"Today in Florida History"
1836 On this
date, the Seminole people were supposed to migrate to Oklahoma.
The Second Seminole War started on December 28 to forestall this
guns on Santa Rosa Island opened fire on an unnamed steamer brought into the
Navy yard by Confederate forces in Pensacola.
Although the Confederates suffered no casualties, a large storehouse was
hit by an exploding shell and burned to the ground.
John Milton called the “Columbia Trapiers” into service today. This unit is commanded by Captain J. R. Francis.
Federal blockade ships, the U.S.S.
Rhode Island and the U.S.S.
South Carolina, were sighted in the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola.
Battle of Murfreesboro (Stone’s River) continued today as Confederate forces
under General Braxton E. Bragg do battle with Union forces under the command of
General William S. Rosecrans. The
Florida 4th Infantry Regiment suffered 55 casualties, killed or
wounded, but captured 250 enemy weapons.
Federal ship U.S.S.
Gem of the Sea captured the Confederate sloop Ann six miles east of Jupiter Inlet.
1864 The U.S.S. Rosalie put into Charlotte Harbor today after a
rendezvous with the U.S.S. Gem of the
Sea in the Gulf of Mexico.
City of Eustis was incorporated.
City of Lakeland was incorporated today.
fifth Constitution, created by a Constitutional Convention that met in
Tallahassee on June 9, 1885, went into effect today and remained the basic law
of the Sunshine State until 1968. The
1885 Constitution replaced the “Carpetbag” Constitution of 1868.
Tampa Tribune began daily
1914 The first scheduled commercial airplane flight was made today from St. Petersburg to Tampa. Tony Jannus, a pioneering aviator, opened the service with his flying boat, the Benoist, which could haul one passenger and a small amount of freight. A. C. Pheil, former mayor St. Petersburg, purchases the first passenger ticket for $500.00. Jay Dee Smith was Jannus’ mechanic. Two daily round trips were flown for 28 consecutive days.
University defeated the University of Miami 26-0 in the first every Miami Orange
Cypress Gardens, the longest continuously operating tourist attraction,
was opened today by Mr. and Mrs. Richard D. Pope, Sr. Cypress Gardens closed in 2003 and is under consideration for
purchase by the State of Florida.
University of South Carolina suffered a 26-14 loss to Wake Forest University in
the first-ever Gator Bowl.
River Community College at Fort Pierce was established today.
Cawthon Booth was appointed the Judge of the First District Court of Appeal
(Tallahassee) by Governor Reubin O’D. Askew today.
Ms. Booth became the first woman to serve as an appellate judge in the
State of Florida.
Morrison Flagler, founder of the Florida East Coast Railway and developer of the
East Coast’s tourist industry, was born today in Hopewell, New York.
Flagler, whose interest in Florida stemmed from visits to St. Augustine,
combined his railroad interests with hotels and steamships.
An early partner with John D. Rockefeller in Standard Oil, Flagler spent
millions on his Florida projects, eventually constructing the longest railroad
over water with his Florida Overseas Railroad, which connected the mainland with
Key West. Flagler eventually
planned to span the Straights of Florida to connect his Key West terminus with
the island of Cuba.
P. Bemis took office as Florida’s Comptroller today.
A. Tuttle, the so-called “Mother of Miami,” was born today in Ohio. An early (1872) settler
in the present-day Miami area, Ms. Tuttle was reported to have lured Henry
Flagler and his railroad south when she sent him a branch of blooming orange
blossoms during the devastating freeze of 1894-95. (See entry for September 14).
artillery duel between Confederate and Union forces at Pensacola continued until
about 4 o’clock this morning. Casualties
were minimal for both sides.
Robert E. Lee has asked Brigadier General J. H. Trapier to increase the number
of cannons and manpower on Cumberland and Amelia Islands to protect Fernandina
from a Union attack.
units with the Confederate Army of Tennessee were still engaged in the Battle of
Murfreesboro (Stone’s River) in Tennessee.
Captain Augustus O. MacDonnell of the 1st and 3rd
Florida Consolidated narrowly escaped serious injury when his sword was
shattered by a shell fragment.
Confederate Congress has approved the following Floridians as adjutants in
Florida regiments and battalions:
James B. Johnson, 5th Infantry Regiment
R. J. Reid, 2nd Infantry Regiment
W. McR. Jordan, 3rd Infantry Battalion
B. F. Parker, 4th Infantry Battalion
James O. Owens, 6th Infantry Battalion
George Dawson, 7th Infantry Regiment
F. Philips, 1st Cavalry Regiment
C. B. Paslay, 7th Infantry Regiment
Augustus E. Maxwell and James M. Baker, along with Representative Robert B.
Hilton, join other Confederate legislators as the Confederate Congress
re-convenes after a one-day New Year’s Day recess.
Franklin Drew, the twelfth governor of Florida (1877-1881) was inaugurated
today. (See entry for August 6 for
T. Washington, the noted African-American leader, addressed an audience in
Jacksonville today. His speech
stressed that the development of commercial and industrial project held the key
for the advancement of the American Negro.
Amos took office as Florida’s Comptroller today.
Johnston Catts, Florida’s Prohibition governor, took the oath of office today
as the state’s twenty-second governor. (For
more information, see entry for July 31.)
Sholtz became Florida’s twenty-sixth governor today in inauguration ceremonies
in Tallahassee. (For more
information about Sholtz, see the entry for October 6.)
Fillmore Caldwell was inaugurated as Florida’s twenty-ninth governor today in
Tallahassee. (For more information,
see entry for October 23.)
1979 On this
day, “Bob” [D. Robert} Graham was inaugurated as the Sunshine State’s
thirty-eighth governor. He would
succeed himself as governor on January 4, 1983.
Graham was born on November 9, 1936 in Coral Gables.
Graham graduated from the University of Florida in 1959 and received a
law degree from Harvard Law School in 1962.
He served in a variety of executive positions in the Sengra Corporation
(The Graham Companies), was a developer of Miami Lakes, and helped administer
the family’s cattle holdings.
As governor, Graham supported a number of environmental measures to save
the state’s Everglades, sea shores, and barrier islands.
Governor Graham engendered a strong public support through his personal
program of “workdays,” a program he still practices as Senator.
Firestone assumed the position of Florida’s Secretary of State.
He was succeeded on August 5, 1987 by Jim Smith, who was appointed by
Governor Bob Martinez.
Smith assumed office as Florida’s Attorney General on this date.
M. Hernandez was seated as the first Territorial Representative to the United
States Congress from the Territory of Florida.
to the Florida Secession Convention meet in Tallahassee to take up the question
of secession. Edmund Ruffin of
Virginia arrived to confer with Governor Madison Starke Perry and members of the
Branch, the sixth Territorial Governor of Florida, died today in Enfield, North
Carolina. (For more information,
see entry for August 11.)
Battle of Murphreesboro (Stone’s River) came to an end today. General Braxton E. Bragg withdrew from the battle despite
apparent victory during the first two days.
Florida units in the Army of Tennessee suffered a large number of
casualties. (See entry for December
1865 The U.S.S. Kanawha today captured the Confederate schooner Mary
Ellen today in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.
D. Bloxham assumed office as Florida’s Secretary of State.
He will hold this position until he was succeeded by F.W.A. Rankin, Jr.
on October 1, 1880.
