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Florida History:The anthem that helped change history

Discussion in 'GatorTail Pub' started by gatorjjh, May 16, 2019.

  1. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    both sarcasm and tongue in cheek humor do not fare well on message boards, I am living proof :)
     
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  2. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Florida History: This building withstood storms, invaders and so much more
    Dade County is a site you might want to visit. Today, Florida Time introduces readers to another history-filled list -- historic places throughout the state.

    When Hurricane Andrew slammed Miami-Dade County in 1992, the magnificent woods of Key Biscayne, a picturesque community across Biscayne Bay from downtown Miami, were laid horizontal. Sticking up alone from the kindling, in defiance of Andrew and other hurricanes that have failed to budge it over the course of a century, was the 95-foot Cape Florida Lighthouse. It is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County.

    The 400-acre state recreation area surrounding it was severely damaged by Andrew, and would not reopen for a year.

    Florida Time archives: Get caught up on the stories you’ve missed
    When the lighthouse was first built in 1825 to aid boats around the end of the peninsula, Florida had been American territory for seven years. It would not be a state for two decades. And only about 500 non-Indians lived in South Florida.

    For decades, the solid brick structure -- tapering in thickness from 5 feet at the base to 2 feet at the top -- has withstood storms, the onslaught of the elements, invaders and the encroachment of development.
    Perhaps its greatest stand came against an attack by Seminole Indians and the botched suicide attempt of a panicking assistant keeper named John Thompson.

    On July 23, 1836, the lighthouse was stormed by Seminoles who set its base afire.

    Florida History: This building withstood storms, invaders and so much more
     
  3. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Florida History: Few people know what Hamilton Disston did and why
    Gvl Sun By Eliot Kleinberg
    Let’s take a break from historic sites and get back to people who made their mark in our home state. This week, we’d like to highlight Hamilton Disston who made decisions that affected multiple parts of Florida including Sanford, Kissimmee and Lake Okeechobee. Welcome to Florida Time, a weekly column about Florida history.

    Readers: Loyal Florida Time reader Ann, in Lake Disston, wrote, “Would love to see something on how Hamilton Disston made his mark on Florida but few people know what he did and why. The lake I live on (a tributary to the St. Johns River) is about the only thing in Florida that carries his name.”
    In 1881, Hamilton Disston made what may have been the most lopsided land deal since the U.S. got the vast wastelands of Alaska for a song and then found oil there.
    Florida Time archives: Get caught up on the stories you’ve missed
    Born in August 1844, into the Disston and Sons family of Philadelphia, makers of saws and other tools, Hamilton was only 34 when his father died in 1878 and he inherited the business. He would travel to Florida for frequent fishing trips and had met Henry Sanford, who founded the town north of Orlando that bears his name.

    In 1881, Disston made a deal, he bought four million acres of Florida land. This 6,250-square-mile chunk of central Florida is larger than Connecticut. Today, it stretches from Sanford to Orlando to Kissimmee and includes Walt Disney World. It accounts for 11 percent of the state’s total land area and its value today is staggering.
    https://www.gainesville.com/news/20...people-know-what-hamilton-disston-did-and-why
     
  4. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Florida history: State’s first hippie love-in was in Lantana?
    By Larry Aydlette | The Palm Beach Post
    As Peggy Murphy was getting ready to leave home that summer morning in 1967, her dad begged her: “Don’t get involved.”
    When she came back hours later, in a homemade bikini and her torso covered in painted flowers, handprints and the word ‘Love,’ she told her dad: “I got involved.”

    Murphy, then 20 and a Palm Beach Junior College student, had joined her boyfriend and hundreds of others at Florida’s first love-in, a communal gathering of youthful music and spirit that was spreading like the scent of patchouli oil from the flower power capitols of California.

    It was the summer that became known as the Summer of Love, but it wasn’t all far-out bliss. Deadly riots ripped apart American inner cities. Marches and war protests increased. Muhammad Ali was sentenced to jail for refusing his draft notice. The soundtracks of that summer were druggy studies in light and dark, from the Beatles’ trippy “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” to the Doors’ “Light My Fire.”
    Palm Beach County, a sleepy, square community, seemed immune to a lot of the growing unrest. So maybe it needed a little shaking up, some college kids figured. Why not a love-in?
    Florida history: State's first hippie love-in was in Lantana?
     
