Monday, December 27, 2010

Soldiers Seminoles and Slavery at the Tampa Bay History Center

One hundred and seventy five years ago – in 1835 – soldiers stationed at Tampa’s Fort Brooke marched north to Ocala, planning to reinforce units stationed at Fort King. They never made it. On December 28th, they met a force of more than 200 Seminole Indians near present-day Bushnell. Dozens of Seminoles and 120 U.S. Soldiers died in what is now known as the Dade Battle, the first confrontation of the Second Seminole War.


To mark the occasion, the Tampa Bay History Center welcomes preeminent Seminole War historian and author Frank Laumer as part of the Florida Conversations Lecture Series on Tuesday, Dec. 28 at 6:30 p.m. Laumer’s talk, entitled Soldiers, Seminoles and Slavery: Florida and the Second Seminole War, will explore the key events, players and legacy of the seven-year confrontation between the U.S. government and Florida’s Seminoles.

Frank Laumer is the author of two histories of the Second Seminole War, Massacre! and Dade’s Last Command. Laumer’s most recent book, Nobody’s Hero, is a fictionalized account of Pvt. Ransom Clark, the only American to survive the Dade Battle.

Laumer was the first recipient of the D. B. McKay award of the Tampa Historical Society “For Distinguished Service in the Cause of Florida History.” He is a past president of both the Seminole Wars Historic Foundation and the Dade Battlefield Society.

Co-sponsored by the USF Libraries Florida Studies Center and supported by WUSF Public Media, Florida Conversations features authors and presenters covering a variety of Florida topics, from politics to fiction, history to environmental issues.

Florida Conversations is free and open to the public. Public parking is available at the Channelside garage, the St. Pete Times Forum East Lot and other city-owned lots. For more information, contact the Tampa Bay History Center at 228-0097 or online at www.tampabayhistorycenter.org.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

History Center Director Elected to International Museum Board

The International Council of Museums Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities has elected the Tampa Bay History Center’s President and CEO, C.J. Roberts, to a three year term to serve as a member of the committee’s executive board.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is a non-governmental organization of museums and museum professionals, numbering approximately 30,000 members from 137 countries and territories, whose purpose is to respond to the challenges facing museums world-wide. Based in Paris, the organization has formal relations with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and carries out part of UNESCO’s program for museums.

“I’m honored to be selected,” said Roberts of his appointment. “It’s an opportunity for the Tampa Bay History Center to be part of an international conversation on the role of museums in their comminities.”

CAMOC brings museum professionals and scholars together from around the world to explore these opportunities and learn from each other’s experiences. The 12 member board is comprised of museum professionals and scholars from Turkey, China, Brazil, Germany, Canada, Ireland, Russia, Greece, the United States, and France.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Special Holiday Hours at the History Center


Tampa Snow Show, 1958. Photo courtesy THCPL
The History Center will be closed on Christmas Day and will close at 3:00 p.m. on both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

We will re-open for regular business hours, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., on New Years Day.

The staff and Board of Trustees of the History Center wish you a happy holiday and a prosperous new year.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 12/2/1980

This month 30 years ago, the Sun Dome opened with much fanfare on the University of South Florida campus. After several years of planning, construction, and numerous delays, the Bulls took to the hardwood against national powerhouse Duke in the "dedication game" televised nationally on ESPN.

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the December 10 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.  

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Children Celebrate ‘Pioneer Holiday’ at History Center

Children can celebrate the holidays on the Florida frontier when the Tampa Bay History Center continues its preschoolers’ program, A Little History, on Wednesday, December 8th from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. with A Pioneer Holiday.

Kids will make old timey decorations, don pioneer clothing, decorate our Florida Cracker cabin for the season and even make butter the old fashioned way!

A Little History is open to children ages 3 to 5 with an adult companion. Cost is $10 per child and $6 per adult. Members of the History Center receive a $2 discount for both children and adults. Gallery admission is included. One adult must accompany every two children. Space is limited, pre-registration is required.
For more information contact the History Center’s Assistant Curator of Education, Jennifer Tyson, at (813) 675-8960 or visit our website.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 12/4/70

This week 40 years ago, the University of South Florida Brahmans played the first official men's basketball game in school history. After a decade-long struggle to bring intercollegiate sports to the university, South Florida students rejoiced at the opportunity to cheer for their school in a meaningful game.

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the December 3 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Historic Old Northeast Residents Receive Discount at History Center

 Residents of St. Petersburg’s Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood will receive buy-one-get-one-free admission to the Tampa Bay History Center throughout the month of December.

The special admission rate marks the opening of a new exhibition at the History Center celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Old Northeast Neighborhood, which was founded in 1911.

The exhibit, part of the Wachovia Foundation Community Case, focuses on the history of Old Northeast and the achievements of the Old Northeast Neighborhood Association in preserving the architecture of the historic St. Petersburg neighborhood.

The discounted rate is part of the History Center’s Community Appreciation Program, which will target neighborhoods throughout the Tampa Bay area throughout 2011.

