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At the Jacksonville Historical Society, we’re making history every day. Our monthly Speakers Series offers in-depth information on surprising and diverse aspects of our city’s past, and our fun Pop Up events are designed to bring attention to the forgotten history buried in our own back yard. Throughout the year, we also lead countless school groups on “insider tours” of our city’s most significant landmarks and events. Why don’t you join us?

The Committee: Mid-Century Florida Witch Hunts
Jan 22 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am
The Committee: Mid-Century Florida Witch Hunts @ Old St. Andrews | Jacksonville | Florida | United States

A riveting award-winning documentary, The Committee, explores the Florida Legislature’s activities to eliminate homosexuals from state colleges and universities in the early 1960s. It was, in fact, a legislative committee, commonly referred to as the Johns Committee, that undertook wide-ranging investigations to expose students and remove professors from Florida’s public institutions of higher learning. A panel discussion, including one of the students investigated some 50 years ago, will follow the documentary. The documentary was produced by University of Central Florida graduate students.

Mary Nolan: Jacksonville Suffragette and her Night of Terror
Apr 30 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Mary Nolan

Mary Nolan, Springfield grandmother and oldest suffragette in the NWP.

Presented by author and speaker Judith Poucher, PhD.

Reception: 6:30pm | Program: 7pm

Jacksonville’s Mary A. Nolan was an unlikely champion on the national stage for women’s suffrage. But in 1917, this Springfield neighborhood grandmother, often described as the oldest suffragette in the National Women’s Party (NWP) picket lines, took up a post protesting in the nation’s capital. She was arrested on November 10, 1917, and ended up at the Occuquan Workhouse where she endured the infamous “Night of Terror.” Undeterred, in 1919, she participated in demonstrations in front of the White House and was arrested many times. Mrs. Nolan was part of a nationwide “Prison Special Tour” speaking on her experiences in prison.

Dr. Judith Poucher offers an exploration of Mary Nolan’s account of this remarkable piece of theAmerican story. Dr. Poucher received her PhD in humanities from Florida State University, completed post-doctoral work in history at Oxford and taught history at Florida State College. A fifth generation Floridian, Dr. Poucher is author of the recently published book, State of Defiance: Challenging the Johns Committee’s Assault on Civil Liberties. She was involved in the production of The Committee, a Emmy award-winning documentary.

Historic Jacksonville Theatre Palaces, Drive-Ins and Movie Houses
Jan 25 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Lights, camera, action!

Join the Jacksonville Historical Society Monday, January 25 for a reception and program on Jacksonville’s theatre and performance history. The evening will begin with a reception at 6:30pm with the program to follow at 7pm. Author and speaker Dorothy K. Fletcher will present the theatres, drive-ins and movie houses that brought entertainment to Jacksonville citizens. FletcherBookSome have passed into memory. The Dixie Theatre, originally part of Dixieland Park, began to fade in 1909. The Palace Theatre, home to vaudeville acts, was torn down in the ’50s. The Alhambra has been everyone’s favorite dinner theatre since 1967’s debut of Come Blow Your Horn.

Local author Dorothy K. Fletcher revives the history of Jacksonville’s theatres in her new book Historic Jacksonville Theatre Palaces, Drive-Ins and Movie Houses,dorothyfletcher published in 2015. Mrs. Fletcher retired from the Duval County Public School System in 2007 after thirty-five years of teaching English classes. She was then able to  embrace her passion – writing. Her monthly column, “By the Wayside,” which she wrote for the Florida Times-Union, led to a series of history books she has written about her beloved home, Jacksonville, Florida. She and her husband, Hardy, love traveling and hanging out with their grandchildren.


** Due to illness, the original program scheduled for January 25th, “The History of Jacksonville’s Jewish Community” with Marcia Jo Zerivitz will be rescheduled for a later date.**

This program and the 2015-16 JHS program series is generously sponsored by Retina Associates, P.A. Dr. Fred H. Lambrou, Jr.

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