Welcome home, fellow Gator.

The Gator Nation's oldest and most active insider community
Join today!

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

    68,678
    41,524
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    Assassins in Florida? How a secret club killed a postmaster 135 years ago
    A group of vigilantes fatally shot Sarasota’s first postmaster in the head with a double barreled shotgun on Dec. 27, 1884.
    People wanted Charles Abbe dead. Abbe was a northerner, a postmaster, a progressive businessman and worse, a Republican in a mostly Democratic county.
    So when Abbe’s wife, Charlotte, heard the shots from a half-mile away on Dec. 27, 1884, she felt a rising panic. Charles could have been the one. He was.

    The triggerman and his accomplice let a man who was with Abbe run away unharmed, to later testify about the crime.
    The men dragged the postmaster’s bleeding body through the sand and onto a boat, leaving bits of Abbe’s brains on the ground.
    Then they sailed through Big Pass and threw the body “to the sharks,” wrote the Chicago News.
    The New York Times called them the “notorious Sarasota Assassination Society.” At its peak, there were as many as 20 men in the vigilante group at a time when the area had about 60 families. They shot a farmer on horseback before slitting his throat, and they terrorized Charlotte before shooting her husband in broad daylight with both barrels of a shotgun 135 years ago on Friday.

    On Christmas day, two days prior to the murder, the men plotted Abbe’s demise in the parlor of Alfred Bidwell’s house. Bidwell, the Buffalo, N.Y. transplant from a wealthy family, was later convicted, as a member of a secret society of vigilantes and for helping to mastermind Abbe’s murder.
    Bidwell is long gone. So are the nine men who were indicted in the murder, the seven who were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging or life behind bars. Two escaped from prison. The others were pardoned long before Scottish settlers arrived and Sarasota was incorporated as a city.

    But Bidwell’s one-half story wood frame house still stands, surviving hurricanes, relentless summers and the city that grew up around it. It’s the area’s oldest building and has been moved three times. Walking through it, the stairs creak, and the windows hardly seem storm-worthy.

    Today, the parlor, where the murder was planned, is decorated for Christmas. Little white fabric snowflakes hang over the fireplace. There’s a Christmas tree nearby. On the wall is a copy of Bidwell’s obituary. Printed in a Jacksonville newspaper, it talks of his narrow escape from a hanging, his commutation and a jailbreak.
    Assassins in Florida? How a secret club killed a postmaster 135 years ago
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. gatorjjh

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

    68,678
    41,524
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    Florida History: The lost businesses of Florida
    Welcome to the Florida Time, year two! This is a weekly column about Florida history: from The Treasure Coast and Florida’s great shipwrecks, UFO sightings, Florida’s sinkholes and more.

    Readers: We’re starting our second year of Florida Time!
    A few years back, in Post Time, our local history column in West Palm Beach, we listed Florida-centered businesses that have come and gone. The columns prompted a lot of nostalgic comments. So over the next few weeks, we’re bringing them back for our statewide readers. We have missed some companies, no doubt. Let us know!
    Eastern Airlines: Founded in 1921, it moved in 1935 from Atlanta to Miami. Former heads: World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker and astronaut Frank Borman. Eastern Airlines thrived through South Florida’s war years and boom. It was once one of Florida’s largest employers. But the airfare wars that followed deregulation in the 1970s and 1980s hit Eastern hard, and an ugly parade of bankruptcy filings, restructurings, takeovers and fights with unions came to a head when the airline shutdown in January 1991.
    National Airlines: Founded in October 1934 in St. Petersburg and relocated in 1939 to Jacksonville, it was the first airline to offer “vacation packages,” fly jets in the United States, equip planes with radar, and boast an all-jet fleet. Long based in Miami, it fell to a hostile takeover by Pan American in 1980.
    Florida Time archives: Get caught up on the stories you’ve missed
    Pan American Airlines: Started in 1927 as a small South Florida-based carrier, it was the first U.S. airline with permanent international and transatlantic routes. It was hit hard by airline deregulation and the bombing of Flight 103 over Scotland in 1988. Losses continued and Pan Am folded in 1991.
    Air Florida: Founded in 1972, it offered bargain fares and promotional gimmicks. To pay for them, it packed passengers tightly. Eventually it overextended, and when competitors slashed prices, the airline’s debt grew. The January 1982 crash of an Air Florida plane into the Potomac River in Washington, killing 78, was a public relations disaster from which the airline never recovered. It shut down in July 1984.
    Royal Castle: There was a time when it was Florida’s dominant hamburger chain. It was famed for its small, square burgers and for its killer birch beer which longtime Floridians still yearn. At its height, it boasted more than 180 shops across the South, nearly all in Florida. Started in Miami in the 1930s, it fell victim to competition from a growing parade of fast-food chains, chief among them an upstart company, also from Miami, called Burger King. The chain shut down in 1975, although one “Royal Castle” still operates in Miami.
    Florida Time Newsletter: History, nostalgia, reader stories and little-known facts