Anyone residing in either the 33701 or 33704 zip codes can take advantage of the discount, which is valid through December 31st. ID or other proof of residency is required. Discount is applied to admission of equal or lesser value and cannot be combined with other specials or coupons or redeemed for cash value. For more information, contact the Tampa Bay History Center at (813) 228-0097 ext 0.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Historic Burgert Brothers Photographs on Display at History Center

An exhibit featuring Burgert Brother’s calendar photos will be on display at the Tampa Bay History Center’s Annis Children’s Gallery until the end of the year. Featuring photos from this year’s Burgert Brothers Calendar as well as covers from previous years, the exhibit is located in the atrium just outside of the Witt Research Center. It is free and open to the public.

For the past 12 years, the History Center and the Friends of the Library have partnered to produce an annual Burgert Brothers calendar. This year's theme, One Hundred Years in Tampa, features images of business and place from Tampa in 1911.

The 2011 Burgert Brothers calendar can also be purchased from the Tampa Bay History Center store.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 11/26/70

On Thanksgiving 1970, the Florida State Seminoles came to Tampa Stadium for a showdown with the Houston Cougars. With a potential bowl berth on the line, would the Seminoles give thanks for their fortune or just deliver a big turkey?

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the November 26 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Artifact Spotlight: Ayres Diners Menu, ca. 1956-1964


TBHC 2010.043.001
Gift of Jessica Miller
 Long-time Tampa residents will certainly remember, and may have enjoyed dining at, one of the three Ayres Diners located around Tampa. The original Ayres Diner, located at 603 W. Lafayette Street, opened in 1948 and featured a neon sign designed by Tampa’s John Cinchett that boasted the diner was “Always Open.” The diner proved popular among University of Tampa students for its proximity to campus and around-the-clock service, before closing for good in the early 1990s.

Owned and operated by Millard Ayres, the business grew in the 1950s to include locations on South Dale Mabry Highway and Florida Avenue. Built in a prefabricated, “rail-car” style, the diner on Dale Mabry eventually moved to the corner of Himes and Cypress, under new management and a different name, before closing around 2003. The location on Florida Avenue remains open to this day under the name Nicko’s Diner, perhaps best known as the site of a meal eaten by Elvis Presley following his 1956 concert in Tampa.

Highlights of this menu include a $2.00 broiled or grilled filet mignon wrapped in bacon, a $1.00 fried shrimp dinner, a 95-cent sliced chicken club sandwich, an 85-cent tender and juicy grilled steak sandwich, a 45-cent cheeseburger and three hot cakes with bacon or sausage for 50 cents. Assuming this menu was printed in 1956, the year the third Ayres location on Dale Mabry opened, this order totaling $5.75 would cost – prior to tax and tip -- $44.88 in today’s dollars.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tampa Bay History Center Welcomes Buddy MacKay

The Tampa Bay History Center welcomes former Florida Lt. Governor, Buddy MacKay, on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Florida Conversations Lecture Series. Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio will introduce MacKay, who will discuss his recently-published autobiography, How Florida Happened: The Political Education of Buddy MacKay.

How Florida Happened, MacKay's first book, chronicles his time as an officeholder in the Florida Legislature, the United States Congress, and in Florida’s executive branch. His keen eye for the ironies and absurdities of politics as well as his brutal honesty come through in this memoir.

Buddy MacKay was born in 1933 in Ocala. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1968, where he served for nearly a decade and won a number of awards as most effective legislator. From 1983 to1989, he served three terms in the United States House of Representatives.

MacKay received the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate in 1988, only to lose to his Republication opponent by less than one percentage point. He convinced his political ally and friend Lawton Chiles to run for governor in 1990 and served as Chiles’ Lt. Governor for eight years.

MacKay will recount his three decades of public life in Florida, a time which saw Florida grow from semi-rural to a mega-state, where political dominance shifted from the left to the right.
Co-sponsored by the USF Libraries Florida Studies Center and supported by WUSF Public Media, Florida Conversations features authors and presenters covering a variety of Florida topics, from politics to fiction, history to environmental issues.

Florida Conversations is free and open to the public. Public parking is available at the Channelside garage and other city-owned lots. For more information, contact the Tampa Bay History Center at 228-0097 or visit us online.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kids Learn the Real Thanksgiving Story at History Center

First Catholic Mass, St. Augustine, Fl, 1565
The first Thanksgiving happened in Florida? And they ate…alligator? That’s just the beginning of the real first Thanksgiving story kids will learn about when the Tampa Bay History Center presents The Real First Thanksgiving, on Monday, November 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Kids can spend their day off from school unearthing a Timucuan kitchen mound like a true archaeologist and learning about the special meal shared between Spanish explorers and Florida’s first people. You’ll never look at Turkey Day the same way!

Presented by the Tampa Bay History Center and the Florida Public Archaeology Network, The First Real Thanksgiving is part of Discovery Days and open to children in 3rd through 5th grades. Registration is $30 per child for History Center members and $35 for non- members. Early drop-off and extended pick-up is available for an additional charge. Space is limited, pre-registration is required.

For more information contact the History Center’s Assistant Curator of Education, Jennifer Tyson, at (813) 675-8960 or jtyson@tampabayhistorycenter.org or visit http://www.tampabayhistorycenter.org/.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 11/14/70

In 1969, the Florida Gators and University of Tampa Spartans shared Tampa Stadium on the same day in an event dubbed "Super Saturday." It proved to be such a success that event organizers did it again in 1970, this time bringing in the Kentucky Wildcats and Idaho State Bengals for competition.

