Roster of Speakers

Florida Humanities Series Approved Roster of Programs

We’ve made it easy for you. Use the form below to enter keywords, topics, or scholar/presenter names. Remember, at least one of these programs must have a connection to the current Council-wide initiative, which is water. Click here for all programs approved for water.

 

  • “Before the Pioneers: Connecting Ancient and Contemporary south Florida”

    Presented By Andrew Frank

    Using the 4000-year human history at the North Bank of the Miami River, this talk explores how and why ancient and early modern peoples profoundly shaped the development of modern Florida The talk provides an overview of

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  • “Making Chief Osceola: The Abolitionists and the Rise of an American Myth”

    Presented By Andrew Frank

    This talk explores how Osceola became a national phenomenon after his death in the nineteenth century.  It includes an overview of the war as well as a discussion of Osceola’s place in the Second Seminole War.  The

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  • “The Magnificent Drama”: Martin Luther King in St. Augustine

    Presented By Michael Butler

    The civil rights movement in St. Augustine received national attention when Martin Luther King, Jr. visited the city in 1964. Why did he come to St. Augustine, what were his goals, and how did his two

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  • A New Florida Dream or Sunset?

    Presented By Gary Mormino

    The trajectory of modern Florida is breathtaking. On the eve of Pearl Harbor, the Sunshine State was the South’s poorest and least-populated state. At some moment in 2014, Florida will succeed New York as America’s third largest

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  • A Poetry Reading with Peter Meinke

    Presented By Peter Meinke

    Peter Meinke has read his poetry all over the world, and in this program, which can be flexibly arranged, he’ll read generously from his books, talk about these specific poems and writing in general; and answer

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  • An Evening of Jazz and Multicolored Memories

    Presented By Dr. Kitty Oliver

    A professionally-performed cabaret performance of inspirational jazz vocals* and literary stories tracing the common journey of native-born Americans and immigrants as we adapt to life in a diverse society and social change on a global

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  • Art Deco Architecture of the Palm Beaches

    Presented By Sharon Koskoff

    Learn about Art Deco style and architecture found in South Florida! Dozens of Art Deco architectural treasures have been discovered and identified in Palm Beach County. Take a visual tour of Art Deco of the Palm

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  • Before Bartram: Artist-Naturalist Mark Catesby

    Presented By Mallory O’Connor

    Sixty-two years before William Bartram stood at the edge of the Great Alachua Savanna and looked out on his level green plain, Mark Catesby embarked on his own journey of discovery.  The result of his efforts

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  • Before Jamestown: Europeans, Africans, and Indians in La Florida, 1513-1607

    Presented By Michael Francis

    This presentation explores the early history of European settlement efforts in Florida. Learn about the remarkably rich, yet much neglected history of colonization in the US southeast in the 16th Century, a process that began almost a

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  • Billy’s Wonderful Performances: The Art and Science of William Bartram

    Presented By Mallory O’Connor

    This lecture explores the art of William Bartram and especially the images that are based on his travels in the Southeast between 1765 and 1775. Working under often extreme conditions, undeterred by raging rivers, wild beasts,

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  • Blue Revolution: A Water Ethic for Florida

    Presented By Cynthia Barnett

    Water defines us as Floridians no matter where we live: Idyllic beaches surround us on three sides. Rivers and streams flow for ten thousand miles through the peninsula. We’re blessed with nearly eight thousand lakes and

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  • Cassadaga: Speaking of the Dead

    Presented By Gary Monroe

    Gary Monroe was allowed unrestricted access to Cassadaga, the Spiritualist community that was founded in central Florida more a century ago on the principle of continuous life, the idea that spirits of the dead commune with the

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  • Cypress Gardens: America’s Tropical Wonderland

    Presented By Lu Vickers

    When Dick Pope transformed the swampland on the edge of Lake Eloise in Winter Haven into Cypress Gardens, he created an attraction that would become world famous, and in the process, cemented Florida’s reputation as the

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  • Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal & the Struggle for Florida’s Future

    Presented By Steve Noll

    Based on the award-winning book, this presentation examines the long & convoluted history of the attempt to cross the Florida peninsula by cutting a waterway from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico. It looks at the

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  • Doc Anna: Swamp Doctor of Florida

    Presented By Carrie-Sue Ayvar

    “If you’ve never heard the roar of a bull alligator and some night bird answer, you haven’t lived.” So said Dr. Anna Darrow (1876-1959) who, in 1909, became only the 2nd woman doctor licensed in Florida.