P. Raney was sworn in as the Attorney General of Florida.
Laurens Mitchell was inaugurated as Florida’s sixteenth governor (1893-1897)
today. (See entry for
September 3 for more information.)
N. Sheats became the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction today, while
C. B. Collins was sworn in as Treasurer.
1897 W. H.
Reynolds took office as Florida’s Comptroller.
Bonaparte Broward, “Florida’s Fighting Democrat,” was inaugurated as
Florida’s nineteenth governor today. (For
more information about Broward, see entry for October 1.)
M. Holloway became Florida’s Superintendent of Public Instruction
“Southern Jewish Weekly” was founded today in Jacksonville.
first races at St. Petersburg’s Derby Lane greyhound track were run today.
The track, operated by the Kennel Club, was the oldest greyhound track in
1933 J. M.
lee assumed the office of Comptroller today.
Edward Larson was sworn in as the Treasurer of Florida today.
Farris Bryant took office today as the Sunshine State’s thirty-fourth
governor. (For more information on
Bryant, see entry for July 26.)
E. Connor was sworn in as Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture today, and Tom
Adams was installed as Secretary of State.
Earl S. Weldon assumed the presidency of Seminole Junior College, which was
chartered in 1965.
Roy Kirk, Jr. was installed as Florida’s thirty-sixth governor today. Kirk was born on January 7, 1926, in San Bernardino,
California. He lived in a variety
of locales during his youth, and graduated from high school in Montgomery,
Alabama, when he was seventeen. He
enlisted in the Marine Corps and, after officer training at Quantico, Virginia,
was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He
left the Marines in 1946 and entered law school. He received his law degree in 1949.
Kirk returned to active duty
in 1950 and served in combat in Korea. After
the war, he entered the insurance and investment business in Jacksonville,
eventually heading up the Kirk Investments Company.
A former democrat, Kirk led the “Floridians for Nixon” campaign in
1960. In 1964, he waged an
unsuccessful race for the U.S. Senate. In
1966, he was successful in his campaign for the governorship and became the
first Republican to hold this position since the end of Reconstruction.
In 1978, he ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor as a Democrat.
In 1988, he failed in his bid for the U.S. Senate as the Democratic
Wayne Mixon served only three days as Florida’s thirty-ninth governor. Mixon, the Lieutenant Governor, succeeded Bob Graham, who
resigned three days before the end of his second term to take his position in
the United States Senate. Mixon was
born June 16, 1922, near Brockton, Alabama.
He entered public service in 1967 when he was elected to the first of six
consecutive terms of office in the Florida House of Representatives.
Mixon served in the United States Navy during World War II. He attended Columbia University in new York, the Wharton
School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1947 from
the University of Florida.
Gallagher took the oath of office as Florida’s Treasurer today.
appointment and licensing of port and harbor pilots by Dade County officials
authorized by state government.
Madison Perry and his advisors made the decision to seize Federal properties in
Union blockader, U.S.S. Sagamore,
was sighted near Santa Rosa Island.
Dunn Moseley, Florida’s first governor under statehood (1845-1849), died
today. Moseley was born at Moseley
Hall, Lenoir County, North Carolina, on February 1, 1795.
He attended the University of North Carolina with such notables as James
K. Polk, later president of the United States.
After college, he practiced law in Wilmington, North Carolina, and
entered public service as a state senator.
He was defeated in the North Carolina gubernatorial race of 1834.
In 1835, Moseley purchased a plantation in Jefferson County, Florida, and
resided there until 1851. A member
of the Territorial Legislature, Moseley defeated Richard Keith Call, the third
and fifth Territorial governor of Florida, in the contest to become the first
governor of the new state of Florida. In
1851, Moseley moved to Palatka, where he was a planter and fruit grower.
Dunnington Bloxham, the thirteenth (1881-1885) and seventeenth (1897-1901)
governor of Florida, was inaugurated today.
Born in Leon County on July 9, Bloxham’s first administration was
marked by the sale of the Disston Land Purchase.
He died at Tallahassee on March 15, 1911.
(For more information, see the entry for July 9.)
first issue of the “Daytona News” was published today.
Buford was sworn in as Florida’s Attorney General today.
Augustus Hardee, the 23rd governor of Florida, was inaugurated today.
During his administration, the convict leasing system was outlawed.
Hardee died ion November 21, 1957. (For
more information, see the entry for November 13.)
Warren, the thirtieth governor of Florida, was inaugurated today. A native of Blountstown, Warren was born on October 3, 1905,
and died in Miami on September 23, 1973. (For
more information, see the entry for October 3.)
W. Ervin took office as Florida’s Attorney General, and Thomas D. Bailey
assumed office as the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
LeRoy Collins, the thirty-third governor of Florida, took the oath of office
today. Collins was born on march
10, 1909, in Tallahassee. A
graduate of Leon High School, Collins attended the Eastman School of Business at
Poughkeepsie, New York, and received a law degree from Cumberland University.
He married Mary Call Darby, the great-granddaughter of two-time
Territorial Governor Richard Keith Call. Collins
was elected as Leon County’s representative
to the Florida House in 1934, 1936,
and 1938. He was elected to the
Florida Senate in 1940 an re-elected in 1942.
He resigned to serve in the U.S. navy, and was re-elected in 1946 and
1950. Collins was first elected
governor to complete the two remaining years of the term of the late Governor
Dan McCarty. He was elected for a
full term in 1956.
Collins’ term was marked by the rise of the civil rights movement in
Florida, and through his leadership, Florida avoided much of the violence and
turmoil that marked desegregation in other Southern states.
Following his terms as governor, Collins served as Undersecretary of
Commerce in the Johnson administration. He
was unsuccessful in a bid for the U.S. Senate in 1968. He died on March 25, 1991.
Reno became Florida’s first State Attorney when Governor Reubin O’D. Askew
appointed her to head up the Eleventh Judicial District (Miami) when Richard
Gerstein resigned. Ms. Reno was
the Attorney General of the United States during the administration of
President Bill Clinton.
Cass requests an appropriation of $80,000 from the U.S. House of Representatives
for “the expenses attending the repression of the hostilities commenced by the
Seminole Indians in Florida.”
Quincy Guards, commanded by Colonel Duryea, seized the Chattahoochee Arsenal
today. The troops confiscate
500,000 rounds of musket cartridges, 300,000 rounds of rifle cartridges, and
50,000 pounds of gunpowder.
Florida Secession Convention reconvened today.
John C. McGehee, a passionate state-rights planter from Madison County,
was elected permanent chairman. McQueen
Macintosh of Apalachicola introduced a resolution declaring Florida’s right to
secede and urged the passage of a proclamation declaring that the state was no
longer a part of the United States.
from the U.S.S. Sagamore seized
the British blockade runner Avenger
in Jupiter Inlet. The Avenger
was carrying a cargo of coffee, gin, salt, and other goods.
expedition from the U.S.S. Winnebago
seized two copper kettles used for distilling turpentine, 1,280 copper pipes,
and four sloop-rigged boats in the Gulf of Mexico today.
1887 An inch
of snow fell at Pensacola today.
Sarazin won the $750 first prize at the Miami Open Golf Tournament.
His score was 294 for 72 holes. The
monetary prize was $750.