    Next week: The Florida Book
    Florida History: The lost businesses of Florida

    I remember Royal Castle well, many years ago used to be the closest hamburger chain to Clermont and when I got to UF there was one less than a block from my digs at the Kappa Sig house... scarfed down many a burger~~ JH
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

    62,655
    3,260
    1,843
    Apr 8, 2007
    Redlands, Colorado
    Not gone yet, but I fear for the eventual demise of the Florida Citrus industry as that damnable beetle spreads the bacteria killing the trees. May the researchers find a cure quickly.
     
  4. gatorjjh

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

    68,678
    41,524
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    IFAS Hard at work on that problem, between the freezes in the 60's and the Mouse a lot of the smaller family owned groves were either lost to freeze damage or sold for development, I go to my high school reunion every april and Clermont is no longer (and hasn't been for 3+ decades) the place I grew up in, a cozy little hamlet
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. lacuna

    lacuna The Conscience of Too Hot Moderator VIP Member

    62,655
    3,260
    1,843
    Apr 8, 2007
    Redlands, Colorado
    It was heady, like pure incense, driving through there years back when the orange trees were awash in blossoms. I hope for IFAS's success.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. gatorknights

    gatorknights GC Hall of Fame

    24,625
    2,242
    1,243
    Apr 8, 2007
    Gainesville, FL
    Dude I know, I was there front and center. When I bought the lot on the lake on the cheap it was a week before the 1989 freeze hit and totally changed it. Factor in the beltway and the turnpike interchange on SR 50 and it was game on. It's probably still a great place to live, considering the lakes and proximity to O-Town, but is definitely not the same.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. gatorjjh

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

    68,678
    41,524
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    Florida History: Author of 1922 book underestimates Florida
    Today, we hear author Kenneth L. Roberts who underestimated Florida in his book from the 1920s, which has 40 words in its incredible title. Welcome to Florida Time, a weekly column about Florida history.

    Readers: One of the recurring themes in Florida’s history is that someone wants to either praise the place or trash it. Those in the latter category might just be a bit jealous. This was the case during the 1920s real estate boom when Florida was siphoning people and money from the rest of the country.
    A while back, this writer’s eldest son was in a rare books shop in New York and found a 1922 book by well-known historical novelist Kenneth L. Roberts (1885-1957). Roberts was from New England (see “jealous,” above.)

    The book was titled, “Sun Hunting: Adventures and Observations Among the Native and Migratory Tribes of Florida, Including the Stoical Time Killers of Palm Beach, the Gentle and Gregarious Tin-Canners of the Remote Interior, and the Vivacious and Semi-Violent Peoples of Miami and Its Purlieus.” Whew.

    **By the way, “purlieu” is an arcane word for “vicinity.”

    Mr. Roberts pulled no punches in his 198 pages.
    He said the part of Florida that hadn’t yet been developed “looks as though it were worth about a nickel an acre.”

    About Palm Beach, he said, “everything there is an odor of money.”
    A lengthy section on snowbirds took place in fictional “Porgy Inlet, Florida,” where “the balmy air is rich with the mingled scent of jasmine, orange peel, salt water and talcum powder.” It said the “tin can tourists’” cars “are completely stocked with folding chairs, collapsible beds, accordeon-mattresses, knock-down tents, come-apart stoves, telescopic dishwashers and a score of dishpans, tables, dinner-sets, tin cups, water-buckets and toilet articles that fold up into one another and look like a bushel of scrap-tin.”

