Beyond Tourism: Florida's Yesteryear

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Are you a Florida Cracker? Blog chain for April April 20, 2013

I’m participating in another blog chain so please read all the other posts in the chain and leave a comment. Bloggers love comments.

orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Araenvo – http://www.simonpclark.com/ (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com/ (link to post)
Lady Cat – http://randomwriterlythoughts.blogspot.ca/ (link to post)
LanaK – http://lanaketrick.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Lyra Jean – http://beyondtourism.wordpress.com/ (link to post) <—- You are here
Sudo_One – http://sudoone.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
articshark – http://www.drslaten.com/blog (link to post)
Ghostwriter-Mom – http://www.fictionblueprints.com/ (link to post)
AngelaGreenfield – http://www.becomingawriterblog.com/ (link to post)

On with the post.

Florida is a strange place. It is joked that it is the most southern northern state in the U.S. It was owned by Spain, Great Britain, Spain again, and then the United States. It was owned by Britain during the American Revolution and refused to join in the rebellion. During the Civil War the majority of the citizens did not want to secede but a secret congress held by a few landowning slaves made the decision to join the Southern Cause. When it became a state Northerners were instantly attracted to it as a winter destination against the frigid winters in the North. So with all the different peoples who inhabit Florida who is considered a Florida Cracker and who is not.

Clue: Quote from Jaws:

Ellen Brody: I just want to know one thing – when do I get to become an islander?

Mrs. Taft: Ellen, never, never! You’re not born here, you’re not an islander, that’s it.

Florida Cracker has various meanings:

Florida Cowboy

The most popular definition comes Florida cattlemen. Unlike out west in Texas or other cattle states Florida cattlemen didn’t use a group a cowboys to gather up the herd. Instead they used dogs and a whip. They would crack the whip above the cattle to get them to go in desired direction and the dogs would keep them rounded up into a group so that they don’t scatter.

The next definition comes from the English settlers of Florida. Even back in colonial days Florida was a backwater. If you lived in Florida you were considered resilient, self-sufficient, and independent. While the more citified colonies considered Cracker and insult the settlers of Florida took it as a point of pride. If you were born in Florida and can trace your ancestry back to the Antebellum era to ancestors who also lived in Florida you are a Florida Cracker.

A looser definition is someone who is born and raised in Florida but their ancestry isn’t necessarily Floridian.

Even today while some people see cracker as an insult. A majority of native Floridians especially those who live in the country see it as a compliment.

 

July 4, 1868: Florida becomes a full-fledged member of the United States again July 4, 2012

July 4th most think of the founding of our country when the thirteen colonies fought Britain and became an independent country. Florida at that time were two colonies under British control that chose to remain loyal despite the invitation to join the Patriots’ fight for independence. You can read more about that in this blog post.

The Republican Party, whose nominee was Ulysses S. Grant, held a Presidential campaign in Tallahassee. “The [Tallahassee] Floridian reported that the Republican Party held a Presidential campaign rally to celebrate this auspicious occasion and that the crowds from all over the state, particularly newly enfranchised freedmen, made up ‘Probably the largest crowd here, ever before at any time.’” source.

Won the Presidential election of 1868 with the help of Florida

Grant due to his popularity in the North for ending the Civil War with the surrender of General Robert E.  Lee at Appomattox and his popularity in South among the newly enfranchised slaves won the election against Democratic nominee Horatio Seymour. He won Florida which gave him three electoral votes and won him the Presidency. Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas were not reinstated into the Union and were therefore unable to participate in the Presidential election.

 

Friday Finds May 4, 2012

Yamato: More than Just a Colony: Read a little bit about how Yamato Rd. and the Morikami colony in Boca Raton from a native Japanese.

Norman Studios: Read about the first white film director to create all black-cast movies during the silent movie era without using the stereotypes of the times.

Florida Monthly Blog The blog for Florida Monthly Magazine. It covers Florida culture for Floridians.

Floripedia An online encyclopedia about Florida.

Henry Morrison Flagler Museum The official site of Henry Morrison Flagler Museum located in Palm Beach.

Historic Pensacola Village T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum. Their mission statement- West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc. is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of Northwest Florida.

 

Gentlemen! Start Your Engines: The race that put Nascar on the Map March 9, 2012

This post is part of a blogchain. The theme was rain and I thought it would be a good opportunity to write a little bit about NASCAR. So please spread some blog love and leave a comment and read the other posts in this chain. As the people who are after me post I’ll keep updating this post to reflect that. So don’t forget to come back.

orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
Bogna – http://bemaslanka.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
Nissie – http://www.paperheroes.net (link to this month’s post)
Lyra Jean – http://beyondtourism.wordpress.com <— ME!
Domoviye – http://working-in-china.com (link to this month’s post)
magicmint – http://www.loneswing.com (link to this month’s post)
areteus – http://lurkingmusings.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
julzperri – http://www.fishandfrivolity.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
hillaryjacques – http://hillaryjacques.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
AFord – http://af12.webs.com (link to this month’s post)
randi.lee – http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
J. W. Alden – http://www.authoralden.com (link to this month’s post)
SuzanneSeese – http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
Tomspy77 – http://thomas-willam-spychalski.webs.com (link to this month’s post)
ronbwriting – http://ronbwriting.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
Now on to the Post:

If you are a NASCAR fan you know that this past Daytona 500 was a bit disappointing due to the rain. For the first time ever it was cancelled and rescheduled for the next day. The next day was still wet but they kept on and finished the race.

