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This Day In Florida History  --  November  


1861 Brigadier General J. H. Tapier assumes command of Confederate forces in Florida. General Tapier informs Governor Milton that he anticipates a force of 7,000 men would be needed to defend Florida.

1862 Eighteen Union ships have taken up station off the Gulf Coast of Florida to interdict and disrupt the activities of Confederate blockade runners.

1863 Union Admiral Baiely, commander of the East Gulf Blockading Squadron, reports that his naval task force now constitutes 33 ships on blockade duty.

Major Pleasant W. White, Chief Confederate Commissary Officer in Florida, appeals to the citizens of the state to contribute "food and other supplies" to the Confederate cause. (The Pleasant W. White Papers are housed in the Tebeau-Field Library in Cocoa.)

The beginning of November 1863 sees the following Florida units on duty with the Confederate Army of Tennessee which was engaged in siege operations around Chattanooga:

Florida Marion Artillery

Florida 1st Cavalry Regiment

Florida 1st (Reorganized) Infantry Regiment

Florida 3rd Infantry Regiment

Florida 4th Infantry Regiment

Florida 6th Infantry Regiment

Florida 7th Infantry regiment

1895 The Florida Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) was organized near Live Oak. Elder Joseph A. West was installed as the first conference president.

1923 Nathan Mayo assumes office as the Commissioner of Agriculture, a position he holds until his death on April 14, 1960.

1927 WSUN Radio went on the air today in St. Petersburg.

1934 The Florida Nurses Association, founded in 1909, was incorporated today.


1861 Captain G. W. Parkhill, an ardent opponent of secession, accepted an appointment today in the Army of Northern Virginia.

1863 The following Florida units are on duty with the Confederate Army of Tennessee which is engaged in siege operations around Chattanooga:

Florida Marion Artillery

Florida 1st Cavalry Regiment

Florida 1st (Reorganized) Infantry Regiment

Florida 3rd Infantry Regiment

Florida 4th Infantry Regiment

Florida 6th Infantry Regiment

Florida 7th Infantry regiment

1869 A proposal that called for the annexation of Florida lands west of the Apalachicola river into Alabama was approved by a nearly 2-1 margin of West Florida voters. This proposal, one of several similar propositions to be offered in the state's history, came to naught. Even today there are "secessionist" ideas that occasionally come to the public's attention in the Panhandle area.

1896 Seven thousand acres of Osceola County were purchased today for $94,500. The purchase of land was for the establishment of a "Shaker" community.

1948 Johnnie Wright of DeFuniak Springs was elected to the Florida State Senate on this date. Wright, age 23 years and 7 months, was one of two members of the Senate at this young age. The other state senator, D. J. O'Grady of Inverness, was 23 years and 3 months old when he was elected in 1967.

1982 Ileana Ros of Miami became the first Hispanic woman elected to the Florida Legislature. Ms. Ros also added her name to the history of the Legislature when she wed a fellow representative, Dexter Lehtinen, in 1984. Ms. Ros-Lehtinen is currently a member of the United States House of Representative from South Florida.


1752 Most of the Spanish settlement on Santa Rosa Island nearly destroyed by a hurricane.

1862 Floridians were appalled by the news that a Federal regiment of Negro troops had landed in Fernandina to replace white troops stationed on Amelia Island.

1863 The U.S.S. Tioga was ordered to duty as part of the Union blockading squadron in the Gulf of Mexico.

1883 The Bank of Tampa opened.

1957 Floridians, along with the rest of the world, were shocked and amazed when the Russians successfully launched SPUTNIK II into orbit. This satellite, which carried a dog named "Laika," was the first manmade space vehicle to carry a living organism into space. The ramifications of this launch included an expanded United States space program and a considerable increase in jobs and money for Brevard County, the site of the Cape Canaveral Space Center. The increased activity produced a significant increase in the population of Florida's East Coast.