    One of the people in this fictional tale crowed that, “Back home, they’re fixing the furnace and hoping the pipes don’t freeze.”

    Author Roberts was sure to point out Florida’s “tough, leathery, muscular, hungry, Florida mosquitoes,” who “sink their dagger-like beaks into the soft white flesh of the northern tourists.”

    Florida History: Author of 1922 book underestimates Florida
     
  8. gatorjjh

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

    68,678
    41,524
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    The many histories of Jonathan Dickinson State Park
    First, we need to go all the way back to 1696. Dickinson, a Quaker merchant, was on a business trip from his Jamaica plantation to Philadelphia. His ship, Reformation, ran aground in a storm near what’s now Jupiter in northern Palm Beach County.

    Dickinson encountered local people who held him captive with knives, along with his wife, infant son, two associates and ten slaves. The castaways prayed for deliverance. The chief eventually allowed the party to leave on what became a grueling and perilous 230-mile trek by boat and on foot through open ocean, swamps, beaches and jungles before the group arrived in the settlement of St. Augustine.
    Dickinson would go on to print his journal, “God’s Protecting Providence, Man’s Surest Help and Defence.” It was intended to be a testament to God’s “deliverance.” It has also become an invaluable look at South Florida’s now vanished early Indian tribes.

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

    Jump ahead two and a half centuries.
    From 1942 to 1945, more than 10,000 men moved through the Southern Signal Corps School, a strategic training site named for Col. William Herbert Murphy, a Signal Corps officer and radio pioneer who died in battle Feb. 3, 1942.

    When the military had come to Florida looking for land for installations, the Reed family of Jupiter Island, in southern Martin County, turned over 1,000 acres with the provision the land be restored to its natural state when the Army was done with it. The Army bought about 17 acres from the pioneer DuBois family for $1,000. In a winding 9-mile path between U.S. 1 and the railroad tracks, the military threw together more than 1,000 buildings.

    Camp Murphy was deactivated in October 1944, although the Air Force and NASA operated there into the 1960s. In 1947, a concrete water reservoir was converted into offices; later, it became an emergency operations center for a nation fearing nuclear war. It operated from 1953 to 1985. It is now the park office.

    Most of the land was turned over to the state, and on Feb. 9, 1950, 16-acre Jonathan Dickinson State Park was dedicated. Visitors enjoy camping, cabins, horseback riding, fishing and canoeing. The place was named for the man who first wrote about it.
    Florida History: The many histories of Jonathan Dickinson State Park
     
  9. gatorjjh

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

    68,678
    41,524
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    Florida Time: How the mother of Miami, Julia Tuttle, set the future in motion
    It’s one of Florida’s top urban legends, and for Miami, it might be Number One: During a hard Florida freeze, Julia Tuttle sent fragrant orange blossoms from Miami to Henry Flagler. The godfather of Florida was so impressed he agreed to extend his railroad to the fishing village of a few hundred souls. And a tropical metropolis was born.
    Here’s the part of the deal the legend usually leaves out: Tuttle gave Flagler 100 acres, which was half her land. That tract now covers much of downtown Miami. It was 125 years ago this month.
    For more, we turn to Howard Kleinberg, who for decades ran the Miami News and who is a recognized authority on Miami history. Pop: You’re on.

    In 1891, Tuttle, a Cleveland widow with two young adult children, moved to the Biscayne Bay area, where her father had been for more than two decades and which she had visited as early as 1870. She bought 640 acres on the north bank of the Miami River and moved into a 40-year-old house.

    That year, she wrote to James E. Ingraham, president of Henry Plant’s South Florida Railroad.
    “Someday someone will build a railroad to Miami,” she wrote. “Perhaps you will be the man.” Plant, who just had run a rail line to Tampa and would become one that area’s godfathers, took a pass. Later, Ingraham hired on with Flagler, and Tuttle pivoted.
    While Tuttle’s land was free to Flagler, the future wasn’t. In 18 months, his companies hacked a railroad line through the wilderness from Palm Beach. He provided Miami, including Tuttle’s holdings, with free electricity, water and sewage. And he had to build around Tuttle’s view of Biscayne Bay from her home.

