Fifty years ago today, Johnny Carson made his debut as host of The Tonight Show. The talk show featured comedy monologues and guest interviews with political, film and music personalities. More than 50 million people tuned in for the show’s finale in 1992 when the “King of Late Night” ended his 30 year reign.
Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson: Fort Lauderdale (ca. 1968)
Johnny Carson, Governor Claude Kirk and Dick Pope at Cypress Gardens: Winter Haven (May 4, 1968)
Elephants have long been used as props in promotional advertisements. One such campaign involved an Asian Elephant named Rosie and the 1920s Florida Land Boom.
Carl Fisher, developer of Miami Beach, bought Rosie when she was a baby. Fisher said he would get a million dollars’ worth of advertising out of Rosie the elephant, and many believe he did.
Rosie being used as a golf tee: Miami Beach (1927)
Rosie became the mascot for Miami Beach. She appeared in a variety of publicity photos that promoted the region as a luxury vacation destination. She was shown dancing in front of the Boulevard Hotel, impersonating a dive platform and entertaining children. Rosie even served as a golf caddy for vacationing President Warren G. Harding.
Rosie and friend dancing in front of the Boulevard Hotel: Miami Beach, Florida (1920s)
Fortunately, there is good visual documentation of Rosie in the Florida Photographic Collection – ensuring that the charismatic elephant will be remembered as Miami Beach’s most charming champion.
On Monday, August 20, Augusta National Golf Club opened its exclusive membership to women for the first time in its 80-year history. As these photographs and film show, women have long shared men’s passion for the game of golf.
Visitors teeing off on the lawn of the Royal Palm hotel: Miami, Florida (1899)
Woman golfer on the course: Palm Beach, Florida (1918 or 1919)
Maureen Orcutt (1920s)
Women golfing with Dr. William E. Van Brunt in Tallahassee, Florida (1930s)
Babe Zaharias and her caddy at the golf tournament: Saint Augustine, Florida (1947)
In 1983, at age 32, Ride was the first American woman, and the youngest American, to enter space.
Left to right: First American woman to fly in space Sally Ride, John McCreary Fabian, Robert Crippen, Norman Thagard, Frederick Hamilton “Rick” Hauck.
Photographed in Lakeland, Florida on May 1, 1925.
Dr. Madan Kataria first introduced this day in 1998 to broaden understanding and friendship throughout the world. The celebration of World Laughter Day is meant to be a positive manifestation for world peace and to build up a global consciousness of brotherhood and friendship through laughter.
The observance takes place annually on the first Sunday of May; it has now spread to 65 countries and led to the creation of thousands of laughter clubs.
We all know laughter is contagious. Walt Disney said, “Laughter is America’s most important export.”
To see more photographs guaranteed to make you smile, visit the Florida Laughing exhibit on the Florida Memory website.
The Jewish holiday of Passover starts today. Passover lasts seven to eight days and commemorates the biblical story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were emancipated from slavery in Egypt.
Passover supper at Temple Beth Jacob Servicemen's Center under the auspices of the Jewish Welfare Board, Miami Beach, 1943
Seder at the home of Aaron and Marcella Kanner, Miami, 1950s
Passover Seder services, conducted by Rabbi Max Shapiro at Fagan's Palatial Kosher Restaurant, Miami, 1938