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  • Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Comes to Life

    Presented By Ersula Knox-Odom

    Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) was the founder of Bethune-Cookman University. She served as a New Deal government official — in one of the 20 highest-level offices held by women in the administration, and the highest held

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  • Everglades: America’s Wetland

    Presented By Mac Stone

    Throughout its history we have witnessed the tectonic shifts of public opinion toward the Everglades. After a century of abuse and neglect, what was once deemed a swampy wasteland is now a World Heritage Site. To

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  • Florida and the Gulf of Mexico: History, Wisdom, and Hope

    Presented By Jack Davis

    Drawing from his forthcoming book, Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, University of Florida history professor Jack E. Davis will talk about the role the Gulf of Mexico has played in the course of U.S. history.

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  • Florida and World War II

    Presented By Gary Mormino

    On the eve of Pearl Harbor, Florida was the smallest state in the South. Today, Florida is a Sunbelt megastate. World War II is the lynchpin. The war galvanized Floridians, resulting in the inux of two

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  • Florida at War: A Living History Presentation in Character and Costume

    Presented By Betty Jean Steinshouer

    Part One is Harriet Beecher Stowe, sharing a wealth of information about the Civil War and its impact on her adopted home in North Florida. Part Two is Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and her experiences in World

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  • Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition

    Presented By Bob Stone

    Cattle were introduced into the present day United States when Juan Ponce de Leon brought Spanish cattle to Florida in 1521. Bob Stone’s multi-media presentation explores and celebrates the history and culture of the nation’s oldest cattle

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  • Florida Environmental History

    Presented By Steve Noll

    This presentation examines the relationship of people to the land throughout Florida history. Starting with Native American settlement, it shows how Florida has shaped human existence in the state and how human have re-shaped the state itself.

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  • Florida History from Palmetto-Leaves to The Yearling to River of Grass

    Presented By Betty Jean Steinshouer

    Experience Florida through the milieu of three women authors, in character and costume: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Each wrote a book that put Florida on the map – in 1873,

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  • Florida in the Civil War? Believe it!

    Presented By Eliot Kleinberg

    America’s now in the 150th anniversary “window” (1861-1865; 2011-2015) and while Florida might be the most “northern” southern state now, it was the third to secede, and played a much more strategic role than most history

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  • Florida Transportation History: Planes, Trains, & Automobiles (& Steamboats too!)

    Presented By Steve Noll

    Florida’s history as territory and state can be told through the changing methods of transportation designed to move people and goods both to Florida and within Florida. Examining the changing transportation networks in the state, this presentation

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  • Florida’s Amazing History and Why You Should Care

    Presented By Eliot Kleinberg

    A whirlwind tour of 500 years of Florida history and how it has changed the state, for better or worse,capped with a strong argument that Florida’s biggest challenge is encouraging its transplants to become Floridians and

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  • Florida’s Fleet: A Boatbuilding and Fishing Legacy from the First Coast

    Presented By Brendan Burke

    During the early 20th century, a new type of boat was born in Northeast Florida. Forged from Greek, Italian, Norwegian, African-American, and native Floridian hands, the Florida-style trawler became one of the most important boats in

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  • Florida’s Self-taught Renegade Artists

    Presented By Gary Monroe

    Introducing people to the world of Outsider art, this vivid PowerPoint-assisted lecture focuses on art that has been created by uninitiated artists who are distinguished by their idiosyncrasies and wild visions. Their works fly in the face

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  • Global Events That Touched Florida: Great Depression through Cold War

    Presented By Janie Gould

    This program explores Floridians’ memories of U-boat attacks, German POWs, the Cold War, Cuban Missile Crisis, and more, using excerpts from her Floridays shows first heard on public radio station WQCS/88.9 FM, Fort Pierce. In one

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  • Habana Deco: Art and Architecture of Cuba

    Presented By Sharon Koskoff

    Compare our South Florida architecture and society to that of our closest neighbor, Cuba. Take a virtual tour of the art, architecture and culture of Havana Cuba, through images taken by Sharon Koskoff’s participation in the

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  • History of Murals in the Palm Beaches: WPA-21st Century

    Presented By Sharon Koskoff

    Sharon Koskoff is chair of the Public Art Advisory Board of Delray Beach. She has painted over 300 murals in Palm Beach County Public Schools. Sharon’s mural passion will teach about historical 20th Century WPA Post

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  • Hope of Freedom: Southern Blacks and the American Revolution

    Presented By Roger Smith

    During the American Revolution the British military offered freedom to enslaved blacks who fled to British camps to fight against the rebellion. But there was often a catch. This offer wasn’t available to those whose owners were

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  • How Florida contracted Manatee Insanity

    Presented By Craig Pittman

    Ever since 1893, when Florida passed its very first law protecting manatees, these ungainly marine mammals have been casting their spell over the people of this state. Once a staple of the early settlers’ diet, manatees are

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  • Hurricane!

