"Today in Florida History"
Members of the 7th U.S. Infantry, under the command of Captain H. H.
Holmes, were attacked by Seminole warriors near Fort Number 5 [?].
One enlisted man was killed and two wounded.
companies of Confederate volunteers have been assigned to guard the
Chattahoochee Arsenal, while some 1,500 Confederate troops from Florida,
Mississippi, and Alabama were encamped at Pensacola Bay.
Several batteries have been set up facing Forts Pickens, Barrancas and
1862 A Union
gunboat anchored near the St. marks Lighthouse today and began to shell the salt
works near there. The Confederate
gunboat Spray moved into the
area and exchanged shots with the Federal boat.
Elsewhere, the schooner Isabel
was captured today in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast by the U.S.S.
1863 The U.S.S. Tahoma captured the British schooner Margaret
near St. Petersburg. A second Union
ship, the U.S.S. Hendrick Hudson
assisted in the capture. In other
action, the U.S.S. Stars and Stripes bombarded
a Confederate encampment at Long Bar near St. Marks today.
A Confederate steamer was also fired on by the Union ship.
A. L’Engle was sworn into office today as Florida’s Treasurer.
Jewish Reform Synagogue, Congregation Ahavath Chesed was founded today in
Jacksonville. Mayor Morris A.
Dzialinski was the first president.
North Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America was chartered today in
Jacksonville. The first Scout troop
was chartered in Jacksonville in 1910.
Edward W. Bok Singing Tower and Bird Sanctuary in Lake Wales was dedicated today
by President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge. Governor
Doyle E. Carlton also participated.
Gulfstream Park race Track at Hallandale opened for its first thoroughbred
Howard Bellamy was born in Darby, Florida, today.
United States launched its first space satellite into orbit around the Earth
today. The 30.8 pound Explorer
satellite was put into orbit by a Jupiter-C rocket that lifted off from Cape
Canaveral at 10:48 a.m.
Petty won the first Daytona 500 motor race today.
Strategic Air Command launched the first solid-fuel rocket, Minuteman,
today from the Eastern Test range facilities (Cape Canaveral).
The rocket was a multi-stage rocket that successfully fired all stages.
Bank of St. Augustine was chartered today.
Court House, the name originally given to present day Madison, was incorporated
Madison Starke Perry addressed a request to the Florida Legislature to
reorganize and strengthen the Florida militia in order to protect the state
against a possible Union attack.
Confederate War Department in Richmond today requisitioned two-and-one-half war
regiments from the State of Florida for service in the Confederate Army.
Federal naval officer on a reconnaissance mission on the Indian River reported
the discovery of several packages and 41 sacks of salt in a cache near Jupiter
Inlet. He destroyed them all.
Major General Quincy A. Gillmore, commander of the Department of the South,
requests the support of two or three gunboats for a planned occupation on the
west bank of the St. Johns River.
Major General Sam Jones assumed command of the District of Florida today.
At sea, the U.S.S. Pinola captured the British blockade runner, Ben
Willis, in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast,
The Willis carried a
cargo of cotton for British textile mills.
in St. Petersburg voted 15-11 today to seek incorporation of that city.
Pierce, named for General Benjamin K. Pierce, brother of President Franklin
Pierce, was incorporated today.
J. H. Towers and Ensign G. Chevalier made the first flight from the Pensacola
Aeronautical Station today. The
twenty minute flight covered the military reservation and Bayou Grande.
began to fall in north and central Florida today.
Crescent City and St. Augustine were receiving the heaviest amounts.
continuing its investigation of the January 28 explosion of the Shuttle Challenger, today revealed that the shuttle’s solid fuel
rocket boosters were not equipped with an adequate warning system.
Andrew Turnbull arrived in Minorca today to begin the recruitment of 1,400
Greek, Minorcan, Italian, French and Corsican settlers for his planned colony at
Confederate steamer Florida had
reportedly successfully eluded Federal ships blockading the coast of Florida and
was safely at sea.
annual meeting of the stockholders of the Union Bank of Florida was held today
in the bank’s offices in Tallahassee.
John Milton, planning to leave Tallahassee, received a telegram today warning
him that about 100 deserters have organized to capture him and turn him over to
the Federal ships blockading the Gulf Coast.
British schooner John Hale ,
flying the English colors, was captured today near St. marks by the Union
schooner Matthew Vassar.