1782 John Branch, the sixth territorial governor of Florida, was born today in Halifax County, North Carolina. He died at Enfield, North Carolina, on January 3, 1863. For more information on Branch, see the "" entry for August 11.

1862 Captain Alfred T. Snell and the crew of the U.S.S. Hale today captured the pilot boat Wave and an unnamed schooner in Nassau Sound, Fl.

1885 Clara Louise Guild enrolls as the first student at Rollins College in Winter Park.

1906 Mrs. Lamar Bledsoe, former Chief Clerk to the Florida House of Representative, was born today in Apalachicola, FL.

1927 The official winter quarters for the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus are established in Sarasota today.


1600 The King of Spain orders the Governor of Cuba to open an investigation into the worthiness of St. Augustine as a permanent fortress and city in Florida.

1823 The United States War Department orders the establishment of a military outpost at Tampa Bay. As a result, construction begins on Fort Brooke.

1828 The town of Marianna is incorporated under the provisions established by the Territorial Legislature.

1863 The U.S.S. Beauregard today seized the British schooner Volante off Cape Canaveral. The Volante was carrying a cargo of salt and dry goods.

1894 The City of West Palm Beach is incorporated.

1915 The first successful catapult launch of a piloted aircraft from a ship was made today by Lieutenant Commander H. C. Mustin off the deck of the U.S.S. North Carolina in Pensacola Bay. Lieutenant Commander Muslin was flying an AB-2 "flying boat."


1702 Colonel Daniel and British troops from Charleston occupy the town of St. Augustine and lay siege to the Spanish Castillo de San Marcos there.

1861 Colonel Richard F. Floyd, commander of Florida troops at Apalachicola, is ordered by Governor John Milton to remove all guns, troops, supplies, munitions and other war materiel from St. Vincent's Island to the mainland.

1862 The Confederate schooner, Elia Reed, carrying a cargo of cotton, turpentine, and resin, was captured today off the coast of Florida by the U.S.S. Octorara.

1864 Boats from the U.S.S. Adela today captured the Confederate schooner, Badger, as it attempted to run the Union blockade of St. George's Sound.

1868 Jonathan C. Gibbs assumes the office of Secretary of State, the first African-

American to hold this position. He fulfills the obligations of this office until January 17, 1873.

1962 Mrs. George W. "Beth" Johnson of Orlando was elected today as Florida's first woman state senator.

1965 The U.S. operated "Varadero-to-Miami" freedom flights were inaugurated today. Under the terms of an agreement between the United States and the Cuban government of Fidel Castro, these flights would bring 3,000-4,000 Cuban refugees to the United States.

1971 Spessard Lindsey Holland, 28th governor of Florida, state senator, and United States Senator, died today in Bartow (Polk County). A much decorated World War I hero, Holland was a popular Florida politician. For more information, see the "" entry for July 10.


1814 General Andrew Jackson today took control of Spanish Pensacola. British troops quartered at Fort Barrancas blew up their fort and were evacuated under the watchful eye of more than 3,000 American soldiers.

1854 A referendum to relocated the state capital from Tallahassee to Jacksonville, Ocala, or St. Augustine was rejected today by Florida voters.

1861 Governor and Mrs. John Milton announce the birth of a son today. In keeping with the Milton's commitment to Southern independence, the boy is named "Jefferson Davis Milton."

1863 The U.S.S. Annie today captured the British schooner, Paul, today near Bayport. The Paul was carrying an assorted cargo.

1864 The U.S.S. Ottawa, on duty in the St. John's River, was ordered to assist Union troops evacuating Magnolia.

1884 Parts of downtown Palatka, including several resort hotels, were destroyed by fire today.

1895 Martha Reid Chapter (#19) of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was chartered today in Jacksonville.


1814 Spanish Governor Maurique formally surrenders Pensacola to American forces under the command of General Andrew Jackson today, officially acknowledging the reality of Jackson's defeat of Spanish forces. Jackson soon restored Pensacola to the Spanish, but only after the British forces had been evacuated to the mouth of the Apalachicola River.

