Florida's first inhabitants entered the peninsula and panhandle about 10,000 years ago. The Spaniard Juan Ponce de León stumbled ashore near Melbourne Beach in 1513. He called the place La Florida, the first permanent geographic name of European origin to be etched upon the maps of the American continent. Over three centuries of Spanish and English colonial history followed before the United States acquired Florida in 1821. The first state flag was raised over a new capitol in Tallahassee on May 26, 1845. Written to observe the sesquicentennial of statehood, this work will document the rich history of the Sunshine State for general readers, students, and scholars well into the twenty-first century.
Everyone knows of Columbus and Ponce de Leon, but the name of Menendez is not as familiar. Yet Pedro Menendez de Aviles might truly be called one of the founding fathers of America, for he was the founder of the nation's oldest city--St. Augustine.
The Everglades was once reviled as a liquid wasteland, and Americans dreamed of draining it. Now it is revered as a national treasure, and Americans have launched the largest environmental project in history to try to save it. The Swamp is the stunning story of the destruction and possible resurrection of the Everglades, the saga of man's abuse of nature in southern Florida and his unprecedented efforts to make amends. Michael Grunwald, a prize-winning national reporter for The Washington Post, takes readers on a riveting journey from the Ice Ages to the present, illuminating the natural, social and political history of one of America's most beguiling but least understood patches of land.
The Seminole Wars were the longest, bloodiest, and most costly of all the Indian wars fought by this nation. Seminole War authorities John and Mary Lou Missall examine not only the wars that were fought between 1817 and 1858 but also the events leading up to them and their place in American history. Employing extensive research that makes use of diaries, military reports, and archival newspapers, they shed new light on the relationship among the wars, the issue of slavery, prevalent attitudes toward Native Americans, and the quest for national security."
he Indian Removal Act of 1830 led to the Second Seminole War, fought by the United States to evict the Seminoles from the Florida Territory. When the last surviving Seminoles sought refuge in the Everglades and resorted to guerrilla-style tactics, however, the U.S. Navy found its standard strategies of guerre de course and gunboat coastal defense useless. For the first time in its history, the American Navy was forced to operate in a nonmaritime environment. In Swamp Sailors, George Buker describes how Navy junior officers outshone their commanders, proving themselves less resistant to change and more ready to implement novel strategies, including joint combat operations and maneuvers designed specifically for a riverine environment. By 1842, when the Second Seminole War was halted, Lt. John McLaughlin’s "Mosquito Fleet" exemplified the Navy’s new expertise by making use of canoes and flat-bottomed boats and by putting together small, specially trained joint combat teams of Army and Navy personnel for sustained land-sea operations.
Osceola and the Great Seminole War vividly recounts how one warrior with courage and cunning unequaled by any Native American leader before or after would mastermind battle strategies that would embarrass the best officers in the United States Army. Employing daring guerilla tactics, Osceola initiated and orchestrated the longest, most expensive, and deadliest war ever fought by the United States against Native Americans. With each victory by his outnumbered and undersupplied warriors, Osceola's reputation grew among his people and captured the imagination of the citizens of the United States. At the time, many cheered his quixotic quest for justice and freedom, and since then many more have considered his betrayal on the battlefield to be one the darkest hours in U.S. Army history.
The view that slavery could best be described by those who had themselves experienced it personally has found expression in several thousand commentaries, autobiographies, narratives, and interviews with those who "endured." Although most of these accounts appeared before the Civil War, more than one-third are the result of the ambitious efforts of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to interview surviving ex-slaves during the 1930s. The result of these efforts was the Slave Narrative Collection, a group of autobiographical accounts of former slaves that today stands as one of the most enduring and noteworthy achievements of the WPA.
Florida East Coast Railway has been the speedway to America's playground for more than 110 years. FEC offered some of America's finest rail passenger service until 1968 and remains the freight lifeline of Florida's east coast.
