Take It From the Top

Before Web pages and social media sites, before television, in the early years of radio as a mass communications medium, businesses promoted themselves through other means of advertising, including eye-catching designs on their office stationery.

In the first half of the 20th century, particularly in the 1920s and 1930s, office letterhead meant more than just a business name and address. Colorful artwork, detailed drawings, and inspiring slogans adorned much of the office stationery of the time, providing not only information and some humor, but also a glimpse of how we viewed ourselves, our work, our environment, and each other.


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What’s Your Hurry?

Why race off? Slow down and smell the salt water!

Ranson E. Olds in the Olds Pirate: Ormond Beach (ca. 1896)

Ranson E. Olds in the Olds Pirate: Ormond Beach (ca. 1896)

Louis Ross in a Stanley Steamer automobile: Daytona Beach (1903)

Louis Ross in a Stanley Steamer automobile: Daytona Beach (1903)

Arthur McDonald in his Napier racer: Daytona Beach (1905)

Arthur McDonald in his Napier racer: Daytona Beach (1905)

Barney Oldfield racing the Blitzen Benz: Daytona Beach (1910)

Barney Oldfield racing the Blitzen Benz: Daytona Beach (1910)

Sir Henry Segrave in the Golden Arrow: Daytona Beach (1929)

Sir Henry Segrave in the Golden Arrow: Daytona Beach (1929)

Tommy Milton: Daytona Beach (1920)

Tommy Milton: Daytona Beach (1920)

Harry Hartz: Miami Beach (1926)

Harry Hartz: Miami Beach (1926)

Ralph DePalma in his Packard V-12: Daytona Beach (1919)

Ralph DePalma in his Packard V-12: Daytona Beach (1919)

Buddy Callaway: Daytona Beach (1936)

Buddy Callaway: Daytona Beach (1936)

Jack Etheridge in Bill Milam's Special 1: Daytona Beach (1947)

Jack Etheridge in Bill Milam’s Special 1: Daytona Beach (1947)

Sig Haugdahl in the Wisconsin Special: Daytona Beach (1922)

Sig Haugdahl in the Wisconsin Special: Daytona Beach (1922)

Sir Malcolm Campbell in his Bluebird: Daytona Beach (1935)

Sir Malcolm Campbell in his Bluebird: Daytona Beach (1935)

Jaya Radhakrishnan Podcast

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Florida’s diverse communities support a wide number of traditions, both native to the state and brought from afar. One such example of the latter is the traditional Indian music and dance performed by Jaya Radhakrishnan of Dade City. Mrs. Radhakrishnan, frequently accompanied by her daughter Nila, made several appearances at the Florida Folk Festival, and both have participated in the Florida Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program teaching others East Indian dance and rangoli.

Jaya Radhakrishnan and unidentified man performing Indian music at the 1982 Florida Folk Festival - White Springs, Florida

Jaya Radhakrishnan and unidentified man performing Indian music at the 1982 Florida Folk Festival – White Springs, Florida

This podcast features performances by Jaya Radhakrishnan at the Florida Folk Festival from 1982-1985. She sings Indian folk songs from a repertoire spanning hundreds of years, accompanied only by the drone of her harmonium and occasional percussion from her son. Take a listen, and enjoy the sounds of India as they carry on through the Sunshine State.

Jaya Radhakrishnan teaching East Indian dance to children at the 1989 Florida Folk Festival - White Springs, Florida

Jaya Radhakrishnan teaching East Indian dance to children at the 1989 Florida Folk Festival – White Springs, Florida

National Nutrition Month

This year is the 40th anniversary of National Nutrition Month. Celebrated in March, National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on “the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.”

Alice Cromartie teaching a lesson in nutrition: Tallahassee (January 10, 1955)

Alice Cromartie teaching a lesson in nutrition: Tallahassee (January 10, 1955)

4-H short course on nutrition: Tallahassee (1949)

4-H short course on nutrition: Tallahassee (1949)

Class in infant nutrition at Florida A&M College: Tallahassee (ca. 1935)

Class in infant nutrition at Florida A&M College: Tallahassee (ca. 1935)

Batter Up!

Few things announce the arrival of spring in Florida quite like the crack of the bat, cheering fans and vendors peddling peanuts. Since the late 19th century, many Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises have favored sites in Florida to conduct their annual spring training exercises.

Babe Ruth in Jacksonville for spring training (1920s)

Babe Ruth in Jacksonville for spring training (1920s)

Spring training in Florida really took off in the early 20th century. During the Florida land boom of the 1920s, practically every burgeoning town courted MLB franchises as part of their efforts to lure tourists and permanent residents. The biggest names in the game, such as Babe Ruth and Willie Mays, graced the sun-drenched diamonds across Florida each spring.