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the November 12 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Big Movers Set for ‘A Little History’ at Tampa Bay History Center

The Tampa Bay History Center continues its preschoolers’ program, A Little History, on Monday, Nov. 15 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. with Big Movers: Planes, Trains and Ships.

See how many “Big Movers” you can spot in our galleries and get a glimpse of a real cruise ship from just a few feet away. Check out our new train exhibition and enjoy games, songs and crafts.

A Little History is open to children ages 3 to 5 with an adult companion. Programs are held one weekday per month from 10:30 -11:30 a.m. Each program is $10 per child and $6 per adult. Members of the History Center receive a $2 discount for both children and adults. Gallery admission is included. One adult must accompany every two children. Space is limited, pre-registration is required.

For more information contact the History Center’s Assistant Curator of Education, Jennifer Tyson, at (813) 675-8960 or send her an email.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 11/10/85

Minus the biggest names in women's tennis -- Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert Lloyd, Steffi Graf, Hana Mandlikova, and Pam Shriver -- organizers of the Florida Federal Tennis Open in Largo had to rely on up-and-coming young talent to provide an entertaining tournament. Some of the best young players on the women's tour did that and more during a memorable week at the Bardmoor Country Club. 

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the November 5 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 10/31/75

On October 31, 1975, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers delivered local football fans a rather large treat. The announcement that University of Southern California head coach John McKay would become the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent shock waves through the football world. One of the most successful coaches in college football history was about to take the helm of the expansion Buccaneers.

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the October 29 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tampa Bay History Center Hosts Pecha Kucha 7

Join the History Center on Friday, November 5th at 7:00 p.m. for Pecha Kucha 7.

Pecha Kucha, Japanese for "chit chat" or the sound of conversation, has taken over the creative world. What started in Tokyo in 2003 and has spread virally to over 200 cities across the world, is now coming to the Tampa Bay History Center.

Featured on NPR, a recent issue of Wired Magazine described it this way:

Creators Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein, two Tokyo-based architects have turned PowerPoint, that fixture of cubicle life, into both art form and competitive sport. Say what you need to say in six minutes and 40 seconds of exquisitely matched words and images and then sit the hell down. The result, in the hands of masters of the form, combines business meeting and poetry slam to transform corporate cliché into surprisingly compelling beat-the-clock performance art.

Part open mike, part happy hour, Pecha Kuch is a forum for new ideas. The History Center is the perfect backdrop for the seventh instalment of Pecha Kucha, which will focus on ideas for Tampa's future. Friday's panelists, including Mayoral candidate Ed Turanchik, arts entrepreneur Hampton T. Dohrman, Janet Pantaleo of Metropolitan Minestries, and others will each present 20 slides, shown for just 20 seconds each. The idea is to keep presentations concise and interest levels up.

Pecha Kucha 7 begins at 7:00 p.m. Presentations begin at 8:00 p.m. $5.00 donation is requested. The Columbia Cafe will be open for dinner/full bar.

For more information, visit Pecha Kucha Tampa Bay or call the History Center at (813) 228-0097.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mosaic Donates $25,000 to the Tampa Bay History Center

Mosaic, a Fortune 250 company and leading employer in Central Florida, surprised the management and trustees of the Tampa Bay History Center on October 5th with a donation of $25,000 during a community reception with the company’s board of directors at the museum.

The funds will be used for educational programs about one of the region’s oldest industries – phosphate. Mosaic and its predecessor companies have been operating in Central Florida for more than a century and have played a key role in the development of the Port of Tampa as well as countless small businesses that support the phosphate industry. The company is the world's leading producer and marketer of phosphate-based crop nutrients vital to farmers throughout the U.S. and the world.

“Mosaic was pleased to underwrite the Port City exhibit when the History Center was built, and now this gift is focused on helping with its education mission,” said David Townsend, assistant vice president of public affairs for Mosaic and a member of the History Center’s board of trustees. “Our industry has a rich history that is closely tied to this region’s economic development, and there’s no better place to tell that story than the Tampa Bay History Center.”

According to C.J. Roberts, the Frank E. Duckwall President & CEO of the History Center, “As part of our mission to preserve and interpret the Tampa Bay region’s heritage, we welcome the opportunity to highlight the phosphate industry’s importance to the region.”

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tampa Sports History, Interview with The Fabulous Sports Babe


Radio personality Nanci Donnellan, better known to her legions of fans as “The Fabulous Sports Babe,” began her career here in the Tampa Bay area in 1982. After moves that took her to Seattle, Bristol, Conn., and New York City, the Babe took several years off from broadcasting earlier in the decade, but she is once again a fixture on the local airwaves. Always opinionated and willing to tell it like it is, the Babe can be heard weekdays on WHBO 1040-AM from 12-3 p.m. She recently took some time to talk about the changes in sports radio, the issue of local baseball attendance, and some fond memories involving the late George Steinbrenner.
 
To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the October 22 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tampa Bay History Center Hosts Home School Day

Learn about Florida’s Indians, how they lived and what happened to them during Home School History Day, Thursday, Nov. 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Tampa Bay History Center.

Meet archaeologists from the Florida Public Archeology Network and the Central Gulf Coast Archaeology Society and find out how they unlock clues to life in the past, all while exploring the world of Florida’s first people. Children ages 4 to 17 and their parents will meet representatives from the Seminole Tribe of Florida, participate in hands-on activities, and experience interactive exhibits and demonstrations. Parents will receive educational materials to take home.

