Florida history

Florida will soon have a new figure in Washington D.C.’s statuary hall. Education advocate and Civil Rights Pioneer Mary McLeod Bethune will have a place among American founders, explorers, inventors and presidents. Bethune’s statue replaces that of Edmund Kirby Smith—a decision approved by the Florida legislature in 2018 and recently agreed to by Gov. Ron DeSantis. But as the changeover looms in D.C., the university that bears her name is fighting for its life.

Researchers say they’re committed to continuing exploration of the grounds surrounding the now-shuttered Dozier School for Boys even after finding mostly tree roots in a recent investigation into 27 “anomalies” experts thought could be unmarked graves.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Key West built a firehouse in 1908. A few years later, someone planted a mamey tree in the yard alongside it. Now that tree is now getting some special attention.

Alex Vega spent three years early in his career at Key West Firehouse No. 3, the site of that tree. He says the big mamey tree in the yard sometimes produced 30 of the football-shaped fruit and sometimes 300. But it was always shared around.

"Every watch got a bagful — two for you, one for your mother. They would give them out to their family and stuff," he said.

Paul Campbell / History Fort Lauderdale

Through paintings, photos and historical clippings from artist and researchers,  History Fort Lauderdale museum's newest exhibition “Island Imprint: A History of the Caribbean Community in Broward County”  is celebrating South Florida's Caribbean culture and community. 

Groveland Four
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried thanked a group of Plantation students Wednesday for their activism surrounding criminal justice and presented them with a proclamation declaring their "shining example of citizen involvement in government for the people." 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

On Christmas Day, 1921, a mob including members of the KKK killed a Key West man. His gravesite was neglected for nearly a century.

After 97 years, Key West held a memorial service on Saturday for Manuel Cabeza.

Members of his family, including his 99-year-old niece, attended the service, along with a Key West Police honor guard, the Monroe County sheriff and four members of the Key West City Commission.

Manuel Cabeza was a Key Wester who served as a private in World War I.

History Miami

At Bayfront Park in the City of Miami, a 10-foot tall bronze statue stands in honor of Julia Tuttle. She holds oranges in one hand and branches with tiny flowers in the other. 

Tuttle has long been recognized as the “Mother of Miami” — the only woman to found a major city in the United States. The original story, as told by local South Florida historians for decades, says it was her and her alone that founded the City of Miami.

Alexander Gonzalez / WLRN

When he moved to Miami in 2012, Chris Barr was struck by people’s love for Publix supermarkets.

David Salay / Bender & Associates Architects

The Key West Art and Historical Society already maintains some of the island's most important historic buildings, like the lighthouse and the Custom House. And now the group is taking on another.

WLRN News

A House Democrat filed on Monday a proposal that calls for apologizing to people who were targeted in the 1950s and 1960s by a legislative committee that went after civil-rights activists and homosexuals.

Rep. Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach, filed a resolution (HCR 893) that proposes offering a “formal and heartfelt apology to those whose lives, well-being, and livelihoods were damaged or destroyed by the activities and public pronouncements of those who served on the committee.”

Terence Price II / Courtesy

Photographer Terence Price II grew up at his grandparents' house in Miami Gardens. He was given his first film camera as a teen, and has been capturing the lives of people in his neighborhood ever since.

Price's photographs are black and white portraits and are meant to be capsules of time. He says his grandfather was an essential influence to his photography style: from how he decides to capture a photo to who he shoots.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

In the late 19th century, Key West was home to a large community of Cuban exiles. Poet and revolutionary leader José Martí visited the island several times to unite exile factions. On Monday, Marti made a return visit of sorts.

BERNHARD MOOSBRUGGER / GETTY IMAGES

The civil right's leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent a significant amount of time in Miami. During the 1950s and 60s, Dr. King was a regular at the historic Hampton House. The hotel, located in Miami's Brownsville neighborhood, was frequented by many of the African American athletes and civil rights leaders of the time including Jim Brown and Malcolm X. 

History Fort Lauderdale / Courtesy

Documentary films, paintings, and clay sculptures are some of the art pieces that pay homage to the Seminole Tribe of South Florida’s rich history at a new exhibition in Fort Lauderdale.

This is citrus harvesting season in Florida, where oranges make up the largest part of an industry that contributes $8 billion a year to the state economy. Yet, few know that the citrus business owes much of its success to the U.S. military.

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