  5. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    commentary Scott Maxwell sentinel
    Goodbye to Orlando’s Citrus Parade
    A look at Orlando’s parade history ... including the Queen Kumquat Sashay
    After nearly 40 years, Orlando’s Citrus Parade is going to the great juicer in the sky.

    Maybe it was just a matter of time. After all, most of Orange County’s citrus groves have been clear-cut for strip malls and cheap houses.

    Nowadays, the Plywood Parade might be more appropriate for Central Florida.
    The original idea was brilliant for its time — televise a citric-acid-infused version of Pasadena’s famous Rose Bowl parade where Florida could showcase eye-popping floats topped with oranges and grapefruits on a glorious, warm, Orlando day. The goal: Make people shivering in Sheboygan think: Boy, my thermal undies could use a thaw.

    But the state’s citrus production is about a third of what it once was. The Citrus Bowl is now Camping World Stadium.

    And the CEO of Florida Citrus Sports — who’s paid $592,000 to run the nonprofit, according to the most recent tax filing — said the group just couldn’t justify spending $400,000 on the parade anymore.
    So it’s a loss for a city big on name ID but short on tradition.
    Still, the parade had its hiccups.

    In 2007, the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority spent $20,000 to sponsor a float. (Because who wants to see marching bands when you can cheer for political appointees who jack up your tolls?)
    Goodbye to Orlando’s Citrus Parade
     
  6. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Florida Time: America won Florida with the help of rebels
    Today, we hear about the East Florida rebellions and the Patriot War of 1812. Welcome to Florida Time, a weekly column about Florida history.
    Readers: Last week, we told you about Florida’s role in the American Revolution. It wasn’t our state’s last piece of international intrigue.

    This story starts in Fernandina Beach -- that colorful village about 35 miles north of Jacksonville at Florida’s northeast tip. Founded around 1812, it has been a haven for pirates, thieves and smugglers to rival whoever they want in the Caribbean.

    Over centuries, five nations ruled that part of Florida: Spain, France, England, the United States and the Confederacy. It claims to have been under a total of eight flags.
    When England gave Florida back to Spain after the American revolution, northeast Florida was an area of lawlessness and intrigue, through which goods and slaves would be smuggled north into the new United States after 1819.

    A group of Americans called the “East Florida Patriots” living in Spanish Florida secretly devised a plan to wrest the area from Spain. They would seize St. Augustine, raise their flag, declare a new nation and then “surrender” to America.

    They were a little too successful.

    Read more Florida history: Here are Florida’s top 25 stories of all time

    The administration of President James Madison “publicly disavowed Mathews, then left American troops in Florida for 15 months, from March 1812 to May 1813,” Jim Cusick, University of Florida author of The Other War of 1812 tells us.
    “Madison, along with Secretary of State (James) Monroe, was hoping a Congressional resolution would authorize a takeover, but it got defeated twice in the Senate and soon the president had bigger worries in trying to prosecute the War of 1812 against Britain.”

    Florida Time: America won Florida with the help of rebels
     
  7. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Florida Time: How did Key West get its name, anyway?
    Today, we hear about Key West, the city that used to be the biggest in South Florida. Welcome to Florida Time, a weekly column about Florida history.
    Readers: What was the biggest city in South Florida in 1900? Miami? Not!
    Here’s the box score: Fort Lauderdale 91, West Palm Beach 564, Miami 1,681. And, with an astounding 17,141 souls: Key West.

    It is a fact that Key West is both the southernmost and westernmost of the keys. But that’s not why it’s called Key West. The most accepted version of how it got its name appears to be that the Spanish corrupted “Cayo,” a Taino word for small island, and added “hueso,” Spanish for “bones,” because they’d given the name to a local tree. Or because the reefs looked like bleached bones. Or because explorers found bones of Calusas strewn on the beach. It’s all in how you tell the tale.
    Here’s more on the history of what might be Florida’s most colorful town: It’s truncated from a history by famed Keys historian Jerry Wilkinson.

    Because its natural port was the deepest between New Orleans and Norfolk, it was already a rapidly-growing economic center before Florida joined the United States in 1819. It was incorporated Jan. 8, 1828. And even then, it wrestled with yellow fever and a lack of easily accessible fresh water.

    Read more Florida history: Here are Florida’s top 25 stories of all time

    Early on, the business of preference was salvaging or “wrecking.” The Gulf Stream passed close to Key West and it was a natural stopping point. But it also was surrounded by treacherous reefs.
    “Some of the richest cargoes passed and wrecked in its front yard,” Jerry Wilkinson writes. “All they (residents) had to do was sit back and wait.”
    Florida Time: How did Key West get its name, anyway?
     
