The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Why be Normal?

Another frequently asked question is: why would anyone name a town "Normal?" Well, the city of Bloomington was here first, with the Illinois State Normal School, a teacher training facility in what was known as North Bloomington. ("Normal" schools are schools devoted to the education of teachers.) The town of Normal was incorporated in 1865. After I got here, I was perplexed, because there was no Normal School. As it happens, Illinois State Normal School was turned into the four year college Illinois State University in the 1960s.
Random facts from Wikipedia:
ISU is home to the world's tallest residence hall, Watterson Towers, which houses 2,200 students. The building, which consists of a pair of towers, was completed in 1967.
ISU is also home of the Gamma Phi Circus, the oldest collegiate circus in the United States. The Gamma Phi Circus, founded in 1929, is one of 2 collegiate circuses in the US. (The other is at FSU)
The only famous person from Normal is McLean Stevenson (from M.A.S.H.), however, famous alumni from ISU include: Sean Hayes, John Malkovich, Gary Sinise and Laurie Metcalf.