    Flagler’s railroad arrived in Miami in April 1896 and his Royal Palm Hotel opened in January 1897. Later that year, with Miami even then at just a few thousand, Tuttle predicted that it someday would be a great seaport and a gateway to Latin America.

    “This may seem far-fetched to you,” she said. “But as surely as the sun rises and sets, all of this will come true.”
    The mother of Miami did not live to see it. Tuttle died at 49 in 1898, just two years after Miami incorporated.
    Florida Time: How the mother of Miami, Julia Tuttle, set the future in motion
     
  10. gatorjjh

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

    68,678
    41,524
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    A 1939 guide to Florida history
    Gvl Sun Column
    Welcome to Florida Time, a weekly column about Florida history: from the Civil Rights Movement to the Miami Riots, famous governors, notable novelists and the state’s lost businesses.
    Readers: This writer was a young Florida journalist and history buff when the search began for millions of stories that make Florida what it is.
    One of the first sources this writer came across was the legendary 1939 “A Guide to the Southernmost State,” now known informally as the “WPA Guide to Florida.” It is indispensable for any lover of Florida and its history. My copy, a 1987 facsimile, has been loved to death. It’s worn and its pages are falling out.
    Under the Federal Writers Project, part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration, writers seemingly went down every country road gathering documents and taking down the tales of folks who would tell them.

    In the case of the Florida guide, what resulted is a remarkable snapshot. It portrays a Florida still in the Depression and yet to be rescued by World War II and the infusion of federal money.
    It was a sleepy place with only about a million souls from Key West to Pensacola, unrecognizable from today’s heavily developed behemoth. Some of the writers who toiled on the WPA Guide went on to greatness. They include Zora Neale Hurston, whom we visited last year, and Stetson Kennedy, who would stand up to hate and become a Florida legend; we’ll visit him soon.

    Back then, the WPA Guide pointed out that Florida’s “northern area is strictly southern and its southern area definitely northern.“At the time, railroads and steamship lines were the norm, and airlines a luxury.
    A 1939 guide to Florida history
     
  11. gatorjjh

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

    68,678
    41,524
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    Florida History: Carl Hiaasen, Harriet Beecher Stowe and other great Florida writers
    Welcome to Florida Time, a weekly column about Florida history: from the Civil Rights Movement to the Miami Riots, famous governors, notable novelists and the state’s lost businesses.

    Readers: Florida has inspired many writers. We have already discussed Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and we’ll save Papa Hemingway for another day. For now, let’s look at some other great Florida authors. (This is not a comprehensive list, so no nasty emails!)

    Harriet Beecher Stowe: After she wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” an unblinking expose of the horrors of slavery, which some people said did more to start the Civil War than anything else, she moved in 1867 to Jacksonville’s Mandarin neighborhood. There she wrote “Palmetto Leaves,” an early come-on for Florida’s nascent tourism industry.

    Patrick Smith: His historical novel “A Land Remembered” tells of generations of a fictional Florida family that witnessed and, in ways, contributed to Florida’s irreversible evolution.

    Related: Florida history reads: Eliot Kleinberg’s picks

    Pat Frank: He toiled at a Jacksonville newspaper, then penned “Alas, Babylon,” one of the first looks at how everyday life really would be if atomic bombs wiped out government, infrastructure and law and order. Drinking shortened Frank’s life; he was just 57 when he died, mostly broke, just five years after “Babylon” was published in 1959. For many, the book has become required reading.

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

    John D. MacDonald: He was one of the first to master the mix of Florida atmosphere and crime. His Travis McGee, who solved cases aboard his Busted Flush out of a Fort Lauderdale marina, was one of the early rebel detectives, and “John D” was one of the first to mourn a vanishing Florida.

    Harry Crews: He wrote his novels and plays like he lived — hard and in your face, focusing on people who didn’t live in mansions and weren’t averse to spitting in public.

    Elmore Leonard: While he split his time, and story settings, between South Florida and Detroit, his Florida-based books continued the theme of wacky place full of bizarre and fascinating characters.