  8. llm85

    llm85 NBN Bracket Master

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    Huh?? Florida joined the Union in 1845. The linked article says that Spanish rule ended in 1821.
     
  9. Claygator

    Claygator GC Hall of Fame

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    Both are true. American troops, especially under the command of Andrew Jackson, led repeated incursions into Florida in 1817-1818 in order to subdue Seminoles ( the first Seminole War) who were raiding into Georgia and providing a haven for slaves. The US exercised defacto control over the state from then on. Spain was weary of trying to hold and maintain Florida, and lacked the resources to do so, and entered into a treaty with the US ceding the territory to the US in 1821. Thereafter, Florida became a state in 1845.
     
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  10. defensewinschampionships

    defensewinschampionships GC Hall of Fame

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    I always found it intersecting that the US half constructed the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere in the Dry Tortugas
     
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  11. G8trGr8t

    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    It controlled the shipping lanes to the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River. Was most remote fort so it had to be big enough to sustain a siege for an extended period of time. If you have never visited it's a neat place to go

    Ft. Jefferson Feb 2018
     
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  12. Claygator

    Claygator GC Hall of Fame

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    I sailed to Fort Jefferson with some friends a few years ago, and anchored in the harbor there for a few nights. It's an incredibly interesting place.
     
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  13. G8trGr8t

    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    My family history (Baxley and Mosley) is in Middleburg. Furthest back we can trace is 1840's and many people believe that Middleburg is the second oldest continuous European settlement in the USA. My uncle wrote his PhD thesis on Middleburg and his research indicated that there is much more to the history of Middleburg than the history books indicate. Geographically, Middleburg is at the fork of Black Creek. Black Creek is a deep freshwater river that runs to the St. Johns river which runs to the Atlantic in Jacksonville. Spanish ships would sail north to St. Augustine and then gather stocks for their trip east back to Europe.

    St. Augustine was like other settlements in that it had good and bad people. The Spanish settlers there also integrated and married with runaway slaves and native Indians. One school of thought is that people who were outlaws or generally not wanted in St. Augustine are rumored to have founded Middleburg and then used it as a base for their smaller, shallower draft boats to raid St. Augustine and even attack ships leaving St. Augustine.

    Good read here about their research into Middleburg and their contention that it was founded by St. Augustine settlers in search of good ag land. Personally, I am sticking to the story that my ancestors were pirates and that my bad habits are 100% attributable to my genetics.

    History of Middleburg, Next Oldest Town In United States in Clay County Fl

    • There is no place in Florida richer in history than the village of Middleburg. Located between the forks of Black creek in Clay county, about twenty-eight miles southwest of Jacksonville. At one time, Middleburg was the principal port for water shipments in the state; that was back in 1840-1850. Boats came up Black creek from the St. Johns river and loaded with lumber, crossties, wood and cotton. Black creek is a very deep stream and in places is over a quarter of a mile wide. Boats of fairly deep draft can navigate it easily.

      The writer, in delving into the past of Middleburg, was told that about ten years after the settlement of St. Augustine, several Spanish families, desiring to engage in farming, moved back into the interior on Black creek near where Middleburg now stands. Among these families were Tarattus, Alvarez, Andrew and Dilabury. Many of the descendants of those families are now living in that section. It is not known what the Spaniards called the settlement, but the Alvareses and Andrews moved on further back to what is now Bradford county. Later, in 1820-25, many

      American families moved to the same location, among them being the Tippins, Branning, Tegister, Chalker, Frisbee, Prevatt, Snowden and Burdin families. Today they are engaged in C (sic) farming, and quite a town was built up at that time, larger than the village of Bowford, now Jacksonville. Middleburg was then called the town of Black Creek, the creek being so named because the water is nearly jet black.

