A true “Middle West” tradition: college football on Thanksgiving Day. The Corn Bowl was sponsored by the Louis E. Davis Post No. 56 of the American Legion and the Hybrid Seed Growers Association. The Corn Bowl had hopes of becoming popular enough to build a stadium for the football game and other local events. In addition, there was a large parade that ran through downtown Bloomington prior to the bowl game. Some of the college football teams that played throughout the years included: North Central College (Naperville, IL), Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, IL), Illinois Wesleyan College (Bloomington, IL), Eastern Illinois State College (Charleston, IL), Western Illinois State College (Macomb, IL), Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL), Missouri School of Mines (Rolla, MO), Illinois State Normal University (Normal, IL), Lewis College (Lockport, IL), William Jewell College (Liberty, MO), Iowa Wesleyan University (Mount Pleasant, IA), and Luther College (Decorah, IA). The Corn Bowl was played annually from 1947-1955. IN the final year, it was held in Macomb, IL.
The collection includes newspaper articles primarily from the first Corn Bowl, and the programs that were developed for the first five bowl games, with advertisers, committee members, legion activities, last year’s game outcome, and team information for that year’s game.