100 years ago: Salvation Army kettles come out

How Time Flies is a daily feature looking back at Pantagraph archives to revisit what was happening in our community and region. 

100 years ago

Dec. 9, 1922: The Salvation Army kettles for Christmas donations will go on the streets of Bloomington today. They are a little late in starting, it being the custom to put them out 21 days before Christmas. Capt. Ainsworth hopes that the public will respond generously for he says that the size of his Christmas treat for the unfortunates will depend entirely upon kettle collections. 

75 years ago

Dec. 9, 1947: A total of $100 in cash prizes will be distributed to Bloomington-Normal residents in the annual Christmas outdoor decoration and lighting contest sponsored by the Junior Chamber of Commerce. First prize will be $50 five prizes off $10 each will be given to runners up. Last year, prizes were awarded by wards, but this year competition will be on a citywide basis. 

Dec. 9, 1972: Widmer Inc., an office supply firm in Peoria, will open a branch office in Bloomington at the corner of Empire and Main streets. Merle Widmer, an Illinois State University graduate who founded the business eight years ago, also operates stores in Peru, Peoria, Pontiac and Decatur. 

25 years ago

Dec. 9, 1997: Matt Kubiak is no George Bailey, but the Bloomington Public Library director’s life just got a lot more wonderful. After years of scrimping and saving and getting by on a little less than needed each year, Kubiak and his library compatriots received a whopping reward for their quiet dedication: a $312,320 tax levy increase that will repair a leaking roof and buy a new bookmobile. “What a great Christmas gift for the community,” he said. 

Compiled by Pantagraph staff 

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