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Florida Memory provides free online access to historical documents, photographs, films and audio recordings from the State Library and Archives of Florida.

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October 1, 1864: Diary Entry from Wilbur Wightman Gramling

The following post is part of an ongoing series entitled Civil War Voices from Florida. Each day in October 2014, Florida Memory will post a document from the collections of the State Archives of Florida written exactly 150 years before that date, in October 1864. 

We begin our journey through October 1864 with a diary entry from Wilbur Wightman Gramling, a young private from the Tallahassee area who enlisted in Company K of the Fifth Florida Infantry in February 1862. 

Finish reading this blog here: floridamemory.com/blog/2014/10/01/october-1-1864-diary-entry-from-wilbur-wightman-gramling

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Spanish Cattle in Florida

Florida’s cattle industry dates back to the early 16th century, when Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon brought a herd of Andalusian cattle to Florida as part of his attempt to establish a colony.

Learn more in today’s blog: floridamemory.com/blog/2014/09/29/spanishcattle

2 days ago
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Where the Palm Trees Shake at Night

The music presented on Where the Palm Trees Shake at Night was selected from hundreds of hours of Florida Folk Festival performances and field recordings spanning 25 years, from 1977-2002.

Alongside the down-home folk traditions of Emmett Murray, Richard Williams, and Moses Williams are performances of standard Blues by Albert “Buck” Thompson, Charles Atkins and Martin “Tampa Blue” Locklear. The Piedmont finger-picking style of North Carolina guitarist Etta Baker was captured at the Florida Folk Festival, as was the renowned Washington, D.C. duo Cephas and Wiggins’ more modernized interpretation of Piedmont Blues.

Listen to or download the CD here: floridamemory.com/audio/cd5.php

6 days ago
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Florida Governors

This finding aid provides a timeline of the Florida governors from the territorial governors to the present. The guide includes links to relevant gubernatorial and executive collections in the State Archives of Florida, the State Library of Florida, and other repositories.

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Civil War Letters Home: Roderick Gospero Shaw

Of all the Civil War documents here at the State Archives, letters from soldiers to their loved ones are some of the most engaging. Many of the young men who signed up for military service at the beginning of the war were eager, confident, and impatient to get into the fray and make a name for themselves.

Roderick Gospero Shaw of Attapulgus, Georgia enlisted at Quincy in April 1861  in the “Young Guards,” a unit of the “old” First Florida Infantry. He served one year in this unit, and later re-enlisted in August 1862 in the 4th Florida Infantry at Chattanooga. The State Archives of Florida holds typewritten transcripts of nearly a dozen of Shaw’s letters to his sister, Mrs. Jesse Shaw Smith, who lived in Quincy for much of the war (Collection M87-6).

Learn more in today’s blog: floridamemory.com/blog/2014/09/19/civil-war-letters-home-roderick-gospero-shaw

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Thomas Sidney Jesup Diary

Thomas Sidney Jesup commanded military operations in Florida during the early stages of the Second Seminole War (1835-1842).

This diary, from the collections of the State Library and Archives of Florida, includes his personal account of the conflict from October 1, 1836, to May 30, 1837: floridamemory.com/collections/jesup

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Shipwreck of the Atocha

It was June 13, 1971. Don Kincaid, who had been diving off the coast of the Florida Keys, made his way to the surface with a handful of something shiny, coiled up like a small snake. He climbed aboard the work boat Virgalona with the aid of a ladder, and excitedly spread his find out for his colleagues to see.

Kincaid’s boss, shipwreck hunter Mel Fisher, congratulated him and radioed to his other cruiser nearby to join them. Kincaid had found nearly eight feet of gold chain, a sign that Fisher and his team were close to something big. In time, they would learn that they had found the remains of a Spanish treasure ship, part of a fleet lost in a hurricane in 1622. The ship was called Nuestra Señora de Atocha.

Learn more in today’s blog: floridamemory.com/blog/2014/09/26/shipwreck-of-the-atocha

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Florida’s Union Bank

Florida’s habit of booming and busting stretches far back, much farther than the land boom of the 1920s many Floridians already know about. One of the most controversial busts happened shortly after Florida became a U.S. territory. Like most frontier societies with a future, Florida was full of eager settlers with a vision. And visions require money. In the agricultural economy of the Old South, much of the wealth was tied up in land, slaves, and the capital goods necessary to grow crops. Even the wealthiest planters relied heavily on credit to do business, because there just wasn’t much cash to be had. So what do you do when you need better access to cash and credit? You build a bank, of course!

Learn more in today’s blog: floridamemory.com/blog/2014/09/24/floridas-union-bank

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See and Do It All at Floridaland!

By the 1960s, Florida was a tourist’s playground. Any family could find something to do, whether it was to hit the beach, catch a few roller coaster rides at the Miracle Strip, stroll through the lush scenery of Cypress Gardens, or take in the historic sights of Key West or St. Augustine. In Florida, you could do anything. But where could you do everything?

Floridaland near Sarasota aspired to be that place. 

Learn more in today’s blog: floridamemory.com/blog/2014/09/22/see-and-do-it-all-at-floridaland

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Gov. Reubin Askew makes a televised statement on bussing in the public school desegregation issue. President Jimmy Carter, while still governor of Georgia, speaks briefly on legislation to extend voting rights to 18-year-old citizens of Georgia. There is silent footage of the Florida Legislature in session. Jimmy Carter comments on civil rights issues, school desegregation and bussing in Georgia

Find the full video here: floridamemory.com/items/show/253433

(Source: floridamemory.com)

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