Preston Cone took the oath of office today to become Florida’s 27th
governor. (See entries for July 28
and September 28.)
Hayden Burns took the oath of office today to become Florida’s 35th
governor (1965-1967). Burns was
born on March 17, 1912 in Chicago, Illinois.
he attended Jacksonville public schools and Babson College.
During World War II, Burns served in the U.S. navy.
In 1949, he won his first election to public office when he was elected
Mayor-Commissioner of Jacksonville, a position he won in 1951, 1955, 1959, and
1963. In 1960, he finished third in
a race for the Democratic nomination for governor. In 1964, he achieved the office.
Although eligible for a second two-year term, he was defeated by Claude
Roy Kirk, Jr., a Republican, in 1966.
In 1971, Burns was defeated in his bid for election as Mayor of
Burns died in Jacksonville on November 22, 1987.
Faircloth was installed at the Attorney General of Florida today.
O’Donovan Askew, the thirty-seventh Governor of Florida, was inaugurated today
for the first of his two consecutive terms as governor.
(For more information, see entry for September 11.)
D. O’Malley assumed office today as Florida’s Treasurer, and Robert L.
Shevin was inaugurated as Attorney General.
Richard B. Stone was inaugurated as Secretary of State.
Smith took the oath of office today for the position of Florida Attorney
from the Seminole uprising continue. Authorities
report that sixteen East Florida plantations have been laid to waste.
1839 E. L.
Drake of Escambia County became the first Speaker of the Florida Territorial
House of Representatives today.
Internal Improvements Fund was established today.
This created the mechanism by which improvements can be funded through
the sale of public lands.
Senator Stephen F. Mallory of Florida recommends that the state’s Secession
Convention secede. This declaration
followed a caucus of Southern senators called by Jefferson Davis and John
Slidell of Mississippi.
1863 The U.S.S. Pocahontas captured the blockade runner Antona
today off Cape San Blas, Florida.
1863 The U.S.S. Ariel today
captured the sloop Good Luck, a
blockade runner from New Smyrna near Key Biscayne Bay.
Aylsworth Perry became the fourteenth governor of Florida (1885-1889) today.
(See entry for October 15 for more information.)
first Sunday edition of the Tampa Tribune
was published today.
Wellborn Martin took the oath of office today as Florida’s twenty-fourth
governor. Martin was born on June
21, 1884, in Marion County. Admitted
to the bar in 1914, he began the practice of law in Jacksonville.
From 1917 until 1924, martin was the Mayor of Jacksonville.
Martin presided over the end of the Florida “Boom” and the
Florida “Bust.” During
his administration, Florida began an expansive program of highway construction,
direct State appropriations to finance public schools, and the distribution of
free textbooks to students in grades 1-6. In
1928, he was defeated in his bid for a United States Senate seat.
In 1932, he lost a bid to regain the governor’s office.
In the 1940s, Martin served as a co-receiver and trustee for the Florida
East Coast Railroad.
He died in Jacksonville on February 22, 1958.
Thomas McCarty was inaugurated as the state’s 31st governor today.
McCarty was born in Fort Pierce on January 18, 1912.
On February 25, 1953, McCarty suffered a debilitating heart attack and
died on September 28. (See entry
for September 28 for more information.)
Pensacola abortion clinic was bombed today marking a significant turn of
direction in the anti-abortion movement’s opposition to legalized abortion.
“Bob” Martinez of Tampa became the 40th governor of Florida
today. Martinez was born in Tampa
on December 25, 1934. He attended
the University of Tampa and the University of Illinois.
A high school teacher for seven years, Martinez also served as the
Executive Director of the Hillsborough [County] Classroom Teachers Association
until he took over the family business, the Cafe Sevilla.
In 1979, Martinez was elected Mayor of Tampa as a Democrat, and
re-elected as a Republican in 1983.
Martinez alienated many Floridians through his anti-abortion stance,
because of his reneging on a campaign promise not to raise taxes, and because of
his somewhat imperious leadership style. He
also campaigned against the creation of a state lottery system, but approved the
measure after it was passed by the Florida legislature.
He was defeated for re-election by Lawton Chiles in 1990.
Following his tenure as governor, he served briefly as the head of the
Drug Enforcement Agency under President George Bush.
first organized Baptist congregation, Pigeon Creek Baptist Church, was organized
today near Callahan (Northeast Florida). The
congregation consisted of both black and white parishioners.
I, 3rd Artillery, United States Army engaged in fighting with
Seminole Indians near Ft. Lauderdale today.
One enlisted man was wounded and subsequently died from his wounds on
R. Hayward was sworn in as the Treasurer of the State of Florida.
soldiers guarding Fort Marion (Castillo de San Marcos) in St. Augustine
surrender the post to a company of local volunteers.
In Tallahassee, the Secession Convention, after hearing appeals from
Edmund Ruffin of Virginia, E.C. Bullock of Alabama, and L.S. Spratt of South
Carolina, approves the McIntosh resolution by a vote of 62-5 for immediate
secession. A committee of 13 was
appointed to prepare the official secession ordinance.
author Zora Neale Hurston was born today. Some
controversy exists as to the actual place of her birth.
Some authorities claim it was in Eatonville (east of Orlando), but the
latest scholarship places her birth place in Alabama.
Regardless of where she was born, Hurston certainly considered Eatonville
her home and centered many of her stories there.
(Butterfly) McQueen was born today in Tampa.
McQueen gained enduring fame for her portrayal of “Prissy” in the
1939 epic, “Gone with the Wind.”
Trammell, the 21st governor of Florida (1913-1917), took the oath of
office today. Trammell, who was
born on April 9, 1876 in Macon County, Alabama, attended grade school in Polk
County. During the Spanish-American
War, he served in the Quartermaster Corps in Tampa.
After studies at Vanderbilt University, Trammell received a law degree
from Cumberland College (also the alma
mater of LeRoy Collins) in 1899. A
citrus grower and attorney in Lakeland, he served two terms as Mayor of the
city. He was elected to the Florida
House of Representatives in 1903 and to the Florida Senate in 1905.
He served as President of the Senate.
In 1908, Trammell was elected Attorney general, and in 1912, he was
elected governor. The hallmark of
the Trammell administration was campaign spending reform and the equalization of
property tax assessments in all counties. In
1916, he was elected to the United States Senate and served in that capacity
until his death in Washington on May 8, 1936.
F. West took the oath of office as the Attorney General of Florida today, while
William N. Sheats was installed as the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Lindsey Holland was sworn in as the 28th governor (1941-1945).
He was born at Bartow on July 10, 1892 and died on November 6, 1971.
(For more information see entries for July 10 and November 6.)
1941 J. Tom
Watson took the oath of office as Attorney General today.
Watson was somewhat frustrated as Attorney General since Florida was a
“right to work” state and Federal war industries contracts recognized the
rights of unions to organize laborers. Despite
a lawsuit and strong protests by Watson, the Federal government persisted in
this policy. As soon as World War
II was over, Watson immediately and successfully sought to restore the “right
to work” law.
T. Christian assumed office as the first Commissioner of Education in Florida.
The Constitution Revision of 1968 provides for this new title, which was
a change from the previously Superintendent of Public Instruction.
A. Smathers was installed as Florida’s Secretary of State today, and Gerald
Lewis took the oath of office as the Comptroller of Florida.
