In the '60s, '70s and '80s, waves of Cuban immigrants crossed the Florida Straits, seeking political freedom and economic opportunity. Soon they were starting their own businesses and winning political office, infusing Cuban culture into the DNA of a South Florida city.
The city was Key West. And this was the 1860s, '70s and '80s.
The reef lights along the Florida Keys are still owned by the U.S. Coast Guard -- but a nonprofit group hopes to take over their care and make them a 100-mile long museum of maritime history.
The Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation is raising money to apply to the Coast Guard for ownership of five lights stretching from Carysfort Reef off Key Largo to Sand Key off Key West. The others are Alligator Reef off Islamorada, Sombrero Reef off Marathon and American Shoal off the Lower Keys.
In 1917, it was the hub of the community. It was the post office, a farming ground, a place to repair boats and trade goods. Smallwood's wife, Mamie, even taught grade school out of the store. Now the future of the store depends on one road and its legal battle to keep it open.
The Custom House on Key West Harbor has been a landmark since it was built, as shown by this vintage postcard. Today the Custom House is an art and history museum, and site of an exhibit on the history of tourism.
Credit Monroe County Public Library/Scott DeWolfe collection
The re-enactment of the Battle of Olustee drew nearly 3,000 people to a state park in rural Baker County last weekend – including 2,500 re-enactors who staged the Confederate victory just as it unfolded on Feb. 20, 1864.
But now, with the re-enactment over, the battle resumes.
Last year the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War asked the Department of Environmental Protection to place a memorial in the park honoring their ancestors who fell at Olustee.
03/26/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents ventures into the murky world of Florida’s infamous Chattahoochee State Hospital. Historian Sally Ling has written, OUT OF MIND, OUT OF SIGHT. Just 40 miles west of Tallahassee, the institution began as a federal arsenal during the Seminole Wars, was then a state prison, then an insane asylum. There’s the good, the bad, and ugly in its history. That’s Topical Currents .