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Archive of: Military

B-29 Bomber Visits Courthouse Square June 13, 1950

B-29 Bomber, 1950.

Back during the early years of the Cold War the fuselage of a U.S. Air Force B-29 Superfortress was put on display on the McLean County Courthouse Square, presumably as part of a patriotic road show to celebrate America’s technological, industrial, and military might. Air Force personnel were on hand during the June 13, 1950 stop in Bloomington to explain the bomber’s workings and answer questions.

ISSCS Christmas Circa 1950

Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School children, 1950.

Christmastime at the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School in Normal included many traditional activities, such as trimming the tree. Seen here are ISSCS students decorating a Christmas tree placed in front of the state orphanage’s Norman-style residential cottages.

Mothers of Fallen Soldiers Memorial Day 1958

Memorial Day, 1958.

Founded after World War I, American Gold Star Mothers consists of mothers who have lost a son or daughter to military service. Seen here are local Gold Star members from the Evergreen chapter in Bloomington.

Salute from a Korean War Vet Memorial Day 1982

Korean War veteran, 1982.

Robert R. “Bob” Neal salutes a fallen veteran at Bloomington’s Park Hill Cemetery, Memorial Day 1982. Bob served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was a veteran of the Korean War.

Photo of the Week: ISSCS Graduates, 1958

ISSCS graduates, 1958.

Normal was the longtime home to the state-run orphanage known as the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s School. “Home Kids” (as they often called themselves) attended University High School, Normal IL on the Illinois State University campus.

Remember the Fallen

Franklin Park, undated.

McLean County has long honored its war dead. In 1869, local officials saw to the erection in the center of Franklin Park a monument featuring the names of some 700 Civil War dead from McLean County.

Volunteer Reflection: Drew Brandau

My first day here I was given the task of making a finding aid for a nearly 100-year-old collection of World War I material, mainly books and military manuals. A finding aid is a typed inventory of the contents of an archival collection, and as such helps researchers and those interested in the collection find their way around the material.

McNulta Time Capsule

This wine decanter originally arrived at the McLean County Museum of History as a time capsule.

Photo of the Week, 81: The World Wide Web, 1954-style

In May 1954, The Pantagraph profiled Bloomington resident Helen M. Zalucha, one of only three women active in the Illinois Emergency Network, a statewide group of some 200 amateur (ham) radio operators.

In May 1954, The Pantagraph profiled Bloomington resident Helen M. Zalucha, one of only three women active in the Illinois Emergency Network, a statewide group of some 200 amateur (ham) radio operators.

Miller Hatchery Supports War Effort

What do a chicken and a high explosive artillery shell have in common? This sounds like the beginning of a very bad joke, but here in McLean County, they do in fact share something in common!

Photo of the Week, 74: Red, White and Blue in Sepia

Union Army veteran Gilbert Henderson Bates

Union Army veteran Gilbert Henderson Bates sought, in his own eccentric way, to help heal the sectional wounds of fratricidal bloodletting.

Photo of the Week, 71: Grim Reapers Pay Respects to Fallen Comrade

About 50 members of the Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club led a funeral procession for L. Wayne Martin.

Photo of the Week, 68: Memorial Day 1947

Bloomington Illinois 1947 Memorial Day parade heading south along the 200 and 300 blocks of South Main Street

Memorial Day 1947, less than two years after the end of World War II.

Photo of the Week, 58: War Clouds Loom, October 1940

Seen here is 26-year-old Elmer Wulf, Sr. of Bloomington holding his son Elmer, Jr., as he checks his draft status.

In late October 1940, hundreds of local residents gathered at the McLean County Courthouse (now the McLean County Museum of History) to check their lottery numbers, which were posted on the walls of the main floor

Collection Highlight: Trench Art

Trench art has been created in a number of places besides battlefield trenches – army hospitals, POW camps, machine shops, and towns and villages miles away from the action. Read this post to learn about some trench art in our collection, made by military personnel from McLean County

McHistory: Experiences in the Spanish American War

In this Black History Month edition of our Sound Ideas recurring series "McHistory," you'll hear from a Spanish Amerian War Soldier from Bloomington who writes home from eastern Cuba.

McHistory: World War Two in McLean County

In this episode of GLT's recurring series McHistory Morgan writes of World War Two.

McHistory: Civil War Letter Home After Battle

Today's McHistory is about the Civil War Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, which took place December 7th, 1862.

Photo of the Week, 31: Visiting your aunts . . . 1935 style!

On September 9, 1935, a U.S. Army Air Corps Keystone B-5A biplane bomber touched down at the Bloomington Municipal Airport (Central Illinois Regional Airport). Though the bomber was part of the 49th Bombardment Squadron based in Langley Field, Virginia, the nature of this visit was personal.

Photo of the Week, 23: World War II Drinking Fountain Flows Once More!

On October 19, 1948, the local Pearl Harbor chapter of the American War Mothers dedicated a drinking fountain to McLean County's World War II dead. The fountain is located on the east / Main Street side of the McLean County Museum of History (formerly the McLean County Courthouse).

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