If you have been a NASCAR fan for awhile you’ll remember the 1979 Daytona 500 when according to ESPN, ” It’s a rainy, sloppy day in Florida while most of the East Coast is sacked by snowstorms and millions of people without anything else to watch one month after football and two months before baseball fall in love with NASCAR.” Why is this significant it’s because this was first time a NASCAR race was televised live from flag to flag.

Wreck at turn three between Yarborough and Allison

But it wasn’t just being forced to stay at home with nothing else to watch that made the race popular. According to the Daytona 500 Speedway , “On the final lap, Yarborough pulled out to pass Allison on the Superstretch. The two banged fenders so hard they crashed into the Turn 3 outside wall before sliding down to the apron.” This later on turned into a fight at the end of the race.

Bobby Allison, left, and Cale Yarborough fight after the 1979 Daytona 500

The wreck happened in turn three. While it was Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough  who wrecked at turn three near the end of the race it was Bobby and Cale who got in the fight at the end of race. It was Bobby who got the brunt of the damage when he got caught up in the wreck. The fight was caught on live television.

According to ESPN,  “An estimated 16 million people watched the race, a number that jumped to nearly 20 million over the closing laps. CBS won an Emmy for the broadcast, televised the Daytona 500 until 2000 and showed a fledgling cable network called ESPN the value of the racing business.”

Who won the race that day? None other than the great Richard Petty.

Richard Petty 1979

 

A Florida Enchantment – The first homosexual movie July 1, 2011

First it was a novel written in 1891 by Fergus Redmond and Archibald Clavering Gunter.

Five years later in 1896 it was turned into a play where, “For the first time on an American stage, two women kiss in a scene in A Florida Enchantment. At the intermission, ushers were sent up and down the aisles to offer ice water to people who felt faint.” (Timeline of Homosexual History)

In 1913 director, Sidney Drew, turns the novel into a silent movie with the same title. It was filmed in St. Augustine and starred Sidney Drew, Edith Storey, and Charles Kent.

The synopsis of the movie: A young woman discovers a seed that can make women act like men and men act like women. She decides to take one, then slips one to her maid and another to her fiancé. The fun begins.  Below is a 3 minute summary of the movie.

This movie is considered the first homosexual movie by the documentary The Celluloid Closet. Black face is used in this film.


 

Friday Finds March 25, 2011

1. Almost Chosen People A blog about American History, and the development of a great Nation

2. Swamp Fox Brigade A blog about South Carolina in the Revolution

3. Virtualology: A Virtual Education their mission is “to foster an understanding of humanity’s great moments, exceptional minds, remarkable talents, infamous actions, great events, natural history, scientific discoveries, and the celebration of individuals.”

4. The History Blog I heard about this blog on AbsoluteWrite. A fan said, “History, done well, is interesting because it’s about real people doing real things–in their own words and images.”

5. African American History Month The American government’s website covering African American History

6 . Zora Neale Hurston The official website of this Florida native writer

 

Florida and the American Revolution January 11, 2011

 

British Colonies of East and West Florida remained loyal during the American Revolution

The Loyal Colonies

In 1776, Britain had fifteen American colonies. On July 4th of that year thirteen declared independence and began the Revolutionary War. One colony that remained loyal to Britain was East Florida and its capitol St. Augustine. The other colony was West Florida with its capitol Pensacola. It remained a British stronghold and a haven for Tories fleeing the rebellious colonies until 1781 when Spain invaded Pensacola. Florida was then ceded back to Spain by the British.

West and East Florida were invited to send delegates to the still forming Continental Congress. Both colonies being

This is the regimental crest of the 16th Foot, the professional soldiers of the British army who were scattered ineffectually throughout Florida.

strong loyalists declined the offer and remained with Britain. When the war started, for most in the southern colonies including Florida, the Revolutionary War wasn’t a war for independence but a Civil War against King and Country. According to the National Park Service, East Florida was protected by the local militias which were made up of Loyalists that fled from Georgia and the Carolinas. Their was a professional regiment of British regulars but they were ineffectual due to their small number mixed with the large territory they were assigned to protect. Even here much like most of the rest of the Revolutionary War the battles were mostly won by local militias and not the professional armies.

The Battle of Thomas Creek

While there were numerous incursions and raids made by the American rebels into East Florida all mostly repelled by the joint of militia and the British Army there was only one actual battle. That was the Battle of Thomas Creek.

According to the Historical Florida’s Marker Program the Battle of Thomas Creek took place in what is now the county of Nassau just south of the city of Callahan on U.S. 1 highway and Thomas Creek. On May 17, 1777, Lt. Col. Samuel Elbert led a mix of troops from the Continental Army and Georgia militias on a mission to capture and occupy St. Augustine. They were stopped by Maj. J.M. Prevost of the British Regular Army and Col. Thomas Brown of the East Florida Rangers, a militia calvary. These groups were aided by Indian allies. The American forces were throughly routed and fled in retreat due to a lack of supplies, morale,  the oppressive heat and superior numbers of the enemy troops. Some Americans in their rush abandoned their horses and fled into the swamp. According to the National Park Service American losses were eight killed, nine wounded and thirty-one captured. Of the thirty-one captured fifteen were killed by Indians before the British were able to stop them. Only forty-two American soldiers escaped to the safety of Georgia.

After the War

When the Revolutionary War ended with the British defeat. Most of the loyalists left the country of America for either Britain or the West Indies because Florida ceased to be a British colony and was ceded back to Spain after they captured and occupied St. Augustine in 1783. This was a sad day for Loyalists because just like the American Patriots they were born in America and thought of it as home.



 

 

 

 
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