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The Ultimate “Year of the River” Account

450 Year-Old Story Kicks off Program Season September 21

Official Program of “Next Day in the Morning”, c. 1962. Jacksonville Historical Society Collection.

Meta Slider - HTML Overlay - September2015As the fall nears, the agenda turns to an active program season. It all kicks off with a unique September program offering on Monday, September 21. In fact, so unique, the JHS will offer two performances of It Came to Pass on the Banks of this River during one evening! The event recalls one of the St. Johns River’s most extraordinary stories.

The script written by Matt Colaciello and Barbara Colaciello, is an adapted work of the 1962 local production, Next Day in the Morning by Kermit Hunter. That half-century old production was written for Jacksonville’s Ribault Quadricentennial Commission commemorating the Frenchman John Ribault’s arrival at the St. Johns River, a river he called the River May. For the 400th anniversary in 1962, a massive assembly with trumpets and troops filled the city’s “new three million dollar air-conditioned Jacksonville coliseum”. The show ran for 15 days with two performances on Sundays with ticket prices ranging between $1 and $3.50.

The society’s upcoming evening features this early St. Johns River story told through the eyes of the world’s most powerful 16th century European women. The production also presents the Florida natives’ perspective and the viewpoint of explorers, Ribault, Laudonnière and Menendez.

The production includes trained actors in a dramatic reading of this uniquely North Florida story. It’s the ultimate story in this Year of the River. The La Caroline Colony on the St. Johns is distinguished as the first colony of European men and women seeking religious freedom on land that became U.S. soil. It is also the event that set in motion the founding of St. Augustine and more than two centuries of Spanish occupation in Florida

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