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

75 years ago
June 28, 1940
Watchman Gardens In Business Section - Have you noticed the flower beds that have been planted along the sidewalks at the north side of North street just west of the Illinois Central tracks and the large one in the center of the intersection of Beaufort and North streets. They are the work of Pete Filliponi, watchman for the Illinois Central railroad at the North street intersection.
This is the second year that Mr. Filliponi has served as gardener for the business section. Last year there was only one bed at the intersection. This year the large bed between curbing and sidewalk has been planted.
These beds of petunias, snapdragons and many other plants make a bright spot in an otherwise dingy intersection. All the work on the digging and the planting of the beds was cared for by Mr. Filliponi. Over 600 plants have been set in the two beds.
Mr. Filliponi received financial aid in purchasing the flowers from Louie Heller, Charles Hall, and Merle Allison.
Mr. Filliponi has been on the job as the watchman at the North street crossing for 14 years. He has been associated with the railroad for over 28 years. Fifty-two years ago he came to the United States and worked west from Virginia to West Virginia and finally into Chicago. He has worked on many types of jobs.
If you are walking by that corner stop and look at those beds. They’re the work of a real citizen of Normal and of the United States.
Normalite 4-H Club Has Barn Dance Tonight - The Normalite 4-H club will hold a barn dance and party on the Mearl Norris farm tonight. The group elected officers at a recent meeting held at the home of Margaret Johnson, 30 Payne Place.
The following offices were elected: Foods club, Margaret Johnson, president; Mary Caldwell, vice president; Beverly Taylor, secretary; Charlotte Norris, reporter; Clothing club: Barbara Parret, president; Joy Chapman, vice president; Betty Stretch, secretary.
The project program was carried out by Mary Caldwell and Margaret Johnson. Dorothy Caldwell played a piano solo and Evelyn Bell led recreation. The leaders of the club are Mrs. M. M. Matlick and Virginia Norris.

50 Years Ago
Friday, June 18, 1965
Antique Exhibit, Bean Supper and Hoe-Down on Centennial Program - The Centennial will officially open at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 17, with a display of antique autos and antique farm equipment in the business district. The Centennial Queen will be crowned at that time.
Gil Deavers, 122 North Street, wants people who have anything old to display during the Normal Centennial, antiques of all sorts, civil war relics, guns, clothing, farm equipment furniture, cars, etc. to call.
A Tour of Homes will be held Sunday, July 18 with five Normal homes, the Eyestone one room school at the University and Normal’s oldest church building tentatively scheduled for visits. Women in period clothing will serve as hostesses and a fashion show is tentatively scheduled.
An additional feature of the Centennial will be an old fashioned corn bread and baked bean supper, followed by a Hoe-down, on East Beaufort street on Thursday. Music will be provided by an organ and there will be dancing in the street. The East Side Businessmen will be hosts with Kenneth Pearl as chairman
Normal Summer Recreation Program opens Monday in Five Playgrounds - The summer program of recreation and supervised play for Normal will open next week. Five playgrounds will have supervised play from 1 to 4 p.m. beginning Monday and continuing through August 13. Playgrounds at Fairview Park, Ash Park, Normal Community High school, Eugene Field school and Glenn school will be open each afternoon.
Swimming lessons will open on Monday at the pool, with over 800 persons registered to date. Registration will continue today and Saturday, or any day at the pool.
Eight teams are entered in the slow Pitch Softball League with games scheduled each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening at Ash Park. All games will be played at 6:30 p.m.
The regular supervised play program at Fairview Park, Ash Park, Normal Community High School, Eugene Field and Glenn schools, will open next Monday. Organized play will be available to all children from 6 years up. The program will include arts and crafts, softball, games and contests, nature activities, story telling and free play. A number of special activities will be held during the summer, including a Penny Carnival, a Pet Parade and a Track and Field Meet at NCHS.

25 Years Ago
June 7, 1990
Normal Township selects Mary Caisley to Fill Out unexpired Supervisor’s Term - Normal Township Board of Trustees has selected former Unit 5 School Board member Mary Caisley as the new township supervisor. The announcement came following interviews with three finalists Tuesday morning at the township hall.
Also interviewed were Jim Pemberton, a member of the board of trustees to the Bloomington-Normal Water Reclamation District and Gene Harbison, a member of the McLean County Board.
Mrs. Caisley, 44, of 401 W. Summit St., Normal, served one term on the school board where she served as vice president and secretary and was known for letting her views knows. She also served as president of the Mackinaw Valley Special Education Cooperative. She was defeated for re-election to the school board last fall in a close race. She is a homemaker and is married to Judge William Caisley.
Trustee Cushman Skinner has been doing the day to day business for the township since June 1 following the conviction of Supervisor Robert Forbes on 15 of 18 counts of official misconduct.
Mrs. Caisley will be paid $30,000 annually, $29,00 for being supervisor and $1,000 for serving as Treasurer of the Road District. The salaries of all township officials were raised just prior to the fall election but were not announced until after it created more controversy for the beleaguered board. One of Mrs. Caisley’s first objectives will be to restore confidence with the public for the township which saw its insurance providers settle out of court for $250,000 with former fired secretary Phyllis Howard.
Towanda’s 22nd annual Antique Flea Market will be held in North and South Parks at Towanda. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the free admissions to the public. Refreshments will be available. Sponsors are the Towanda Village Board and the Fourth of July Committee.


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