    Presented By Eliot Kleinberg

    How these amazing but devastating weather machines work and have affected Florida, focusing on recent storms and on the great 1928 storm, the second-deadliest disaster in U.S. history and subject of Eliot’s award-winning Black Cloud. Includes

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  • Is America Still a Christian Nation?

    Presented By Harry Coverston

    One of the major questions which has arisen in the culture wars of the late 20th and early 21st century is whether America is still a Christian nation. It manifests itself in a wide variety of

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  • Life and Death at Windover: Excavations of a 7,000-year-old Pond Cemetery

    Presented By Rachel Wentz

    Explore one of the most ancient, well-preserved archaeological sites in North America. The 7,000-year-old Windover archaeological site was a pond used for the interment of the dead and produced over 160 individuals whose analyses have provided insight

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  • Lighthouses of the Sunshine State

    Presented By Brendan Burke

    Over 50 lighthouse stand as silent sentinels along Florida’s 1,300 miles of coast. From shifting sandbars to reef-strewn shallows lighthouses have endured hurricanes, earthquakes, even military attack. From the tops of lighthouses, keepers have watched ships

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  • Made in America: Religions in the American Context

    Presented by Dr. Harry Coverston

    America has historically drawn a wide range of religious beliefs from Europe, Africa and Asia, and in turn has proven a generative culture for the development of a number of new religions “made in America.”

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  • Majory Stoneman Douglas: A Life with the Everglades

    Presented By Jack Davis

    University of Florida historian Jack Davis draws on his award-winning biography to discuss the life and legacy of writer, feminist, and environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, recognized as a Great Floridian.

    Dr. Jack E. Davis is a professor of

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  • Many Paths, One Destination

    Presented By Harry Coverston

    Evidence of religious observance is found in the earliest remains of human cultures. Human beings have often been described by scholars of religion as homo religious. A Hindu proverb observes that there are “many paths, one

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  • Marjorie Harris Carr: Defender of Florida’s Environment

    Presented By Peggy MacDonald

    Florida’s “Three Marjorie(y)s” used the power of the pen and grassroots activism to celebrate Old Florida and protect Florida’s wildlife and wild places. Through engaging historic postcards and photos and a lively presentation and discussion, author

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  • Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Jim Crow Florida

    Presented By Betty Jean Steinshouer

    Much has been written about what went on at Cross Creek between the author of The Yearling and her relationships with people of color, including her employees such as Martha Mickens and Idella Parker, and her

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  • Modern by Tradition: Innovation and the Transformation of Seminole Culture

    Presented By Andrew Frank

    Between 1700 and the present, the culture of the Florida Seminoles has remained remarkably connected to its roots while also innovating in dramatic fashion.  This lecture explores this dynamic to show how the Seminoles have embraced this

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  • Murder and Martyrdom in Spanish Florida: Don Juan and the Guale Uprising of 1597

    Presented By Michael Francis

    In the late fall of 1597, Guale Indians murdered five Franciscan friars stationed in their territory and razed their missions to the ground. The 1597 Guale Uprising, or Juanillo’s Revolt as it is often labeled, brought the

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  • Nature’s Dozen: Key Moments in Florida’s Environmental History

    Presented By Jack Davis

    University of Florida environmental historian Jack Davis offers a brief survey of Florida history–from the pre-Spanish period to the present–showing how nature has shaped the course of human events.

    Dr. Jack E. Davis is a professor of environmental

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  • On Hemingway: Three Views

    Presented By Betty Jean Steinshouer

    This chautauqua program examines the author of machismo, from a woman’s point of view. Gertrude Stein, Act One, shares memories of a young and “impossibly handsome” reporter who came to her door in Paris – one

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  • Our Stories, Ourselves

    Presented By Caren Neile

    Doesn’t it often seem like history is something that happens to other people? This engaging, highly interactive program uses real-life, old-Florida stories of adults and children, rascals and heroes as a jumping-off point for story creation that

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  • Paradise Lost: Reflections on Florida’s Environmental History

    Presented By Jack Davis

    University of Florida environmental historian Jack Davis discusses the natural side of the human saga in Florida’s history, from the early artists and writers who discovered a paradise place to the doomed landscape for which they feared

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  • Patrick Smith’s Florida is a Land Remembered

    Presented By Rick Smith

    Rick Smith, Jr. doesn’t do this show alone. His father, Patrick Smith, makes video appearances throughout the program to entertain and enlighten you about his extraordinary life as a writer and his thoughts about Florida.

