Local History and Genealogy Blog

The General is a Lady! Commanding Officer Norma E. Brown

 

Image of a newspaper article titled, "The General is a Lady" about Commander Norma E. Brown. The article feature an image of Brown at her desk.

Newspaper article about the new Chanute commander, Norma E. Brown from an unidentified newpaper.

Chanute Air Force Base hosted many notable people as faculty, staff, and students, including an array of commanding officers from the very inception of the base until its closing (1917-1993). Looking through the Commanding Officers collection, we can see that men mostly held the position of commanding officer, with a few exceptions. One such exception is Norma E. Brown, the first woman to command a United States Air Force Wing and Technical Training Center. Read more about The General is a Lady! Commanding Officer Norma E. Brown

Documenting Land Use Changes Through Aerial Photographs

The Archives’ photograph collection contains many types of photographs, one being aerial. These aerial photographs can help track changes in neighborhoods and business districts. The changes might be from agricultural use to new residential or business use. They could also include the demolition of existing residential homes or buildings for a new mall, office building, or apartment complex. Aerial views from different angles or long-range can show additional details of other neighborhoods beyond the area of interest. Read more about Documenting Land Use Changes Through Aerial Photographs

Tread Carefully

We may have made it safely out of winter, but here in the Midwest, unpredictable winters are a fact of life. There is one thing you can be sure of. When the roads are bad, it is important to drive safe, and driving safe is easier when your tires are in good shape. Speaking of tires, here is a collection of tire ads from the 1920’s. Read more about Tread Carefully

It's Syllabus Day! Instructors and Students at the NCO Leadership School

The Chanute Air Force Base was home to non-commissioned officers. These officers rose through the ranks of their respective units and were not commissioned outside of that unit. As such, these officers were especially hard-working and dedicated. However, even the best leaders can improve their skills. The NCO Leadership School was a place where they could learn more about leadership and how to adapt their skills for their new roles. Read more about It's Syllabus Day! Instructors and Students at the NCO Leadership School

Down the Archives Rabbit Hole

Merriam Webster defines rabbit hole as “one in which the pursuit of something (such as an answer or solution) leads to other questions, problems, or pursuits.”

If you ask me, one of the best things about working in the Champaign County Historical Archives is the archives rabbit hole. One thing can, and usually does, lead to another. I had that very experience just this week and thought I’d document it here so you can see how it goes. Read more about Down the Archives Rabbit Hole

Chanute Snapshot: A Look at 1972

Part of the Chanute Collection contains the yearly written histories of the base. The staff of Chanute began writing down their histories beginning in 1917 and continued every year until the base’s closure in 1993. Let’s take a look back at what was happening on the base 50 years ago, in 1972. Read more about Chanute Snapshot: A Look at 1972

Illinois Times, a Newspaper for the Black C-U Community

Husband-wife duo, Edger and Blanche Harris founded the Illinois Times, a newspaper created to give voice and build community within the Black citizens of Champaign-Urbana. Established in 1939, the paper was first published in Danville, Illinois, when the Harrises transferred the publication to 202 Ellis Ave, Champaign. Edgar was editor and publisher, and Blanche was circulation manager and city editor. They ran the newspaper out of their house for thirty-six years.

Illinois Times newspaper header Read more about Illinois Times, a Newspaper for the Black C-U Community

Patches, Patches, and Patches: Processing the Chanute Heritage Committee Collection

In June, I began working on what I thought would be a small collection called the “Chanute Heritage Committee USAF Display.” This collection consisted of various patches and histories of squadrons, wings, and bases throughout the world. These were collected in 1986 and 1987 by the Chanute Heritage Committee on the base. The collection was originally housed in four file cabinet drawers.

70th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Moody AFB, Georgia

Moody AFB, Georgia: 70th Tactical Fighter Squadron, always holding out for a hero.

 

Read more about Patches, Patches, and Patches: Processing the Chanute Heritage Committee Collection