    • House Still Stands
      In 1840, the Chalkers built a large two-story house. It is still standing and in it lives Mrs. M. A. Chalker, age 84, who is one of the oldest residents of Middleburg. The Methodist church used by the early settlers is still in good shape and is being used. It was constructed in 1847. The Brannings were wealthy aristocratic southerners. They had a large plantation and farmed it with over 100 slaves. The plantation had its own shoe factory, blacksmith shop and commissary. Back in the early days before and during the Indian war, it is stated that the Indians had a large camp on the shores of Black creek near the present town of Middleburg. They foraged as far away as South Georgia. Along about that time, as it is stated, a band of pirates made a camp on the shores of the creek near the Indian camp and built up quite a village. They used this as their hiding place, dashing out at times into the St. Johns river, thence to the ocean where they would loot some unfortunate ship and then dash back to their rendezvous. It is stated that the pirates had trouble with the Indians and a band of old Billy Bowlegs ' followers slaughtered them all in a pitched battle one day, but this is merely hearsay. No history records a battle of that nature being fought. However, it is a fact that there was a fort at that location during the Seminole Indian war. Several companies of United States soldiers engaged there until the Indians were driven further south. Old residents say that a Mrs. Snowden, with others, was in the fort with six children. She took a notion she wanted to her home. All tried to dissuade her from this move. She went and the Indians captured her, stood the six children in a row, shot them and left Mrs. Snowden for dead. However, she recovered, and scouts coming along found her and took her to the fort.

      Woman Compiles Data
      Mrs. Minnie B. Prevatt has prepared some interesting data of early Middleburg. She says; "Much has been said about St. Augustine, the oldest town in the United States, but comparatively little is known of Middleburg, the second oldest town in the United States. On the Rideout road near Russell, about five miles from Green Cove Springs, there was an Indian town as late as 1855. The huts, which were built largely of palmetto, stood for a number of years after the Indians left. The Indians would leave their town, go down Peters creek to St. Johns River to the St. Johns bar where they would get oysters. The land where this Indian town stood was later homesteaded by John Barrows, Sr. Many of the creeks and landings were give the names of pioneers who were killed near there by the Indians. Bull Creek was named after a man by the name of Bullman who was killed by Indians while plowing. Indian Fort, on the north prong of Black creek near Middleburg, was given the name because a Mr. Beasley was killed there by the Indians while and George Branning were crossing the creek. Mr. Beasley's horse had stopped to drink and an Indian hiding at the edge of the water shot him with an arrow and killed him. Branning was not harmed as he was an interpreter for the Indians."



      My grandparents are buried at the Old Methodist church there. According to family members, my grandmother was 50% Indian. Our family were loggers and my grandfather always said there was more good cypress at the bottom of Black Creek than they ran through their mill since they lost as many or more logs that sunk than the ones that they managed to float down the creek.

      The father of marine corps aviation was from Middleburg, as was SLim WHitman who was a much more famous singer in Europe than in the US.

      Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Clay - Preservation - Florida Division of Historical Resources

      Description: Roy Stanley Geiger, the “Father of Marine Corps Aviation,” was born on January 25, 1885, in his family home on what is now the campus of Middleburg First Baptist Church. He served as a school teacher, principal, and lawyer. Geiger joined the Marine Corps in 1907 and was commissioned in 1909. After tours of duty in Nicaragua, Panama, and China, he became the fifth Marine Corps Aviator in 1917. Major Geiger commanded the 1st Marine Aviation Force in France during WWI. During WWII, he commanded the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing at Guadalcanal and was named Commander of Third Marine Amphibious Corps for the invasion of Guam and Okinawa. He was promoted to Lieutenant General in July 1945 and was named Commander of Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. General Geiger was the most senior marine present at the Japanese surrender on board the U.S.S. Missouri in September 1945. Following his death on January 23, 1947, Geiger was promoted to four-star general by the U.S. Congress. General Geiger is the only general in the American military to be born and raised in Clay County. An icon in Marine Corps history, General Roy Geiger now rests in Arlington National Cemetery.
    Green Cove Springs is also in Clay County on the St. Johns River just upstream of where Black Creek meets the St. Johns River. It once had the only high school in Clay County and that is where my Mom graduated high school in 1958 as the first member of our family to do so.

    FORT SAN FRANSISCO DE PUPO
    Location:S.R. 16 at Shands Bridge.
    County: Clay
    City: Green Cove Springs
    Description: Pupo is first mentioned in 1716 as the place where the trail from the Franciscan Indian Missions in Apalachee (present-day Tallahassee) to St. Augustine crossed the river. The Spanish government built the fort on the St. Johns River sometime before 1737. Pupo teamed with Fort Picolata on the Eastern Shore, these forts protected the river crossing and blocked ships from continuing upstream. In 1738 after an attack by the British-allied Yuchi Indians, the fort was enlarged to a 30-by-16 blockhouse, surrounded by a rampart of timber and earth. During General James Oglethorpe's 1739-40 advance on St. Augustine, Lt. George Dunbar unsuccessfully attacked Pupo on the night of December 28th. On January 7th and 8th, Oglethorpe himself took two days to capture the Spanish blockhouses. Oglethorpe reinforced the fort with a trench, which is still visible. Upon the British retreat from Florida, Fort San Fransisco de Pupo was destroyed. Though the fort was never rebuilt, the site remained a strategically important ferry crossing. In the 1820s, Florida's first federally built road, the Bellamy Road, used the river crossing on the route between St. Augustine and Pensacola.
     
