In 2008, Peoria’s airport was renamed General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport. When I dropped my wife off for a trip to visit her folks, I decided to stop and find out who General Downing was.
Born in Peoria, Wayne A. Downing was a career Army officer who served in Vietnam and the Gulf War, and he held various roles in the modern war on terror prior to his death in 2007.
I’ve adopted Peoria as my home over the last few years, and I’ve come to enjoy learning more and more about its history and personalities. For example, Theodore Roosevelt once proclaimed Grandview Drive the most beautiful drive in the United States. Peoria also was once the whiskey capital of the US. Today, Peoria is the world headquarters for Caterpillar, even though the Illinois government is doing its best to screw that up.
How many of you live in a small town or city? Or have moved to a new home far from where you grew up? How much do you know about it? When you have a quiet day, get out there and learn something. Maybe your quiet, boring little town will surprise you.