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

50 years ago
November 20, 1964
Street  Decorations Feature Chistmas Season - The Normal Chamber of commerce will start putting up Christmas decorations this weekend for the holiday season ahead, according to Herman Tebrugge, president of the organization.
Most of the wiring will be completed this weekend.  It is planned to have the remainder of the decorations up and lighted by December 1.
Decorations will consist of greenery interspersed with colored lights at the street intersections, and in addition will feature the Candy Canes with colored lights, reindeers and the red Christmas bells.
Santa Claus will make his usual visit to Normal,  tentatively set for Saturday, December 5, on the non train, alighting at the Broadway crossing, and from there to Santa Claus Village to visit with Normal children.
University High has Cornerstone Service Monday - The cornerstone laying ceremony for the new University high School at Gregory and Main Street, will be held at 1 p.m. Monday.  Dr. Harry D. Lovelass, director of U High will preside.
Members of the program committee were Conrad Carroll, Lewis Legg, jack Iungerich of the Student Council, and Dr. James Fisher.  Those on the cornerstone box committee were Dr. Alice Eikenberry, Miss Stroud, Preston Ensign and members of the Student Council.

25 Years Ago
November 16, 1989
Normal Rotary Club Students of the Month - Normal Rotary Club is honoring Tom Griffith of University High and Dana Lyle Starkey of Normal Community High as “Students of the Month” in November.
Tom is the son of Jim and Margie Griffith of 226 Division St., Chenoa.  He is applying for the University of Illinois, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Aerospace Engineering, and plans to pursue a career in this field.
Dana is the son of Max. L. and Marilyn Starkey of 300 South Orr Drive, Normal.  He is presently employed at Old Country Buffet, Normal and attends Epiphany Catholic.  He is the NCHS Student Representative on the United Way Allocations Panel.
ISU Professor setting up lab using Lasers - Illinois State University physics professor, Brian K. Clark, has directed the creation of a new research laboratory which will use lasers to study molecular processes.
Clark built one of two lasers that will be used in the Department of Physics from parts common to old television sets and cars among other things.  This Nitrogen Laser makes studying molecular processes easier.
First Annual Geography Literacy Contest - Twenty-five Bloomington-Normal elementary schools will be competing in the First Annual Geography literacy Contest 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 at Community Players, Bloomington.  The contest is sponsored by The Peoples Bank and the Illinois Geographic Alliance.
According to Barbara Gardner, vice president and marketing director of The Peoples Bank, “By November 15th, one fifth-grade contestant from each area school will have been selected to participate in the geography bee.”
Individual school competitions will be conducted during National Geography Awareness Week, November 12-18.  Separate city finals will be held at the Community Players in Bloomington at 10:00 a.m.
Jim Cantrell, a fifth grade teacher at Glenn Elementary School, says the geography bee will be conducted like a spelling bee.
“The kids will stand up and be asked questions.  If they respond correctly they stay in, if they miss they’re out.”
Norman Bettis, coordinator of secondary education at I.S.U., said at a news conference, “Across the U. S. glaring omissions exist in students’ knowledge of geography.”  He explained that the weakness exists because geography has been neglected in schools.
But Cantrell says that students enjoy geography.  “I’ve tried to create some things that will be fun for the kids and keep them interested.”
Gardner says the winner of the contest will receive a $500 savings bond from The Peoples Bank which will also give a Rand McNally globe and computer software to her or his school.
The student who finishes in second-place will receive a $200 savings bond and a National Geographic Society Atlas of the World for his school.  Third place receives a $100 savings bond and an atlas.
The other community-level contestants, one from each school, will receive a $50 savings bond from the Illinois Geographic Alliance.
The Peoples Bank has promoted geographic awareness in the past by distributing world atlases to fifth grade geography classes.
Schools participating are Carlock, Eugene Field, Glenn, Washington, Oakland, Sheridan, Calvary Baptist, Stevenson, Metcalf, Towanda, Sugar Creek, Epiphany, Irving, Bent, Trinity Lutheran, Lincoln, Holy  Trinity, Fairview, Hudson, Northpoint, Colene Hoose, Parkside, St. Mary’s, and Oakdale.


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