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Miller Park Zoo’s newest arrival June 1964

Miller Park’s Ed Denniston welcomes the zoo’s new arrival in early June 1964. This little mule’s parents were a Shetland pony mare and a Sicilian donkey, which were boarded at Davis U. Merwin’s rural home near Downs. Merwin, second-in-command at The Pantagraph, was also president of the Miller Park Zoological Society.

Julia LeBeau and the Melodicans June 1964

Bloomington music teacher Julia LeBeau (left), Faye Scheets (center), and Helen Tepe formed a melodica trio back in 1964.

Memorial Day 1964 Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington

The Twin Cities and surrounding communities have honored their war dead since the first local Decoration Day was organized after the Civil War.

This Memorial Day 1964 scene shows Army Lt. Bernard Borson, chaplain at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, speaking at the soldiers’ monument at Park Hill Cemetery.

Memorial Day 1964 Evergreen Memorial Cemetery

The Bloomington High School marching band passes through the gates of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery on Bloomington’s south side for a Memorial Day program. “Our nation, our young men of necessity, play a role in the tragic drama now a part of current world events on this Memorial Day,” Edward B. Akin of the Illinois Veterans’ Commission told those gathered for a ceremony at the cemetery.

Memorial Day 1936 Downtown Bloomington

The McLean County Legion Drum Corps, debuting their new uniforms, march south down Main Street on Saturday, May 30, 1936, during Bloomington’s annual Memorial Day parade.

Excuse me, comin’ through May 1968

On May 22, 1968, workers removed a roof off a gas station being dismantled at the corner of Lee and Washington streets on the west end of downtown Bloomington. The roof was being moved to Locust Street where it would be placed atop another gas station.

Book Lover in Seventh Heaven May 1968

Retired schoolteacher Elsa Schilling found a quiet corner of Withers Public Library hoping to find a few keepers during the 10-cent book sale, held May 25, 1968. With the opening of the present-day Bloomington Public Library on East Olive Street, this old library was torn down in 1978. Who has special memories of Withers?

Waiting for the wrecking ball, 1971 200 block South Main Street

These buildings, located on the west side of the 200 South Main Street, were demolished in the early 1970s to make way for the McLean County Law and Justice Center complex. Who remembers stopping at this National Liquors storefront or having a bite to eat at Baker’s Hamburger Stand?

St. Joseph’s Hospital, Bloomington Under Construction, circa 1967

This circa 1967 aerial looks northwest. That’s under-construction St. Joseph’s Hospital in the center, with the Route 66 “beltline” (now Veterans Parkway) in the foreground. To the right (or north) is Eastland Mall, which formally opened in February 1967. This east side St. Joe’s, which would open in March 1968, replaced the old west side hospital off Morris Ave.

Who remembers when the east side of Bloomington liked like this?

Redd-Williams Legion Post McBarnes Building, January 1942

Seen here are Redd-Williams American Legion Post #163 members at the McBarnes Memorial Building on East Grove Street in Bloomington. For much of the 20th century the Twin Cities had segregated Legion posts.

If you can identify any of these unidentified gentlemen, please let us know.

300 Block North Main Street May 1937

This lovely Depression-era view of a bustling downtown Bloomington shows the east side of the 300 block of North Main Street, one block north of the Courthouse Square.

What catches your eye?

University School of Beauty Culture September 1939

Margarette Scott’s beauty school was located on the 400 block of North Main Street in downtown Bloomington. “We get personality training too, because we’ve got to please our customers,” one of the students said at the time of this photograph. “Most of the girls are 18 to 25 years old and high school graduates … Nearly half the girls come from farm homes.”

BHS Student Lounge May 1948

Bloomington High School students Wanda Rust (right) and Margaret Schlemmer work on murals in the newly opened student lounge, a repurposed second floor classroom. At this time the high school was located on the 500 block of East Washington Street. The current high school opened in 1959.

Artist and Author Visit Bloomington May 1948

Artist Bob Hooton (left) and writer Dan Wickenden, both fresh from an extended stay in the Central American nation of Guatemala, arrived in Bloomington in mid-May 1948. Hooton, the son of Bloomington architect Phillip Hooton, intended to stay in the Twin Cities for the summer. Wickenden planned to return to his home in Connecticut. Two years later, the dust jacket cover of Wickenden’s novel “The Dry Season” would feature a Hooton painting.

The Great Levant, February 1950 Pianist performs in Bloomington

Oscar Levant (right), the famed American pianist, composer, and actor, performed with the Bloomington-Normal Symphony on two consecutive nights, February 23 and 24, 1950, at the Scottish Rite Temple (now the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts).

Municipal Workers on Strike May 1968

Bloomington’s public service employees responsible for garbage pickup and cleanup work staged a seven-day strike in early May 1968. This May 6 scene shows the wives and supporters of the striking workers gathered on the south side of the Courthouse Square. The following day the 60-plus municipal employees on strike agreed to a proposed pay hike hammered out with the help of a mediator.

If you can identify anyone in this photo, please let us know! Update: Left to right: Helen Sims, Ginny Cochran, Elanor Burton.

Free range … no more! City Hall booking, March 30, 1958

Bloomington Police officer Robert Shepherd (left) books a startled hen on accessory charges. That’s officer John Hauptman keeping the prisoner from flying the coop. She was picked up when officers arrested a man they found trying to stuff her in a paper bag.

Eureka Williams aerial June 1966

This summer 1966 view of the near southeast side of Bloomington, looking east, offers a wealth of information. “A” is Oakaland School; “B,” Holiday Club, a private park that the city purchased in 1970; “C,” Meadows subdision; “D,” Lakeside County Club; and “E,” Eureka Williams Co.

What else can you see? Who remembers the water tower north of Holiday Club?

National Air Mail Week May 1938

Art Carnahan (left), manager of the Bloomington Municipal Airport (now Central Illinois Regional Airport), greets Harold Medbery, a pilot from the Tazewell County community of Armington. Medbery brought in nine pouches of airmail from towns southwest and west of Bloomington. That mail was then loaded onto a waiting Chicago & Southern airliner.

This May 1938 demonstration was staged for National Airmail Week.

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?

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