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“Buy American—Save the USA” was the theme for the September 2, 1985, Labor Day parade.
Back in 1907, the Illinois State Normal University Teachers finished the season undefeated against college-level competition—9 wins and 0 losses. The Teachers earned victories over Wesleyan (twice), Milliken, Monmouth College, Knox College, Northern Illinois, Bradley, Western Illinois, and Eastern Illinois.
Bloomington’s first Labor Day parade was held on September 7, 1891, three years before the day became a national holiday. This parade float, dating to sometime around 1920, is the handiwork of the International Brotherhood of Blacksmiths and Helpers Local 79. This local represented blacksmiths at the Chicago & Alton Railroad Shops on the city’s west side.
This Standard Oil Co. service station opened on July 29, 1939. The modernistic design sparkled with its glazed brick and terra cotta exterior and a color scheme of cream, blue, and red. It remained a Standard station into the late 1950s.
The week of September 2, 2015 marked 148th anniversary of the first official run of the Bloomington-Normal streetcar system. It was on September 6, 1867, that the Bloomington & Normal Horse Railway inaugurated its first line, which connected Downtown Bloomington with Uptown Normal. As implied in the system’s original name, the earliest streetcars were pulled by horses. The system was electrified in 1890.
Community Players Theatre has been a local cultural treasure since its first staged production way back in 1923. Thirty-three years later, on December 3-4, 1956, the volunteer theater company staged the bewitching romantic comedy “Bell, Book and Candle.”
U.S. Army veteran Dwight Pierceall of Normal received quite a shock on June 6, 1946, when he opened a crate sent from Europe. Inside was Bella, a canine refugee from war-torn Europe. That wasn’t the surprise though...
McLean County 4-H youth have an enviable record when it comes to Illinois State Fair showings. Back on August 17, 1949, for instance, McLean County boasted three reserve champions...
McLean County 4-H youth have an enviable record when it comes to Illinois State Fair showings. Back on August 17, 1949, for instance, McLean County boasted three reserve champions. Seen here (left to right) at the fairgrounds in Springfield are Gordon Ropp of Normal, winner in the Jersey class.
Much of my time as Registrar at the McLean County Museum of History is spent looking through the lens of a camera, photographing the 20,000+ objects in our collection. Capturing the perfect image doesn’t always come easily and I’m always impressed by anyone with a good eye for photography. One such individual is Ross Vinson...
Back in 1955, the McLean County Farm Bureau purchased Emile Philip Schandein’s 78-acre farm for $60,000. Located at the southwest corner of Illinois Route 9 and Hershey Road and just east of what would become Veterans Parkway, this old farm then served as the home of the McLean County Fair for more than 40 years.
Oh where oh where did the summer go? That’s a common refrain heard around these parts as we enter the dog days of the season and the school year fast approaches...
From 1935 to 1955 (with one exception) the McLean County 4-H Fair was held at Fans Field, an old minor league ballpark on Bloomington’s south side, off Main Street and behind (or east) of the National Guard Armory.
My Communications degree program at Illinois State University requires an internship.When I started at ISU last fall I was apprehensive about it. Where would I apply? Would I have time to fit it in with my work schedule? What would I like to do? These questions ran through my noggin' over and over until I realized what I really enjoyed…talking and history.
Seen here are British foreign exchange students (left to right) Anthony Lodge, Ian Humphreys (though in local news coverage Ian’s last name was also spelled Humphries), Michael Wasilewski, and Alan Evans...
Seen here from March 1988 are Laesch employees Ben Christiansen (left) and Ben Kiley filling and packing a supply of chocolate almond ice cream.
The Coachman Motel opened on January 30, 1961, at 406 E. Washington St., on the eastern edge of downtown Bloomington.
Opened in 1919 and located at 904 Hovey Ave. in Normal, Victory Hall was a safe place for boys from troubled families.
Opened in 1919 and located at 904 Hovey Ave. in Normal, Victory Hall was a safe place for boys from troubled families. At the time of this photograph (unfortunately, no one is identified) Victory Hall was home to 43 “wards”.