The Hale’s cargo
consisted of lead, rope, blankets, and shelter covers.
Union officers suspect that the Hale’s
crew had thrown arms and ammunition overboard prior to capture.
first broadcast of Pensacola’s WCOA Radio was piped to the assembled crowd in
continued to fall today in north and central Florida.
Trace amounts were found as far south as Lakeland.
Crescent City and St. Augustine have received two inches of the “white
Space Shuttle Challenger (STS
41-b) was launched successfully from Cape Canaveral today. The Challenger
carried five astronauts.
STS-60 (the space shuttle) was
launched today from Cape Canaveral.
County, the state’s 16th county, was
created by the Florida Legislature today. The
county was named for the poetic name of the United States. County Seat:
County, Florida’s 19th county, was created by the Legislature today. The county was named in honor of Major Francis Langhorne
Dade, United States Army, who, along with 106 men, perished today in an Seminole
Indian ambush near present-day Bushnell. Dade
County was the most populous county in the state. County Seat:
from Florida join with delegates from Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama,
Georgia, and Louisiana today in Montgomery, Alabama, to organize the provisional
government of the Confederate States of America.
1863 A crew
for the U.S.S. Sagamore today
captured the Confederate schooner Pride
near the Indian River Narrows. The Pride’s
cargo of 188 bushels of salt and its crew were captured.
1864 A boat
from the Federal schooner, Beauregard,
sent to Jupiter Inlet to look for blockade runners today captured the
Confederate boat Lydia, which
was on her way to the Inlet from Sand Point.
The Lydia was carrying
two bales of cotton and five barrels of turpentine.
General Quincy A. Gillmore continued preparations for his attack on the west
bank of the St. Johns River. Federal
Brigadier General Truman Seymour was ordered to load his troops on ships in
preparation for a rendezvous with other Union units at the mouth of the St.
U. Fletcher was elected the president of the Jacksonville Bar Association today.
Malcolm Campbell set a ground speed record of 245 mph today at Daytona Beach.
Engineering Battalion, United States Army, arrives at the United States Naval
Amphibious Training Base in Fort Pierce. The
unit, which has been reassigned to Fort Pierce, has just completed 32 months of
duty in the Yukon.
Florida Senate approves a bill to incorporate the town of Monticello in
1862 The U.S.S. Keystone State captured the British blockade runner, Mars,
off the coast at Fernandina. The Mars was carrying a cargo of salt.
1864 The U.S.S. DeSoto today captured the Confederate blockade runner Cumberland
in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Cumberland, a
700-ton steamer, was carrying a cargo of guns and ammunition, including 100
barrels of gunpowder.
1912 J. C.
Luning was installed as Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture today. He would hold this post for a mere 14 days.
City of Miami Shores was incorporated today.
Originally settled in 1905 as Arch Creek Farms, the town later became
known as the City of North Miami.
first papers of incorporation of Barry College were filed today. Barry College is located in Miami.
first session of the Florida Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church met in
Harrison Reed received the news
that his impeachment and removal for office had been recommended by a state
legislative committee. This was the
third of four unsuccessful attempts to remove the Republican chief executive.
thousand acres were purchased today from the state Internal Improvement
Department today. This acreage
became the site of the City of orange City, which was started in 1876 with the
sale of housing lots to prospective residents.
Fillmore Caldwell, 29th governor of Florida (1945-1949), was born today in his
parent’s home near Knoxville, Tennessee.
He attended Carson-Newman College, the University of Mississippi, and the
University of Virginia. Caldwell
came to Florida in 1924. In 1929,
he was elected to represent Santa Rosa County in the Florida House of
Representatives. In 1933, he was
elected to the U.S. House of representatives from Florida’s 3rd District.
In 1941, he retired to private law practice. In 1944, he was elected governor. His administration was considered very progressive.
In 1962, Caldwell was appointed a Justice, Supreme Court of Florida.
He was elected for a full term that same year.
In 1967, he was elected Chief Justice.
Caldwell retired in 1969. He
died in Tallahassee on October 23, 1984.
V. Debs, the leader of the Socialist Party of the United States, gave a lecture
to some 55,000 persons today at Tampa’s Court House Plaza.