County was established as Florida’s 27th county today.
The county took its name from Holmes Creek, the eastern boundary of the
County, Florida’s 29th county, was created today.
The county was named in honor of General Thomas Sumter, a native of South
Carolina who was prominent in the Revolutionary War. County Seat:
Levy Yulee and his financial partners incorporated the Florida Railroad Company
today. The railroad was planned to
run between Fernandina and Cedar Key.
Madison Starke Perry ordered the occupation of Fort Clinch (Amelia Island) by
Florida troops. He also authorized
Colonel William Chase to seize the Federal forts at Pensacola if he can.
1861 In the
Secession Convention, the Ordinance of Secession was introduced for debate.
The efforts of George T. Ward of Leon County and Jackson Morton of Santa
Rosa County to defer secession until Georgia and Alabama have seceded were
1863 In a
rather busy day of activity, the Union Navy ships of the Blockading Squadron
engaged in efforts along the entire coast of Florida. In
North Florida, the U.S.S. Uncas
reported an attack by land-based Confederates as it moved along the Nassau
River. Three Federals were wounded.
In Tampa Bay, the U.S.S. Tahoma
captured the blockade runner Silas
Henry with a cargo of cotton. The
Silas Henry had run aground in
Tampa Bay. The U.S.S. Sagamore seized the British sloop Julia
ten miles north of Jupiter Inlet with a cargo of salt.
The Julia was the ship
suspected for carrying away the light from the Cape Florida lighthouse.
armed boats from the U.S.S. Roebuck
were dispatched to Jupiter Inlet to halt the influx of small blockade-runners
from the Bahamas.
1885 C. M.
Cooper was installed as the Attorney General of Florida.
B. Lamar took the oath of office as Attorney General of Florida.
1889 Francis Philip Fleming, the 15th governor of
Florida (1889-1893), took office today. Fleming
was born at Panama Park, Duval County, on September 28, 1841 and died in
Jacksonville on December 20, 1908. (For
more information, see entries for September 28 and December 20.)
1889 F. J.
Pons was sworn into office today as the Treasurer of Florida.
Sherman Jennings, the 18th governor of Florida (1901-1905), was sworn
into office today. Jennings was
born at Walnut Hill, Illinois, on March 24, 1863.
He was a cousin of three-time Democratic presidential nominee, William
Jennings Bryan. He came to Florida
in 1885 to complete his training as an attorney and later opened a practice in
Brooksville. He was appointed
Circuit Court Commissioner in 1887 and County Judge in 1888. In 1893, he resigned the judgeship to serve as a member of
the Florida House of representatives, where he became Speaker in 1895.
The primary election system, which replaced the nominating convention,
was instituted during his administration. Jennings
was credited with saving 3,000,000 acres of public land and for espousing the
reclamation of the Everglades. He
died in St. Augustine on February 27, 1920.
1914 Mrs. L.
A. Whitney became the first woman to fly aboard a scheduled airline when she
flew from St. Petersburg to Tampa on the Benoist,
piloted by Anthony Jannus.
Elam Carlton took the oath of office today to become Florida’s 25th
governor (1929-1933). (For more
information, see entries for July 6 and October 25.)
“Murph the Surf” Murphy and a companion were arrested today in Miami. They were suspects in the American Museum of natural History
robbery last October in which the fabled “Star of India,” the world’s
largest sapphire, was stolen.
three-judge Federal court ordered Florida to complete reapportionment by July 1.
1969 In a
daring ploy, 81 Cubans shoot their way past Cuban guards at Guantanamo Bay Naval
Base. They seek asylum in Florida.
started today on the Orlando Arena, the home of the Orlando Magic, the National
Basketball Association franchise.
County, Florida’s 31st county, was established today.
It was named in honor of the manatee or sea cow, an endangered species.
County Seat: Bradenton
troops in Pensacola make ready to defend Federal forts against confiscation by
were in a quandary about the news that South Carolina troops had fired on the
Union vessel Star of the West, which
was carrying reinforcements for Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.
Tallahassee, the final debate on the Ordinance of Secession concludes in late
afternoon. Delegates agree to
postpone a final vote until tomorrow.
Yulee, brother of David levy Yulee, was nominated by Confederate President
Jefferson Davis for a commission as major in the Confederate Army.
to federal dispatches, an empty and unmanned schooner, the Flying Cloud, has been boarded near the St. Lucie River.
1863 The U.S.S. Ethan Allen today destroyed a large salt works south
of St. Joseph’s Bay. The works
were capable of producing 75 bushels of salt per day.
Union Congregational Church, now the Arlington Congregation Church, of
Jacksonville was organized today.
launch STS-32 was launched today from Cape Canaveral.
survey party measured 5 inches of snow today at Point Peter, near the mouth of
the St. Mary’s River. This was
the highest recorded total in Florida history.
first Florida Constitution was adopted in the assembly at St. Joseph’s today.
Madison Starke Perry read a telegram from Florida’s congressional delegation
that informed them that “Federal troops are said to be moving or about to move
on Pensacola forts.” This
warning, given just before the final debate on the state’s secession
ordinance, creates a sense of urgency among the delegates.
After two hours of debate, the Secession Convention approves the measure
by a vote of 62-7. Florida thus
becomes the third state to leave the Union.
In Tallahassee, crowds dance in the street.
Fireworks, a large parade, and the ringing of church bells join together
to manufacture an atmosphere of celebration and joy.
Similar demonstrations were held in Tampa, St. Augustine, Madison,
Pensacola and Jacksonville.
In Pensacola, the commanding
officer of Federal forces consolidates his men in Fort Pickens. Later that evening, Union Lieutenant H. Erben leads a raiding
party which batters in the gates of Fort McRea. The Union raiding party spikes the guns of the fort and dumps
about a dozen barrels of gunpowder into the sea.
Confederate War department authorized the formation of a new cavalry regiment in
Florida to be composed on men not subject to conscription to operate in Florida
and Alabama west of the Apalachicola River.
crews from the U.S.S. Roebuck,
under the command pf Acting Master John Sherrill, captured the blockade-running
Confederate sloop, Maria Louise,
with a cargo of cotton off Jupiter Inlet, Florida.
started today on the South Florida Railroad in Sanford.
1885 Voters in Plant City approved the incorporation of that city today.
The vote was 49-1.
Flagler’s famous Ponce de Leon Hotel, one of the earliest luxury resorts in
Florida, opened today in St. Augustine.
1959 Gold medal Olympic runner Chandra Cheeseborough was born today in
and other Americans joined together to lament the end of the 141 year-old Saturday
Evening Post. The magazine,
which frequently came into Florida homes, was a staple in the literary diet of
first constitution was signed by members of the constitutional convention
meeting in St. Joseph’s today. Although
the document would not become the law of the land in 1839, it provided the basic
framework for the first state constitution in 1845.
Ordinance of Secession, approved by the Secession Convention yesterday, was
signed today. Florida became an
“independent nation” until it joined the Confederate States of America on
January 28. Soon-to-be governor,
John Milton, unfurls the new flag of Florida, a white silk banner with three
stars. The stars represent the
three southern states that have seceded—South Carolina, Mississippi, and
1864 The U.S.S. Honeysuckle, under the command of Acting Ensign Cyrus
Sears, captured the British blockade runner, Fly, near Jupiter Inlet.
