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McLean County's Sports and Leisure Magazine
Published Feb 15, May 15, Aug 15, Nov 15
A look back at interesting history from the pages of The Normalite
25 Years Ago
January 31, 1991
• More than 200 people gathered on the quad at Illinois State University at noon Wednesday carrying yellow ribbons and signs to express their support for the U.S. troops in the Middle East.
The rally was sponsored by ISU College Republicans and the Public Relations Student Society of America.
Stephanie Weber, president of PRSSA, asked that everyone with a yellow ribbon tie them around a tree in the quad after the event.
The group formed a circle and a moment of silence was observed on the quad for the “American prisoners held in Iraq and for those soldiers who have given their lives for their country.” The silence was followed by chants and a march through the quad.
Pat Ward, a veteran of the Korean War and a native of Normal, drove from Springfield to attend the rally with his son who is enrolled at ISU. Ward spoke briefly to the group saying, “Those of us who were in uniform support our troops today.”
Bob Sutherland, a representative of the Bloomington-Normal Anti-War Coalition, said they were a “silent presence” and object to the policies of the United States that sent the troops overseas.
• More than 19,000 people came to the Bloomington-Normal area in 1990 to visit the Diamond-Star Motors Plant in West Normal.
Diamond-Star, one of the most technologicaloly advanced plants in the United States, attracts visitors from all over the world including the Soviet Union, France and Sweden.
Two Normal residents, Ralph Martin and Donald Mayol, conduct the tours. Martin and Mayol agree that the tourists are very impressed by the cleanliness of the facility. They said the visitors find the tours interesting and the robots fascinating.
50 Years Ago
February 4, 1966
• Do you remember when the new City Hall building was the new McCormick building? If so, you remember Normal of the Gay Nineties when businesses were moving west of the Illinois Central from East Beaufort to North Street.
The old Birney Club, one of the co-operatives housing University students, formerly stood on the new City Hall location at North and Broadway. When the club moved in 1890 to a location on West Ash to be nearer the campus, Daniel Still, who owned the entire block on North Street, moved the house and offered the business location for sale. While the First National Bank, then located on East Beaufort Street, was arranging to purchase the land and erect a bank building. Dr. Nelson K. McCormick bought the location.
Dr. McCormick built the present building, then known as the McCormick building, for his medical offices. He occupied the second floor, renting the first floor to George H. Coen for a drug and book store.
Even after Dr. McCormick retired from active practice, the second floor continued to be used as medical offices. Dr. William Wallace had his office there, later followed by Dr. W.L. Penniman. For a time, optometrist offices were located in the rear. During World War I the Normal Red Cross had office space on the second floor.
When the Schneider building on the southwest corner of Broadway and North was completed, Coen’s Drug Store moved into the new building. The First National Bank which was housed next door in what is now Van Gundy’s, bought the building and moved into the first floor. In 1948 the bank remodeled the building, using both floors for banking.
With the sale of the building to the City, remodeling once again has changed the interior. The first floor has been made into attractive business offices, with the second floor for Council Chamber and additional office space. Except for cutting a door at the rear, the addition of a fire escape and the City Hall name on the canopy, the exterior remains the same.
The City Hall is a welcome addition to the downtown business district. Already residents are remarking how much easier it is to pay water bills without having to climb Broadway hill.
75 Years Ago
February 4, 1966
• Funeral services for H.M. Anderson, of 505 S. Fell Ave., were conducted Saturday at the Stubblefield Memorial Homel The Rev. W.D. McIntosh officiated and Mrs. Ora G. Byerly was organist.
Mr. Anderson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, May 3, 1850, the son of Harry and Elizabeth Anderson. He married Lydia Brown, and to this union two children were born. Later he married Miss Ella Goodner of Nashville, who passed away in 1932.
Mr. Anderson was well known among educators of the state, having taught for over 50 years. At the time of his retirement he had conducted more institutes than any other educator except the late David Felmley. Mr. Anderson declined an offer to teach mathematics at Illinois State Normal University, and the presidency of Blackburn College, feeling that public school work was his field of service. He held four college degrees. His influence among those with whom he associated was not to be measured by any common measure. The esteem and respect in which he was held is shown by the many messages of sympathy received.
• Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Palmer, 1009 N. Walnut St., received word Friday of the birth of a son to Lieut. and Mrs. M.B. Hayes at Albrook Field, Canal Zone. Mrs. Hayes is the former Miss Joan Palmer.
• Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Blunk, 602 N. Linden St., are the parents of a son born Sunday at Brokaw Hospital.
• Mr. and Mrs. James Morgan, Normal, have as their guest their son, Jacob, of Albany, New York who plans to return to Albany this weekend. He is employed in the weather bureau at the Albany Airport.
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