1862 Union General Nathaniel P. Banks is appointed to command the Federal Department of the Gulf, which includes West Florida.

1876 Eartha Mary Magdalene White, African-American humanitarian and the founder of the Clara White Mission, was born today in Jacksonville.

1904 The City of Umatilla is incorporated.

1958 The third attempt by the United States Air Force to launch a rocket to the moon fails after a mere 1,000 miles.

1962 The United States announces that all Soviet missile bases in Cuba have been dismantled, thus ending the Cuban Missile Crisis.

1966 Claude Kirk was elected governor of Florida today. He is the first Republican governor elected since the end of Reconstruction.

1973 Construction started today on the new Capitol building. When finished (August 19,1977), it will be Florida's fourth capitol building.


1702 The civilian population of St. Augustine seek safety behind the walls of the Castillo De San Marcos as British troops from Charleston, under the command of Colonel Daniel, extend their control over the city and the surrounding areas.

1838 Fort Gatlin was established today between the present-day sites of Orlando and Pine Castle.

1868 William H. Gleason, former Lieutenant Governor of Florida, died today in Eau Gallie. Gleason proclaimed himself governor when the Florida Legislature adjourned while the Senate was still debating the question of impeaching the sitting governor, Harrison Reed. The State Adjutant General and the sheriff of Leon County sided with Reed and surrounded the governor's office to prevent Gleason from occupying the office. On November 24, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Reed was still the lawful governor and that Gleason's claim to the office was spurious.

Governor Reed then brought charges against Gleason, charging him with having been ineligible for public office since he had been a resident of the state for less than the three years mandated by the Florida Constitution. Governor Reed prevailed, and Gleason was forced from office on December 14, 1868.

Following his abbreviated service as lieutenant Governor, Gleason took up residency in Dade County. He served in the Florida House of Representative from 1871 until 1874.

Following some reverses in his finances, Gleason moved his family to Eau Gallie into the building that had been previously constructed as a site for the University of Florida. Gradually, the Gleason fortunes were restored and William H. Gleason gained a great deal of prominence in his new home.

1967 NASA sent the Apollo 4 capsule into a succesful orbit today using the Saturn V racket.

1976 William D. "Bill" Gunter assumed the office of Treasurer of the State of Florida today.


1824 Governor William P. Duval delivers his annual message to the legislative council at its first session in the new capital, Tallahassee.

1862 The Union bark, Gemsbok, arrived today at Turtle Bay with orders to "protect the coast schooners." The Federal schooner, Jos. M. Houston, is at anchor in Turtle Harbor with a cargo of 300 tons of coal.

1863 A public meeting was held today in Tallahassee for the purpose of securing food and other supplies for the families of Confederate soldiers.

1867 The first boat of the Palatka to Leesburg freight and passenger steamboat line docks at Leesburg.

1885 The City of Fort Meade (Polk County) is incorporated.


Today is armistice day!

On this day at 11:00 p.m., World War I came to an end. Floridians joined the rest of the world in celebrating the end of this war!

1861 Thomas E. Will, the pioneer developer of the Everglades and South Florida, was born today in Illinois.

In other news, it is reported that the Union navy now has nine ships blockading the Gulf Coast off the mouth of the Apalachicola River.

1862 The U.S.S. Kensington has captured the Confederate schooner, Course, off the coast of Florida today.

1904 Gainesville defeated the Ocala High School football team in its first game by the decisive score of 67-0.

1920 The City of Altamonte Springs was incorporated today.

1966 The Gemini 12 space vehicle was launched today from Cape Canaveral.

1982 The space shuttle, Columbia (STS-5), was launched today from Cape Canaveral as America's shuttle program began to move into high gear.


1828 Governor William P. Duval, on behalf of the Federal government, was presented with a receipt for $1323.00 for the U.S. government's payment for the transportation of 2,412 Seminoles from their homes in the southern part of the peninsula to reservations in central Florida and the Panhandle. This was according to the terms of the "Treaty of Moultrie Creek," signed September 18, 1823.