Boat crews from the U.S.S.
Roebuck, under the command of Acting Master Sherrill, captured the
British Blockade runner, Susan,
and its cargo of salt at Jupiter Inlet.
President Ulysses S. Grant visited the Silver Springs resort today. Grant was part of a group of northern tourists who took the
steam boat Osceola up the
Oklawaha River to the Springs.
Constitutional Commission to revise the 1885 state constitution was organized
today. The Commission delivered its
recommendations to the Legislature on December 13.
1828 The City of Key West was incorporated today by the
Territorial government of Florida.
forces seize the U.S. Navy Yard at Pensacola.
Forts McRee and Barrancas were also taken.
Federal forces garrisoned Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island.
Drew was sworn in today as the Comptroller of Florida.
Jacksonville YWCA was founded today.
1930 Don Grooms, contemporary Florida Folk singer, was born today in the Cherokee region of North Carolina. Don later moved to Florida and taught at the School of Journalism at the . A staple at the folk festivals in the state, Don Grooms wrote many songs including "Walk Proud My Son", "Winnebago" and "Vitachuco." He died in January 1998 and was laid to rest in the hills near the place of his birth in North Carolina.
Alexander (Sandy) Nininger, Jr. of Fort Lauderdale was killed in action today at
Bataan, Philippine Islands. He
became the first United States soldier to be awarded the Congressional Medal of
Honor in World War II.
Namath and the New York Jets defeated the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in the
first ever Super Bowl in Miami. The
score was 16-7.
Bill Nelson, a resident of Brevard County, rode into space today aboard the
shuttle Columbia (STS 61-C),
which was launched from Cape Canaveral.
first Florida lottery tickets went on sale today.
Thousands of citizens from
Alabama and Georgia crossed state lines to purchase tickets.
County was established today. Putnam
County was named for Benjamin Alexander Putnam, a lawyer, politician, and judge.
He was the first president of the Florida Historical Society.
Putnam was born on Putnam Plantation near Savannah, Georgia.
He attended Harvard University, studied law privately in St. Augustine,
and practiced there. In the
Seminole War (1835-1842), Putnam served as a major, colonel, and adjutant
general. From 1849 until 1854, he
served as the Surveyor General of Florida.
He died at his home in Palatka on January 25, 1869.
from the Federal garrison in Fort Pickens forced a Confederate reconnaissance
detachment to abandon their effort to reconnoiter the area around the fort.
F. Allen assumed office as Florida’s Secretary of State.
Allen was appointed by Governor John Milton to replace Fred L. Villepigue,
who was ruled ineligible for the office by the Florida Attorney General because
he held a commission in the Confederate Army.
Allen, who was a private in the Florida Light Artillery Company, was
seeking a discharge in order to assume his new office.
Confederate officer from Lake City met with the commander of the U.S.S.
Norwich, operating in the St. John’s River, in an effort to re-open
postal routes between Florida and northern states. Confederate officials, by command of General Joseph J.
Finegan, forward letters from northern
crews from the U.S.S. Two Sisters,
under the command of Acting Master Thomas Chatfield, captured the schooner William
off the Suwannee River today. The William carried a cargo of salt, bagging, and rope.
1881 W. D.
Barnes took office today as Florida’s Comptroller General.
first concert in Miami’s Lummus Park was given today by the 20-piece Miami
than 100 U.S. citizens arrived today from Castro’s Cuba.
Stephen Foster Center in White Springs observed the 100th anniversary of the
Miami Dolphins won Super Bowl VIII by defeating the Minnesota Vikings 24-7.
twin-engine Air Florida jet, bound for Tampa, crashed into the Potomac River
today immediately after takeoff from Washington’s national Airport.
Some seventy-eight persons were killed.
The jet, encumbered by ice on the wings, crashed into the 14th Street
Bridge, struck a truck and at least four cars.
Six persons died on the bridge. Horrified
commuters and emergency personnel
worked to rescue the passengers from the icy waters of the river.
Traffic was so snarled that emergency vehicles were forced to resort to
using the sidewalks to reach the crash scene.
Some investigators suspected that the mass firing of the air controllers
by the Reagan administration five months earlier contributed to the disaster,
although the final report of the national Transportation safety Board did not
place any blame on this occurrence.
Shuttle launch STS-54 was sent into space today from Cape Canaveral.
United States Senators from Florida, David Levy Yulee and Stephen F. Mallory,
were officially informed today of Florida’s secession from the Union.
bodies of three Union sailors were recovered on the beach at St. George’s
Island and given a military burial.
boats from the U.S.S. Roebuck
chased the blockade-running British sloop, Young
Racer, and forced her aground north of Jupiter Inlet.
The sloop, which was carrying a cargo of salt, was destroyed by her crew.
1864 The U.S.S. Union, under the command of Acting Lieutenant Edward
Conroy, captured the blockade-running steamer, Mayflower, and its cargo of cotton near Tampa Bay today.
Florida Medical Association was founded today in the office of Dr. Abel Seymour
Baldwin in Jacksonville.
report four-tenths of an inch of snow today.
actress Faye Dunaway was born today in Bascom.
Kasdan, award-winning screenwriter, was born today in Miami Beach.
Oakland Raiders lost to the Green Bay Packers (33-14) before an estimated 75,000
fans in the first Super Bowl held in Miami’s Orange Bowl.
Miami Dolphins won Superbowl VII today by defeating the Washington Redskins by a
score of 14-7.
United States Congress authorized the U.S. Army to occupy Florida.
City, formerly known as “Alligator,” was incorporated today.
federal schooner, U.S.S. Beauregard,
today captured the British schooner, Minnie,
about twenty miles south of Mosquito Inlet.
The captured ship was carrying a cargo of salt, liquors, and earthenware.
units attached to the Army of Northern Virginia (Confederate) were engaged in
heavy fighting today at Petersburg, Virginia.
John Westcott of the 2nd Florida Infantry Battalion has been promoted to major
by the Confederate War Department. His
effective date of rank will be January 24, 1863.
A. Cowgill assumed office as the Comptroller of Florida today.
Royal Palm, Henry Flagler’s luxury hotel, opened today in Miami.
The Royal palm featured a swimming pool and other amenities.
and western singer/songwriter Hank Locklin was born today in McLellan.
Race Track opened today.
Florida branch of the Colonial Dames of the XVII Century was chartered today in
New Port Richey.
Van Zant, the leader of the Jacksonville rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, was born in
Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach was incorporated today.
1979 J. H.
Williams of Ocala was appointed
Deputy Secretary of Agriculture by President Jimmy Carter today.
Augustus Bowles and a band of Creek warriors today captured the Panton, Leslie
and Company trading post near St. Marks.
sailors and soldiers took possession of Sea Horse Key and Cedar key today. Although there were no casualties, Union forces destroyed the
railroad depot and wharf, several box cars loaded with supplies, several ships
and boats, and a considerable supply of guns and ammunition.
Capture of Cedar Key effectively ends the importance of the newly
constructed railroad from Fernandina to this Gulf town.
1864 The U.S.S. Roebuck captured the Confederate sloop Caroline
today as it was attempting to run the blockade into Jupiter Inlet. The Caroline was
carrying a cargo of salt, gin, soda, and dry goods.