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  14. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Florida Time: Florida’s famous governors
    In this Florida history column, we’ve shared the Sunshine State’s historic sites and people who made their mark. This week, we’d like to highlight famous governors. Welcome to Florida Time.

    Readers: In 2015, a group of Florida scholars, including this writer, began assembling mini-biographies of Florida’s governors. The book is in talks to publish soon. Since our space is limited in today’s column, we’ll focus on some notable ones, omitting those we already have featured in Florida Time such as Napoleon Broward.

    Note: The primary source used for this column is the Florida Handbook.

    1. William Dunn Moseley (1845–1849): He was the first governor under statehood, defeating territorial governor Richard Keith Call (1836, 1841).

    2. Madison Starke Perry (1857–1861): Like his counterpart in Washington, James Buchanan, Perry is known for presiding over the split. While Buchanan is noted for his inaction, Perry, a South Carolina native, was proactive – toward secession. He foresaw it and in 1868 urged reestablishment of the state militia. He told the Legislature in 1860 that Abraham Lincoln’s election made secession inevitable. The Jan., 11, 1861, vote came under his administration.

    3. Abraham Kurkindolle Allison (1865): He was governor for about 10 minutes. Actually, about six weeks. On April 1, 1865, when Gov. John Milton killed himself, the post fell to Allison, who was Senate President. A ledger shows his last official act as governor was May 19, the day before Union troops seized the capital and declared military occupation.

    4. Sidney Johnston Catts (1917–1921): Yours truly wrote the segment in the new governors book, based primarily on Wayne Flynt’s 1977 biography, “Cracker Messiah.” Flynt calls him “perhaps the last true Florida Cracker politician elected in the Sunshine State.” Catts, a former teacher, salesman and an ordained Baptist minister, was pushed out in a Democratic primary, then became the only third-party candidate ever to win the governor’s seat. He was a champion of the middle man who also called alcohol and the Catholic Church tools of Satan. He once got fed up with the publisher of The Palm Beach Post and threatened to come down with a shotgun and have “a final settlement.” But he also steered Florida through World War I, ended shameful convict leasing, pushed through mental health reforms, and lobbied for women’s suffrage.

    Read more Florida history: Here are Florida’s top 25 stories of all time
    5. David Sholtz (1933–1937): Taking office in the depths of the Depression, he quickly took advantage of the federal government’s many New Deal projects, which pumped money into Florida’s recovery. Scholtz is also Florida’s only governor of Jewish descent.

    6. Spessard Lindsey Holland (1941–1945): As Florida’s World War II governor, he saw the explosion of military installations and soldiers in training and presided over attacks from U-Boats on tankers just offshore, even as he struggled to keep tourism and commerce thriving.

    7. Daniel Thomas McCarty (1953–1953): He is considered the first governor from South Florida, if you consider Fort Pierce part of that region. Just 41, he represented a new breed of young World War II veterans tackling Florida’s postwar boom. Sadly, just seven weeks after taking office, he suffered an incapacitating heart attack. He died in September, nine months into his administration.

    8. Charley Eugene Johns (1953–1955): Johns’ accomplishments as governor -- prison reform and highway construction expansion -- are overshadowed by the shameful committee that shares his name. After his gubernatorial term, he returned to the state senate where he chaired a committee (1956 to 1965) intent on rooting out communists and gays in state government. Hundreds of careers and lives were ruined.

    More to come.

    Florida Time: Florida's famous governors
     
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  15. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Florida Time: Civil War Forts and their stories
    Welcome to Florida Time, a weekly column about Florida history: from the Fountain of Youth and Walt Disney to the Miami Riots, the extent of Jim Crow, the mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs, the moon landing and more. This week, we discuss Civil War forts.

    Readers: Back in April, after our three-parter on Florida in the Civil War, loyal reader Susan Mitchell Lee wrote from Jacksonville to ask about forts in Florida that are now national parks. She asked, did any “see any action like Fort Sumter? I thought I heard one was used as a prison and was involved in a prisoner exchange.” We will presume Susan was asking specifically about Civil War forts. There were plenty. And they were consequential. Some were small and some are long gone. Here are the major ones.

