Fifty years ago this week the Beatles arrived in Florida for the first time in order to begin rehearsing for their second appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.
The Beatles in Key West, 1964
Their performance was broadcast live from the Deauville Hotel’s Napoleon Ballroom in Miami Beach on February 16. About 3500 people saw it live, and approximately 70 million watched on television. The Beatles were the opening act, and dancer and singer Mitzi Gaynor was the headliner. Beatle mania was in full swing.
Postcard view of the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach
After the show the Beatles enjoyed some much needed rest and relaxation in the balmy climes of South Florida. On February 18, they flew from Miami to London. As a band, the Beatles only visited the Sunshine State one more time, in the fall of 1964.
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
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
April is National Poetry Month. Florida, called “[t]he State with the most beautiful name…” by poet Elizabeth Bishop, has been the home and inspiration for many famous and not so famous poets over the centuries.
James Weldon Johnson, ca. 1920
Robert Frost with two Florida State College for Women students, Tallahassee, ca. 1940
May 6, 2012, was the 75th anniversary of the Hindenburg disaster. The Hindenburg’s sister ships Graf Zeppelin (LZ-127) and USS Los Angeles (originally LZ-129) were also built by the German Zeppelin company. On October 23, 1933, Miami welcomed the Graf Zeppelin. The Graf Zeppelin also shared several German crew members with the Hindenburg, one of whom died in the Hindenburg disaster.
Arrival of Graf Zeppelin: Miami (October 23, 1933)
Mayor E.G. Sewell welcomes the crew of Graf Zeppelin (October 23, 1933)
Airship Los Angeles over Miami (1925)
With the annual hoopla surrounding the beginning of March Madness and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, many forget that the NCAA women’s tournament occurs simultaneously. The inventor of basketball, Dr. James George Naismith, envisioned basketball as a sport for men and women. In fact, women’s high school and college basketball teams played an important role in promoting the game and coincided with the earliest men’s basketball teams at the beginning of the 20th century. So with this, Florida Memory highlights women’s basketball in Florida from its earliest days.
Stetson University women’s basketball team: Deland, Florida (1907)
Florida State College for Women’s basketball team sitting atop Westcott gate on College Avenue: Tallahassee, Florida (ca. 1920)
Florida A & M College women’s basketball team: Tallahassee, Florida (1929)
Pierce Junior High School women’s basketball team: Polk County, Florida (1937)
Lincoln High School’s women’s basketball team: Tallahassee, Florida (1950s)