1864 The U.S.S. Stars and Stripes captured the British blockade runner
Laura off the Ocklockonee River
with a cargo of whiskey, cigars, and assorted merchandise.
A. Cocke was sworn in today as Florida’s Attorney General, while Charles H.
Foster took the oath of office as State Treasurer.
Barker and her gangster family were killed by agents of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, led by Melvin Purvis, in
a bloody shootout today in Oklawaha near Lake Weir.
“photo-finish” camera was used for the first time today at Hialeah Race
music singer Jim Stafford was born today in Eloise.
Ossian Bingley Hart, the first Florida-born governor of the state, was
born today in Jacksonville. Hart’s father, Isaiah David Hart, was a founder of
Jacksonville. Ossian B. Hart was an attorney who initially practiced law in
Jacksonville, but eventually moved to Fort Pierce to become a farmer. In 1845,
he represented St. Lucie County in the Florida House of Representatives. In
1846, he moved to Key West and resumed the practice of law. In 1856, he moved to
Tampa. Although the son of a slave-owner, Hart was opposed to Florida’s
secession and actively opposed it. His opposition earned him a great deal of
trouble during the Civil War. In 1868, Hart was appointed an Associate Justice
of the Florida Supreme Court. In 1870, he was defeated in a bid for Congress. He
was elected governor as a Republican in 1872, but died of pneumonia in 1874.
Jackson Morton of Santa Rosa County, Patton Anderson of Jefferson County,
and James B. Owens of Marion County were appointed as Florida’s delegates to
the Southern Convention scheduled to meet in Montgomery, Alabama, on February 4.
The U.S.S. Connecticut captured
the British blockade-runner, Emma, off the Florida Keys.
A Federal naval officer reported that he had found 45 bags of salt on a
conch bar near Jupiter Inlet. It
was also reported that a small boat with two Confederates has been captured near
the St. Lucie River.
John Beard assumed office today as Florida’s Comptroller.
1873 S. B. McLin was installed as Florida’s Secretary of State today.
1884 The first issue of the Florida Baptist Witness was published today.
Florida’s first Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #30, was chartered today
in St. Petersburg.
James W. Kynes took the oath of office today as Florida’s Attorney
Snow fell in Fort Lauderdale and Miami today.
of Companies C and L of the 2nd United States Artillery, consisting of six men,
were attacked today by Seminole Indians near Fort Deynaud.
demands by Confederate forces in Pensacola, Union Lieutenant Adam Slemmer
refuses to surrender Fort Pickens to them.
Federal gunboat Sagamore,
operating off the Gulf Coast near the Apalachicola River, sent several boats
ashore to investigate conditions on St. Vincent’s Island. The Federal officer
in charge reported that the fort on the island had been burned and abandoned.
1864 The U.S.S. Stars and Stripes captured the British blockade-runner
Laura today off the Ocklockonee
River after a chase of nearly seven hours. The Laura
was carrying a cargo of cigars, whiskey, and general merchandise.
Jewish Congregation Sons of Israel was chartered today in St.
Thomas McCarty, the 31st Governor (1/6-9/28/53), was born today near Fort
Pierce. For more information, see the entries for January 6 and September 28.
Bobby Goldsboro was born today in Marianna.
Federal force under the command of Brevet Major L. G. Arnold occupied Fort
Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas today. In St. Augustine, Colonel G. C. Gibbs
announced that the city was preparing its defenses against a Federal attack.
1862 The U.S.S. Itasca, under the command of lieutenant Charles H. B.
Caldwell, today captured the Confederate ship, Lizzie Weston, off the coast of Florida enroute to Jamaica
with a cargo of cotton.
effectiveness of the Federal blockade of the Southern coast was revealed in this
captured letter from Nassau: “There are men here who are making immense
fortunes by shipping goods to Dixie…Salt, for example, was one of the most
paying things to send in. Here in
Nassau it is only worth 60 cents a bushel, but in Charleston brings at auction
from $80 to $100 in Confederate
money, but as Confederate
money is no good out of the Confederacy they send back cotton or turpentine,
which, if it reaches here, is worth proportionally as much here as the salt is
there….It is a speculation by which one makes either 600 or 800 per cent or
1864 The U.S.S. Roebuck today captured the British blockade-runner Eliza about a mile inside Jupiter Inlet with a cargo of fourteen bales of cotton. Roebuck also captured the British sloop Mary inside Jupiter Inlet later in the day. The Mary had a cargo of 31 bales of cotton.
1926 The first broadcast from Radio Station WIOD, originating from Collins Island near Miami Beach, was aired today.
Football League running back Ottis “O.J.” Anderson was born today in West
County was created today by the Florida Legislature.
Jefferson County was the thirteenth county created in the state and was
named for President Thomas Jefferson, who died on July 4, 1826.
public library, reading room, and historical association of St. Augustine was
1885 C. M.
Cooper assumed office as the Attorney General of Florida today.
1890 The St.
John’s River railroad bridge, the first major steel railroad bridge in
Florida, opened to traffic today.
is the birthday of former U.S. Congressman Sam M. Gibbons of Tampa. A highly decorated combat veteran in World War II, Gibbons
had a distinguished career in the Florida House of representatives, the Florida
Senate, and was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November
1962. He served until 1996.
and western singer “Slim” Whitman was born today in Tampa.
1969 Alan S.
Boyd, the first Federal Secretary of Transportation (appointed January 16, 1967
by President Lyndon Baines Johnson), left office today.
Boyd, a native of Jacksonville, was born on July 20, 1922.
After successful stints as the general counsel for the Florida Turnpike
Authority and as a member of the Florida Railroad and Public Utilities
Commission in the Collins administration, Boyd served on the U.S. Civil
Aeronautics Board. He was appointed
first to the position of Undersecretary of Commerce for Transportation by
Johnson, and when that position was elevated to a separate Cabinet department,
he was promoted. After his Federal
service, Boyd served as the President of the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad.
He subsequently returned to Federal service as the Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of AMTRAK, a position he held until June 20, 1982.
Florida residents as far south as Cutler Ridge in Dade County saw snow. The extreme cold and numbing wind brought about widespread
power failures, hundreds of traffic accidents, several deaths and the loss of a
large part of the state’s citrus and vegetable crops.
appointed on January 4 as State Attorney, Janet Reno began her tenure today as
the first female State Attorney in Florida.
United States senators David Levy Yulee and Stephen R. Mallory, along with U.S.
Representative George S. Hawkins, formally withdraw from the United States
Congress today. This following
Florida’s secession from the Union.
Secession Convention adjourns in Tallahassee.
Federal steamer U.S.S. Uncas in
the St. John’s River fired on Confederate pickets near Cedar Creek. A Parrott gun on board the Union vessel exploded, seriously
wounding one man whose arm was shattered and amputated.
1865 The U.S.S. Honeysuckle arrived in Cedar key today with the
British schooner Augusta in
tow. The British vessel will be
taken to key West and claimed as a war prize by Acting Ensign Charles N. Hall
and his crew.
Confederate schooner Olive Branch
bound from Cedar Key to Nassau with a cargo of turpentine was captured by the U.S.S. Ethan Allen.
1881 Jno. L.
Crawford took the oath of office today as Florida’s Secretary of State.