Brothers department Stores were incorporated today.
originally founded by Abe Maas on Franklin Street in Tampa in October
1886, Maas Brother’s became a statewide chain of stores by the 1960s.
first Jordan-Marsh department Store opened at 1501 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami
United States Senate approved a secret appropriations of $2 million to be used
for the possible purchase of Florida.
naval authorities report the destruction of two casks of sperm oil, 47 sacks of
salt, and one boat sail near Jupiter Inlet.
These materials were presumed to be Confederate stores.
troops under General Truman A. Seymour landed at Jacksonville.
This was the fourth occupation of the city by a Union army.
The troops were to be used in a major Federal push into the center of the
Sunshine State, a push that would culminate with the Battle of Olustee on
February 20. Many of the
African-American troops in the Union force were former free blacks and runaway
slaves from the north Florida area.
Confederate steamer St. Mary’s,
trapped in McGirt’s Creek above Jacksonville, was sunk by
the U.S.S. Norwich.
The steamer’s cargo of cotton was destroyed to prevent capture by Union
first edition of the Tampa Evening
Crump became the first female jockey in thoroughbred racing when she raced at
Sawyer Cherry, the first African-American woman to serve in the Florida
Legislature, was killed today in a one-car accident in Tallahassee.
Born in 1923, Ms. Cherry received her law degree from FAMU, where she
taught classes. She was first
elected in 1970 to represent Dade County in the House of Representatives.
John Baptist Segura, Vice-Provincial of Catholic [Jesuit] missions in Florida,
and eleven companions were killed today at their mission on the Rappahannock
River near the Chesapeake Bay. This
was part of the plan of Pedro Menendez de Aviles to explore the land north of
present-day Florida to find the northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean and the
Far East. As a result of this
episode, the Jesuits abandoned their attempts to convert Florida Native
Americans to Catholicism in 1572.
Territorial Legislature of Florida repealed an anti-dueling law, which again
made it legal for gentlemen to settle their differences through personal combat.
Merchants and Planters Bank of Magnolia was incorporated today.
County, Florida’s 17th county, was established today.
The county was named in honor of Benjamin Franklin. County Seat:
Colonel William T. Harney and his small force were attacked today at Camp Monroe
by some 200 Seminole Indians led by King Philip and Coacoochee. The U.S. Army lost 1 officer killed and eleven enlisted men
wounded before the attack was beaten off. Captain
Charles Mellon of the 2nd United States Artillery was the officer killed.
The name of the encampment was changed from Camp Monroe to Fort Mellon to
honor this fallen hero.
Institute and the College of St. Augustine were incorporated today.
County, the state’s 38th county, was established today.
The county was named in honor of James McNair Baker (1822-1892,
Confederate States Senator and Judge of the 4th Judicial District in Florida.
County, Florida’s 39th county, was established today.
Named in honor of James Knox Polk, the 11th president of the United
States (1845-1849). County
Confederate Constitution has been approved by the delegates to the Convention in
Montgomery, Alabama, and has been submitted to the Southern states for their
Colonial Dames Club of Tampa was organized today.
White, whose fame rests on her ability to turn selected letters on the game-show
“Wheel of Fortune,” was born today in Miami.
Daytona Beach International Speedway Corporation was organized today.
George W. Allen and Company K of the 4th United States Infantry were attacked
today near Clear River by Seminole Indians.
One U. S. officer was killed in the skirmish.
Thomas S. Jesup, the commander of United States troops in Florida, reported that
in his opinion “...the prospect of terminating this [Seminole] war in any
reasonable time is anything but flattering.
My decided opinion is that unless immediate emigration be abandoned, this
war will continue for years to come, and at constantly accumulating expense.”
Jesup proposed that the area west of the Kissimmee River, Lake
Okeechobee, and Panai-Okee and east of Pease Creek and south to the extreme end
of Florida be set aside for the Seminoles.
The Secretary of War did not approve this plan, and some 500 Seminoles,
who had entered Jesup’s camp on the strength of this recommendation, were
seized and transported to Tampa for the purpose of removal to the West.
steamer Everglade today
unloaded its cargo of 1,500 muskets at Fernandina.
The muskets were from the Charleston Arsenal.
1861 The U.S.S. Brooklyn arrived off Pensacola today with troops to
support the Union occupation force at Fort Pickens. The troops were not off loaded as both Union and Florida
forces maintain an uneasy peace in the area.
Davis of Mississippi has been elected Provisional President of the Confederate
States of America. Alexander H.
Stephens of Georgia, an opponent of secession, has been elected Vice-President.