    Pickens: The first serious confrontation of the Civil War happened in Pensacola Bay, rather than at Fort Sumter. Pickens is part of a triad: Fort Barrancas which is now on the grounds of Naval Air Station Pensacola, and Fort McRae, which is built on the eastern side of Perdido Key, had fallen victim to Civil War bombardment, storms and erosion. The Confederates demanded the federals abandon Pickens, which they argued, like Sumter, was on the soil of a sovereign nation. With Barrancas and McRae already in Confederate hands, the specter of a triangular firing squad loomed large. All three forts now are part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

    Read more Florida history: Here are Florida’s top 25 stories of all time

    As with Sumter, a compromise later was struck; the soldiers could stay as long as more troops were not sent. But President Abraham Lincoln later did just that; troops arrived a few hours after Fort Sumter came under attack in South Carolina. Federal troops at the fortified Fort Pickens opened fire in November 1861 at rebels occupying Barrancas and McRae, and area residents watched cannonballs fly across the mile-wide strait. There was little damage. But the Civil War had come to Florida.

    Clinch: Standing at Florida’s northeast corner, its cannons point out to the Atlantic Ocean and north across Cumberland Sound to Georgia. But the place, an uneven pentagon with 28-foot-high brick walls and a 100-by-100-yard courtyard, was never finished. Designed to house 500 soldiers, its bricks and mortar were diverted to Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West. Confederate troops occupied it briefly, but the Union retook it when the rebels abandoned it. The state bought the 4-acre fort and surrounding land in 1935. It’s now a state park where reenactors display life in the fort during the Civil War.

    Zachary Taylor: Construction on the fort, in the heart of Key West, began in 1845 when Florida became a state. Work took decades, mostly because of the difficulty in getting labor and materials to Key West, then disconnected from the mainland. For the same reasons, when Florida seceded, while the island city technically was Confederate territory, and was rife with Southern sympathizers, Union control never faced a serious challenge. The fort is now a state park.

    Florida Time archives: Get caught up on the stories you’ve missed

    Jefferson: The lonely maritime outpost at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico, 68 miles west of Key West, was built as the Gibraltar of the Gulf. The 16-sided fort, surrounded by a 70-foot wide, 30-foot deep moat, boasts 50-foot high, 8-foot-thick walls designed for 450 guns and a force of 1,500. But it was left behind by advances in weaponry; its cannons couldn’t reach enemy ships. By the Civil War, it had been turned into a prison. When Maryland doctor Samuel Mudd set the leg of John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, he was convicted of conspiracy. Insisting on his innocence, he was shipped off to Fort Jefferson. Four years later, after yellow fever ravaged the prison, he was recruited and helped save lives. It earned him a pardon. But not exoneration. Several legal and legislative efforts to overturn the conviction have been unsuccessful. Historians have argued Mudd was, in fact, part of the conspiracy. Fort Jefferson is now part of Dry Tortugas National Park.
    Florida Time: Civil War Forts and their stories
     
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  16. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    The history of sugar in Florida: Here’s the scoop
    From the Gvl Sun By Corvaya Jeffries
    Florida plays a huge role in the multibillion-dollar sugar industry. But where did it all start? For more Florida history, check out Florida Time, a weekly column and newsletter that features Sunshine State everything. Sign up by texting FLORIDATIME to 345345.
    Eat less sugar, you’re sweet enough already! There’s a pick-up line for a pretty lady or handsome fellah if you ever need one.

    But before special someones were compared to the sweet stuff, sugar had to first come into existence. Now, onto what we’re all here for: real Florida history.
    As some of you may know, the sugar industry is nothing without Florida’s contribution to it. The humid climate is perfect for sugarcane to grow, and for centuries, the crop has been used in the home and for big-time commercial profit.

    But where did it all start?
    A blog post by Florida Memory explained that, in the west, sugar cane wasn’t thought of very much as a sweetener until Europeans began colonizing the Americas during the Age of Discovery. It was one of the plants they brought over to cultivate.

    Fast forward to the beginning stages of colonization: Sugar’s value went up when a major sugarcane operation came about -- the first of its kind. That was in the 1700s, when the British held the territory of what is now our home state.
    When the United States locked in Florida and had ownership in 1821, big investments were put into equipment to make larger, more effective sugarcane operation hubs. Planters saw the potential of the plant as the sole provider of their fortune and well-being. But little did they know... it wouldn’t last long.