    Carl Hiaasen: His biting wit — both in his Miami Herald columns and in his novels that are described as “fiction that is true” — has punctured many a golden cow and stuffed shirt. (Disclosure: This writer is a friend and longtime personal fan of both Carl and his brilliant journalist brother Rob, who was one of the victims of the 2018 shootings at the newspaper in Annapolis, Md.)

    Next week: Gorie

    Last week: Florida History: A 1939 guide to Florida history

    From a reader: Dear Mr. Kleinberg, my name is Bruce E. Tuttle. I was handed a copy of the article you wrote on one Mrs. Tuttle regarding her purchase of property in Miami, Florida. You referred to Mrs Tuttle as the mother of Miami. I have no doubt that Mrs. Tuttle is a member of my family; for the Tuttle’s migrated to North Olmsted Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland Ohio) from Hartford Connecticut of which my family was a part of the first 16 co-founders of that city. My Question is this: can you give me more information on Mrs. Tuttle so I can verify that she is in fact part of my family. Mrs. Tuttle’s first name, Husband’s name, children’s names. Thanking you in advance. Bruce T.

    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 GateHouse Media and publishes online in their 22 Florida markets including Jacksonville, Fort Walton Beach, Daytona Beach, Lakeland, Sarasota and West Palm Beach. Submit your questions, comments or memories to FloridaTime@Gatehousemedia.com. Include your full name and hometown. Sorry; no personal replies.



    Florida History: Carl Hiaasen, Harriet Beecher Stowe and other great Florida writers
     
    • Fistbump/Thanks! Fistbump/Thanks! x 1
  12. Gator515151

    Gator515151 GC Hall of Fame

    20,395
    580
    933
    Apr 4, 2007
    My Grandmother used to tell the coolest story about Flagler's railroad. She was born in 1902 I believe, and lived on a little farm 20 miles north of Gainesville. When she was 13 her uncle was working as a conductor on Flagler's railroad and he lived in Miami. Grandma had never been to a city before and her mother took her to Jacksonville to catch a ride on her uncle's train for a summer visit to Miami. Before boarding the train her mother bought her a pretty new white dress. Grandma was so proud of that dress.

    Here is where the story gets humorous. By the time the train got to Miami her white dress was gray, with holes burned throughout from the embers from the coal burning locamotive.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. gatorjjh

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

    68,678
    41,524
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    Florida History: How John Gorrie changed the lives of Floridians
    Readers: Like Christopher Columbus, Dr. John Gorrie is either revered or reviled for his dramatic role in the development of Florida.
    He invented something without which the place would still be, in the words of a 19th-century senator, “a land of swamps, of quagmires, of frogs and alligators, and mosquitoes″ that no one would want to emigrate to, even from hell.
    What did Gorrie do? He made the ice maker and led the way to that remarkable creation called air conditioning.
    When Gorrie arrived in Apalachicola, in the Panhandle, in 1833, it was the third largest port on the Gulf of Mexico. He would serve as a mayor, postmaster, treasurer, council member, bank director and church founder.
    In the 1830s, the town was plagued by malaria and yellow fever. Ignorant of the role of mosquitoes, most people believed the diseases were carried in vapors from coastal swamps, the kind that surrounded Apalachicola. (“Malaria” is a corruption of the Italian “mal aria;” “bad air.”)

    People believed cooling a room would improve or control the maladies. Gorrie rigged a machine to cool air and within a year had built a mechanism that produced eight to 10 blocks of ice. Mostly it let people shut windows and keep out the mosquitoes while staying cool.
    Gorrie got U.S. Patent #8080 for his invention in 1851 but was never able to market it, perhaps because the concept of artificially produced ice was too fantastic for investors.
    A beaten Gorrie withdrew into seclusion, then caught a fever himself and died in 1855 in obscurity.

