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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?

Charting Jacksonville’s Seaport History
Sep 27 @ 5:30 am – 7:30 am
Charting Jacksonville's Seaport History @ Old St. Andrews | Jacksonville | Florida | United States

Join us for September 26, 2013 for a presentation by Alan Bliss, PhD., who will chart Jacksonville’s Seaport History.

As a riverport, a seaport, and a Navy town, the sea has defined Jacksonville over centuries. At the University of North Florida, Dr. Alan Bliss teaches maritime history emphasizing Jacksonville’s experience. In this presentation, he will show how maritime commerce has shaped and reshaped Jacksonville. From square riggers to paddle wheelers to container ships, our city’s economy has depended on its waterfront. Twenty-first century Jacksonvilleans see only glimpses of their city’s working waterfront, but it is as influential today as ever.

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.

Banned in Jacksonville: What book are you missing?
Sep 29 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom(OIF), “hundreds of books are challenged in schools and libraries in the United States each year. A challenge is an WH_BannedBooksattempt to remove or restrict materials, while a banning reflects the actual removal of those materials”. 275 challenges were recorded nationally during 2015. The OIF staff believes far more challenges occur, however, because reporting is not mandatory in all states.

In the Duval County School System alone, 300 book challenges have been reported from 1978 – 2012. The Jacksonville Public Library reports 70 challenges to materials (books, DVDs, etc.) since 2000.

Leslie Kirkwood, Chair of  Banned: A Community Conversation about Censorship and Free Speech will present crucial history and background and Barbara A. B. Gubbin, Director of Jacksonville Public Library in this important conversation.  The presentation also incorporates performances by Jason Woods, actor/director. The presentation will also highlight the history of the Nazi-era censorship and its relevance today; Banned Books Week; a review of national, local public school and public library challenges; and a discussion of First Amendment rights.

Leslie Kirkwood is is a current chair of Banned: Censorship and Free Speech (a series of public programs—community conversations—that examines the delicate balance between censorship and free speech) and Remembering for the Future Community Holocaust Initiative (an organization that focuses attention on Holocaust education and remembrance through educational resources, teacher training, major exhibitions and community programs.). She is also the Vice-President of Urban Dynamics Corporation, a member of the Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library and the former Executive Director of the Jacksonville Public Libraries Foundation.

The reception begins at 6:30pm with the program to follow at 7pm. Both events will be held at Old St. Andrew’s, 317 A. Philip Randolph Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32202.

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.

Towers in the Sand: The History of Florida Broadcasting
Jan 18 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

The January program at Old St. Andrew’s features former broadcaster Donn R. Colee, Jr., author of Towers in the Sand: The History of Florida Broadcasting. Towers in the Sand is the only comprehensive history of Florida’s broadcasting industry 1922-2016. The book explores the people, over eighty Florida broadcasting pioneers and current leaders, who brought Florida broadcast stations to life, and the events that saw Florida grow from boom to bust and back again to now, the nation’s third most populous state.
A celebration of broadcasting’s proudest moments through hard-hitting journalism and editorials, lifesaving moments through decades of hurricanes, and lighthearted moments with favorite personalities and promotions, Towers in the Sand also laments the loss of a national treasure, as most stations were transformed from local community partners to lines on corporate balance sheets.

This program is presented by in partnership with the Jacksonville Historical Society, Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library, and Jacksonville Public Library.

About the author

A seventh-generation Floridian whose family settled in St. Augustine in 1820, Donn R. Colee Jr. is a second-generation Florida broadcaster, starting as a teenage disc jockey playing rock ‘n’ roll music at WLOF-AM in Orlando. His broadcasting career was interrupted by service in the U.S. Navy and 13 years in the advertising and public relations business in South Florida. He returned to broadcasting at West Palm Beach’s CBS affiliate, WPEC Channel 12, in 1988, serving in marketing and programming roles before being promoted to station manager. He retired in 2009.

Colee is a member of the Florida Association of Broadcasters, the Florida Historical Society, Historical Society of Palm Beach County, and Fort Lauderdale Historical Society. He lives in Palm Beach Gardens with his wife, Martha. They have three grown children, and six grandchildren. Donn is an avid boater and fisherman and serves on the board of the West Palm Beach Fishing Club.

Florida’s Fleet: A Shrimping Legacy from the First Coast
Mar 30 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Shrimp boats in Jacksonville, Florida. © Florida Memory

The Jacksonville Historical Society and Brendan Burke, author and underwater archaeologist with the St. Augustine Historical Society and Museum‘s research center LAMP, will present a program on Florida’s Fleet: A Shrimping Legacy from the First Coast on Thursday, March 30th beginning with a reception at 6:30pm followed by the program at 7pm.

