In celebration of Florida Archaeology Month, the exhibit Florida Archaeology: Studying and Exploring 12,000 Years of Floridians showcases images of the archaeological resources throughout the state and the professionals, enthusiasts and amateurs that have explored, preserved, and interpreted the archaeological record in order to better understand Florida’s millennia of human occupation.
The African-American photo identification event, held yesterday at the State Archives, was a great success. Several folks from the community helped us identify images of African-American life in Tallahassee from the 1950s and 1960s. Special thanks to Althemese Barnes and the John G. Riley House and Museum for helping to organize this important event!
Over one hundred images were identified. For example, we learned that future NFL star and Chicago Bears legend Willie “The Wisp” Galimore (far right) appears in this photo along with three still unidentified Florida A&M football players.
… And this photograph of Griffin Junior High School beauty queens, including Althemese Barnes (passenger seat), Founding Executive Director at the John G. Riley House & Museum.
Every year, staff at the State Archives of Florida gets ready for the Florida History Fair by searching out primary source documents and compiling a list of resources for students and teachers. This year’s theme is “Rights and Responsibilities in History.”
Gideon v. Wainwright: The Right to an Attorney
U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy described Gideon v. Wainwright as having changed the course of American legal history.
The decision confirmed the right of the individual to legal counsel, even in cases not involving capital offenses.
The case began when an obscure inmate in a Florida prison, Clarence Earl Gideon, picked up a pencil and began writing his own lawsuit against the Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections.
Before the case was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, however, the Florida Supreme Court heard the appeal of the original conviction.
Clarence Earl Gideon was convicted of robbery after the judge in a circuit court refused his request for counsel and he was forced to defend himself. He was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. The Florida Supreme Court confirmed the circuit court ruling, denying Gideon’s appeal for a writ of habeas corpus, which would have freed him on the grounds that he had been imprisoned illegally.
View Gideon’s historic petition for writ of habeas corpus on Florida Memory.
For more resources related to this year’s History Fair theme, see Resources for the 2014 Florida History Fair.
Links to resources related to Gideon include the transcript of State of Florida v. Gideon from the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida and oral histories collected by the Georgetown Law Library.
The Tallahassee Democrat Collection contains photographic negatives taken by Tallahassee Democrat photographers from the 1950s to 1970.
Many of these images are only partially identified and contain unidentified people and places. If you have additional information about any of the unidentified images please let us know in the comments, or contact us at the State Archives of Florida.
Join us this Friday night, October 11, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM for a slideshow event featuring images from the Tallahassee Democrat Collection.
Florida Memory now has a professional librarian living on our Resources for the 2014 Florida History Fair page! Students, teachers, and anyone with a research question are encouraged to drop by.
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Ask a Librarian is a free online service that allows Florida residents to chat or text with a librarian.
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Every year, staff at the State Archives of Florida gets ready for the Florida History Fair by searching out primary source documents and compiling a list of resources for students and teachers. One of this year’s suggested Florida-related topics is “Commercial Fishing Net Ban: Economics, Ecology, and Responsibility.” That topic led us to this story.
In 1980, folklorist Peggy Bulger interviewed net maker Billy Burbank III as part of her research on the fishing industry in Florida. Burbank told Bulger the tale of a fishing boat that accidentally caught something very strange in its trawl nets.
Billy Burbank and the Strangest Catch
B: My name is Billy Burbank, III. I was born in Fernandina Beach, Florida, October 2, 1951.
P: Now tell me something about your grandfather, William Burbank.
B: Well, my grandfather was born on Cumberland Island which is in Georgia. He started shrimping oh back in his early years when he was 15-16 years old. He got into the shrimp business, oh just starting shrimping and started making his own nets.
And when oh his nets seemed to out produce everybody else’s nets. Then everybody decided to get him to make their nets and then that’s when we got started in the net business in about 1915 and been in it ever since.
P: […] Oh, what is the strangest catch you’ve ever heard anybody catching around here?
B: Strangest catch?
B: […] Probably be oh, submarines. An actual submarine in someone’s net started towing the boat backwards almost sinking the boat didn’t even realize they had the shrimp boat caught. It was the— not a Navy submarine. It was a German, I mean a Russian submarine.
B: Well, it was off this coast, yeah. They didn’t even realize that they had the submarine in the net at first. They were towed one way and all of a sudden started going backwards of the cable popped. And just a little while later they saw the submarine surface with the shrimp net on top of ‘em. I guess I’d have to say that is the weirdest catch.
Learn More About Net Making
Burbank nets have been used by people in the U.S. from North Carolina down to Florida and up the Gulf Coast through the Texas Panhandle area. Their nets have also been exported to Central and South America and Africa. At the time of the interview, Burbank Trawl Makers was the largest producer of fishing nets in the United States.
In the interview, Burbank also describes the different net types and uses – including flat nets, four seam balloon nets, two seam balloon nets, and a modification that Billy Burbank III developed called the Mongoose, which is actually two nets in one.
Read the full interview in Netmaking and Net Fishing in Florida.
Can you help us identify these football players? The photograph is from the Tallahassee Democrat Collection. It was taken in Tallahassee in 1953 and shows four young men who might be Lincoln or FAMU high school students.
If you have any information about this photograph, please let us know in the comments or contact us.
The Tallahassee Democrat Collection contains approximately 100,000 images of Tallahassee area people, places, and events from the 1950s to the 1970s. The State Archives of Florida is currently digitizing a selection of images from this collection. New images are added each week – stay tuned.
Join us at the R.A. Gray Building on October 11, 2013 for an Archives Month slideshow featuring images from the Tallahassee Democrat Collection.
UPDATE: Florida Memory will be down for maintenance for several hours, beginning at 12 p.m. EDT on Thursday, July 18.
Soon Florida Memory will have a new responsive design for your phone, tablet or desktop.