history

Eleonora Edreva / WLRN

At a heated commission meeting in April, Deerfield Beach city commissioners narrowly approved a townhouse development on the site of a former cemetery.

This three-acre plot of land was not just any cemetery. During segregation, it was the only place in Deerfield Beach where the black community was allowed to bury its dead. 

www.facebook.com/pages/American-Labor-Museum-Botto-House-National-Landmark/47265239452?sk

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Since the shootings that killed nine people in Charleston, S.C., symbols of the Confederacy have been disappearing throughout the American South.

But the nation's southernmost city is restoring its memorials — to both sides of the Civil War.

That includes a white pavilion in Key West, which has stood in Bayview Park since the United Daughters of the Confederacy put it up in 1924. Many longtime residents, like Tom Theisen, never even noticed who had built it.

"I probably had seen it before, but it never crossed my mind until all the flag stuff," Theisen says.

Mark Stein / WLRN

This week, the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies hosts its 25th annual conference here in Miami. The society aims to study the history of Jewish communities persecuted during the Spanish Inquisition of the 14th and 15th centuries.

Miami Herald

Eldridge Williams grew up picking cotton in Texas. In 1942, he was commissioned as second lieutenant on Miami Beach, and then assigned to the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama.

He wanted to be a pilot, but an army doctor grounded him, citing poor eyesight. Williams remembered it as a symbol of discrimination.
 
“He kept that exact same paperwork in his pocket. He carried it around in his jacket pocket for years and years,” remembered Richard Hall, a former Air Force pilot.

Miami Theater Brings A Lifetime Of Inspiration

Mar 29, 2015

 

This story, as told by Veronica Diaz, is part of an oral history series.

Let’s set the scene: It’s early 2004, and my mother is taking my younger sister and me to go watch Cats: The Musical at what was then known as Jackie Gleason Theater on Miami Beach.

Luis Hernandez / WLRN

It may be fair to say many of us today will take out our phones or simply log into our GPS units in our cars and allow a soothing, distant voice to guide us to our destination. 

There was a time though when finding our way meant pulling over and unfolding a 4-by-5-foot map littered with white lines for roadways. Highways and freeways were either red or blue, and small drawings marked different points of interest. 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

In the 1840s, Alexander Patterson was a notary public who recorded the depositions of shipwreck salvagers. He noted their accounts of efforts to save valuable cargos from ships that ran aground on the reefs along the Florida Keys.

Sometime during the 1860s and 1870s, someone — probably one of his daughters — used his logbook as a scrapbook, pasting onto its pages pictures and newspaper stories of the day.

DeWolfe and Wood Collection / Monroe County Public Library

 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.

WLRN filew

Broward County is a few weeks into a year-long run-up to its centennial in October of 2015, a century since Florida's second-biggest county was manufactured from pieces of Palm Beach and Dade counties.

Miami Herald

  Have you ever wondered why there is an Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah near Opa-locka Executive Airport?

The missing pilot's last stop in the continental United States was in Miami in 1937 -- months before she vanished on her around-the-world flight attempt. What happened to her, where it happened and why has been one of aviation's more widely speculated-upon mysteries.

Now, a piece of metal -- likely attached as a repair before Earhart took off -- may have been identified in a Miami Herald photograph taken the day she disappeared.

How Much Do You Know About Florida Beer History?

Nov 20, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Mark DeNote doesn't teach his middle school history students about beer. But he did write Florida's history of "the drink of the working class" in his book, "The Great Florida Craft Beer Guide."

MDC Unveils Berlin Wall On 25th Anniversary

Nov 10, 2014
Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

This past Sunday marked 25 years since the Berlin Wall was torn down. A wall that for nearly 30 years cut off the free West Berlin from the communist East Berlin and East Germany.

Miami Dade College commemorated the anniversary by unveiling a four-ton piece of that wall donated by Germany.

It was raining on and off at the downtown Wolfson campus -- similar weather to 25 years ago in Germany when the Berlin Wall was knocked down.

Meet The Tuskegee Airman In Your Own Backyard

Nov 10, 2014
Philip Hall / University of Alaska Anchorage for "Living history: Tuskegee aviator visits UAA." Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Lt. Col. Leo Gray was born in Boston in 1924. A trumpet player and track runner, he joined the Army in 1943. A year later, he flew solo for the first time, a training flight in Tuskegee, Ala.

Gray flew with the 332nd Fighter Group, arguably the most famous of the Tuskegee Airmen. In 1941, for the first time, the United States Army began training black pilots.The Army was still segregated and trained the men in the same location: Tuskegee.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

At the center of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science’s Planetarium stands a masterpiece of its time: the Spitz Model B Space Transit Projector, a 1960s state-of-the-art machine that's the last of its kind still in use.

Forty-eight years ago, this heap of black aluminum began dazzling Miamians with the brilliance of an unadulterated night sky. In light of the museum's planned move to a new downtown building, the projector will probably not see another year of use.

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