    In 1840, large-scale cultivation of sugarcane stopped. Growers and farmers learned that the longer the plant stays in the ground, the better, but they couldn’t control the weather. When sugarcane freezes, it can’t crystalize into sugar.
    Nonetheless, sugarcane was still valuable. It produced cane juice, which was turned into things like rum and cane syrup. Then, in the 20th century, with new developments in technology, sugarcane made its way back to being the commercial enterprise past growers knew it could be. Today, it’s a multibillion-dollar industry and the state produces tons of it annually.

    What do you know about sugarcane? Have you ever grown a crop? Was your family in the business? Tell us your Florida story about sugarcane. Whatever it may be, we want to hear it! Call and leave historian and Florida Time columnist, Eliot Kleinberg a voicemail at 850-270-8418. Your story may be featured on Reader Rewind, a digital radio show with stories from our readers.
    The history of sugar in Florida: Here's the scoop


    Florida Time Newsletter: history, nostalgia, reader stories and little-known facts
     
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  17. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Florida history: The governors who took on segregation, the Miami Riots and the Turnpike
    Today, we hear about more of Florida’s famous governors. From Cecil Farris Bryant who championed education to Reubin O’Donovan Askew who pushed massive tax reform. Welcome to Florida Time, a weekly column about Florida history.

    Thomas LeRoy Collins (1955–1961): A son of the south who saw integration coming. Florida, he told the state’s politicians and business leaders, could accept the inevitable with a minimum of fuss, or risk the world seeing Florida policemen knocking down black people with firehoses, and forget about tourism for decades. But he also was courageous enough to rise above pragmatism, saying laws that allowed discrimination to be “morally wrong.” On his death in 1991, The Legislature declared him “Floridian of the Century.”

    Cecil Farris Bryant (1961–1965): He was a champion of improving both K-12 school grades and college statewide. Under Bryant, work began on the Florida Barge Canal, which was later abandoned as impractical and caused extensive environmental damage. But he also expanded what is now Florida’s Turnpike, as well as Alligator Alley.
    William Haydon Burns (1965-1967): Because of a change in term cycles, he served just two years. The World War II veteran had been Jacksonville mayor for five terms. He helped develop a new state constitution, as well as new areas of outdoor recreation and industry.

    Claude Roy Kirk (1967–1971): Before this flamboyant businessman came along, a Republican couldn’t get elected dogcatcher in Florida. And except for during reconstruction, none ever had been governor. During his tenure, he encouraged constitutional reforms that shifted power long held by North Florida Democratic leaders, even as the state became more bottom heavy. He was the first to tackle environmental issues. But he also opposed forced busing to achieve immigration.
    Reubin O’Donovan Askew (1971–1979): He pushed for massive tax reform, including a referendum for a corporate income tax and for the “Sunshine Amendment,” which forced transparency by politicians.
    Daniel Robert Graham (1979–1987): He worked his way into the governor’s mansion, leaping into the public eye with his “work days.” He steered Florida through the Mariel boatlift, the Miami riots and pushed through numerous environmental projects and laws.
    Robert “Bob” Martinez (1987–1991): Florida’s first governor of Hispanic descent, he was also the second Republican governor in modern times and the first from the Tampa Bay area. He pushed through several water bills and tried to eliminate legislative “turkeys.”
    see the rest at:
    Florida history: The governors who took on segregation, the Miami Riots and the Turnpike
     
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  18. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Interesting list, "back in the day" I was fortunate to know and worked with several of the Govs in the story.
     
  19. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Florida History: How Christmas, Florida was named
    It may not snow often in Florida, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have Christmas. In fact, we have a whole town called Christmas. Here’s the history of the small city between Orlando and the Space Coast. Welcome to Florida Time.

    Readers: Who needs snow? You can have Christmas in Florida by going to... Christmas, Florida.

    The town, cynical critics will speculate, was built in two weeks by clever hucksters to sell trinkets to Disney-goers on the way out of nearby Orlando. They would be wrong.
    While nearly 200 places in America have Christmas in their names, the unincorporated settlement of about 4,000, about halfway between Orlando and the Space Coast, is one of only seven named Christmas, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

    The name is easily explained.
    During the Seminole Wars, soldiers stopped here in December 1837 and built a fort in three days, starting on Christmas Day. The complex -- two 20-foot-square blockhouses surrounded by a pine thicket -- was a supply depot for about 2,000 soldiers working the countryside. About 40 soldiers actually lived there.
    The fort never saw battle though; it was abandoned three months after it was built and fell victim to deterioration and fire. Nothing remains.

