McLean County Museum Of History

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The McLean County Museum of History explores local agriculture history in their newest exhibition.

Staff / WGLT

The McLean County Museum of History says a former Bloomington Mayor, a historic preservationist, civil rights activists, and a community volunteer are all history makers.

Illinois State University

We're currently in a time of tumult, anger, and fear over immigration in this country.

This figured prominently during the presidential campaign and continues with the deportation enforcement policy of the Trump administration.

Illinois State University

In this time of tension over immigration here is an example of how one group of Latinos created its own sense of community and belonging in a town in rural Indiana.

McLean County Museum of History

The McLean County Museum of History is planning to open a Mitsubishi Motors exhibit in the fall of 2018.

Museum staff made the announcement today when representatives from the Mitsubishi Motors U.S.A. Foundation presented a $50,000 gift to support the museum's campaign for local education.

McLean County Museum Of History

  

Today's Connect Transit bus system can trace its roots in Bloomington-Normal back more than 130 years. 

A new form of transportation connected Bloomington residents in the late 1800's, a horse railway.

McLean County Museum of History

We always like to hear stories of lovable rogues, the scalawags who cannot help but be loved despite their moral gray areas.

Here is one such story.

McLean County Museum of History

As many social service agencies in the state suffer from lack of state funding today, we hearken back to an era when such services came only from the local community.

GLT's Charlie Schlenker produced this edition of the occasional series McHistory done in partnership with the McLean County Museum of History.

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Historic Route 66 was not only a highway, it was a pie-way.

Let's hear about food on the mother road. Rob Dirks is a retired food anthropologist at Illinois State University.

Emma Shores / WGLT

The McLean County Museum of History is offering a dramatic look at voices from the past in its cemetery walk over two weekends.

The walk attracts as many as 3,700 people annually. Most are school children attending weekday performances.

McLean County Museum of History

There's a lot of talk this year about the anger of Americans who used to be middle class, those who feel insecure about their future and their society. Today we revive GLT's occasional series McHistory, with a look at a time in Bloomington Normal people were a lot more fearful and angry than they are now. It was the Great Depression and people who were accused of being socialists really were.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Bloomington Aldermen will consider spending an additional $25 thousand this year to help with operational costs for the Route 66 Visitors Center at the entrance of the McLean County Museum of History.

McLean County Museum of History

The McLean County Museum of History has exceeded its $3 million campaign goal designed to fund improvements at the museum.

Campaign organizers announced the milestone at the museum's annual gala fundraising event last night. They say the drive has netted $3.36 million in pledges. Funds will go toward a new permanent exhibit and technology upgrades at the downtown Bloomington museum.

Recent fundraising success at the museum have resulted in the opening of two of the five planned permanent exhibits.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The McLean County Museum of History has raided Lincoln'-related collections and archives for a new exhibit that explores Lincoln's life in central Illinois.

"Abraham Lincoln in McLean County" reveals Lincoln's deep local connections and how they influenced the man who would one day guide the nation.  "We examine recollections and reminisces of Lincoln to provide  a more complete portrait of Lincoln as a man and as a leader," said Museum Librarian Bill Kemp. "We take time to really look at stories local folk told of Lincoln to paint a more three dimensional portrait of the man."

A Catholic priest, a legal services advocate, an agriculture specialist and a women's basketball hall of fame member are the recipients of this year's History Makers Awards from the McLean County Museum of History.

The awards will be presented at a gala on June 16.

This year's honorees are Jill Hutchison, John R. "Jack" Porter, Gordon Ropp and Father Ric Schneider.

McLean County Museum of History

Abraham Lincoln scholars now have a new critical resource, and casual fans of the 16th President can find out more about him in the words of his law partner. A newly edited volume of letters by Thomas Herndon offers insight into Lincoln's time.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The McLean County Museum of History invites you to make yourself at home in their new permanent exhibition, Making a Home.

*The exhibit is the first new exhibit at the museum in 24 years, and serves as the foundation for its interactive and student programs and public education.

*Making a Home explores the lives and experiences of those who settled in McLean County over several centuries, including Irish, German, Asian and Mexican immigrants, plus Native American tribes.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The McLean County Museum of History is peering through the years of central Illinois history to spotlight the stories of the wide variety of people who came to call McLean County home.  This new exhibit is the first in a series of five that will eventually make up the permanent exhibit called "Challenges, Choices and Change:  The People of McLean County."

Chris Sweet

While sales are flat, more people are using bikes as transportation and bike shares are popping up around the country. But whatever boom or boomlet is currently underway, it pales in comparison to the bike boom of the late 19th century. And central Illinois contributed more than its fair share to the boom. In the 1890’s, two-thirds of all bikes and bike accessories were produced with in a 150 mile radius of Chicago, which includes Bloomington and Peoria manufacturers.

McLean County Museum of History

The Director of the McLean County Museum of History is retiring. Greg Koos has spent 38 years at the museum and the historical society. Koos says he has lasted that long because he has been in a place where he sees people learn.

Illinois Man Portrays Lincoln At Gettysburg

Nov 18, 2015
Susan Stephens / IPR

An Illinois man will bring Abraham Lincoln to life Thursday to deliver the Gettysburg Address at Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. IPR's Jenna Dooley has more.

Todd Ryburn / Wikimedia Commons

The Bloomington City Council voted to contribute $50,000 over the next five years to the McLean County Museum of History's $3 million capital campaign. During his regular Sound Ideas interview, Mayor Tari Renner said the museum is of strategic importance in future, possible downtown redevelopment plans.

McLean County Museum of History

The Central Illinois Regional Airport now has a piece of McLean County aviation history on display. The airport and County Museum of History have hung the Tilbury Flash racing airplane in a concourse. Museum Curator Susan Hartzold says engineer Owen Tilbury invented the Flash in the 1930s.