Quincy extension of the Pensacola and Georgia Railroad began operations today.
The train trip from Quincy to Tallahassee took only two hours.
The train continued to its terminus at Lake City.
Union gunboat Para sailed
thirty miles up the Nassau River today, shelling the woods along both sides of
the river and taking an inventory of several lumbering plants.
97th Pennsylvania, a Federal force encamped at Fernandina, today raided the
surrounding area and captured a small force of Confederates in a nearby swamp.
forces today occupied Baldwin (about 19 miles west of Jacksonville) and captured
cotton, artillery pieces, a train of cars, and enough forage for 1,000 men in
the field for four days.
1864 A small
skirmish occurred between Confederate cavalry units and Federal forces at the
south fork of the St. Marys River. The
Union forces successfully forded the river and captured the village of
Sanderson, some thirty miles west of Jacksonville.
Retreating Confederate forces set fire to supplies of cotton, corn, and
Subtropical Mid-Winter Fair, which was inaugurated by a parade of 150 horse and
automobile-drawn floats, opened today in Orlando.
first Congressional Medal of Honor awarded in World War II was presented
posthumously to Sandy Nittinger of Fort Lauderdale.
marked the beginning of what would eventually become a record 768 consecutive
days of sunshine in the Sunshine State.
first measurable snow since 1958 cover a portion of the Sunshine State. Pensacola reported two inches. DeFuniak Springs and Quincy
reported similar amounts. Trace
amounts were reported as far south as Clermont.
Unofficial reported put the accumulated total of 6 to 8 inches at Jay.
City of Monticello was incorporated today.
1834 The Tallahassee Railroad Company was incorporated today.
This railroad, utilizing “mule power,” stretched from Tallahassee to
Port Leon (near St. Marks), a total of 22 miles.
Edmund P. Gaines, whose command of the U. S. Western Military Department
included part of Florida, arrived today at Fort Brooke with six companies of the
4th U.S. Infantry and a regiment of
forces today encountered Confederate outposts a few miles east of Lake City.
The Federal troops captured about 20 Confederates and destroyed almost $1
million in property. Federal forces
lost 5 men killed and 10 wounded.
street lights brought daylight to nighttime as Avenue B and 12th Street in Miami
were illuminated by artificial means.
City of Jacksonville was incorporated today by the Territorial Legislature.
J. S. Morgan of the 90th Regiment of New York Volunteers, headquartered at Key
West, today issued an order that
“All white persons residing within the limits of this command having husbands,
sons or brothers in Rebel employment, or who have at any time declined taking
the oath of allegiance to the U.S. Government were hereby required to transport
in person at these headquarters on or before Tuesday, the 17th instant, and
register their names.”
Leesburg Methodist Church was dedicated today.
Flagler opened his “Royal Ponciana Hotel” today in Palm Beach.
The “Ponciana” was the world’s largest wooden resort hotel.
[Some argue that the “Belleview,” built by Henry Plant on the West
Coast, deserved this distinction. The
“Belleview” is still in operation and certainly holds undisputed claim to
the title today.”]
“Chappie” James, Jr., the first African-American to achieve four-star rank
in the armed forces of the United States, was born in Pensacola.
first landing of a space shuttle at Kennedy Space Center [Cape Canaveral]
to pressure from South Florida’s conservative Cuban population, the Reagan
Administration announced today that Cuban aliens will be granted residency
status in the United States. Haitian
refugees were denied the same treatment.
Reno, Chief State Prosecutor of Dade County, was nominated to become the first
female U.S. Attorney General by President Bill Clinton.
American officer and one enlisted man were killed today in a confrontation
between Seminole Indians and Company H of the 8th U.S. Infantry at Wahoo Swamp.
reverend A. D. Pellicer, formerly a resident of Sr. Augustine, rendered the
opening prayer for the opening of the Confederate Congress.
forces commanded by Brigadier General Truman Seymour have concentrated at
Baldwin in preparation for a major push westward into the heart of Florida.
City of Tarpon Springs was incorporated today.
oldest Florida chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was founded
today in Jacksonville.
recorded a temperature of -2 degrees F today.
This is thought to be the lowest temperature ever reached in Florida.
This was also the date of the greatest snowfall on record for the
Sunshine State, as well as the greatest southern extension of snow.
