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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

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.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

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.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

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.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

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.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

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.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

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.

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

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?

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Written by Bill Kemp in

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?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

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?

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Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

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.

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