President Calvin Coolidge signed the Act to Survey A Waterway from Cumberland
Sound, Georgia, and Florida to the Mississippi River.”
This act was the forerunner of the later Cross-Florida Barge Canal
SOME FLORIDA POPULATION
1830 34, 730
Federal steamer U.S.S. Bibb
left the St. John’s River for Port Royal, South Carolina, today.
It carried a white refugee named Jackson, who reported to Federal
officials that the Confederates had a man-of-war carrying eight guns on the
Chattahoochee River. He also
reported that the steamer Cuba
was preparing to run the blockade via the Suwannee River.
1863 It was
reported that Federal Brigadier General Adam J. Slemmer was captured in the
recent Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Slemmer
first came to the attention of Floridians when he was a Lieutenant in command of
Fort Barrancas in January 1861. It
was Slemmer who ordered Federal troops to concentrate in Fort Pickens on Santa
Rosa Island in Pensacola Harbor.
of key West were awakened today by aftershocks from the earthquakes that struck
the island of Cuba.
first train arrived in Key West, marking the completion of the Florida East
Coast Railway. Henry Flagler
arrived in his private car, “Moultrie.”
The Overseas Extension of the Florida East Coast system spanned 127.84
miles from Homestead to Key West. Seventy-five
miles were over marsh or water. The
longest viaduct of the system, between Knights Key and Bahia Honda Key, covered
seven miles. Building the extension
from Miami to key West required a labor force of 3-4,000 men and seven years of
work. The railroad extension was
abandoned after the destructive hurricane of 1935, but was eventually adapted
for use as a major highway.
started falling late today in the Florida Panhandle.
Orlando “Sentinel” and the Orlando “Evening Star” were combined as the
“Sentinel Star” today.
Oakland Raiders scored a 38-9 win over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl
XVIII, which was held in Tampa.
percent of Florida’s citrus crop was destroyed by the worst freezing weather
in the 20th Century in the state. Governor
Bob Graham declared a “state of emergency” since the Weather Bureau
predicted more cold weather.
space shuttle (STS 42) was launched today from Cape Canaveral.
Jacksonville, the Kalem Company, organized in 1907, produced what is regarded as
the first dramatic film in Florida. The
picture was entitled, “A Florida Feud.”
Seminole Indian leader Osuche and his son were killed by U.S. Army troops near
State of Florida today appropriated $1,000 to build a wagon road from Miami to
Indian River in St. Lucie County.
first Board of Agriculture was established today.
garrisons at St. Augustine removes lenses from the St. Augustine and Jupiter
Inlet lighthouses forcing them to shut down.
British blockade runner Fannie McRae
was captured today by the Federal tender Fox
between St. Marks and Deadman’s Bay in the Warrior River.
C. Gibbs was sworn into office today as the Superintendent of Public
from the earthquake on Cuba were felt again by Key West residents.
Award-winning science-fiction writer Walter M. Miller, Jr., was born today in
New Smyrna Beach.
inch of snow was reported today in Panama City, while Apalachicola reported
two-tenths of an inch of the “white rain.”
City of Chattahoochee was incorporated today.
than forty Seminole Indians were captured during a battle with the United States
Army at Indian Crossing on the Lookahatchie (Loxahatchee?) River. Two soldiers were killed and five wounded.
Forty Seminoles were captured.
J. R. Vinton and Company B, 3rd U. S. Artillery, engaged a force of Seminole
Indians at Fort New Smyrna Beach today. Four
soldiers were wounded. Indian
casualties were unknown.
E. D. Bullock and a detachment from Company E, 2nd U. S. Dragoons were attacked
today by a band of Seminole Indians near Fort Preston.
One soldier was wounded.
H. Brockenbrough was seated in the United States House of Representatives as
Florida’s first member of the Lower House.
Brockenbough was seated after successfully contesting the election of
Edward C. Cabell. Both Cabell and
Brockenbough were from Tallahassee.
H. Austin was worn into office today as the Treasurer of Florida.
W. Brevard was sworn into office today as Florida’s Comptroller.
President Jefferson Davis has recommended Joseph J. Finegan of Fernandina beach
be given a commission as Lieutenant Colonel in the Confederate Army.
1863 The U.S.S. Paul Jones was
assigned to deliver ammunition and other stores to ships on patrol duty
in the St. John’s River. The Paul
Jones was also instructed to proceed up the river “as far as you may
deem necessary” on a reconnaissance mission.
After that mission was completed, the ship was to join the federal
blockade off Florida’s east Coast.
first train arrived in Tampa today on the Plant System.
space shuttle (STS 51-C) was launched today from Cape Canaveral.
United States Senator from Florida, Paula Fickes Hawkins, was born today in Salt
Lake City, Utah. Senator Hawkins
was elected in 1980 and defeated for re-election in 1986.
serial killer Theodore Bundy was executed today in Starke’s Raiford Prison.
Bundy died from electrocution in “Old Smokey.”
On July 23, 1979, Bundy was convicted of the murder of two co-eds at
Florida State University. During a
period of 15 years, it was
suspected that Bundy killed more than thirty young women in Washington, Utah,
Colorado, and Florida.
representing the “Republic of East Florida” asked Congress to admit their
republic, with its capital at Fernandina, into the Union.
They were unsuccessful in their quest.
County, the state’s eighteenth county, was created today by the Florida
Legislature. It was named for Wills
Hills, the Earl of Hillsborough. Hillsborough,
who owned a large land grant in Florida, dispatched the surveyor Bernard Romans
explored the east and west coast of Florida.
He described Tampa Bay as a body of water well suited for large ships and
which could supply them from the surrounding countryside. County Seat:
B, K, and part of Company G of the 2nd U. S. Infantry, commanded by Major Joseph
Plympton, were attacked today at Haw Creek, a branch of the Wahoo Swamp.
One enlisted man was killed and two others wounded.
Two Seminole warriors were captured.
City of Tampa was incorporated today.
Beard was sworn into office as Florida’s Comptroller today.
J. Corbett knocked out Charley Mitchell to retain his heavyweight boxing title
in a bout fought in Jacksonville today. The
fight lasted three rounds.
College, located in the old Ponce de Leon Hotel built by Henry Flagler, was
chartered today in St. Augustine.
scientists and engineers were delighted with President Ronald Reagan’s
announcement today that he fully endorsed the development of a permanently
manned U.S. space station. The
development of such a space station would mean hundreds of new jobs at the Cape
Canaveral launch facility in Brevard County.
a Utopian community for the poor of London, was settled today near San Mateo by
Denys Rolle and forty English immigrants.
travel on the Apalachicola River in the Florida Panhandle.
steamboat Fannie arrived in
Columbus, Georgia, today on a journey that began at the mouth of the
County, named for John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, was established today.
Marion Artillery of St. Augustine announced today that it had fortified Fort
Marion (Castillo de San Marcos) with several 32 pounders and 8 inch howitzers.
1862 The U.S.S. Sagamore left its moorings at St. Vincent’s Island
and moved further up the channel of Apalachicola Bay.
formal commissioning of the Amphibious Training Base at Fort Pierce took place
today at 10:00 a.m. when Captain C. Gulbranson, USN, read the orders from the
U.S. Department of the Navy.