Four inches were reported at Lake Butler, 3.5 inches at Marianna, 3
inches at Lake City, and trace amounts as far south as Fort Myers, Avon Park,
Waters College, one of Florida’s oldest colleges for African-Americans, was
re-chartered in Jacksonville today.
Northwest Orient Airlines plane crashed in stormy weather north of Miami today.
Forty-three persons were killed.
American Continental Congress received a proposal from the State of Georgia to
launch an invasion of British East Florida with American forces led by Major
City of Fernandina [Beach] was re-incorporated today.
The city had first been incorporated on January 1, 1825.
forces under the command of General Joseph Finegan have concentrated at Camp
Beauregard near Olustee on ocean Pond. General
Finegan selected the position because of the protection offered by two small
lakes. It was also the location of
the major road and railroad into the interior of the state.
Confederate soldiers have started the task of building entrenchments and
fortifications. It appears a major
battle will be fought on or near this spot.
first meeting of a Rotary Club in Florida was held today in Jacksonville.
residents awakened to discover that the city had received a record 2.8 inches of
snow today. Snow extended south to
the 30-degree latitude.
Lauderdale was occupied as a military outpost by Company K, U.S. Artillery,
Harvie on the Caloosahatchee River was ordered re-activated today.
The fort was re-named in honor of Lieutenant Colonel Abraham C. Myers.
Florida Legislature today incorporated the Alachua County railroad Company and
authorized it to raised $200,000 in capital to construct a railroad from Waldo
inches of snow was reported today at Pensacola, while Tallahassee reported two
inches. Lake City reported an
accumulation of one inch, while Leesburg reported a trace.
operators, tourists, and marine scientists were delighted when the first
porpoise to be born in captivity was born at Marineland, south of St. Augustine.
Governor Millard Fillmore Caldwell appointed to service as a Justice, Florida
first issue of the Halifax Journal ,
Daytona’s first newspaper, was printed today.
1898 The U.S.S. Maine exploded today in Havana Harbor and set into
motion the events leading up to the Spanish-American War.
More than 250 men were killed and some 50 wounded.
The wounded were transferred to hospital facilities in Key West.
Ellis assumed the office of Attorney General of Florida today.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt narrowly escaped an assassination attempt tonight
following a speech in Miami’s Bay Front Park.
As he sat in his car, five shots rang out, wounding Chicago Mayor Anton
Cermak, who was standing on the running board of the car.
Four other persons were also wounded.
Mayor Cermak was, it was feared, fatally wounded.
The would-be assassin, Guiseppe Zangara of Hackensack, New Jersey, was
wrestled to the ground by a policeman and hustled off to jail.
His only statement was “I’d kill every president.”
Hidden in his clothing was a newspaper clipping describing the
assassination of President William McKinley in 1901.
Zangara was eventually put to death by the electric chair in Raiford
State of Florida acquired its first parcel of land for the Gold Head Branch
State Park near Keystone Heights.
Petty wins the Daytona 500 for the seventh time.
British consul at Pensacola throws down the gauntlet to challenge the possible
blockade of the Confederate States of America when he issues clearance papers
for a ship carrying a cargo of cotton for British textile mills.
forces withdraw from Gainesville following a skirmish with Confederate cavalry
under the command of Captain J.J. Dickison.
1864 The U.S.S. Para escorted Federal troops up the St. Mary’s River
to Woodstock Mills, Florida, to obtain lumber.
The Para engaged
Confederate troops along the river bank. Union
transports successfully loaded a large amount of lumber and began to withdraw
down the river.
Cloud, originally established as a community for veterans of the Grand Army of
the Republic [Union] was incorporated today.
State of Florida Board of health reported that 3,007 Floridians had perished in
the first three months of great influenza outbreak that swept the world
immediately following World War I. Other
killers were Tuberculosis (288); Malaria (50); Dysentery (41); Typhoid (37);
Pellagra (36); and Diphtheria (32).
first Pegasus satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral today. The purpose of the Pegasus was to study meteoroids and other
potential hazards that might be encountered by the Apollo missions.
“Preacher’s Aid Society of the Florida Annual Conference of the Methodist
Episcopal Church” was chartered by the Territorial Legislature.
naval forces on duty in the Gulf of Mexico today attacked the home of Abel
Miranda on the Pinellas Peninsula (Tampa Bay), destroying citrus trees and
livestock. Sailors then confiscated
supplies of bacon, corn, syrup and potatoes and carried them off to their base
on Egmont Key.