    He’ll explain

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  • Police Brutality and Confederate Imagery: The Black Freedom Struggle in One Florida County

    Presented By Michael Butler

    Although the 1960s civil rights movement destroyed most visible and dramatic signs of racial segregation, institutionalized forms racism persisted beyond integration in many forms. This presentation examines a number of events that occurred during the 1970s

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  • Race and Change Across Cultures and Generations: Florida Stories

    Presented By Dr. Kitty Oliver

    This multimedia program blends lively cross-cultural stories, research and discussion on coming of age with integration in ethnically diverse Florida in a 21st Century dialogue on race in a non-confrontational way. Drawing on an archive

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  • RAIN: A history for stormy times

    Presented By Cynthia Barnett

    An engaging natural and cultural tour of RAIN, from its key roles in civilization, religion, and art; to the peculiar history of the world’s first raincoat; to the rain obsessions of our “Founding Forecaster,” Thomas Jefferson

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  • Remembering Paradise Park

    Presented By Lu Vickers

    In 1949, during the days of Jim Crow, when African Americans did not have access to many of the nation’s recreation areas, Silver Springs’ owners Carl Ray and Shorty Davidson did something no other Florida attraction

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  • Rose Weiss: Mother of Miami Beach

    Presented By Carrie-Sue Ayvar

    Rose Weiss (1886-1974), “Mother of Miami Beach” as she became known, never planned on being a pioneer. She just did “what needed doing!” When she arrived in 1919 Miami Beach was not much more than a

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  • Running South in Agitation: Florida As Geographic Cure

    Presented By Betty Jean Steinshouer

    Ten women authors “ran south” to the Land of Flowers, from 1866 to 1998. Each was running from something. “Wars within and without” had driven them from homes, husbands, children, lovers. They each came to Florida,

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  • Settlers of the Spanish Florida Frontier: Canary Islanders in Colonial Florida

    Presented By Diana Reigelsperger

    Canary Islanders settled many of the frontiers across Spanish America including Florida, Louisiana, and Texas as well as the Caribbean and South America. In Florida, they were much desired as colonists. Some individual Islanders settled in

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  • Short Takes: A Grab Bag of Old Florida Stories

    Presented By Caren Neile

    From the Barefoot Mailman to Addison Mizner and the Ashley Gang, old Florida history is brimming with fascinating characters and memorable events. You’ll enjoy lively interpretations of some of the better-known Florida tales, as well as others

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  • Spies, Schemes, and the Sons of Liberty: The Shadier Side of East and West Florida during the American Revolution

    Presented By Roger Smith

    Did you know that the British royal governor of East Florida accused prominent men in the colony of holding a Sons of Liberty meeting? Or that during the American Revolution the British put plans in motion to

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  • State, Local, and National Campaigns: The Civil Rights Movement in Florida

    Presented By Michael Butler

    The idea that race relations in Florida did not experience the tumult that other Deep South states did during the civil rights movement dominate popular perception. This presentation examines the concept of “Florida exceptionalism” in relation

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  • Stories of Florida – Con Sabor!

    Presented By Carrie-Sue Ayvar

    Our stories have never been the same since Ponce De Leon first arrived on our shores in 1513. Flowing seamlessly between Spanish and English, Carrie Sue Ayvar chooses from her large repertoire of personal, historical and

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  • Strangers in a Strange Land: Picturing Florida’s History Through Art

    Presented By Mallory O’Connor

    Florida has an especially rich visual mythology, images that span centuries of time and attest to both the vivid imagination of the artists who have sought to capture the essence of an exotic and colorful landscape

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  • Telling YOUR Story, Changing OUR Lives: Using Oral Histories on Race and Change to Make a Difference

    Presented By Dr. Kitty Oliver

    This is a how-to workshop on the oral history process and the use of oral history to foster community engagement and team-building among diverse groups in periods of transition and growth. Participants explore techniques for

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  • The African Diaspora Experience in Florida

    Presented By Anthony Dixon

    Florida has a relationship with African descendants unlike any other state. This relationship has had a direct impact on the growth of Florida. Throughout each period of Florida history there is a significant presence of the

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  • The African Presence in Spanish Florida: Black Seminoles