1828 The City of Magnolia was incorporated today under the aegis of the Territorial government.

1862 The British blockade runner, Maria, was seized today by the U.S.S. Kensington off the coast of Florida.

1864 A Union raiding party, composed of sailors form the U.S.S. Hendrick Hudson and the U.S.S. Nita, attempted to destroy salt works near Tampa Bay today, but were driven off by Confederate cavalry. Union losses were one wounded and five deserted.

1921 The Jewish congregation, B'nai Israel, was incorporated in Gainesville.

1926 In public ceremonies today, Miami's Biscayne Boulevard was dedicated.

1981 Today the space shuttle (STS-2) was launched from Cape Canaveral.


1785 Governor Patrick Tonyn and the British occupants of East Florida evacuate St. Augustine and full control is returned to the Spanish.

1821 Today Andrew Jackson submitted his resignation as governor of Florida President James Monroe. Monroe officially accepted the resignation on December 31.

1862 Negro troops of the Union army stationed at Fernandina are reported to be cruising along the east coast of Florida looking for and destroying salt works.

1876 The twenty-third governor of Florida (January 4, 1921-January 6, 1925), Cary Augustus Hardee, was born today in Taylor County. Educated in the public schools, Hardee was a school teacher until 1900, when he was admitted to the state bar and began his legal practice in Live Oak. From 1905 until 1913, he served as the State's Attorney. In 1915 and 1917, Hardee served as the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

Hardee's administration oversaw reapportionment of the Florida Legislature, the amendment of the state constitution to prohibit income taxes and inheritance taxes, and the abolition of "convict leasing" to private corporations and individuals.

After his term as governor, Hardee became a banker in Live Oak. In 1932, he sought the Democratic nomination for governor, but was defeated.

Cary Augustus Hardee died in Live Oak on November 21, 1957.

1915 Florida's first F.W. Woolworth store opened today in Tampa.

1934 Today was the first day of dawn-to-dusk air passenger service between Miami and New York inaugurated by Eastern Air Lines. The introduction of DC-2 aircraft eliminated the need for an overnight stay in Jacksonville.


1821 Governor Andrew Jackson follows his letter of resignation with a second letter to President James Monroe urging quick acceptance of his resignation, because "I am truly wearied of public life. I want rest."

1861 Governor John Milton sends an urgent request to the Confederate War Department seeking the transfer of military supplies brought into Savannah by the blockade runner, Fingal.

1862 A Federal expedition from Pensacola, which includes five boats, a special work gang, and sixty U.S. marines, is headed along the coast to St. Andrews Bay with orders to destroy all salt works located between the two ports.

1863 It was reported today that Confederate ships had captured two Union coal schooners near Perdido Bay today. One was destroyed by fire.

1868 A three day election is held statewide under U.S. Army supervision to elect representatives to a constitutional convention to write a new governing document for the state in order to meet the requirements of the "Radical" Republican Congress.

1913 Former United States Senator George A. Smathers was born today in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In a bitter campaign against Claude Pepper, Smathers was elected to the U.S. Senate on November 7, 1950. Prior to his senatorial service, he had served as Assistant U.S. District Attorney, as a special assistant to the Attorney General, and as a two-term member of the United States House of Representatives.

1969 Today the Apollo 12 space mission was launched from Cape Canaveral. This is mankind's second effort to land on the Moon. Apollo 12 astronauts were Charles Conrad, Jr., Richard F. Gordon, Jr., and Alan F. Bean. On November 19, Bean and Conrad would have a successful 32-hour stay on the Moon. In recognition of their successful venture and upon the return to Earth, President Richard M. Nixon called them aboard the aircraft carrier Hornet to express his thanks and the gratitude of the people of the United States. He also informed them that had all been given promotions.

1979 Alcee Hastings of Fort Lauderdale was appointed a Federal District Judge by President Jimmy Carter. Hastings was the first African-American to serve in this position in Florida. A controversial figure, Hastings was impeached and removed from office by the United States Senate.