1864 A boat
expedition from the U.S.S. Tahoma
destroyed a large salt works near St. Marks.
A large quantity of salt was also destroyed.
1865 The U.S.S. Mahaska captured the schooner Delia off the coast of Bayport, Florida, and seized its cargo
of pig lead and sabers.
First Presbyterian Church of Eustis was chartered today.
1912 W. V.
Knott assumed the office of Comptroller of the State of Florida today.
first boy was enrolled at Florida Sheriffs’ Ranch near Live Oak.
The ranch, founded in 1957, was created to serve as a home for
non-delinquent dependent, homeless and/or neglected boys between the ages of
eight and seventeen years of age.
Gold Medal freestyle winner Ambrose “Rowdy” Gaines was born today in Winter
William J. Worth reported that only 300 Seminoles were left in Florida and that
it was impossible for the U.S. Army to capture or kill them all.
He recommended to his superiors in the War Department that a peace treaty
be made with them. They agree and Worth, on August 14, declares the Seminole War
at an end.
Rosa County, Florida’s twenty-first county, was established today. Named for Santa Rosa Island, which in turn was named for St.
Rosa de Viterbo, a Catholic saint. During
Emperor Frederick II’s war against Pope Gregory IX, Rose, then 12 years old,
preached against submission and obedience to the emperor.
As a result her family was banished.
Davis of Mississippi took the oath of office as the provisional President of the
Confederate States of America. Among
the military companies firing cannon salutes for President Davis were troops
bound for Pensacola.
Federal gunboat, Ethan Allen,
entered Clearwater harbor today and captured the schooner Spitfire
and the sloops Atlanta and Caroline.
City of Orange Park was incorporated today.
Claude Kirk, Jr., wed Miss Erika Mattefeld today in West Palm Beach. It was the second marriage for Governor Kirk.
Petty won the Daytona 500 today.
Petty won the Daytona 500 today as the race leaders were involved in a major
crash on the last lap of the race.
United States Senate gave its approval to the Adams-Onis Treaty today. Under the terms of this transcontinental treaty, Spain ceded
Florida to the United States in exchange for the elimination of approximately $5
million in outstanding financial obligations.
1825 The Florida Intelligencer, Tallahassee’s first newspaper, began
1885 E. S.
Crill assumed the office of Treasurer of Florida today.
County voters approved the relocation of the county seat from Miami to Juno.
Luning, who had assumed the office of Florida Commissioner of Agriculture on
February 5, left office today, having served a total of 14 days.
“Memorial of the People of the Territory of Florida” asking for the
admission of the Territory as a state of the Union was introduced in the U.S.
House of representatives today.
soldiers of Detachment K, 3rd United States Artillery, were killed by Seminoles
today while chopping wood near Fort Lauderdale.
company of volunteers from Leon County were mustered into Confederate service
today with Richmond N. Gardner as captain.
largest Civil War battle to take place in the State of Florida occurred today at
Ocean Pond/Olustee. Union and
Confederate forces were about evenly matched with 5,500 soldiers each.
The Confederates, under the command of general Joseph J. Finegan, had
prepared defenses in the area (see citation for February 13).
The failure of the Union commander, General Truman Seymour,
to commit his forces in concert and as a whole gave the Confederates a
strategic advantage. At the end of
the day, the Confederates controlled the battlefield and Federal forces were in
a hasty retreat toward Jacksonville and the safety of the guns of the Union
203 killed, 152 wounded, 506 missing.
Confederate casualties: 93
killed, 847 wounded, 6 missing. Union
losses of material: 400
accouterment sets, 130,000 rounds of small arms ammunition, 1,600 small arms,
Battle of Fort Myers, the southernmost land battle of the Civil War, took place
today. With no clear winner, both
Union and Confederate commanders claimed victory.
Titusville Star-Advocate began
publication in New Smyrna Beach today as The
Village Improvement Association, Florida’s first Woman’s Club, was organized
today at Green Cove Springs.
Florida State Board of Health was created by the Florida Legislature today
following the Yellow Fever epidemic that swept through Jacksonville.
Miami Board of Trade, the forerunner of the Miami Chamber of Commerce, was
Pottier, the Oscar-winning actor, was born today in Miami.