Willie Mays in St. Petersburg for spring training (ca. 1972)

Willie Mays in St. Petersburg for spring training (ca. 1972)

Although several MLB teams have moved their spring training facilities to Arizona, Florida continues to host spring training and minor league baseball every season.

Brooklyn Dodgers in Vero Beach for spring training (ca. 1950)

Brooklyn Dodgers in Vero Beach for spring training (ca. 1950)

Lindsey Responds:

Hey, wait a minute, Jon! You’re forgetting some very important ball players – the ladies of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. In 1948, members of the Chicago Colleens, Fort Wayne Daisies, South Bend Blue Sox, Peoria Redwings, Rockford Peaches and Springfield Sallies participated in spring training exercises in Opa-locka, Florida; and the Florida Department of Commerce was there to capture it on film. Check it out!

Marie Wegman of the Fort Wayne Daisies arguing with umpire Norris Ward

Marie Wegman of the Fort Wayne Daisies arguing with umpire Norris Ward


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Resources for Women’s History Month

Marjory Stoneman Douglas at the naming of the Department of Natural Resources building in her honor: Miami, April 4, 1985

Marjory Stoneman Douglas at the naming of the Department of Natural Resources building in her honor: Miami, April 4, 1985

In 1971, the United States Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day in commemoration of the 51st anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. The designation commended women and women’s organizations, the historic triumph of women’s suffrage, and reminded the nation of the continued fight for equal rights.

President Jimmy Carter declared the first National Women’s History Week in March 1980. The President’s declaration came in response to efforts by communities, local school districts, and universities around the nation to recognize and celebrate the contributions of women in American history. These local efforts culminated in 1987 with the first Presidential Proclamation recognizing March as Women’s History Month.

Visit Florida Memory to find resources for Women’s History Month and learn more about the contributions of women in Florida history.

Tallahassee Designated Capital of the Florida Territory

On March 4, 1824, Governor William P. Duval issued a proclamation designating Tallahassee capital of the Florida territory.

Tallahassee was chosen as the location best suited for the territorial capital because it lay about halfway between Florida’s two principal towns: Pensacola and St. Augustine. Prior to Duval’s proclamation, territorial leaders alternated between Pensacola and St. Augustine for the first two sessions of the Territorial Council. Travel by land was long and arduous as no complete road linked East and West Florida. The treacherous journey by sea through the Florida Straits convinced Florida’s leading politicians of the need to establish a new seat of government within reasonable overland travel of its major settlements.

Excerpts from The Territorial Papers of the United States, Volume XXII: The Territory of Florida, 1821-1824, compiled and edited by Clarence Edwin Carter (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1956), 854-855.

Excerpts from The Territorial Papers of the United States, Volume XXII: The Territory of Florida, 1821-1824, compiled and edited by Clarence Edwin Carter (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1956), 854-855.

Excerpts from The Territorial Papers of the United States, Volume XXII: The Territory of Florida, 1821-1824, compiled and edited by Clarence Edwin Carter (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1956), 854-855.

The word Tallahassee derives from the Muskogee language and means “old town,” or “old fields,” in reference to the area as the former location of Apalachee villages destroyed by English and Creek raids between 1702 and 1704.

Following the destruction of the Apalachee towns and associated Spanish missions, Muskogee-speaking peoples, later known as Seminoles, migrated into the region and established communities. Andrew Jackson’s campaign of 1818, known as the First Seminole War, pushed the Seminoles out of Tallahassee. American settlers established farms and plantations in the former Apalachee fields in the 1820s.

Replica of Florida’s first Capitol, built by Boy Scouts in 1924 and modeled after the 1824 version

Replica of Florida’s first Capitol, built by Boy Scouts in 1924 and modeled after the 1824 version

 

Land Grant from the Creeks and Seminoles to Thomas Browne

On March 1, 1783, several “Kings and Warriors” representing Upper Creek, Lower Creek and Seminole towns affixed their “Names and family Marks” to a document granting British Indian Agent Thomas Browne substantial territory west of St. Augustine, Florida.

These family marks (see excerpt below) are drawings that represent Creek and Seminole clans. Visit the Significant Documents page to learn more.

Excerpt from a copy of a "Land Grant from the Upper Creeks, Lower Creeks and Seminoles to Thomas Browne..." found in Francis P. Fatio v. Philip Dewees (1838), Series 49, Box 476, Wallet 864

Excerpt from a copy of a “Land Grant from the Upper Creeks, Lower Creeks and Seminoles to Thomas Browne…” found in Francis P. Fatio v. Philip Dewees (1838), Series 49, Box 476, Wallet 864