940s into the mid-1970s.

Courthouse Caroling December 23, 1935

Courhouse Christmas Caroling, 1935.

The ninth annual “Community Christmas Carol Sing” was held on the McLean County Courthouse Square on December 23, 1935. Seen here are lead caroler Harold D. Saurer (holding the papers) and the Rev. Frank L. Breen.

Christmas Caravan, 1935

Christmas Caravan, 1935.

During the Great Depression 80 downtown Bloomington merchants staged a “Christmas Caravan” promotion to boost holiday retail sales. The vehicle in the background, equipped with a calliope and pulling trailers loaded with prize giveaways, passed through more than 50 Central Illinois communities. The idea was to generate excitement for a promotion involving downtown shoppers receiving gift certificates with each purchase.

ISSCS Christmas Circa 1950

Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School children, 1950.

Christmastime at the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School in Normal included many traditional activities, such as trimming the tree. Seen here are ISSCS students decorating a Christmas tree placed in front of the state orphanage’s Norman-style residential cottages.

Bright Lights in Time for Christmas Downtown Bloomington, December 1958

Christmas lights, 1958.

On Dec. 19, 1958, Bloomington Mayor Robert McGraw threw a ceremonial switch to light about half of the 65 new mercury vapor streetlamps along a stretch of Main Street from Walnut Street south to MacArthur Avenue. Seen here is the 500 block of North Main Street looking south. This block was once “furniture row” with Leath & Co. visible on the right

All I Want for Christmas … Lincoln School First Graders, 1965

Lincoln School first graders, 1965.

Back in early December 1965, these six-year-old first graders from Lincoln School in Bloomington could sympathize with the wishes expressed in the grating holiday novelty song, “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.”

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