Home School History Day is $10.00 per person, ages four to adult, and includes admission into the History Center galleries. Members of the Tampa Bay History Center receive a $3.00 discount for both children and adults. Space is limited, pre-registration is required.

For more information on Home School History Day, contact the History Center’s Curator of Education, Julie Matus at (813) 675-8981 or visit our website.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 10/13/85

25 years ago this week, the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers welcomed into town the undefeated Los Angeles Rams. Having just traded their All-Pro linebacker Hugh Green to the Miami Dolphins, the Buccaneers figured to be vulnerable to a Rams' attack led by star running back Eric Dickerson. Would the defense falter or play well enough for an upset?

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the October 15 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 10/13/85

This week 25 years ago, Tampa lost a true legend when former University of Tampa football coach Marcelino "Chelo" Huerta died of a heart attack. His contributions to the community, however, extended far beyond the football field.

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the October 8 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Friday, October 8, 2010

From the Orange Blossom Special to High-Speed Rail: Train Travel in Tampa Bay

Orange Blossom Special, ca. 1930s
Tampa Bay History Center Collection
The Tampa Bay History Center's latest exhibition, From the Orange Blossom Special to High Speed Rail: Train Travel in Tampa Bay, opens today, Friday, October 8 at 10:00 a.m.

This exhibition focuses on the history of trains and rail travel in Tampa Bay and Florida, including the development in the 1800s of various rail lines throughout the state, the influence of Henry Plant and Tampa’s streetcar system. The exhibition will also touch on current rail usages, developments and initiatives.

From the Orange Blossom Special to High Speed Rail will be on exhibit through December 31st in the History Center’s Third Floor Gallery and is included with regular gallery admission. For more information, contact the Tampa Bay History Center at 228-0097 or online.

Check out these great images from the exhibit:

Tampa's Union Station, ca. 1920- Courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library

Hauling timber, ca. 1920s. Courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library


Seaboard Air Line, ca. 1950s. Courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library

Why do they call it that? Charlie Creek & West Tampa

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tampa Bay History Center Uncovers ‘Museum Mysteries’ During "A Little History"

The Tampa Bay History Center continues its preschoolers’ program, A Little History, on Wednesday, October 13 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. with Museum Mysteries.

Enjoy a spooky (not scary!) adventure as you solve the case of the missing artifact. Fingerprints may be taken as we search behind-the-scenes and through the galleries to find the culprit. Age appropriate crafts and games add to the mystery.

A Little History is open to children ages 3 to 5 with an adult companion. Programs are held one weekday per month from 10:30 -11:30 a.m. Each program is $10 per child and $6 per adult. Members of the History Center receive a $2 discount for both children and adults. Gallery admission is included. One adult must accompany every two children. Space is limited, pre-registration is required.

For more information contact the History Center’s Assistant Curator of Education, Jennifer Tyson, at (813) 675-8960 or visit our website.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tampa Sports History, Interview with Mark Carrier

Mark Carrier, a third round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987, is Tampa Bay's most prolific receiver of all-time. He still owns the most 100-yard receiving games in team history (15), and the single-game receiving yardage record (212). A Buccaneer from 1987-1992, Carrier played 12 seasons in the NFL and finished his career with 8,763 yards and 48 touchdowns. Carrier can now be heard weekdays alongside Ronnie Lane on WHBO 1040-AM from 3-7 p.m.

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the October 1 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Inaugural “HISTeria” Costume Party to Benefit Tampa Bay History Center


Halloween with the kids? The Zoo has you covered. Halloween with 100,000 people? Try Guavaween. Halloween with history’s notorious gangsters, thieves and tyrants? The History Center is the place to be.

On Saturday, October 16th, the Tampa Bay History Center wants you to explore the dark side of history with HISTeria, a night of costumed revelry. A Halloween fundraiser in the heart of downtown Tampa, HISTeria will feature food from some of Tampa’s best local restaurants including SideBern’s, Fly Bar and Restaurant, Cafe Hey, AJA, Datz Deli, Ella’s Folk CafĂ©, and the Columbia Cafe, among others.

Performance artists, psychics and Tampa’s D.J. Blenda will transform the History Center into downtown Tampa’s premier Halloween destination. Don’t miss what will be Tampa’s must-attend Halloween event.

Plus, proceeds will benefit the History Center’s educational programs.

HISTeria will take place Saturday, October 16th from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Tickets $50.00 prior to October 16th and $60.00 on the day of the event. Tickets include one complimentary beverage and parking. A special $80.00 VIP package includes valet parking and an additional complimentary beverage.

Tampa Bay History Center is located at 801 Old Water Street in the Channelside District of downtown Tampa. Support for the event is provided by St. Petersburg Times, *tbt, Yuengling Brewery and Mama Razzi Foto, Constellation Wines and the Tampa Downtown Partnership.

Visit http://www.histeriaevent.com/ for more information and to purchase advance tickets or call Visitor Services at (813) 228-0097 ext. 0.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 9/28/80

Thirty years ago this week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took their 2-1 record into a game at Tampa Stadium against the 1-2 Cleveland Browns. The victor of this game would go on to the playoffs, while the loser would finish with only 5 wins on the season. Can't remember how this one turned out? 

