President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919 as the first Armistice Day. Wilson hoped the day would serve as a reminder to the American people of the terrible cost of World War I, dubbed “the war to end all wars” by the British author H.G. Wells.
Armistice Day parade in Monticello, 1921
Armistice Day in Ocala, 1940
Unfortunately, Wilson’s sentiment did not come to pass. Following the destruction caused by World War II and the Korean War, the U.S. Congress, at the urging of veterans organizations, renamed Armistice Day as Veterans Day. Since the change in 1954, November 11 has been recognized as Veterans Day – the official federal holiday that honors those that have served, and those that are serving, in the United States Armed Forces.
Veterans Day in Tallahassee, 1985
Veterans Day ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial in Tallahassee, 1987
Governor Jeb Bush on Veterans Day in Tallahassee, 1999
Newsies were the primary distributors of newspapers to the general public in the United States from the mid-19th to the early 20th century.
Ruan Milton Martin and Ivan Trezvant Martin, Cocoa, 1895
Newsies purchased the papers from the publisher and hawked them on the street to passersby. They were not allowed to return unsold papers and worked long hours attempting to sell every last paper. Read more
On May 14, 1942, Congress approved an Act that allowed women to enlist for noncombat duties in the U.S. military. The Act led to the creation of the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), the Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES), the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), and the Semper Paratus Always Ready Service (SPARS). Many Florida women were quick to sign up and serve their country.
Portrait of Sarah Kaplan during World War II
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
Marion County midwives at the Florida State Board of Health Midwife Institute, St. Augustine, 1934
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 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
Do dogs resemble their people? Take a look at these Florida pet owners and tell us what you think…
Young girl with her dog, South Florida, 1890s
The first catcher’s mask was worn in baseball in April 1877. Before that time, catchers sometimes wore tightly wound rubber bands around their teeth to protect them from getting knocked out.
Baseball Game in Gainesville, late 1800s
Monticello Baseball Team, late 1800s
As early as the 1860s pitchers began throwing faster and more deceptive pitches, like the curveball. In order to field them, catchers began moving closer to home plate. The rising velocity of pitches, in conjunction with catchers inching closer to the plate, significantly increased the risk for injury.
After watching his star catcher James Tyng get hit in the face one too many times, Harvard player/manager Fred Thayer modified a fencing mask which enabled the catcher to move closer to home without the fear of being struck in the face.
Tallahassee Baseball Team, early 1900s
Columbia High School Baseball Team: Lake City, ca. 1915
Fort Wayne Daisies Catcher Dottie Schroeder: Opa-locka, 1948
Governor Farris Bryant with a Young Ballplayer, 1960s
Bootleggers, moonshiners, and rum runners rejoiced when Prohibition banned the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States. Florida’s long and undulating coastline provided an open door for illicit booze from the Caribbean, and the state’s extensive forests, swamps, scrub, hammocks, and bayous provided ample cover for stills. In 1926, Charlotte County in southwest Florida gained recognition for the biggest haul of contraband liquor on record.
Police testing moonshine after a raid, Immokalee, 1950s
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)
4-H short course on nutrition: Tallahassee (1949)
Class in infant nutrition at Florida A&M College: Tallahassee (ca. 1935)
Doyle Conner passed away on Sunday, December 16. Elected to the House of Representatives when he was only 21, Conner became the youngest House Speaker in Florida history at age 25. He served in the Florida Legislature for 10 years and as Commissioner of Agriculture from 1961 to 1991.
Doyle E. Conner served in the Florida House of Representatives representing Bradford County from 1951 to 1959
Commissioner of Agriculture Doyle Conner with Orville Redenbacher
Commissioner of Agriculture Doyle Conner meeting Major General Leighton I. Davis as Governor Bryant looks on