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200 North Main St | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

Friday, February 1

Tour de Chocolat

Starts at 5:00 PM

The Museum is pleased to once again participate in this annual
Downtown Bloomington tradition by offering Chocolate Covered Original Peanuts generously provided by our community partner, BEER NUTS®. Please join us Friday, February 1 from 5-8 p.m.

While you are here, make sure to explore the Museum’s permanent exhibits on the first floor, including the new Challenges, Choices, and Change: Working for a Living.

Find other Tour de Chocolat stops on the Dba Bloomington website at

Saturday, February 2

Under the Dome Knit In

Starts at 10:00 AM

Knitters and crocheters—mark your calendar for the next Under the Dome Knit In on Saturday, February 2 from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. in the Museum’s Governor Fifer Courtroom! The Museum welcomes all knitters and crocheters to come down and create charity items or work on your own project.

This quarter’s featured knitting/crocheting charity is Little Hats, Big Hearts through the American Heart Association. Volunteers for the American Heart Association are celebrating American Heart Month by knitting red hats for all babies born in February at participating hospitals. They are raising awareness of heart disease (the number one killer of Americans) and congenital heart defects (the most common type of birth defect in the country). Little Hats, Big Hearts is collecting both newborn and preemie sized hats. Locally, hats will go to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center. For more information about the project and for hat specifications, please visit

The Under the Dome Knit In is FREE and open to everyone. Light refreshments will also be served. Just bring your own project or the materials to begin a new one. Grab a friend, some needles or hooks, and of course don’t forget your yarn, and come on down to the Museum to “knit for a bit!”

Tuesday, February 5

History Reads Book Club- The Last Lincolns

Starts at 7:00 PM

All avid readers are welcome to join us on Tuesday, February 5 at the McLean County Museum of History for the first History Reads Book Club of 2019. The discussion will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Governor Fifer Courtroom. For the first book of the year, we will be discussing The Last Lincolns: The Rise and Fall of a Great American Family by Charles Lachman. Most books about Abraham Lincoln end with his assassination. This book, however, begins the day he was killed and explores the unknown tale of the family’s fall from grace in the years and generations following the president’s murder.

This free, quarterly program is brought to you by the Museum and Bloomington Public Library. The discussion will last approximately 60 minutes. Participants are welcome to explore the Museum before the meeting. Free parking is available on the street or in the Lincoln Parking Deck, located one block south of the Museum on Front Street.

Copies of this book will be available for checkout at Bloomington Public Library or may be requested via interlibrary loan through your local public library. For more information on this program please contact the Museum’s Education Department at or by phone at 309-827-0428; or contact Karen Moen at Bloomington Public Library at

Friday, February 8

History-Social Sciences Teacher Symposium

Starts at 8:00 AM
100 N University St, Normal, IL 61761

The Museum, in partnership with the Regional Office of Education 17, ISU Department of History, and Illinois Council for Social Studies is pleased to present our 12th annual history symposium. This year’s conference will be held on Friday, February 8 at Illinois State University and is open to all elementary, middle, and high school history and social science teachers from throughout the state of Illinois, in conjunction with a contingent of upperclassmen ISU history education majors. The inclusive scope of the target audience reflects what has been a primary goal of the symposium since its inception—to facilitate a connection between current working teachers and students who are
currently actively working towards becoming the next generation of educators.

This year’s theme is Building Your History and Social Sciences Tool Kit and will feature a wide variety of sessions on topics such as how to use primary sources, collaborating with community partners, classroom techniques, content information, and much more! This day of professional development will end with keynote speaker Dr. Kathy Swan, a professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Kentucky, who will present a program called “The Wizard of Inquiry: Discovering Your Own Ruby Red Slippers.”

PD credit will also be provided and ROE 17 district teachers receive substitute reimbursement. Registration is now open. Cost is $15 for teachers, $10 for students (includes a boxed lunch). Please visit for more information or to sign up to participate.

Make it an entire weekend of Professional Development and sign up to participate in The Choices Program: Teaching About Contested Issues: The Choices Approach” on Saturday, February 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Illinois State University. This workshop is co-sponsored by Illinois Humanities, Illinois Capitol Forum, the ISU Department of History, McLean County Museum of History, and the Illinois Council for Social Studies.

Be ready to be engaged and inspired! Participants will be introduced to the Choices Program’s award-winning resources, including the Immigration and U.S. Policy Debate unit and parts of the Civil War unit. Both units are provided. Workshop includes the two curriculum units, lunch, and a certificate of completion.

Materials are appropriate for grades 7-12. History, current issues, civics, government, geography, social studies, and humanities educators are encouraged to attend. Cost is $145 (partial scholarships available for qualifying pre-service teachers).

Click to download this PDF for more information about this exciting weekend of professional development!

Tuesday, February 12

Wet or Dry? Prohibition in McLean County (and how it didn't work!)

Starts at 6:30 PM

The Museum, in partnership with the Irish Heritage Society of McLean County, is pleased to present Director of Education Candace Summers’ illustrated program, “Wet or Dry? Prohibition in McLean County,” on Tuesday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m.

On January 16, 1919, the 18th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was ratified—prohibiting the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcoholic beverages. From that point on, Americans were fighting a ticking clock—counting down the months, days, and hours until National Prohibition went into effect one year later on January 17, 1920. McLean County may not seem like the typical area where bootlegging and rum running flourished in the early 20th century—but it did! This presentation will explore the who, what, and why of national Prohibition at the local level, and ultimately why it failed. Rarely seen Prohibition-era items from the Museum’s collection will be on display during the program.

For more information about this program, please contact the Education Department at or 309-827-0428.

Thursday, February 14

Lunch and Learn: The Good Limb, the Bad Limb and Recovery: What animal models tell us about improving behavioral recovery after stroke Lunch & Learn

Starts at 12:10 PM
200 N. Main St, Bloomington IL 61701

Abigail Kerr
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Illinois Wesleyan University

Current rehabilitative strategies for stroke survivors focus on two primary strategies: Focused rehabilitation of the impaired body side and compensatory strategies that promote improved function in daily living. Animal models of stroke suggest that these two strategies are not created equal in promoting ultimate recovery of function after injury. Although behavioral compensation results in a quicker return to independent daily living, it may have detrimental long-term effects on functional outcome. However, it’s all not all bad news. We have been exploring adjunctive therapies in our mouse model that may permit behavioral compensation while preserving the recovery potential of the impaired body side.

Monday, February 18

Presidents' Day: The Vote

Starts at 12:00 PM

     This family-friendly open house is free and open to the public. Sweet treats will be provided. For more information, follow us on Facebook.

Thursday, February 21

The Soldier's Plot

Starts at 6:30 PM
200 N. Main St, Bloomington IL 61701

Join us on Thursday, February 21, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. for a screening of The Soldiers’ Plot. This 90-minute documentary tells the story of the Civil War Soldiers’ burial plot in Clinton, Illinois. Using cinematic techniques and many rarely-seen images, the production weaves a gripping tale of the hardships, perils, and life-altering events endured by the DeWitt County soldiers who left home to fight in the war—experiences much like those of McLean County soldiers. The film reconstructs the history of the sacred ground the people of DeWitt County set apart for their beloved war dead. Stick around for a Q&A with film producer Tony Long and DeWitt County historian Joey Woolridge immediately following the film.

Admission is $5.00 for adults. Students and children are free.