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the September 24 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Leland Hawes Returns for ‘History Highlights’

After selling out last year, Tampa History Highlights returns this October with a new line up of topics and presenters. The Tampa Bay History Center, together with USF’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, presents a new six-week course covering a wide range of topics.

Course leader and retired Tampa Tribune columnist, Leland Hawes, has assembled an impressive line-up of local historians and guest lecturers including USF's Gary Mormino, retired judge E.J. Salcines, historian Doris Weatherford, artist Hermann Trappman, and the History Center's Saunders Foundation Curator of History, Rodney Kite-Powell. Each will touch on a different topic, including women’s suffrage, Tampa’s role in Cuban Independence and Florida maps from the 16th century.

“Last year’s class was filled to capacity,” said Hawes, who has authored hundreds of articles on Tampa’s history. “It’s a rare opportunity to assemble such a great collection of historians and local experts in one place,” he said.

Other presenters include Tom Touchton, Bob Snyder, Larry Elliston and Todd Spear.

The six-week course will be held each Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. beginning October 6th through November 10th at the Tampa Bay History Center. The fee for the course is $50.00. Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. Register on line or contact the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at 813.974.2403.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tampa Sports History, Interview with Mike Connell

Mike Connell, an original member of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, played with the team from 1975-1984 and became one of the most popular players in franchise history. Joining the squad as an 18-year-old from South Africa in 1975, Connell earned the nickname "Iron Mike" for participating in over 25,000 minutes of play over the course of a career spent entirely in a Tampa Bay uniform. He saw it all as a member of the Rowdies, and recently took some time to reflect on his playing days and thoughts on Tampa as a potential World Cup host city.

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the September 17 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 9/13/80

This week 30 years ago, the Florida Gators came to Tampa Stadium for a season-opening game against the University of California Golden Bears. Coming off a disastrous 1979 campaign, the Gators needed to get off to a good start and erase the memories of that winless season. Would a game in Tampa do the trick?

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the September 10 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tampa Bay History Center Set for 'A Little History'

A Little History returns this fall with a new line-up of activities for your little ones. During each weekday class, the History Center's early childhood educators will entertain and enlighten with stories, songs, crafts and other age-appropriate activities related to the History Center's exhibits.

September 15 - Little Ybor
Little ones explore Ybor City's rich Hispanic heritage by playing games young immigrants loved as well as embarking on a scavenger hunt for Ybor's artifacts. Kids will even practice making a pretend Cuban sandwich! Story time, music, and crafts add to the fun.

October 13 - Museum Mysteries
Enjoy a spooky (not scary!) adventure as you solve the case of the missing artifact. Fingerprints may be taken as we search behind-the-scenes and through the galleries to find the culprit. Age appropriate crafts and games add to the exciting mystery.

November 15 - Big Movers: Trains, Planes and Ships
Planes, trains, and ships abound here at the History Center. See how many you can spy in our galleries and get a glimpse of a real cruise ship only a few feet away. Check out our new train exhibit in addition to games, songs, and crafts.

December 18 - A Pioneer Holiday
Have an old-fashioned holiday this year as you learn the many traditions of Florida's first pioneer kids. Make old timey decorations, then mosey on into our Cracker cabin and decorate it for the season. Dress up in pioneer clothes and even make butter the old fashioned way.

A Little History is open to children ages 3 to 5 with an adult companion. One adult must accompany every two children. Programs are held one weekday per month from 10:30 -11:30 a.m. Each program is $10 per child and $6 per adult. Members of the History Center will receive a $2 discount for both children and adults. Gallery admission is included. Space is limited, pre-registration is required. For more information on A Little History, contact our Assistant Curator of Education, Jennifer Tyson, at (813) 675-8960 or visit our website.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 9/5/70

This week 40 years ago, the Washington Redskins came to Tampa for an exhibition game against the Miami Dolphins. Nearly 1,000 miles away, however, their head coach, Vince Lombardi, lay dying in a hospital bed. Would the news around Lombardi's health overshadow the game itself? 

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the September 3 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Today in History- Sept. 1

Labor Temple, 9th Ave. & 16th St.
Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System
September 1, 1936 – A committee of the Popular Front political organization in Tampa cables $1,800 ($24,242 in today’s dollars) to the loyalist Spanish government through the Spanish ambassador in Paris. The committee had previously sent $2,000 and $1,600 in weekly contributions, and as long as the need existed, vowed to send as much as $10,000 or more per week. Headquarters for the war chest were located at the Ybor City labor temple and collections were made in Ybor City and West Tampa outside cigar factories on payday. Paul Ubarri, the Spanish consul in Tampa, went to the telegraph office to “add the dignity of his presence” and express the appreciation of his government.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 8/30/80

The Belmont Heights Little League has produced some of the finest baseball players to ever come out of the Tampa Bay area. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Belmont Heights earned a reputation as "Taiwan South" for some of the dominant teams it produced, including a finalist in the 1980 Little League World Series.

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the August 27 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Find Out 'What Your Fossils Can Tell You' Saturday at the History Center

This Saturday, find out What Your Fossils Can Tell You with Robert Sinabaldi, PhD., author of Fossil Diving: In Florida's Waters or Any Other Waters Containing Prehistoric Treasures and The Handbook of Paleontological Terms.

