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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?

Shopping at its Best: Jacksonville’s Acclaimed Jewish Retail Community
Feb 19 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am
Shopping at its Best: Jacksonville's Acclaimed Jewish Retail Community @ Old St. Andrews | Jacksonville | Florida | United States

Furchgott’s, Levy’s, French Novelty, Cohen Brothers, and the Vogue Shops were a few of the Jewish retail establishments that dotted Jacksonville’s landscape with fine retail shopping–in some instances, for more than a century. Hear the stories of the families that brought business and style to our city. It’s a fascinating look at  19th and 20th century Jacksonville through the businesses of the city’s most prominent families. Noted experts on Florida history provide the early Jacksonville account, and local families and their descendants involved in some of the businesses are special guests.

Elvis Has Left the Building
Aug 9 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

The 60th Anniversary of the King at the Florida Theatre1956-FlaThtr-Poster-Aug-320

Elvis performed in Jacksonville many times — once as an opening act for country music singer Hank Snow. But the Elvis appearances everyone still talks about sixty years later were August 10 and 11, 1956, when he headlined at the Florida Theatre. Judge Marion Gooding stood in the wings to insure Presley’s movements excluded hip twisting and grinding. We’ll hear from individuals who were in the audience or involved with the event.

Country music radio pioneer and concert promoter of the day, Marshall Rowland, knew Elvis and will offer firsthand accounts of “the King” in Jacksonville.

We’ll also here the story of Jacksonville’s Landon High English teacher, Mae Axton, who co-wrote the Elvis hit, Heartbreak Hotel.

Elvis is gone, but six decades later, Jacksonville still talks about his memorable local connections.


Free parking is available in the lot behind the Merrill House and Old St. Andrew’s, along Duval Street.
Security will be on duty.
Your guests are welcome.
A suggested donation for non-members is $5, students free with proper ID.


This program and the 2016-17 JHS program series is generously sponsored by Retina Associates, P.A. Dr. Fred H. Lambrou, Jr.

Civil Rights Struggles, from the Beach to the Courthouse
Feb 23 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Marching at Morrison’s, 1964. Florida-Times Union.

This observation of Black History Month connects Jacksonville to some of the Civil Rights era’s most pivotal events, which took place in Northeast Florida. Demonstrations in St. Augustine, led by giants of history such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Andrew Young, were forcefully suppressed by local authorities. Legal appeals by the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference were decided in the Jacksonville courtroom of federal judge Bryan Simpson, whose rulings defied heavy community resistance and personal criticism. Worldwide attention to local events helped move Congress to act on civil rights legislation. In 2008, Jacksonville’s United States Courthouse at 300 North Hogan Street was named in honor of Judge Simpson.

Program speakers will describe local civil rights conflicts, and the judicial process that critically upheld the right to public demonstrations.

Co-sponsors: the Jacksonville Historical Society, the Jacksonville Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and the Daniel Webster Perkins Bar Association of Jacksonville.

Please note the time change:

Reception: 6pm
Program: 630pm

This event is open to the public. A suggested donation for non-members is $5.
We ask that you register for the event online, by following this link,
by emailing or phoning 904.665.0064.
Free parking is available behind Old St. Andrews along Duval Street. Security will be on duty. Your guests are welcome.

This program and the 2016-17 JHS program series is generously sponsored by Retina Associates, P.A., Dr. Fred Lanbrou, Jr.

Jacksonville’s Greatest Landmarks — Past, Present, Preserved and Endangered
May 31 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

In honor of National Preservation Month, Wayne W. Wood, the “godfather of Jacksonville History,” is speaker for the Jacksonville Historical Society annual meeting. Dr. Wood’s presentation explores Jacksonville’s greatest architectural gems, including amazing landmarks that are long gone, and his 25 favorite buildings existing in Northeast Florida. You” hear dramatic stories of local significant structures that have been rescued and preserved. Also covered during the presentation are Jacksonville’s most endangered buildings, which include some big surprises!