Colonel John H. Glenn, Jr., became the first American to orbit the Earth in his
Mercury spaceship, Friendship 7. Glenn,
enclosed in the Friendship 7 high atop an Atlas rocket, was hurled into space at
9:47 a.m. The rocket placed the
Mercury capsule in orbit 99 miles above the surface of the Earth.
The launch came after ten separate delays caused by bad weather
conditions and technical glitches to equipment. The Mercury made three full orbits of the Earth and landed in
the Atlantic at 2:43 p.m. Hundreds
of thousands of Floridians lined the beaches of the East Coast to catch a
glimpse of this historic event.
R. Mallory of Florida was appointed Secretary of the Confederate States Navy
today by President Jefferson Davis.
1864 The U.S.S. Para today captured the small Confederate steamer Hard
Times on the St. Marys River.
forces launched an unsuccessful attack against Union forces at Fort Myers.
Nine Federal prisoners were seized, one Union soldier killed, and some
livestock was seized.
J. Russell assumed the office of Florida Superintendent of Public Instruction
Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs was organized at Green Cove Springs today.
McLeod Bethune was granted the first honorary degree given by a Southern white
college to an African-American woman by Rollins College (Winter Park) today.
Adams-Onis Treaty was formally signed today.
Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
Edmund P. Gaines arrived at Ft. King with six companies of the 4th U.S. Infantry
and a regiment of Louisiana Volunteers.
Davis was inaugurated today as the first regular, non-provisional president of
of the Federal Department of Florida was assumed by Brigadier General Lewis G.
crews from the U.S.S. Gem of the Sea
moved up the Indian River narrows today, discovering several places where cotton
had been stored and a shipyard.
incorporation of the City of Chipley ratified by the Florida legislature.
Wellborn Martin, the 24th governor of Florida (1925-1929), died today in
Jacksonville. Martin was born in
Plainfield in Marion County on June 21, 1884.
Admitted to the bar in 1914, he practiced in Jacksonville.
He was a three-time mayor of that city (1917-1924).
As governor during the Florida “Boom,” Martin embraced a number of
progressive reforms, including the construction of major highways, the direct
financing of public schools through legislative appropriations, and the
furnishing of free textbooks for students above the 6th grade.
He was subsequently defeated for the Democratic nomination for U. S.
Senator (1928) and for the party’s nomination for governor (1932).
In the 1940s, Martin was a co-receiver and subsequently the trustee for
the Florida East Coast Railroad.
first “Daytona 500” race, with a purse of $19,000, was won today by Lee
Petty of Randleman, N.C. Petty
averaged 135.42 mph in his 1959 Oldsmobile.
Johnny Beauchamp of Harlan, Iowa, finished second in a 1959 Ford
Thunderbird. Petty’s win was disputed as the two men finished
neck-and-neck in a photo finish.
Episcopal Congregation of St. Johns in Jacksonville was incorporated today.
City of Milton was incorporated today.
1863 The U.S.S. Gem of the Sea today captured the Confederate steamer Charm
about five miles up the St. Sebastian River.
1864 The 4th
Florida Infantry regiment was consolidated today with the 1st Florida Cavalry,
Dismounted, in winter quarters at Dalton, Georgia.
The consolidation was needed after both units suffered tremendous losses
in fighting at Missionary Ridge, Tennessee.
Federal expedition under the command of General John Newton sailed from Key West
today for the west coast of Florida. St.
Marks was believed to be the destination of this amphibious force.
last race on the old Daytona Beach race track was held today.
fans were surprised when Mohammed Ali sparred ten rounds today in Miami without
saying a single word.
Warren of Duval County submitted his resignation today as the first president of
the Territorial Legislative Council. That
body has a membership of eleven men.
1862 The U.S.S. Harriet Lane captured the Confederate schooner Joanna
Ward off the coast of Florida today.
The Harriett Lane was commanded by Lieutenant Jonathan M.
Wainwright, the grandfather of General Jonathan M. Wainwright who was forced to
surrender Bataan to the Japanese in World War II.
1863 The U.S.S. Tahoma today captured the Confederate schooner Stonewall
near Key West.
1864 The U.S.S. Nita pursued a Confederate steamer, the Nan-Nan,
in the Suwanee River today. When it
appeared that capture was inevitable, the Confederate crew set fire to the
vessel. The Nan-Nan
was carrying a cargo of about sixty bales of cotton and was armed with a
six-pounder cannon and plenty of ammunition.