    Presented By Rosalyn Howard

    African slaves have often risked life and limb to escape southern slavery, but their options for sanctuary were extremely limited. Some fled to the Caribbean, while others fled south and joined forces with another group of freedom-seekers:

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  • The American Revolution’s Best Kept Secret: Why East and West Florida Mattered

    Presented By Roger Smith

    Based on his award winner doctoral dissertation, Dr. Roger Smith shares newly recovered information concerning British intentions in the southern colonies during the American Revolution. Did you know that there was more than one British southern invasion,

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  • The Art of Hope: WPA Murals in Florida

    Presented By Mallory O’Connor

    Florida’s New Deal murals are the visual embodiment of a crucial period in America’s history—a period of economic uncertainty and disruptive social change.  They stand as a response to conditions faced by a struggling nation and

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  • The Battle Over the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Water Basin

    Presented By Tom Berson

    Florida v. Georgia isn’t just a football rivalry, it’s also the title of a Supreme Court case that could affect the health of the Apalachicola River and Bay and the fate of the Florida oyster industry

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  • The Civilian Conservation Corps in Florida: State Parks and More

    Presented By David Schmidt

    In his book, Rightful Heritage, Douglas Brinkley concludes that ”few [New Deal] programs would shine brighter” than the Civilian Conservation Corps. During the presence of the CCC in Florida, from 1933 until 1942, there were over

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  • The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters

    Presented By Gary Monroe

    This lively PowerPoint-assisted talk relates the story of these now-acclaimed artists, who taught themselves to paint idyllic versions of the Florida landscape and sell their creations door-to-door during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Their paintings

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  • The Immortal Fountain: The Fountain of Youth in Florida’s History, Mythology and Art

    Presented By Mallory O’Connor

    The story of the Fountain of Youth has proved to be amazingly long-lived and multi-cultural, beginning with the accounts of Herodotus who described a fountain located in Ethiopia that was reputed to give exceptional longevity to

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  • The Legacy of Franklin Roosevelt’s WPA in Florida

    Presented By David Schmidt

    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was on one of FDR’s most wide-ranging, yet controversial programs.  Many saw it as a “make work’ program which did not accomplish its goals – the acronym was derided as “We

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  • The Scent of Scandal: Inside the Wild World of Orchid-Smuggling

    Presented By Craig Pittman

    Orchid collectors are the folks who put the “cult” in “horticulture.” The proof: The discovery of a spectacular new orchid from South America leads to black market sales in Miami at a price of $10,000 a plant

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  • The Spanish Legacy of Florida

    Presented By Steve Noll

    This presentation looks at the long influence of Spain and Spanish culture on the Sunshine State from early exploration to today’s multi-cultural (and multi-lingual) society. It examines the periods of Spanish control and how they shaped Florida

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  • The Way We Worked – Labor and Florida History

    Presented By Steve Noll

    Florida has always been about more than fun in the sun and tourists on the beach.  This presentation examines the ways Floridians worked throughout the state’s history, focusing on labor in the 19th and 20th centuries.  It

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  • Transparent Waters: The History and Significance of Florida’s Springs

    Presented By Tom Berson

    Florida’s springs are not only unique in their size and number, they are also emblematic of a forgotten Florida, a mysterious frontier that once stirred the national imagination. Before Disney or even the growth of coastal

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  • Weeki Wachee: City of Mermaids

    Presented By Lu Vickers

    When Newt Perry sank a theater into the edge of Weeki Wachee Spring in 1947 and filled the water with cavorting mermaids, he probably had no idea that the mermaids would become world famous icons, representing

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  • When Manatees Were Sea Cows: How Floridians Coped When Times Were Hard

    Presented By Janie Gould

    This program explores some of the inventive ways in which Floridians survived during the Great Depression and later in the 20th century. The presentation will focus primarily on food, especially items not generally consumed today, such

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  • Women of the American Revolution: Lost Voices of America’s First Generation

    Presented By Roger Smith

    It was a time when women had few rights and no say in political decisions or other matters of importance. It was a time when it was believed that women didn’t have the emotional or mental capacities

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  • Women of the American Revolution: Lost Voices of America’s First Generation

    Presented By Roger Smith

    It was a time when women had few rights and no say in political decisions or other matters of importance. It was a time when it was believed that women didn’t have the emotional or mental capacities

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  • Your Florida Story, Made-to-Order

    Presented By Caren Neile

    Your group’s story is as important a piece of Florida history as that of any other. Supply materials and interview subjects, and storyteller/author Dr. Caren Neile will do the rest, creating a customized performance piece for you

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