Robert Sinibaldi, Ph.D. is former president of the Tampa Fossil Club. His latest book, What Your Fossils Can Tell You: Vertebrate Morphology, Pathology, and Cultural Modification was released by the University Press of Florida in April of 2010. He works for the Pinellas county School District and with the University of South Florida in the field of exceptional student education. Fossils are just a hobby, or as his wife, Mary says, "By the time you get to the third book, it’s an obsession."

Sinabaldi will present "What Your Fossils Can Tell You" on Sept 4 at 11 a.m., and will sign his books after the presentation.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2010/11 Florida Conversations Lecture Series at the Tampa Bay History Center Welcomes Florida Political Icon

The Tampa Bay History Center begins its 2010/11 Florida Conversations Lecture Series on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. with former Florida Supreme Court Justice, State legislator, Hillsborough County Administrator and Tampa City Attorney, Fred Karl, who will discus his recently-published autobiography, The 57 Club: My Life in Florida Politics.

One of 39 legislators elected to serve in the Florida House of Representatives in 1957, Karl was part of the famed 57 Club, a group of mainly Democratic freshman members of the legislature who bravely challenged the “Pork Chop Gang” of rural North Florida. Karl’s political career spans nearly 50 years and his autobiography recalls the turmoil of Florida’s transformation away from its rural, racially segregated, Deep South roots to a modern Sun Belt state.

Frederick B. Karl was born in 1924 in Daytona Beach. At the age of 18, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and saw action as a tank platoon leader in Europe. Wounded during the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart. He later served eight years as a state representative and four years as a state senator.

Karl became Florida's first public counsel in 1974 and was the last elected Justice of the Florida Supreme Court two years later. After resigning in 1978, he returned to government service--first as county attorney, then as county administrator of Hillsborough County. He was asked to take over the helm of Tampa General Hospital in 1994. After leaving this post, he was appointed city attorney by newly elected Tampa mayor, Pam Iorio. In 2004, at the age of 80, he officially retired for the fourth and final time.

Thursday’s talk will mark the opening of the 2010-11 Florida Conversations Lecture Series at the Tampa Bay History Center. Co-sponsored by the USF Libraries Florida Studies Center, Florida Conversations features authors and presenters covering a variety of Florida topics, from politics to fiction, history to environmental issues.

Florida Conversations is free and open to the public. Public parking is available at the Channelside garage and other city-owned lots. For more information, contact the Tampa Bay History Center at 228-0097.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 8/24/75

It may feel like yesterday to some, but it has actually been 35 years since the Tampa Bay area celebrated its first professional sports championship. The Tampa Bay Rowdies, then in their first year of existence, made it all the way to Soccer Bowl '75 where they squared off against the dreaded Portland Timbers. 

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the August 20 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Taste of History

The Tampa Bay History Center and the Columbia Cafe are partnering to bring you A Taste of History, a hands-on culinary workshop series exploring classic recipes from Florida’s oldest restaurant. Beginning September 8th, three culinary workshops will explore the origins and stories behind several of the Columbia Restaurant's signature dishes.

Andrew Huse, USF Librarian and author of The Columbia Restaurant: Celebrating 100 Years of History, Culture and Cuisine, will begin each program with the history of each dish and how it evolved over time.

Under the direction of the Columbia Cafe's Executive Chef, you'll then build your own Cuban Sandwich, mix your own 1905 Salad™ and stir your own batch of red sangria.

A Taste of History begins Wednesday, September 8th at 6:00 p.m. in TECO Hall. Cost for each session is $35 for History Center members and $40 for non-members. Registration for the three-workshop series is $95 for members and $110 for non-members. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required. To register, click on the link below. For more information, contact Visitor Services at (813) 228-0097 ext. 0.

September 8th - 1905 Salad™
September 15th - Cuban Sandwich
September 22nd – Red Sangria & Bread Pudding



A Taste of History



Monday, August 16, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 8/15/70

40 years ago this week, University of Florida Heisman Trophy winner Steve Spurrier played his first game in Florida as a professional when his San Francisco 49ers squared off against the Cleveland Browns at Tampa Stadium. Would it be a triumphant homecoming for Spurrier, or would the outcome leave something to be desired for the Gator legend?

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the August 13 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why do they call it that? Philippe Park, Safety Harbor indian mound, Hardee County, Florida

Yoga Tampa Bay to Host All-ages Yoga Class at the History Center

The Happy Buddha Yoga Lounge and Yoga Tampa Bay will host an all-ages yoga class at the Tampa Bay History Center on on Saturday, August 21 at 9:00 a.m. Enjoy a yoga practice surrounded by Tampa's history and  afterwards, stick around for a guided tour of the museum or a snack at the Columbia Cafe, located inside the History Center.

Yoga teacher Francine Messano, founder of the Happy Buddha Yoga Lounge in downtown Tampa, will lead the class. Be sure to arrive early to register and set up your mat. Cost for the one-hour class is $8 for History Center members and $12 for non-members. Children ages 4-12 are $5 fior members and $7 for non-members. Children 3 and under are free. Museum admission is included with your registration fee.

Space is limited. To rsvp visit Yoga Tampa Bay's Facebook page. For directions to the History Center, visit our website or call (813) 228-0097. x. 0.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

“Cocina de La Florida” at the Tampa Bay History Center is a Historical Feast

http://www.floridafrontier.com/
When Spanish conquistadors sailed across the Atlantic in the 16th century they explored Florida, tirelessly searching for gold and treasure. They constructed forts, built settlements, fought with Florida natives and mapped the New World.

