Fourth of July Celebrations in Florida

Join a parade in Deland in 1884. Then head to Daytona Beach in 1896. After an eating contest in 1905, try your luck at a greased pole climbing contest in 1989!

Fourth of July parade on Boulevard Street: DeLand, Florida (1884)

 

Fourth of July celebration on the beach: Daytona Beach, Florida (1896)

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Emancipation Day Celebrations in Florida

Emancipation was proclaimed in Tallahassee on May 20, 1865, 11 days after the end of the Civil War and two years after the proclamation was first issued by President Abraham Lincoln. For this reason, Emancipation Day in Florida is traditionally celebrated on May 20th.

Henry White playing guitar at an Emancipation Day celebration (193-)
Henry White playing guitar at an Emancipation Day celebration (1930s)

 

Annual Emancipation Day Parade: Lincolnville, Florida (between 1922 and 1927)
Emancipation Day Parade: Lincolnville, Florida (1920s)
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National Library Week (April 14-20, 2013)

It’s National Library Week! Dorothy Dodd served as State Librarian from 1952 until 1965. She was also Florida’s first State Archivist.

Throughout her tenure at the State Library of Florida, Dr. Dodd actively preserved valuable Florida records and documents. With her foresight and knowledge of the state and its history, she built a collection of outstanding scope and depth. She is credited with assembling more than 15,000 cataloged items in the Florida Collection of the State Library of Florida.

Dr. Dorothy Dodd and student flattening documents (1953)

Dr. Dorothy Dodd and student flattening documents (1953)

Although there was no money for the archives, she managed to rescue from destruction and organize 260 linear feet of territorial and state records and manuscript collections.

These records included negatives from a Tallahassee photographer’s attic and original reports of Florida’s role in the state and federal vote-fraud investigations surrounding the contested 1876 Hayes-Tilden presidential election.

Dorothy Dodd long jumping during field day in Tallahassee, Florida (1920)

Dorothy Dodd long jumping during field day in Tallahassee, Florida (1920)

Nominated by former Governor LeRoy Collins, she was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame in 1986.

Viva Florida Week

Join in the VIVA Florida 500 commemoration, April 4-6, 2013, at the R.A. Gray Building in downtown Tallahassee.

Map of Saint Augustine by Baptista Boazio, 1589

Go behind the scenes at the Bureau of Archaeological Research Conservation Lab, view three rarely displayed documents from the State Archives, and take a guided tour of the Museum of Florida History’s new permanent exhibit Forever Changed: La Florida, 1513-1821.

Conservation Lab
10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.

Museum of Florida History
11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.

The R. A. Gray Building is located two blocks west of the Capitol Building on Bronough Street, between the Civic Center and the Supreme Court of Florida: 500 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, 850.245.4400.

Gideon v. Wainwright

March 18, 2013, marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision Gideon v. Wainwright. The decision confirmed the right of the individual to counsel, even in cases not involving capital offenses. U.S. Attorney General and Senator Robert Kennedy described the case as having changed the course of American legal history.

Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus submitted by Clarence Earl Gideon

Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus submitted by Clarence Earl Gideon

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.

In 1963, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the ruling of the Florida court, thereby establishing the principle that state courts were required to provide defendants in criminal cases with legal counsel. The case was retried (this time with representation for Gideon) five months after the Supreme Court decision. Gideon was acquitted.

View Gideon’s historic petition for writ of habeas corpus on Florida Memory.

Florida State Prison mug shots of Clarence Earl Gideon: Raiford, Florida (1961)

Florida State Prison mug shots of Clarence Earl Gideon: Raiford, Florida (1961)

Portrait of Clarence Earl Gideon (1961?)