Oh Baby!

During the late 19th and early-to-mid 20th centuries, midwives commonly attended to women during childbirth, particularly in the ethnic communities in the North and in African-American communities in the South.

E.J. Kirkland at the West Florida Midwives Institute, Florida A&M College, Tallahassee, 1933

E.J. Kirkland at the West Florida Midwives Institute, Florida A&M College, Tallahassee, 1933

Marion County midwives at the Florida State Board of Health Midwife Institute, St. Augustine, 1934

Marion County midwives at the Florida State Board of Health Midwife Institute, St. Augustine, 1934

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Fire It Up…

May is National Barbecue Month. Some etymologists believe the word barbecue comes from the Timucuan Indian word “baribicu” meaning “sacred fire.”

"Mode of Drying Fish, Wild Animals, and other Provisions," from an engraving by Theodor de Bry

“Mode of Drying Fish, Wild Animals, and other Provisions,” from an engraving by Theodor de Bry

There is no doubt that barbecue and barbecuing is sacred to many Floridians today and was certainly enjoyed by the Timucuans of yesterday. From the meat lover to the vegan, Florida’s beautiful spring weather demands that we come together for a barbecue!

Barbecue at the Koreshan Unity, Estero, ca. 1945

Barbecue at the Koreshan Unity, Estero, ca. 1945


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The Space Race (May 5, 1961)

On May 5, 1961, Alan B. Shepard Jr. made the first manned spaceflight in U.S. history. He piloted the spacecraft Freedom 7 during a 15-minute and 28-second suborbital flight that reached an altitude of 116 miles (186 kilometers) above the earth.

Shepard entering Freedom 7

Shepard entering Freedom 7

Shepard was the second person to travel into space. Twenty-three days prior to Shepard’s flight, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first-ever human in space. The space race was on…

Launch of Freedom 7 from Cape Canaveral

Launch of Freedom 7 from Cape Canaveral

Great Jacksonville Fire (May 3, 1901)

On May 3, 1901, a devastating fire swept through downtown Jacksonville and destroyed much of the city. Jacksonville persevered, despite suffering from the largest urban fire in the 20th century United States, and its resilient citizens rebuilt downtown.

Church Street after the Great Fire: Jacksonville (1901)

Church Street after the Great Fire: Jacksonville (1901)

Visit Florida Memory to view more photographs of the Great Jacksonville Fire of 1901, including a photographic exhibit showing scenes from before, during, and after the blaze.