1862 The Confederate sloop, G. L. Brockenbrough, captured recently at Apalachicola, has been purchased by the Federal government for $900.00.

1864 Confederate Brigadier General J. J. Finley of Florida was severely wounded today in a clash with Union soldiers at Jonesboro, Georgia.

1929 The Florida Glider Association was formed today in Fernandina.

1960 The 1960 census showed that Florida had experienced a 78.7% increase in its population since the 1950 census. As a result, Florida received four additional seats in the United States Congress.

1990 The space shuttle (STS-38) was launched today from Cape Canaveral.


1862 The U.S.S. Tioga, on duty with the Gulf Blockading Squadron, is enroute to Key West for supplies and repairs.

1863 Colonel J. J. Finley was promoted to brigadier general today and assigned the command of the 6th Florida Infantry Regiment, which is attached to the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

The Rachel Seaman has been assigned to duty with the Union East Gulf Blockading Squadron.

1864 An expedition of the Union army left Fort Barrancas (Pensacola) today for an incursion to Pine Barren Ridge, Florida.

1888 Doak S. Campbell, former president of Florida State University, was born today in Waldron, Arkansas. Campbell received his doctorate from George Peabody College in 1930. He became president of the Florida State College for Women in 1941 and continued in that position when the university became co-ed in 1948. The football stadium at FSU is named for Doak S. Campbell.

1897 The first edition of the Kissimmee Valley Gazette was published today.

1963 President John F. Kennedy observed the submarine launch of a Polaris missile today off the coast of Cape Canaveral. Kennedy was on a visit to the NASA Space Center.

1973 Skylab 3 was launched today from Cape Canaveral.


1698 The first units of a Spanish expedition led by Juan Jordan de Reina arrived in Pensacola Bay with the task of erecting fortifications. The Spanish effort was aimed at thwarting French colonization efforts in West Florida.

1829 The Bank of Marianna was chartered today.

1856 John Henry Eaton, the second Territorial governor of Florida (1834), died today at his home in Washington, D.C. Eaton was born on June 18, 1790, in Halifax County, North Carolina. He practiced law in Nashville and was a member of the United States Senate for eight years. Andrew Jackson appoint him Secretary of War, which immediately thrust him into the center of a controversy in the Capital. His wife, Peggy O'Neale, was a former bar maid in a Washington tavern, a situation which led the wives of prominent politicians to boycott functions she attended.

The O'Neale Affair seriously damaged the relationship of Jackson and his Vice President, John C. Calhoun, who refused to force his aristocratic wife to attend such functions.

After serving as governor, Eaton served as American Minister to Spain.

1862 The Florida Legislature convened in Tallahassee today. Observers report that the new Legislature is more "moderate" than the one which preceded it.


1847 Henry I. Louttit, Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Division of South Florida, was elected the first president of the Florida Council of Churches meeting in Jacksonville.

1861 The Florida Legislature opened its session today. Legislators received a request to fund the conversion of the Chattahoochee Arsenal into a military academy of Floridians to "be trained in the art of war."

1862 The Union gunboat Tioga arrived in Key West today, refueled and resupplied and put back to sea for blockade duty--all within 12 hours!

1863 The Florida Legislature today elected Benjamin J. Allen to serve as the state's Secretary of State. It also elected James M. Baker as the Confederate Senator from Florida.

1923 Alan Shephard, sometime Brevard County resident and first American in space, was born today.


1810 The first session of the Senate of the "State of Florida"--known as the Republic of West Florida--started today in Francisville, Louisiana. Today's Florida was still under the control of the Spanish government.

1824 This is the date officially established as the founding of Tallahassee as the Capital of Florida.

1861 Governor John Milton requests 1,000 Enfield rifles and two rifled cannon for the defense of St. Marks and Apalachicola. In addition, the governor requests 1,000 sabers, 1,000 cavalry pistols and "a few hundred bags of buckshot."