Federal expedition under the command of General John Newton reached Punta Rassa
today. It immediately departed for
Cedar Key late in the afternoon.
1862 The U.S.S. Mohican and the U.S.S.
Bienville captured the British blockade runner Arrow off the coast of
1864 The U.S.S. Roebuck seized the blockade running British sloop
Two Brothers in Indian River, Florida.
The British ship was carrying a cargo of salt, liquor and nails.
Immanuel Lutheran Church of Pensacola was organized today.
Thomas McCarty, the 31st governor of Florida (1953), suffered a disabling heart
attack today in Tallahassee. McCarty
died on September 28, 1953. Charley
Eugene Johns of Starke became Acting Governor and served from September 28, 1953
until January 4, 1955, when LeRoy Collins of Tallahassee, who had been elected
to serve the remainder of McCarty’s term, took the oath of office.
Johns River Community College opened at Palatka today.
Clay (Mohammed Ali) defeated Heavyweight Boxing Champion Sonny Liston today at
Miami beach. This was Clay/Ali’s
first heavyweight title.
1862 The U.S.S. Bienville captured the schooner Alert off St. John’s, Florida, today.
1864 A boat
expedition from the U.S.S. Tahoma
destroyed a large salt works on Goose Creek, near St. Marks.
1865 The U.S.S. Marigold captured a British blockade runner with an
assorted cargo in the Straights of Florida between Havana and Key West.
than 17,000 persons watched as Winston Churchill received an honorary Doctor of
Laws from the University of Miami in Orange Bowl ceremonies today.
the end of the NASCAR Grand National, a private car race was held on the main
street of Daytona Beach. When
police intervened and stopped the race, the onlookers, mostly teenagers, began a
five-hour riot that ultimately involved about 3,000 teenagers. Numerous stores were looted and many cars overturned.
Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant was shut down following a spill of radioactive
Academy, the first academy established under the auspices of the Methodist
Church in Florida, was incorporated today near Marianna.
City of Jasper was incorporated today.
1864 The U.S.S. Roebuck seized the British blockade-running schooner
Nina with a cargo of liquors and coffee at Indian River Inlet.
The Roebuck also
captured the schooner Rebel
with a cargo of salt, liquor and cotton at Indian River Inlet.
Cross-Florida Barge Canal, envisioned as a short-cut across the Florida
Peninsula since the late 1800s and approved by President Franklin Delano
Roosevelt, was re-started by President Lyndon Baines Johnson near Palatka.
This 185-mile canal was never finished.
N. Glenn, the first Methodist preacher assigned to serve exclusively in Florida,
was appointed minister to St. Augustine.
Indians attacked Detachment I of the 2nd U.S. Infantry near Fort Miami today.
Captain S. L. Russell was killed.
General Samuel Jones assumed command of the Department of Alabama and West
Florida from General Braxton E. Bragg.
1863 The U.S.S. Sagamore arrived at Mosquito Inlet today to
investigate reported of a Confederate schooner being loaded with cotton for
England. The commander of the Sagamore,
fearing hidden Confederate gun emplacement, lobbed shells into the inlet in the
hope that the Confederates would burn the ship to prevent its capture.
1864 The U.S.S. Clyde arrived at Cedar Key to take on coal.
boats for the U.S.S. Honeysuckle
forced the blockade running British schooner Sort
aground on a reef near the mouth of Crystal River, Florida, where she was
abandoned. Sort was the same schooner captured in December 1864 by the U.S.S.
O. H. Lee.
Federal amphibious force under the command of General John Newton arrived off
Ocklockonee Buoy (near St. Marks Bar) today.
Confederate scout report that 13 Federal steam ships and three sailing
vessels have rendezvoused there in preparation for a land invasion.
first issue of the Palatka “Daily
News” was published today.
City was incorporated as a town today.
Todd Seeley jumped his motorcycle 246 feet from ramp to ramp in a World of
Wheels show at Tampa.
LEAP YEAR SPECIALS!
Edmund P. Gaines and his troops were pinned down by more than 1,000 Seminole
warriors during a ten-day siege at Camp Izard on the Withlacoochee River, near
present-day Dunnellon. The siege
would eventually become so critical that the U.S. troops were forced to kill
their horses for food.
Florida legislature petitioned the U.S. Congress for a grant of land to erect a
courthouse in Tampa.
Augusta Christine Savage was born in Green Cove Springs today.