    In 1911, Florida leaders discovered, to their embarrassment, an 1864 law that had authorized statues of two heroes from each state in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall. A hasty search settled on Edmund Kirby Smith, the last Confederate general to surrender in the Civil War ... and John Gorrie.
    Later, a bridge over Apalachicola Bay was named for Gorrie and a state museum was set up in a small red brick building in the downtown area. Gorrie is buried in a small park across the street.
    https://www.gainesville.com/zz/news...y-how-john-gorrie-changed-lives-of-floridians
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. gatorjjh

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

    68,678
    41,524
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    Florida History: What if Roosevelt had been killed in Miami?
    Welcome to Florida Time, a weekly column about Florida history: from the Civil Rights Movement to the failed assassination of FDR, Civil Rights Act and the state’s lost businesses.
    by By Eliot Kleinberg

    Readers: Back in February, we told you about the attempt to kill President-elect Franklin Roosevelt at Miami’s Bayfront Park. How might that have changed the world? Back in 2008, we had some scholars opine on possible alternative histories. Here they are. (Be sure to tell us yours: email us as floridatime@gatehousemedia.com.)

    Dec. 25, 1837: Zachary Taylor killed at Battle of Okeechobee? On Christmas Day in 1837, a band of Seminoles was routed by about 800 federal troops led by future president (1849-1850) Col. Zachary Taylor, who allegedly cowered behind a cypress tree for much of the battle. Zachary Taylor biographer Elbert B. Smith speculates: While a loyal Southerner, Taylor considered secession to be treason. Without him as president, perhaps the South secedes earlier, forcing a Civil War rebellion presided over by someone other than Abraham Lincoln.

    March 2, 1877: Samuel Tilden defeats Rutherford B. Hayes? The 1876 election ended in a dead heat amid claims of massive fraud — including in Florida. Who knew? After three recounts, southerners in Congress agreed to concede to Hayes in exchange for a quicker end to Reconstruction. Robert Silverberg, writing under the pen name Lloyd Robinson of “The Stolen Election: Hayes vs. Tilden, 1876:” “Had Reconstruction been done properly, instead of putting blacks essentially back in slavery, our whole century might have different.”

    Feb. 15, 1933: Franklin Roosevelt killed in Miami? Geoffrey C. Ward, collaborator with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns: While Vice President John Nance Garner pushed through measures, Franklin Roosevelt employed to pull America out of the Depression, he likely would not have instituted them himself. He also had little interest in foreign affairs and as late as 1939 -- weeks before Germany invaded Poland -- and he refused to believe a European war was inevitable. His attitude might have given Adolf Hitler a head start.

    Nov. 22, 1963: Kennedy stays in Florida, survives? John F. Kennedy spent the last Sunday of his life, Nov. 17, 1963, in Palm Beach. Jim Heath, John F. Kennedy biographer: John F. Kennedy would have been reelected in 1964. Sympathy over Kennedy’s murder helped push through the 1964 Civil Rights Act, so a living John F. Kennedy might have had to work longer on it, but it would have gone through. And, Heath said, Kennedy “would not have gotten out of Vietnam in the next year or two, as people thought he would.”

    Florida History: What if Roosevelt had been killed in Miami?

    Florida History - Gainesville Sun
    JFK's 100th birthday: 100 reasons Palm Beach is a Kennedy town
    POST TIME: Palm Beach police foiled plot to kill JFK
    https://www.gainesville.com/news/20...-reasons-you-should-visit-this-florida-park/1
     
  15. gatorjjh

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

    68,678
    41,524
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    Florida history: What to do about the Cross-Florida Barge Canal
    By Eliot Kleinberg
    Today, we hear the debate over the Cross-Florida Barge Canal that altered the St. Johns, Ocklawaha and Withlacoochee rivers. Welcome to Florida Time, a weekly column about Florida history.
    In the 1960s, the federal government embarked on a plan to create a 107-mile-long shortcut across the north end of the Florida peninsula. Environmentally, what could possibly go wrong?

    The canal would go on to become one of America’s greatest white elephants, and its remnants are still a source of debate. Here’s more (much of it from our sister newspapers, the Florida Times-Union and Daytona Beach News-Journal).

    It was to be the miracle waterway, allowing ships to cut days off a trip around the peninsula via a route from the St. Johns River at Palatka to Yankeetown, north of Tampa on the Gulf Coast.

    Read more Florida history: Here are Florida’s top 25 stories of all time
    Ideas for it date back at least to 1824 when Florida still was just a U.S. territory.

