Hooked

With thousands of lakes, rivers, springs, and swamps, Florida has a wealth of fishing opportunities. The famous tarpon and marlin swim the southwestern coast and the Keys. Bizarre and unique species include the giant manta rays and sawfish. Florida has attracted the curious and ambitious to test its waters for centuries.

 

[Fishermen with goliath grouper at Jupiter Inlet

Fishermen with goliath grouper at Jupiter Inlet (1910s)

 

Men standing around Sawfish and Bonito shark: Key West, Florida

Men standing around Sawfish and Bonito shark: Key West, Florida (1911)

 

Portrait of author Ernest Hemingway posing with sailfish: Key West, Florida (1940s)

Portrait of author Ernest Hemingway posing with sailfish: Key West, Florida (1940s)

 

Mr. John Hachmeister and Mrs. Earl Baum admiring a 1,200 lb manta ray caught by Forrest Walker (1938)

Mr. John Hachmeister and Mrs. Earl Baum admiring a 1,200 lb manta ray caught by Forrest Walker (1938)

 

The state’s fertile waters have provided a wealth of food species, from small-scale family operations to large-scale industrial enterprises. While the years of harvesting have taken significant tolls on sensitive fisheries and ecosystems, Florida’s marine environments remain principle economic and cultural hallmarks of the state.

 

Grouper caught in the Halifax River displayed at Gene Johnson's Tackle Shop: Daytona Beach, Florida picture (1920s)

Grouper caught in the Halifax River displayed at Gene Johnson’s Tackle Shop: Daytona Beach, Florida picture (1920s)

 

Whale shark recovered from shallow water (1912) The fish weighed 30,000 pounds and was 45 feet long.

Whale shark recovered from shallow water (1912) The fish weighed 30,000 pounds and was 45 feet long.

 

Fishermen and their catch of a 350 lb. mullet shark: Saint Petersburg, Florida (1918)

Fishermen and their catch of a 350 lb. shark: Saint Petersburg, Florida (1918)

 

See “The Lure of Florida Fishing,” an exhibit now on display at the Museum of Florida History, 500 S. Bronough Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301

Lincoln School, Tallahassee

In commemoration of Black History Month, this series of blog posts highlights African-American history in Florida.

Emancipation, and the period of Reconstruction that followed, brought civil rights to freed slaves throughout the former Confederacy for the first time. Black communities organized and built churches, schools, hospitals, businesses, and civic organizations. These institutions developed separately from their white counterparts during the era of legal segregation known as Jim Crow.

The legal gains of the 1860s and 1870s proved short-lived, and full equality remained only a dream until the triumphs of the modern Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

Lincoln School, ca. 1929

Lincoln School, ca. 1929

Miss Lincoln High School, Ivella Landers (center), and her attendants, Gloria Arnold (left) and Delores Austin, 1957

Miss Lincoln High School Ivella Landers (center) and her attendants, Gloria Arnold (left) and Delores Austin, 1957

One of the schools founded by African-Americans in Tallahassee during Reconstruction was known as Lincoln Academy (later Lincoln High School). Opened in 1869, Lincoln initially served children in grades 1 through 12. Several prominent local citizens attended or taught at Lincoln, including educator and community leader John G. Riley.

Lincoln High co-captains Willie Powell (left) and Robert Lindsey, 1960

Football team co-captains Willie Powell (left) and Robert Lindsey, 1960

Originally located at the intersection of Lafayette and Copeland Streets, the school moved to near Macomb and Brevard Streets in the 1920s. Lincoln closed in 1969 when Leon County implemented district-wide integration. A portion of Old Lincoln High School now serves as a Community Center in the historic Frenchtown neighborhood.

Unidentified prom-goers at Lincoln High School, 1959

Jacqueline Owens (left), ? Brown, Hattie Brown, and Jessie Drew at prom, 1959

The photographs featured in this blog post show scenes from Lincoln High School in the 1950s and 1960s. These images are part of the Tallahassee Democrat Photographic Collection, which is currently in the process of digitization.

Dorothy and Dock Wilson in driver training class, 1957

Dorothy and Dock Wilson in driver training class, 1957

Lincoln High School homecoming parade, 1957

Homecoming parade, 1957

General Daniel “Chappie” James

In commemoration of Black History Month, this series of blog posts highlights African-American history in Florida.

Long before they shed their blood on the battlefields of Europe and Asia during World War II, African-Americans fought for freedom in conflicts throughout North America. Prior to Executive Order 9981 by President Harry S. Truman in 1948, African-Americans served in segregated units and, with a few notable exceptions, performed largely undesirable work and received little commendation for their service.

General Daniel James Jr., ca. 1975

General Daniel James Jr., ca. 1975

Florida native Daniel “Chappie” James (1920-1978) was one of the pioneers that paved the way for the advancement of black soldiers in the U.S. military. In 1975, he became the first African-American 4-star General in the Air Force.

James, born in Pensacola on February 11, 1920, graduated from the Tuskegee Institute in 1942. The following year he completed flight training at Tuskegee and was commissioned as an Army Air Force pilot in an all-black squadron. During the Korean War, he flew 101 combat missions in P-51 and F-80 aircraft. After the war, in 1957, James graduated from the Air Command and Staff College. He also flew 78 combat missions during the Vietnam War.

General Daniel James Jr. with Florida Governor Reubin Askew, Tallahassee, 1976

General Daniel James Jr. with Florida Governor Reubin Askew, Tallahassee, 1976

James earned numerous honors and awards during his distinguished career, both for military achievement and civic engagement. He died from a heart attack in 1978, just weeks after retiring from the military, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Veterans Day

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 parade in Monticello, 1921

 

Armistice Day in Ocala, 1940

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 in Tallahassee, 1985

 

Veterans Day ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial in Tallahassee, 1987

Veterans Day ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial in Tallahassee, 1987

 

Governor Jeb Bush on Veterans Day in Tallahassee, 1999

Governor Jeb Bush on Veterans Day in Tallahassee, 1999

Newsies

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

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 »

Women and World War II

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
Portrait of Sarah Kaplan during World War II
Read more »

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

Read more »

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

Behind the Mask

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

Baseball Game in Gainesville, late 1800s

Monticello Baseball Team, 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

Tallahassee Baseball Team, early 1900s

Columbia High School Baseball Team: Lake City, ca. 1915

Columbia High School Baseball Team: Lake City, ca. 1915

Fort Wayne Daisies Catcher Dottie Schroeder: Opa-locka, 1948

Fort Wayne Daisies Catcher Dottie Schroeder: Opa-locka, 1948

Governor Farris Bryant with a Young Ballplayer, 1960s

Governor Farris Bryant with a Young Ballplayer, 1960s