1883 "Tater Hill Bluff," was renamed Arcadia and received its first U.S. Post Office today.

1927 Florida consumers were delighted when the first Sears, Roebuck and Company store opened today in Jacksonville.

1969 Apollo 12 astronauts walk on the moon and establish a research station.


1817 The first elections for Representatives of "The Republic of the Floridas" were held at Fernandina. Jared Irwin, former U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania, was later elected president of this enterprise. Spanish authorities were "less than thrilled" by this blatant American effort to wrest a portion of Florida from its control.

1854 The Florida Baptist Convention was organized today in Madison.

1861 Floridians learned that 27 members of the crew of the Confederate schooner, Beauregard, are lodged in the Monroe County jail in Key West following the capture on their vessel by the Unions ship, William G. Anderson, on November 12.

1862 The U.S.S. Montgomery captured the Confederate sloop William E. Chester near Pensacola Bay today.

1910 Florida motion picture companies, operating largely in studios around Jacksonville, were heartened today when it was announced that more than 120,000 projectors had been sold nationwide.

1924 The George S. Gandy Bridge between Tampa and St. Petersburg was officially opened today by Governor Cary S. Hardee.

1962 The first legal papers creating a condominium association were filed today in Palm Beach County Clerk of Court's office.


1828 The City of Quincy is incorporated today.

1829 The City of Webbville is incorporated.

1863 Confederate forces are readying themselves for an attack on the Union forces at Pensacola, which are under the command of General Alexander Asboth.

1864 The Florida Legislature begins its 13th session in Tallahassee today. The State Treasurer reported that there was $1,106,622.07 treasury notes in circulation and that the State had an outstanding bond debt of $370,617.

1925 The first Winn-Dixie Stores are opened by the Davis family in Miami. This chain of retail grocery stores was first called, "Table Supply."

1946 President Harry S. Truman took a ride in a captured German U-boat during American Navy maneuvers off the coast of Key West, thus becoming the first American president to ride in a submarine while in office.

1957 Cary Augustus Hardee, the 23rd governor of Florida, died today in Live Oak.

1969 The first British radio satellite was launched into orbit by a U.S. rocket today from Cape Canaveral.

1985 Hurricane Kate, a Category 2 storm, struck the Florida Panhandle near Port St. Joe. The storm inflicted an estimated $300 million in damages.


1828 The Florida Legislature approves an act to create a state banking system and to issue $10,000 in notes, with denominations ranging from 12 cents to $5.00.

1861 Federal batteries at Fort Pickens opened a barrage against two Confederate ships at anchor near the Navy wharf in Pensacola. Confederate batteries returned the fire. Two Federal ships, the Richmond and the Niagara, joined in. The Confederate Fort McRee sustained heavy damage in the eight-hour artillery duel.

1884 The Fort Myers News-Press was founded today.

1901 In the first intercollegiate football game, Stetson University defeated the Florida Agricultural College (which became the University of Florida) of Lake City by a score of 6-0 in Jacksonville.

1963 Floridians joined the rest of the world in expressing their anguish, outrage, and confusion about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy today in Dallas. Kennedy was a popular president among citizens of the state and had just concluded a visit to Florida the day before the Dallas tragedy.

1966 The University of Florida's popular and controversial football coach, Steve Spurrier, was named the recipient of the Heisman Trophy for his achievements as the quarterback of the University of Florida football team. Spurrier was the first athlete in the state to receive this honor.

1988 Hurricane Keith strikes the western shore of Florida between Tampa and Ft. Myers with winds of 65 mph.


1823 The Bank of Florida (Tallahassee) was founded today.

1863 The Battle of Chattanooga starts today and will continue through the 25th. Florida units, attached to the Army of Tennessee commanded by General Braxton E. Bragg, are the:

Florida Marion Artillery

Florida First Cavalry Regiment

Florida 1st (Reorganized) Infantry Regiment

Florida 3rd Infantry regiment

Florida 4th Infantry Regiment

Florida 6th Infantry Regiment

Florida 7th Infantry Regiment

The 1st, 3rd and 6th Regiments are in the main Confederate force of Missionary Ridge, while the 4th and 7th Infantry Regiments and the 1st Florida Cavalry are on picket duty in the Chattanooga Valley.