    Read more Florida history: Here are Florida’s top 25 stories of all time

    With area Seminoles routed, cattle ranchers and farmers, some of them former soldiers from the fort, began to homestead the area. Many current residents are their descendants.
    But that hasn’t stopped the town of Christmas -- or at least its tiny post office -- from cashing in.
    As many as 150,000 people visit Christmas every holiday season. People also send in bundles of mail just to get a one-of-a-kind postmark. In 1993, the post office was selected for the “first day of issue″ cancellation of that season’s contemporary Christmas stamps.
    Then there are the sacks of envelopes from youngsters that are addressed: “Santa Claus. Christmas, Fla.″

    Florida Time Newsletter: history, nostalgia, reader stories and little-known facts

    An official post office designation had been established in 1892. But dating to 1837, postal services had operated in people’s homes or in a former general store. The first structure officially built as a post office was constructed in 1937.

    Florida Time archives: Get caught up on the stories you’ve missed

    Juanita Tucker, postmaster for four decades in the 20th century before retiring in 1974, was the guiding force behind the holiday theme. The 1937 post office building was retired around the same time as Tucker and was moved into the Peace Garden as a museum.
    Florida History: How Christmas, Florida was named
     
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  20. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Florida history: Earthquakes, prohibition, gangsters and murder -- coming to Florida Time in 2020
    Welcome to Florida Time, a weekly column about Florida history: from the Fountain of Youth and Walt Disney to the Miami Riots, Jim Crow, Weeki Wachee Springs, the moon landing and more.
    Readers: We end the first year of Florida Time with gratitude, excitement and high hopes for 2020.

    Our success is due to the hard work of the Florida Time team, and, of course, the interest shown by you, the readers.
    Since our Florida history column debuted in January in some two dozen newspapers in the Gatehouse family, we’ve received many encouraging responses from people who thanked us, joined the estimated 20,000 who have signed up for our newsletter, or most importantly, submitted ideas (and voicemails) for future columns.

    If you haven’t given our digital radio show, Florida Time’s Reader Rewind a listen, click the play button below. And after hearing some personal Florida histories, give us a call and share you own -- (850) 270-8418.

    In a state full of transplants, we’re thrilled for every “convert” who develops an interest in learning more about the place that’s now his or her home.

    Big things beckon in the new year. In November, Gatehouse joined forces with Gannett, adding several newspapers, including those in the Treasure and Space coasts, southwest Florida, and the Panhandle. Talks are underway to soon extend Florida Time to those properties as well, adding hundreds of thousands of new readers. And the Florida Time team is working to schedule visits to various markets, to talk up Florida history in person.

    For now, here’s a sneak preview of topics we tentatively plan to visit in 2020. There’s room for more, so send those ideas!

    Florida’s lost businesses: Eastern Airlines, Royal Castle, Eckerd Drugs.

    Did Miami’s Julia Tuttle really send Henry Flagler orange blossoms? And is that the only reason he came down?

    A cynical 1920s book and a 1930s travel guide provide snapshots of a long-gone Florida.

    Florida Time archives: Get caught up on the stories you’ve missed

    A look at a few of Florida’s great writers.

    Does Florida get earthquakes? Maybe...

    A man took a shot at the president of the United States -- and instead killed a big city mayor. What happened?

    Prohibition in Florida: Law of the land, or just a mild suggestion?

    Did Nazi saboteurs really come ashore in Florida?

    The summer Miami boiled -- and a bridge came tumbling down.

    Gangster Al Capone had a son. Good luck finding him. We did.

    The “Lonely Hearts” murder: be careful who you pick as a pen pal.

    Halloween 2020 in Florida: UFOs, missing planes, and haunted places.

    Last week: How Christmas, Florida was named

    Next week: See you in 2020!

    Eliot Kleinberg has been a staff writer for the past three decades at The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, and is the author of 10 books about Florida (www.ekfla.com). Florida Time is a product of Gannett Media and publishes online in their Florida markets including Jacksonville, Fort Walton Beach, Daytona Beach, Lakeland, Sarasota and West Palm Beach. Submit your questions, comments, trivia or memories to FloridaTime@Gatehousemedia.com. Include your full name and hometown. Sorry; no personal replies.
    Florida history: Earthquakes, prohibition, gangsters and murder -- coming to Florida Time in 2020
     
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