All that exploring must have made them pretty hungry. On Saturday, August 21, at 11:00 a.m., the Tampa Bay History Center presents La Cocina de La Florida: Foods of 16th Century Conquistadors, a cooking demonstration featuring centuries-old Spanish recipes and cuisine.

Cocina de La Florida will be led by historical interpreter Sheila Benjamin, who has demonstrated 16th century Spanish cooking for nearly two decades. Over the years, she has collected an amazing variety of reproduction kitchen utensils, copper pots, and dishes in which she serves up traditional culinary delights like Arroz Con Pollo, Paella, and Fabada Asturiana, a rich stew made with large white beans, pork shoulder, morcilla, chorizo, and saffron prepared in a clay cazuela (casserole).

Benjamin, together with artist and historian, Elizabeth Neily, will share recipes and prepare traditional dishes with participants.

Cocina de La Florida is presented in conjunction with Obscured by Time: The Magic of Florida, featuring the art of Hermann Trappman, currently on exhibit at the History Center through September 26th. Obscured by Time details the natural history of Florida through Hermann Trappman’s compelling paintings, artifact replicas, fossils, and examples of the resources utilized by ancient Native Americans.

Cost for Cocina de La Florida is $20 for members of the History Center and $25 for non-members. Seating is limited, pre-registration is required. For more information about this program or to register, contact the Tampa Bay History Center at (813) 228-0097 ext. 0 or visit our website.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 8/3/80

On August 3, 1980, professional wrestling came to Tampa Stadium for the first time. Led by "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, an event dubbed "The Last Tangle in Tampa" took pro wrestling outside of the small local arenas and set a then-record attendance mark for pro wrestling in the state of Florida.

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the August 6 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

History Center Shines Light on Zora Neale Hurston

Novelist, anthropologist, collector of folklore. These are just a few of the achievements of Florida's own, Zora Neale Hurston.


On Thursday, August 5th at 7:00 p.m., the Tampa Bay History Center will screen Jump at the Sun, a new documentary on the life of Zora Neale Hurston written by St. Petersburg resident Kristy Andersen. Produced for the acclaimed PBS series American Masters, Jump at the Sun explores Hurston’s work as a novelist, WPA field worker in 1930s-Florida and her role in the Harlem Renaissance, of which she was a key figure.

Directed by Emmy Award-winner Sam Pollard (When the Levees Broke), the documentary features interviews with Alice Walker and Maya Angelou as well as never-before-seen archival footage of Hurston in the 1930s.

After the screening, join Andersen and Dr. Lois Gaston, Hurston’s great-niece and former president of Hillsborough Community College’s Ybor City campus for a talk back session about the film. Admission is $10.00.

For more information on the August 5th screening, contact the Tampa Bay History Center at http://www.tampabayhistorycenter.org./

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tampa Bay History Center Digs into Native Plants

Florida’s First people lived on the shores of Tampa Bay more that 12,000 years ago. To survive, they crafted tools, pottery, weapons and clothing from objects they found in nature. A shell became a hammer, shark’s teeth became drills, palm fibers became fishing nets.

You can learn about Florida's native plants and the people who used them this Saturday at 11:00 a.m. when the Tampa Bay History Center hosts Dr. Robin C. Brown, author of Florida's First People and The Crafts of Florida's First People. Brown’s lecture, “Florida's Native Plants” will detail how Florida’s early flora and fauna and how native peoples used them.

Dr. Brown’s lecture is part of Obscured by Time: The Magic of Florida, featuring the art of Hermann Trappman, currently on exhibit at the History Center through September 26th. Obscured by Time details the natural history of Florida through Trappman’s compelling paintings, artifact replicas, fossils, and examples of the resources utilized by ancient Native Americans.

Dr. Brown’s lecture is free and open to the public. For more information contact the Tampa Bay History Center at (813) 228-0097 or visit our website.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 7/25/80

On July 25, 1980, the Nottingham Forest Reds, a club whose origins date back to 1865, came to Tampa for an exhibition against the Rowdies as part of a three-game North American tour. The Reds had just come off back-to-back European Cup championships and were considered one of the finest teams in the world. Would the Rowdies be up for the challenge?

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the July 23 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tampa Bay History Center Launches Facebook Site for Living Historians

The History Center is reaching out to Tampa Bay’s living history community. If you’re a living historian or, if you enjoy attending and participating in historical re-enactments, Tampa Bay History Center Living History Programs page on Facebook is designed just for you.
This new page is a quick and easy way to find out about upcoming programs and opportunities for re-enactors at the History Center.
Several events are already on the horizon, including a memorial service for the 175th anniversary of the Second Seminole War scheduled for December and multiple programs in conjunction with the upcoming exhibit on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, opening in January.

Whether you’re a re-enactor or have an interest in living history, you are invited to join the discussion. If you have any questions or comments regarding the Facebook page or living history programs, please contact Ross Lamoreaux.

Tampa Sports History, Interview with Tom Foley

Tom Foley, the third base coach for the Tampa Bay Rays since 2002, is one of the longest-tenured members of the organization. He came aboard in 1996 and served as a field coordinator for the first mini-camp in team history. His roots in Tampa go even deeper, however, having spent a season as a member of the Class-A Tampa Tarpons in 1979. A shortstop by trade, though adept throughout the infield, Foley played for the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos, and Pittsburgh Pirates during a 13-year career. Foley recently took some time to talk about his playing career and years spent as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.   