About the speaker

Dr. Wood, a retired optometrist, is author or editor of numerous books exploring Jacksonville’s history, including the best selling, Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage: Landmarks for the Future (currently out-of-print). Other publications include, but are not limited to The Jacksonville Family Album: 150 Years of the Art of Photography, The Great Fire of 1901, The Architectural of Henry John Klutho: The Prairie School in Jacksonville, The Broward Family in Florida: From France to Florida, and The Living Heritage of Riverside and Avondale. A few remaining copies of The Jacksonville Family Album will be available for sale at the May 31 program along with other books by Dr. Wood, or purchase them online by clicking on the highlighted book name.

Jacksonville’s Historic St. Nicholas Cemetery: Tales from the Crypt
Jul 20 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Join the Jacksonville Historical Society and author and speaker Kay Ellen Gilmour, M.D. for a daytime program on Thursday July 20th at Old St. Andrew’s beginning at noon.

On less than an acre of land at Olive and Linden streets is Jacksonville’s Historic St. Nicholas Cemetery.  The cemetery’s 240 graves represent a wealth of fascinating stories — and you’ll hear some of these stories at the July 20th presentation. Family names in the cemetery include Bayard, Bowden, Call, Clinch, Falana, Ferris, Holmes, Rogero, Mitchell and many more — presenting a surprising cross-section of North Florida individuals. Dr. Kay Gilmour’s interest and years of work discovering the cemetery’s stories was inspired by her mother, who collected and preserved family records. Dr. Gilmour’s long association with the St. Nicholas neighborhood also contributed to her interest and an eventual book, A Genealogical History of Florida Revealed in the Historical St. Nicholas Cemetery.

About the speaker

Kay Ellen Gilmour, M.D., received a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Florida and continued her training in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, followed by a cardiology fellowship at University of Alabama. During a decades-long practice in cardiology, she served as Memorial Hospital Medical Staff President, Chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and President of Florida Independent Physicians Association. Her local board service includes the Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board , the Florida/Georgia Blood Alliance. the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Memorial Hospital Jacksonville, the Mayor’s Commission on Energy Preparedness and many other professional and community activities.

This program and the 2016-17 JHS program series is generously sponsored by Retina Associates, P.A., Dr. Fred H. Lambrou, Jr.
Charles Lindbergh in Jacksonville: The 90th Anniversary
Oct 10 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Charles Lindbergh Banquet Program at Hotel George Washington, 1927

He was the greatest celebrity on earth when he touched down in Jacksonville on October 27, 1927. Five months after Charles Lindbergh’s record setting transatlantic crossing, from New York to Paris, he landed in Jacksonville

to a hero’s welcome. He was piloting his famous plane, the Spirit of St. Louis. The local Lindbergh tribute “surpassed anything in state history,” said the city’s major newspaper, the Florida Times Union. It was all part of a victory tour, and Atlanta was his next stop, but not before more people than residents lined the city’s streets— just to get a glimpse of Lindbergh — as his motorcade was escorted from the new landing field on North Main Street to downtown. Jacksonville Historical Society Past-President Ed Booth, Jr., tells the little known stories of Lindbergh’s visit—and arguably the most dramatic “invitation delivery” in area history. Ninety years to the day, we examine an unforgettable moment in Jacksonville aviation.

About the speaker

Edward M. Booth Jr., is a partner at Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. He received his B. A. degree from Emory University in 1978, and was awarded his Juris Doctorate from Florida State University College of Law in 1981. He served as chairman of The Florida Bar Aviation Law Certification Committee and The Florida Bar Aviation Law Committee. He was the 2007-8 President of the Lawyer Pilots Bar Association, a 1,200 member international association. He served on the Jacksonville Aviation Authority Board of Directors (2013-2015) and oversaw the operation of four local airports having a combined annual budget in excess of 80 million dollars. An experienced pilot, he holds a multi engine Air Transport License issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. Mr. Booth is a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and a frequent guest commentator of Jacksonville’s WJXT Channel 4 on topics related to aviation and air safety. He has also appeared on the news magazine Inside Edition and the Chinese network SZMG TV on matters related to recent air disasters.


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