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 the state’s history. From 1919 until the mid-1980’s, Florida supplied the world with shrimp trawlers and commercial fishing boats of all types. In Northeast Florida, the enterprise grew into a multi-billion dollar industry that contributed to over 23 foreign fishing fleets. Ultimately, Florida would be responsible for the largest purpose-built wooden fishing fleet ever assembled.

We ask that you register for the event via Eventbrite. Please click the ticket icon above to register for you seat. You may also email or phone the society to make your reservation.

About the speaker

Brendan Burke, Archaeologist and Logistical Coordinator with LAMP.

Brendan Burke is a maritime archaeologist at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum in the museum’s research wing, the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP). Since 2007, he has researched the commercial shrimping history of Florida, and in 2013 co-authored Shrimp Boat City with Ed Long, a St. Augustine native. When he is not researching commercial fishing, Brendan may be found underwater or onboard the research vessel ROPER, diving and excavating a shipwreck from the American Revolution off St. Augustine’s beach. He holds a B.A. in history/anthropology from Longwood University and an MA in historical archaeology from The College of William and Mary.

Andrew Jackson in Florida
Apr 20 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Join the Jacksonville Historical Society and co-sponsor, The Hermitage, on April 20th for a 6:30pm reception and book signing, followed by a 7pm program with authors and speakers, Sherry Johnson and James G. Cusick.

Andrew Jackson is one of the most controversial figures in Florida history. He invaded Pensacola, the capital of Spanish-controlled Florida, during the War of 1812. He was commander of military operations during the First Seminole War, and his Indian Removal policies sparked the Second Seminole War. He briefly served as the first territorial governor of Florida.

No other person is more closely associated with the Americanization of Florida and its transformation from Spanish borderland to Deep South frontier. Jackson’s military expeditions ended both Spanish and Native American control over Florida’s Big Bend and Panhandle areas. From his own time to the present, opinion is divided on whether he deserves praise or condemnation for his actions.

This book includes scholarly perspectives previously published in the Florida Historical Quarterly, important primary source documents from Jackson’s time, and new original analysis from contemporary scholars reflecting upon Jackson’s legacy.

About the authors

James G. Cusick is curator of the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of Florida Library and author of The Other War of 1812: The Patriot War and the American Invasion of Spanish East Florida. His interests in Florida history focus primarily on its colonial and 19th century past. Since 2004 he has also worked closely with the Florida Humanities Council to bring knowledge of Florida’s colonial history to primary, middle school, and high school teachers around the state. In addition to his duties at the university, he serves on the boards of the Florida Historical Society and the Gulf South History and Humanities Conference; he is a research associate of the St. Augustine Historical Society and the Historical St. Augustine Research Institute; a former board member and officer of the Seminole Wars Historic Foundation and the St. Augustine Archaeological Association; and a judge for the Florida Book Awards administered through the State of Florida.

Sherry Johnson is assistant professor of history and Cuban studies at Florida International University. She is the author of articles on Cuban and Florida history in such journals as Florida Historical Quarterly, Hispanic American Historical Review, Cuban Studies, and Colonial Latin American Historical Review.

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.

Winterling and Weather: A North Florida View
Sep 26 @ 6:30 pm – 8:15 pm

George Winterling, Channel 4 meteorologist, reports on Hurricane Dora’s maneuvers, 1964.

In 1962, when George Winterling began as a meteorologist with Channel 4 television, broadcasts were black and white and reporting was live—no video tape. Prior to his 47 year career at WJCT, Mr. Winterling worked as a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville. In 1964, he accurately predicted Hurricane Dora would hit North Florida. He’s also known for creating a humiture index—how hot it feels—today used nationwide and beyond as the”heat-index.” Rainfall predictability was another Winterling creation. He recalls television’s earliest Jacksonville broadcasts in 1949. So eager to see more, later as a student of Florida State University, he mounted an antenna on the chimney and watched Bill Grove’s “Eye on the News” from Tallahassee. By the time he retired from Channel 4 in 2009, he was a Jacksonville institution. In this presentation, you’ll learn more about Mr. WInterling-known to all as George-and more about North Florida’s weather history.

About the speaker

Born in New Jersey in 1931, George Winterling moved with his family to Jacksonville at age 10. He graduated from Lee High School. In 1949, he joined the United States Air Force and was sent to Weather Observers School at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois. He eventually trained at Shemya Air Force Base in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands where he observed the Pacific’s killer storms. In 1957, he earned a meteorology degree from Florida State University and was employed for five years by the U.S. Weather Bureau (now called the National Weather Service) until he was pivotal in convincing Channel 4, they needed a meteorologist. A Mandarin resident, he married his wife Virginia in 1956.

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