1864 The Florida Legislature, in a joint resolution, commends the action of Captain J. J. Dickison, and recommends him for promotion.

The Confederate War Department reports that of the 18,843 certificates of exemption from military service issued throughout the Confederacy, Governor John Milton has granted only 109.

1883 James Emilius Broome, the third governor of Florida (1853-1857), died today in Deland. Broome was born in Hamburg, S.C. on December 15, 1808. He came to Tallahassee in 1837 and engaged in the mercantile business until he retired in 1841. Governor Richard Keith Call appointed him to the position of Probate Judge of Leon County. He served in that position until 1848. He was elected governor in 1852 as a Democrat. He was an early States-Righter. Because the Whigs controlled the Legislature during his tenure, he was known as the "Veto Governor." After his gubernatorial stint, Broome served as a member of the Florida Senate in 1861. A large plantation owner, he was very sympathetic to the Confederate cause.

James E. Broome was married five times. In 1865, he moved to New York City. On a visit with his son in Deland, Broome died in 1883.

1923 Hialeah Park incorporated today as Jockey Park.


1831 The first post office was established at Tampa Bay.

1882 An expedition to explore south Florida, financed by the New Orleans Times-Democrat, departed Palatka enroute to Kissimmee via steam boat.

1988 Hurricane Kate exited the state today between Melbourne and Cape Canaveral.

1991 The space shuttle (STS44) was launched today from Cape Canaveral.

Interesting Florida Facts--The Inauguration of Governors:

Horse carriages were first used in the Florida gubernatorial inauguration parade in 1901. Automobiles were first used in the parade in 1917 at the inauguration of Sidney J. Catts. Catts' inaugural was also the first to be filmed in Florida with a motion picture camera.

Loud speakers were first used in the Inauguration of Doyle E. Carlton in 1929.

Governor Dave Sholtz's inauguration in 1933 was the first to be broadcast on radio.

Governor LeRoy Collins' inauguration was the first to use ministers from the three major religious faiths--Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Jewish--in the ceremony. Governor Collins also scored another first when his second inauguration (1957) was the first ever televised. (Thanks to Allen Morris, The Florida Handbook)


1862 Floridians had a real inkling of the effect the war would have on the home scene. The Tallahassee Sentinel newspaper reports that a Mr. George H. McGinniss had three large heavy kettles that he was willing to sell at "war prices."

1863 Florida units take heavy casualties in the Battle of Chattanooga. The 4th Florida Infantry, which entered the battle with 172 men, reportedly lost 154 killed, wounded or missing. The Florida 1st Cavalry (Dismounted) had 200 men listed ready for duty when the battle started and preliminary reports indicate that 167 men are killed wounded or missing. Florida's other units, notably the 1st, 3rd and 6th Infantry regiment were among the last to vacate the Confederate battle lines and fall back to the Army of Tennessee winter quarters at Dalton, Georgia.

1885 Scottish settlers leave Glascow bound for Sarasota.

1925 Radio station WFLA (Tampa Bay) was founded today in the Fenway Hotel in Dunedin. WFLA was the first licensed commercial radio station in Florida and includes historian Hampton Dunn as one of its "on air" newsmen and personalities.

1926 The fabulous "Million Dollar Pier" is dedicated at St. Petersburg.

1941 The first meeting of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation was held today in Winter Haven.

1985 The space shuttle (STS 61-B) was launched today from Cape Canaveral.


1722 The Spanish re-establish control over Pensacola following the loss of the territory by France as a result of the outcome of the War of the Quadruple Alliance in Europe. Spanish Lieutenant Colonel Alejandro Wauchope received possession of Pensacola from French Lieutenant Jean Baptiste Reboue.