U.S. rocket, Ranger 3, launched from
Cape Canaveral strayed from its
project path today and missed its target, the moon, by 20,000 miles.
body of State Treasurer J. Edwin Larson, how died in office, was on public
display in the Capitol rotunda in Tallahassee in order to give his many friends
and supporters and opportunity to bid him farewell.
General Samuel Jones has been assigned to command the Army of Pensacola
relieving General Braxton E. Bragg.
General Alexander Asboth, in command of Federal forces at Pensacola, reported
that 1,200 Confederates were encamped at nearby Pollard.
He also reported that two companies of Confederate cavalry were camped at
the head of Choctawhatchee Bay.
Charles A. French of the U.S.S. Ino
captured an unknown ship with a cargo of cotton and sugar today on the Manatee
order to help Florida citrus growers avert a complete financial collapse,
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nathan Mayo urges the universal adoption of
a standard minimum selling price of thirty-two cents a box.
1949 WTVJ in
Miami began operations today as Florida’s first broadcast television station
with special authorization granted by the Federal Communications Commission.
Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee were killed in a fire during a test
firing of the first version of the Apollo spacecraft.
NASA officials said an electrical spark must have ignited the pure oxygen
inside the cabin of the Apollo spacecraft as the three astronauts were seated in
the cabin. The fire broke out at
6:31 p.m. as the Saturn rocket, which carried the spacecraft, sat on launching
pad 34. Because the entire
procedure was a test firing, the gantry remained in place and blocked the
emergency escape system. Unable to
escape, the astronauts perished.
Wournos, one of the rare female serial killers, was convicted of killing three
male motorists along Florida highways in 1990.
the name of the West Point community was changed to Apalachicola.
U. S. Senator David Levy Yulee informed Stephen Mallory that the Federal
warship, U.S.S. Brooklyn, was
bound for Fort Pickens with two companies of soldier aboard. Mallory immediately informed friends in the Union capital
that Confederate forces would not attack as long as conditions did not change.
When this information was passed along to outgoing President James
Buchanan, he ordered the troops be kept aboard the ship and not landed.
1863 The U.S.S. Sagamore captured and destroyed the British blockade
runner, Elizabeth, today at the
mouth of Jupiter Inlet.
1864 The U.
S. schooner, Beauregard,
captured the British blockade-runner Racer
about ten miles north of Cape Canaveral. The
English vessel had left New Smyrna bound for Nassau with a cargo of cotton.
British steamer Rosita was
captured today by the U.S. Army transport steamer Western
Metropolis about eighty miles out of Key West.
The Rosita was carrying a cargo of liquor, cigars, and assorted
reading room of the Jacksonville Young Christian Association was opened today.
Florida legislature approved the incorporation of the City of Ocala today.
1902 H. Clay
Crawford took the oath of office today for the position of Florida Secretary of
Radio, originally chartered in Tampa, began broadcasting today in Jacksonville.
United States Air Force successfully tested its Thor missile today at Cape
Williams took the oath of office today as the Treasurer of Florida.
Space shuttle Challenger
exploded after launch from Cape Canaveral today killing all seven astronauts
The Challenger, which
was scheduled to liftoff at 9:38 a.m., was kept on the launch pad for two hours
because unusually low temperatures at Cape Canaveral caused ice to form on the
shuttle and ground support system. At
11:38 a.m., the shuttle lifted off flawlessly from the pad.
When the space vehicle had achieved an altitude of ten miles and
immediately prior to the full ignition of the main engines, the shuttle exploded
in a ball of fire that was visible throughout the State of Florida.
Killed in the explosion were:
Francis R. Scobee
Michael J. Smith
Judith A. Resnick
Ronald E. McNair
Ellison S. Onizuka
Gregory B. Jarvis
U.S. Storeship Supply captured
the Confederate schooner Stephen Hart
south of Sarasota with a cargo of arms and ammunition.
John Milton informs General Pierre Beauregard, commanding the Department of
South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, that Confederate army deserters were
organizing themselves into bands in the state.
The areas of the strongest groups were in LaFayette, Washington, Walton,
Taylor and Levy counties in West Florida. They
deserters were also operating in strong bands from Tampa to Fort Myers in
34th U. S. Colored Troops have been transferred to Florida.
Delius, later a world-renowned composer, celebrated his 23rd birthday at Solano
Grover (St. Johns County), during a short stay in Florida.
Bowl XXIX held in Joe Robbie
Stadium in Miami.
SOME FLORIDA FACTS:
Cyrus Teed, founder of the Koreshan Unity Movement, taught his followers
that humans resided on the inside of the earth.
Teed, who assumed the name, “Koresh,” [Persian for “Lion”]
organized his followers into a utopian commune, which was located at present day
Estero in Lee County. Teed, who
espoused equal rights for women, envisioned his commune at Estero as the future
center of the world’s commercial, political, and religious activities.
In his writings, he prophesied the rise of a “New Jerusalem” which
would be home to 10 million residents, and which would be built in a minimum of
10 stories. Each story would be
segregated by the type and weight of transportation used.
Teed died in 1908 as a result of wound incurred during a fight with
political opponents on the streets of Fort Myers.
His followers, confident that he would come back from the dead, refused
to bury him until forced to do so by a health inspector for Lee County.
Teed’s body was placed in a mausoleum on the shores of the Gulf of
Mexico and guarded 24 hours a day. In
1921, a hurricane destroyed the mausoleum and Teed’s body was lost.
Because the community practiced celibacy, the number of member gradually
diminished. In 1961, the few
remaining adherents gave the State of Florida 305 acres of land for use as a
of Pensacola Tristan de Luna was relieved of his command by Spanish authorities
following his unsuccessful administration of the newly created colony.
Osceola. a leader of the Seminole Indians, died at Fort Moultrie in Charleston,
1862 The U.S.S. Kingfisher captured the blockade runner Teresita
today in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.
J. H. Trapier, in command of Confederate forces in Florida, reported that he had
the following number of men under his command:
Infantry: 133 officers,
1,994 enlisted men
Cavalry: 46 officers, 1,080
Artillery: 6 officer, 89
player and manager Davey Johnson was born in Orlando today.
Ranger spacecraft was launched today from Cape Canaveral.
The Ranger, carrying six television cameras, was aimed at the moon.
It was hoped that the spacecraft would transmit valuable pictures back to
Earth to help with the planning of the American manned moon-landing attempt
later in the decade.
Bank of Pensacola was formed today.
authorities reported that in the District of East Florida, there were 810 men
and officers on duty, while the District of Middle Florida had a total of 751
men and officers.
K. Foster assumed the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction today in
grand Tampa Bay Hotel opened for guests today.
A grand ball would be held on February 5.
citizens of the community of
Lakemont considered changing its name today to “Frostproof” after being
spared serious damage to citrus crops during two consecutive hard freezes.
The formal incorporation of the community as “Frostproof” occurred on
August 8, 1914.
Wayne Casey of KC and the Sunshine Band was born in Hialeah.
first American satellite, Explorer I, was placed into orbit today by the Army
Ballistic Missile Agency from Cape Canaveral aboard a Jupiter C rocket.
America’s first astrochimp, was shot into space today in an 18 minute flight
that reached an altitude of 150 miles. Ham’s
flight in the Mercury capsule was a preliminary test before the launching of a
human into orbit.