    The 1935 Labor Day storm, which smashed the Keys, spurred President Franklin Roosevelt to approve money for a canal. The federal government bought land and sent crews to camps near Ocala to begin digging. Concerns about saltwater intrusion into aquifers ended that.

    In the months just after Pearl Harbor, German U-Boats, with impunity, sank one freighter after another off the Florida coast. Many were coming from places such as Houston, New Orleans or Pensacola. In a future war, they still would be vulnerable. Again, the shortcut.

    The state produced films arguing for it.
    Florida history: What to do about the Cross-Florida Barge Canal
     
  16. LakeGator

    LakeGator Mostly Harmless Moderator

    4,708
    505
    368
    Apr 3, 2007
    Tampa
    This statement is imprecise and technically wrong. The dream of the canal started in the 19th century and started several times before the final start of construction which this writer refers to.

    I recommend Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal and the Struggle for Florida's Future for anyone who wants to fully understand the dream and the folly thereof. Steal it from your local library if it is still open.

    When I was a kid, in the last century, the bridge pillars for the canal where in middle of 441/301 north of Belleview. They had cleverly planned to build the bridges over the canal route and then dig the canal under the bridge. The road still separates at that point. I know the pillars were in the trees a couple of decades ago but haven't been on that section in a long time.
    Capture.JPG
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  17. gatorjjh

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

    68,678
    41,524
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    Hypocrite’s Row: In Florida, Prohibition was more or less a suggestion
    Palm Beach Post By Eliot Kleinberg
    Today, we hear about Hypocrite’s Row. Welcome to Florida Time, a weekly column about Florida history.
    All the federal ban on alcohol, which ran from 1920 to 1933, managed to accomplish was to hand the lucrative booze business to criminals. Here was a thirsty tourist trade, local officials vulnerable to corruption, and miles of open beaches and coves.

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

    Mobsters oversaw stills, smuggling, and distribution to hotels and speakeasies, and ran many joints themselves.
    Rum-running became routine. Boats would speed the liquor -- packed in “hams″ padded with paper and straw --to Florida from the Bahamas, only 60 miles from the coast. In the Bahamas, a case of liquor was $18. In South Florida, it was double that on the street, or behind closed doors. Up north, it was as much as $100.

    In Palm Beach, secret dining rooms were built at The Breakers so tourists could drink discreetly. And at the Royal Poinciana Hotel, imbibers sneaked to the bar down a clandestine hallway called “Hypocrite’s Row.”
    Rum-runners and bootleggers were glorified for getting around the law and getting the people what they wanted. And federal Prohibition agents -- “dry men” --enforced a law many people despised. Sometimes, they suffered more than bad press.

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

    In February 1924, in what’s now Martin County, local deputies raided the notorious Ashley gang’s compound and moonshine stills. Joe Ashley, John’s father, was shot as he tied his shoes. John, seeing his father hit, killed deputy Fred Baker. The gang fled and angry townspeople burned the Ashleys’ camp and homes.

    On Aug. 7, 1927, after federal agents and Coast Guardsmen boarded a rum-runner boat east of Fort Lauderdale, three of them died in a shootout in the open ocean. Ringleader James Horace Alderman later hanged for it.

    And on Jan. 19, 1930, a rum-runner gunned down two Prohibition agents serving an arrest warrant at the man’s West Palm Beach home.

    More on those in a future column!

    Hypocrite's Row: In Florida, Prohibition was more or less a suggestion
     
  18. gatorjjh

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

    68,678
    41,524
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    Florida History: The Sunshine Skyway Bridge Tragedy
    By Eliot Kleinberg
    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.

    Readers: It was in a blinding rain storm 40 years ago that part of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, perhaps one of Florida’s most photogenic features, came crashing down. And, most horrifically, moments later, unknowing motorists drove right off the edge.

    On May 9, 1980, the phosphate freighter Summit Venture slammed into a main pillar of the Skyway’s southbound span. In seconds, more than 1,400 feet of span -- a quarter mile -- tumbled some 150 feet into the roiling waters where Tampa Bay opens into the Gulf of Mexico.

