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A look back at interesting history from the pages of The Normalite

75 years ago
December 15, 1939
City Council Investigates Water Softening Plan - The council’s consideration of the addition of a softening plant to the present water system has brought up the comparison of Normal’s water and proposed softening plant to the water of Morton and the softening plant installed there.
A Normalite representative spent Wednesday in Morton making a survey. Several interesting points were uncovered, especially in respect to the mineral content of the water of the two towns.
The State of Illinois Sanitary Engineering laboratories report of June 23, 1939, shows that Morton’s water contains 17.6 grains per gallon of carbonate hardness and 2.6 parts per million of iron.  Normal’s analysis of 1.5 parts per million shows a drastic difference in the iron content, Morton’s water showing nearly twice as much.  Normal’s present wells and pumping equipment are adequate for some time to come.  “Of course, new wells will be needed in the future as the town grows, as well as water main extensions,” said Mayor Ridenour recently, but these must be considered in the light of improvements and additions and not as replacements to existing equipment.”
The Normal Business Women’s League will hold its annual turkey dinner and Christmas party Tuesday evening at the home of Mrs. Margaret McMurray, 303 North street.  There will be a gift exchange and the later evening will be spent socially.
Miss Alice Goodler, student at Oberlin college, Oberlin, Ohio, will return Tuesday to spend Christmas vacation with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd T. Goodier, 603 Broadway.
Mrs. C. E. Whitehouse, 914 South Fell avenue, left Thursday night to spend the weekend with her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Reeve Thompson in Oswego.
Mrs. Chrissie Cunningham, 400 South Oak street, will spend Sunday with her daughter, Miss Ruth Cunningham, student in Chicago.  Both Mrs. Cunningham and her daughter will return to Normal Monday.
Miss L. Louese Mentzer, teacher at Thawville, will spend the weekend visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. F. Mentzer, 410 North School street.
The Thimble Society of the First Christian Church held a Christmas tea Wednesday afternoon at the church.  A gift exchange was held.  There was a program of music and readings.  Hostesses were Mrs. Frank Irvin, Miss Annabel Humphrey, Mrs. Ivan Stubblefield, Mrs. Ed Eisenberger, Mrs. James Keller, Mrs. Earl Unzicker, Mrs. John Goodwin and Mrs. W. G. Sutton.

50 Years Ago
December 11, 1964
‘Land of Dragons’ Children’s Theatre Play - The Normal Children’s Theatres will present “Land of the Dragon” at 8:15 p.m. tonight in Westhoff Theatre at Illinois State University.  The play will have a morning and matinee presentation Saturday.
Children portraying roles are Jade Pure, Janis Short and Kathy Brush; Dee Smith (ISU student); Donna Metcalf and Ellen Crawford; Kathleen Connolly and Sara Metcalf; Terry Jenkins and Linc King; Ruth Rinaldo (ISU); Jon Chesko (ISU); Pat Brymer; Stewart Salowitz and Chuck Thomas; Shelly Brian and Janet Porter (ISU); Duane Reed and Marc Waimon.; Angel Evelsizer, Tim Scott,  Becky Brown, Jeff Pilch, Pam Wilcot, David Mizer, Tona Hanna, David Sanders; Kerry Fisher, Alan Wright, Mark Hayes, Tim Edwards, Geoff Liston, Randall Gebler, Tim O’Leary, and Daniel Wilcox. 
Normal young people assisting on the committees for the play are Jane Adams, Janet Porter, and Dianna Dee Smith.
Miss Dorothy Dodd of the ISU dramatic faculty is directing the play which will be given by a double cast of children from all Normal schools.  Miss Dodd is being assisted by Dorothy Rehokas of Bellwood.
University Choral Groups will Present Christmas Concert - Approximately 200 Illinois State University students will present a Christmas concert at 8:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, in Capen Auditorium.  The program will be open to the public without charge.  The university’s Treble Choir ,  Women’s Choir, Men’s Glee Club and Brass Choir will participate.
University gives ‘Messiah’ tonight, Sunday afternoon - Two performances of George Frederick Handel’s Messiah will be presented by Illinois State University students at 8:15 p.m. this evening and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.  The annual presentation of the oratorio will be held in Capen auditorium.  It is an annual highlight of Christmas events traditionally held on the ISU campus.

25 Years Ago
December 7, 1989
Five miles of I-39 to open next week - Five miles of new Interstate 39, just north of Interstate 55 will be opened next week, Gov. James Thompson has announced. Work is continuing on the next portion which would connect El Paso and Hudson.
“Strong local interest, both in the burgeoning Illinois Valley area and at the Normal end where Diamond Star has built its auto plant, played a large part in raising the priority of this project,” Thompson said.
“We are seeing the development of an automotive industry corridor along the new U. S. 51.”
“The passage by the General Assembly of the Build Illinois infrastructure program has made the new Interstate 39 a reality and allowed the Department of Transportation to accelerate the timetable for completion of the entire route from Bloomington-Normal to LaSalle-Peru, Thompson said.
This 5.3 mile section of the ‘missing 51’ is the first to be opened as the result of the accelerated timetable.
Incredible season for Pioneer football - Pioneer Varsity goes 11-1 - The University High School Pioneers who went undefeated in the regular season earning them a spot in the state playoffs.  The Pioneers earned that playoff spot going 9-0.  The team worked as one, said Frank Chiodo, head coach.  There is no one “superstar”, they are all an important part of the team, he added.
At U-High, athletics is an important educational tool.  It is used as a motivator, “if you don’t have the grades, you don’t play,” said Coach Chiodo, who may take a well deserved retirement after 25 years as head coach.
Steve Charton, U-High principal, feels the team did wonderful and, “I’m proud to be their principal.” The Pioneers successful season ended with an 11-1 record.
Many players made all-star teams. Doug Davis, Tad Lewis and Brian Beverly were chosen for the Pantagraph’s All Area Football team.


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