Twenty-six people became American citizens in a naturalization ceremony held May 24, 1941, in the McLean County Courthouse. Overseeing the proceedings was Circuit Judge W.C. Radliff. Seen here is an unidentified woman completing her naturalization paperwork.
Some of the women who became U.S. citizens on this day included Catherina Fillipponi, Marguerite Grundler, and Frieda Wilde. If you can identify the woman shown here, please let us know!
The gentlemen in the center is Joseph “Private Joe” Fifer of Bloomington, who served as Illinois governor from 1889 to 1893. For Memorial Day 1934. Fifer, a Civil War veteran, recited Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address to a crowd gathered at Bloomington Cemetery (now part of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery). On the right is A.T. Ives, another Civil War veteran.
Seen here is 30-year-old judicial candidate Robert C. Underwood (left) at an unidentified Town of Normal polling station, casting his ballot in the spring 1945 election. Underwood, in his first bid for elective office, would defeat sitting County Judge Dewey Montgomery by a nearly two-to-one margin.
Sen. Estes Kefauver of Tennessee stopped in Bloomington to campaign for fellow Democrat and hometown favorite son Adlai E. Stevenson II, who was the party’s presidential nominee. Stevenson would lose to Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower in both 1952 and 1956.
Department of Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, the first woman appointed to the U.S. Cabinet, stopped in the Twin Cities on October 17, 1935. She spoke at Capen Auditorium on the Illinois State Normal University campus. She talked about workplace health and safety.
On November 9-10, 1937 First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, sans husband Franklin Delano, paid a visit to Bloomington-Normal. Mrs. Roosevelt is seen here relaxing at the Illinois Hotel in downtown Bloomington while taking questions from a Pantagraph reporter.
On October 14, 1963 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt campaigned in Bloomington. FDR’s whistle stop tour pulled into Union Depot on the city’s west side (see photo on the right) at 2:35 p.m. The photo on the left shows Roosevelt from the train’s rear observation platform.
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.
Union Army veteran Gilbert Henderson Bates sought, in his own eccentric way, to help heal the sectional wounds of fratricidal bloodletting.
A brief history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and why we need to record what's happening.
On February 15, 1972, the Minority Voters Coalition of Bloomington-Normal elected officers during a meeting at the Sunnyside Neighborhood Center (now known as the Lawrence Irvin Neighborhood Center) on the far west side of Bloomington. The goal of the group was to both register and educate minority voters.
Barbara Egger was a part of a women's suffrage group that lobbied in Springfield in 1909.
The Museum owns a very unique method used to transport illegal hooch; a prohibition doll.
An early Bloomington settler and one time friend of Abe Lincoln was also a southern sympathizer.
This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which occurred on the afternoon of November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas.
Ronald Reagan was no stranger to Bloomington-Normal, having attended Eureka College from 1928 until his graduation in 1932.
On Saturday, May 25, 1940 in Bloomington, a group of 20 immigrants became U.S. citizens after a naturalization examination and swearing in ceremony.