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McHistory: Bloomington-Normal Under Jim Crow Law

Image of Lue Anna Brown Sanders Clark

For Black History month, GLT is reviving its occasional series McHistory in partnership with the McLean County Museum of History. 

ISSCS Festival August 1950

The Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School annual festival of 1950 included pressure cooking demonstrations, as well as displays of preserved fruits and floral arrangements. We don’t know the names of any of these “homers” (as ISSCS kids were called), but we do know that the judges were Dr. Lee W. Miller, a professor of biological sciences at Illinois State Normal University, and three ISNU students.

ISNU Tour of Europe June 1951

A group from Illinois State Normal University readies for their two-month tour of the British Isles and the European continent. They were led by Dr. Arthur W. Watterson (far right), who was just named acting head of the Department of Geology and Geography. Watterson Towers is the namesake of Dr. Watterson.

Illinois State Normal University Junior-Senior Prom, 1949

Several ISNU coeds show off their gowns for the June 10, 1949 junior-senior prom. Louise Claymore (left) is in a blue chiffon; Barbara Schonert (center) in blue satin; and Marilyn McCarthy in beige lace with a stole.

The Shattertones June 1966

Timothy P. Irvin (left, kneeling in front of the guitar) formed The Shattertons in 1960 as a high school freshman. Six years later the band was performing local gigs.

Top hog gets pie January 1947

Photo of a man feeding a pig a slice of pie.

A.V. Ritchie of Colfax received $225 (or about $2,500 in today’s dollars) for this gilt at a January 22, 1947 Spotted Poland China sale at the Illinois State Normal University farm. Before turning over the day’s top earner he treated her to some pie.

Titans Thump Redbirds February 1953

On February 11, 1953, Illinois Wesleyan beat visiting Illinois State Normal 98-66 at the old Memorial Hall gymnasium (now IWU’s Hansen Student Center).

Grand Champion Poland China ISNU Farm, January 16, 1947

Thelma Thomas and her brother Glenn examine her grand champion gilt at the Illinois State Normal University Farm.

Thelma Thomas and her brother Glenn examine her grand champion gilt at the Illinois State Normal University Farm.

Gamma Phil Circus March 1947

This unidentified Illinois State Normal University student prepares for the eleventh annual Gamma Phil Circus, held March 21, 1947, at McCormick Gymnasium on the ISNU campus.

Illinois State Normal University Quad, 1941

Aerial view of Illinois State Normal University, 1941.

This aerial view, looking north, shows the ISNU Quad in 1941.

Beats shoveling … Normal, Dec. 22, 1953

Two men out plowing the drive, 1953.

Three inches of snow had Don Locke of Bryan’s Standard Service Station out plowing the drive. Today, this site is occupied by Illinois State University’s Professional Development Building.

One-Room School on the Move November 23, 1963

One-room Rose Hill School, 1963.

This shows the one-room Rose Hill School being moved to its new site on the Illinois State Normal University campus. In 1964 it was renamed for Lura Eyestone, an 1892 ISNU graduate who served as a faculty member from 1903 to 1939.

Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust ISNU vs. IWU, November 21, 1936

ISU vs IWU football, 1936.

Illinois State Normal and Illinois Wesleyan universities were bitter gridiron rivals going all the way back to 1887. Seen here is an unidentified Wesleyan runner getting by ISNU defender Edward Lesnick (#13).

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.

Corn map of McLean County December 1909

Corn map at ​The Farmers’ and Teachers’ Institute, 1909.

The Farmers’ and Teachers’ Institute was held in mid-December 1909 at the “Normal University,” as ISU was most often called back then. A highlight of the corn exhibit room was a county map made of corn by nine boys from Price School.

Susan Emrath Computer Pioneer, 1968

Susan Emrath sitting in front of an old computer, 1968.

Susan Emrath, a recent Illinois State University graduate, worked as a systems engineer for IBM. Emrath, 22 years old at the time, was the youngest in IBM’s eight-member account/marketing team and is seen here at a State Farm office with an IBM System/360 mainframe computer.

Calling Dr. Scholls! ISNU Freshmen Orientation, Sept. 1953

ISU freshamn with sore feet, 1953.

This photograph, taken Sept. 15, 1953, shows three Illinois State Normal University freshmen rubbing their aching feet after a busy opening day of Orientation Week.

Fearsome Front Line Illinois State, September 1941

Illinois State University football team, 1941.

Seen here are the gridiron “Red Birds” who went 3-4-2 in 1941, with losses including a 7-0 heartbreaker to Illinois Wesleyan.

Campus Fashion ISNU September 1941

Fashionable Illinois State University women, 1941.

The Pantagraph snapped this photo for a planned “campus fashion” feature for late September or early October 1941. The two Illinois State Normal University students are not identified

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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