Jacksonville, Florida, was the king of the infant film industry. Devastated by fire in 1901, rebuilt in a wide variety of architectural styles, sharing the same geographic and meteorological DNA as southern California, the city was an ideal location for northern film production companies looking to relocate. In 1908, New York-based Kalem Studios sent its first crew to Jacksonville. By 1914, fifteen major companies--including Fox and Metro Pictures--had set up shop there. Oliver Hardy, D. W. Griffith, Mary Pickford, and the Barrymores all made movies in the Florida sunshine. In total, nearly 300 films, including the first Technicolor picture ever made, were completed in Jacksonville by 1928. But the city couldn't escape its past. Even as upstart Hollywood boosters sought to discredit Jacksonville, the latter imploded from a combination of political upheaval, simmering racial tensions, disease, and World War I. Shawn Bean uses first-person accounts, filmmaker biographies, newspaper reports, and city and museum archives to bring to light a little-known aspect of film history. Filled with intrigue, backroom shenanigans, and missed opportunities, The First Hollywood is just the kind of drama we've come to expect from the big screen.
The Sunshine State has an exceptionally stormy past. Vulnerable to storms that arise in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico, Florida has been hit by far more hurricanes than any other state. In many ways, hurricanes have helped shape Florida's history. Early efforts by the French, Spanish, and English to claim the territory as their own were often thwarted by hurricanes. More recently, storms have affected such massive projects as Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad and efforts to manage water in South Florida. In this book, Jay Barnes offers a fascinating and informative look at Florida's hurricane history.
The Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida is one of the world's most famous vacation destinations. This iconic resort is now located in what once was thousands of acres of swamp and marshland. Through spy-like moves and innovative strategies, Walt Disney and his cadre of creative leaders turned this massive swamp land into today's Disney World. This books shares the amazing behind the scenes story of how Disney's Florida resort, code-named Project Future, rose from the marshes of Central Florida to become one of the world's most popular theme park resorts.
Clad in corsets, long sleeves, and long skirts through intense heat and humidity, the fourteen early Florida women featured in this book established towns, ran businesses, wrote powerful stories, and worked to promote education, conservation, and tolerance. Meet Ruth Bryan Owen, Florida's first congresswoman; Anna Darrow, who worked as a doctor in Florida's remote backcountry; Zora Neale Hurston, who gave all she had to be able to write; and Julia Tuttle, the "Mother of Miami". This collection of easy-to-read biographies brings together some of the most exceptional women from the history of Florida.
In the first edition of Florida Megatrends, David Colburn and Lance deHaven-Smith revealed the state for what it is: a bellwether for the nation. The intervening years have only confirmed their analyses, as Florida and the U.S. have been battered and transformed by the housing collapse, the great economic recession that began in 2008, record-high gas prices, withering tourism, the 2004 hurricane season, and much more. This completely revised and updated edition brings the story up-to-date.
Contains full text from more than 750 history reference books and encyclopedias, and cover-to-cover full text from nearly 60 history magazines. Also contains 58,000 historical documents; 43,000 biographies of historical figures; more than 12,000 historical photos and maps; and 87 hours of historical film and video.
Renegade filmmaker Georg Koszulinski takes on Florida's history from a decidedly different point of view. Blending archival and original footage, he brings to life a cast of historical characters spanning over 12,000 years, from Florida's ancient Indians to the migrant farm workers of the 21st century. Meet Osceola and the Seminoles, who fought alongside escaped slaves in the most costly Indian War in American History. Unmask Florida's Ku Klux Klan and don't forget about Walt Disney and Henry Flagler - perhaps the two characters most responsible for the Florida we know today.
"Visitors are invited to explore the unique Everglades landscape with this audio tour. Thirteen narrated tracks lead listeners on a guided exploration down the main park road. With stops at all the park's main visitor areas, the tour is a great way to make the most of your Everglades experience!" Transcripts of the media files are also available.
Content include digital copies of the Florida Heritage Trail series publication. Also includes links to information on Maritime trail sites. Sponsored by the Florida Dept. of State Division of Historical Resources
This site is a digital library complete with biographies, timeline, and over 10,000 digital documents on the history of the Everglades and South Florida. Sponsored by University of Miami, Florida International University, and History Miami.
Features digital collections of historical documents from the State Archives and Library of Florida. Contains an extensive selection of photographs, video and audio recordings, as well government records.