1862 The Federal ship, U.S.S. National Guard, has been ordered to sail to Turtle Harbor, Florida, with a cargo of coal to replenish the supplies of the West India Blockading Squadron.

1864 The Florida Legislature approved a special election for sheriff in Duval County. The need for this election was because the previous sheriff, elected in 1863, was captured and imprisoned by Federal troops.

1902 Major George R. Fairbanks was elected president at the organizational meeting of the Florida Historical Society in Jacksonville. Although originally founded in 1856 in St. Augustine, the War Between the States and Reconstruction forced the Society into a hiatus. Fairbanks and others realized the need for the creation of the Society to "collect, preserve and publicize documents relating to Florida history." Florida did not have a state archive until the 1960s and until that time the Society performed the job of collecting documents. Fairbanks enunciated the need for a Society library, a task that was finally achieved in 1997 when the Tebeau-Field Library of Florida History opened in Historic Cocoa Village.

1925 WJAX, the radio station owned by the City of Jacksonville, went on the air with its first broadcast.


1854 James T. Archer assumes the office of Comptroller of Florida today, a position he will hold until replaced by Theodore W. Brevard on January 24, 1855.

1861 Confederate ordinance inspectors visit the fortifications at Amelia Island and report that the island has sufficient armaments to repel any Union invasion.

1863 The Union vessel, U.S.S. Two Sisters, captured the British blockade runner, Maria Alberta, as she attempted to run the blockade at Bayport.

1864 Union blockade ships were busy today. The U.S.S. Princess Royal reports that it captured the British schooner Flash with a cargo of cotton in the Gulf of Mexico. The Princess Royal also reported the capture of the schooner Neptune, whose cargo of salt had, according to the ship's captain, "simply dissolved."

1891 The Chokoloskee post office was established today.

1912 Today residents of Mt. Pleasant in Gadsden County went to sleep with small flakes of snow falling. When they awoke the next morning, they discovered that a inch layer of "white rain" blanketed the ground and trees.

1951 Sixteen year old Hosea Richardson, who weighed 105 pounds, became the first licensed African-American jockey in the State of Florida.

1961 Biscayne College was incorporated today in Miami.


1857 Captain John Parkhill of the Leon Volunteers was killed at Palm Hammock while leading his company in pursuit of a band of Seminole Indians. A monument to Captain Parkhill was erected by the citizens of Leon County in Capitol Center in Tallahassee.

1863 The Tallahassee Floridian and Journal reports a shortage of more than $11,000 in the state paymaster's account. R. C. Williams cannot account for the money which was lost during his tenure of office.

1925 The City of Hollywood was chartered today.


1845 James C. Ballard and Adeline Beall were issued the first marriage license in Marion County.

1861 Confederate President Jefferson Davis assures Governor John Milton that Florida and its defense against a Union invasion is a prime consideration of the Confederate national government.

1863 Union general Alexander Asboth is authorized to raise a regiment of cavalry in West Florida, if he can.

1890 Delegates of the National Farmer's Alliance, a cooperative economic union of farmers, met in convention at the Ocala House, built by Henry Bradley Plant.

1963 In the immediate aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, President Lyndon Baines Johnson ordered the name of Cape Canaveral be changed to Cape Kennedy and to also rename the space facility in honor of the slain president..


1817 Fifty-nine soldiers and settlers were killed or wounded in an attack by Indians on the Apalachicola River.

1862 Confederate General Joseph J. Finegan reports that the districts of East and Middle Florida has 2,160 men under his command to provide for the defense of the state.

1863 The Florida Legislature today designated December 24 as a day of "fasting, humiliation and prayer."

1904 The City of Dania was incorporated today.

1925 The City of Miami received a record 14.1 inches of rain during a 12 hour period today.

1982 Today, eleven of twelve of Florida's African-American legislators organized the state's first "Black Caucus." Senator Carrie Meek of Miami was elected chairperson, and representative John Thomas of Jacksonville was elected vice chairperson.