    RELATED: Photos: Sunshine Skyway Bridge disaster anniversary [Photo gallery]

    Soon after, so did seven vehicles. And a Greyhound bus with a driver and 25 passengers. In all, 35 people died.

    When the 4-mile bridge opened in 1954, it cut the commute for people who had to take a ferry or travel a circuitous route along the east bay in half.

    The two-lane concrete bridge, with its steel truss system at the center, grew so popular that a second two-lane span opened in 1971. More than once, ships wrestling the bay’s treacherous currents would bang into each other. Or the bridge. But no incident was fatal.

    On May 9, local harbor pilot John E. Lerro guided the empty freighter Summit Venture into the bay. He had hundreds of successful runs to his credit. But radar was out and visibility was near zero. When Lerro encountered an unexpected squall, he saw what appeared to be a course buoy and pushed the 609-foot-long freighter forward. Minutes later, he felt impact.

    “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday,” Lerro said into the radio. “All emergency equipment onto the Skyway bridge. A vessel just hit the Skyway Bridge. The Skyway Bridge is down.”

    Lerro stayed calm until he saw vehicles tumbling down. Then he screamed, “Stop the traffic on that Skyway bridge!”

    An appreciation: Prominent Miami-area historian and preservationist Arva Moore Parks died May 10. She was a cherished mentor to this writer.

    One motorist survived. Wesley MacIntire’s Ford Courier pickup skid off the edge, bounced off the side of the freighter and began to sink. Wesley came to and saw bubbles in his headlights. He opened his window, got two gulps of salt water and surfaced.

    Investigators concluded the disaster was the result of unexpected severe weather, failure of the National Weather Service to issue a severe weather warning and failure of the pilot to abandon the trip after the radar and visibility dropped.

    It took Lerro nearly a year to recover his pilot’s license, but by then he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and retired.

    Florida History: The Sunshine Skyway Bridge Tragedy
     
  19. g8orbill

    g8orbill Old Gator Moderator VIP Member

    102,466
    9,219
    3,683
    Apr 3, 2007
    Clermont, Fl
    went out with friends on a boat in 1985 and when we passed by the Skyway it was truly an eery feeling- the new spans had yet to be built
     
  20. gatorjjh

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

    68,678
    41,524
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    Florida History: Three days of violence, 18 dead and $100 million in damage
    By Eliot Kleinberg
    Four decades ago, this week, this writer was a fledgling radio reporter who found himself in the middle of history, and not in a nice way.

    It was the time that Miami boiled.
    The crisis had started in Havana.
    On April 1, 1980, six Cubans crashed the Peruvian embassy. Fidel Castro said whoever wanted to leave could do so. But he also emptied his jails and mental institutions. As relatives arrived in Mariel to collect their loved ones, soldiers forced them to also take the others, some of them murderers.

    Related: Florida History: The story of Eliàn Gonzàlez

    Miami-Dade absorbed 125,000 new residents. Social services were overwhelmed and its schools overflowed with new students, most of whom spoke no English.
    And the 10 percent who were hardened criminals or dangerous mental patients fed a crime rate that became a national sensation; murders soon averaged 1½ a day. The medical examiner rented a refrigerator truck to hold the overflow corpses.

    More was to come.

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

    On Dec. 17, 1979, Arthur McDuffie, a 33-year-old insurance salesman with no criminal record, ran a red light on his motorcycle in the Liberty CIty neighborhood. Police were accused of chasing him and eventually fatally beating him before covering up their crime.
    Local District Attorney Janet Reno took four white cops to trial. It had to be moved to Tampa. Blacks fed up with what they saw as decades of police abuse seethed and waited.

    When the officers were acquitted, neighborhoods exploded in rage. Furious blacks broke windows, looted, pulled white motorists from their cars to beat them to death and burned one shop after another.
    The violence would last three days and leave 18 dead, 400 hurt and $100 million in damage. The riots were among the deadliest and costliest in U.S. history.

    Miami had stood on the verge of becoming the cultural, tourism and business capital of Latin America. Catastrophe brought it to its knees. It would take years for it to struggle back.
    Florida History: Three days of violence, 18 dead and $100 million in damage

     
    • Informative Informative x 1