In the mid-1940s, the Evans Building earned the nickname “Little Greenwich Village” due to all the colorful characters that made the downtown high-rise their home or place of business. The Evans is actually two buildings—one fronting Jefferson Street and the other Main Street—which together form an “L” around the old Corn Belt Bank building.
Founded in October 1865 as South Hill Baptist Church, Mt Pisgah Baptist Church has played an important leadership role in the local African-American community for 150-plus years. Seen here is Mt. Pisgah’s previous home at 701 S. Lee St., which the church built and opened in 1915-1916.
Some 140 patrol boys from nine Bloomington public schools gathered at Franklin School on January 8, 1946, for a joint meeting on traffic safety. Seen here is the gathering’s principal speaker, Capt. Emerson H. Westwick (left) of the Illinois State Highway Patrol, bantering with some of the local lads.
Who says there aren’t hills in Central Illinois? These youngsters took advantage of the chilly, snowy weather over the 1946-1947 New Year’s holiday to go sledding down an icy stretch of South Lee Street in Bloomington.
The U.S. Congress declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941, in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor the previous day. On December 8, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his “Day of Infamy” speech to a joint session of Congress at 12:30 p.m. (the address was reprinted on page 7 of that day’s Pantagraph, shown here).
From the 1940s to the mid-1970s, A. Livingston & Sons in downtown Bloomington hoisted two giants Santas onto its overhang for the holiday season. The two identical Santas (only one is shown here) were about 13 feet in height and likely made of some early plastic or fiberglass material. Livingston’s was a locally owned department store on the south side of the Courthouse Square.
In late November 1942, during World War II, farm advisers and agriculture officials from Central Illinois gathered in Bloomington to hear about the importance of growing hemp for the war effort. That’s right, industrial hemp was needed to make rope and other things, such as harnesses and shroud lines for airborne troops. Seen here exhibiting hemp “straw” at the November 23 meeting are J. Francis Buck (left) of the Illinois Agricultural Adjustment Agency (AAA) and Dr. W.L. Burlison of the University of Illinois.
This aerial view of Bloomington Municipal Airport (now Central Illinois Regional Airport, or CIRA) looks northwest and shows the main hanger and East Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Today, this old hanger site is occupied by Image Air and the Prairie Aviation Museum.
The “Page from Our Past” feature in Sunday November 8, 2015's Pantagraph delved into the history of the Rhythm Rollers, Bloomington’s very own roller skating dance team active from the 1930s to the 1950s. Seen here is a rare action shot, taken at a 1947 or 1948 performance at the Miller Park bandstand on Bloomington’s west side.