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the July 16 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tampa Sports History, Interview with Perry Van Der Beck: Part 2

Perry Van Der Beck made history with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in 1978 as the first high school soccer player ever drafted by a North American Soccer League team. The talented midfielder stood out as an amateur by winning two high school state championships and representing the United States in international competition at every level, including the Olympic team. Van Der Beck enjoyed a 19-year playing career, nine of which came as a member of the Rowdies. Today, Van Der Beck serves as the Technical Directory and Director of Player Development for the Rowdies in the USSF Division 2 soccer league. Van Der Beck recently took time out to chat about everything and anything related to his life’s passion: soccer. The following is the conclusion of a two-part interview with Van Der Beck.

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the July 9 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Obscured by Time: The Magic of Florida, Featuring the Art of Hermann Trappman


At an early age, Hermann Trappman became fascinated with the origins of Florida and its early inhabitants. Eventually, he turned to art to express his findings about the distant past. As he acquired more scientific information, his illustrations became increasingly accurate. Suddenly, his sketches of the Florida he once knew exploded into shifting plates, becoming part of a dynamically changing Earth. Entire environments developed then disappeared. Humans arrived; struggling with Florida’s challenging landscape, until they finally constructed complex civilizations.

Many of these insights will come to life when the Tampa Bay History Center presents the exhibition Obscured by Time: The Magic of Florida, featuring the art of Hermann Trappman, opening Saturday, July 10th. The exhibition will detail the natural history of Florida through Trappman’s compelling paintings, artifact replicas, fossils, and examples of the resources utilized by ancient Native Americans.

Obscured by Time offers a glimpse of early Florida, its native peoples and geography prior to European contact in the 1500s. A self-taught artist, Trappman’s work explores the life of Florida’s early peoples and is based on artifacts, fossils and other archeological evidence found along the shores of Florida.
This exhibition will be in the History Center’s Third Floor Gallery through September 26th. A variety of programs and workshops are also planned. For more information, visit our website.

Tampa Sports History, Interview with Perry Van Der Beck: Part 1

Perry Van Der Beck made history with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in 1978 as the first high school soccer player ever drafted by a North American Soccer League team. The talented midfielder stood out as an amateur by winning two high school state championships and representing the United States in international competition at every level, including the Olympic team. Van Der Beck enjoyed a 19-year playing career, nine of which came as a member of the Rowdies. Today, Van Der Beck serves as the Technical Directory and Director of Player Development for the Rowdies in the USSF Division 2 soccer league. Van Der Beck recently took time out to chat about everything and anything related to his life’s passion: soccer.

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the July 2 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tampa Bay History Center is Free for the 4th

For the second year in a row, we're celebrating Independence Day by offering free admission and extended hours on the 4th of July.


Made possible by Bank of America, everyone can enjoy free admission to the History Center's exhibit galleries. With extended hours until 8:30 p.m., visitors can view the Channelside fireworks from our Terrace or the air-conditioned Lykes Atrium.
The Columbia Cafe also offers prime fireworks viewing with extended hours until 10:00 p.m.
 
Parking will be available throughout the Channel District, at the St. Pete Times Forum East Lot, Channelside Parking Garage or the Channelside Surface Lot. Or, consider parking in Ybor City and riding the streetcar.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Course Highlights Zora Neale Hurston

Novelist, anthropologist, collector of folklore. These are just a few of the achievements of Florida's proud daughter, Zora Neale Hurston. A new four-week course offered by the Tampa Bay History Center and USF’s Osher Lifelong Learning Center will explore Hurston’s life and work.

Beginning Wednesday, July 14th at 10:00 a.m., the class will view Jump at the Sun, a new documentary written and produced by St. Petersburg resident Kristy Andersen, and explore Hurston’s work as a novelist, WPA field worker in 1930s-Florida and her role in the Harlem Renaissance, of which she was a key figure.
Andersen and various guest speakers will lead the class through an illuminating look at the uncompromising life of Zora Neale Hurston. Class members will also receive a copy of the film.

Jump at the Sun: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston is a four-week course offered each Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. beginning July 14th. Cost is $40.00. Pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, visit http://www.usfseniors.org/.

In addition, the History Center will also host a special evening screening of Jump at the Sun on August 5th at 7:00 p.m. The screening will be open to the public and include a talk-back session with the filmmaker and Dr. Lois Gaston, Hurston’s great-niece and former president of Hillsborough Community College’s Ybor City campus. Cost is $10.00. Registration in the OLLI course is not required to attend the evening screening.
For more information on the August 5th screening, contact the Tampa Bay History Center.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why Do They Call it That? Charlie Creek and West Tampa

History Center Welcomes Hillsborough Lodge #25

The History Center is proud to welcome Hillsborough Lodge #25 to our Community Case. Founded in 1850, Hillsborough Lodge #25 is the oldest Masonic Lodge in Tampa.

The exhibit, featuring photographs of its many prominent members and objects from its 160-year history, will be on display through September.

Supported by the Wachovia Foundation, the Community Case offers local non-profit organizations the opportunity to present exhibitions highlighting their role in the history of the Tampa Bay area.

If you have a group or organization that you think would be a good fit for the Community Case, contact our Community Relations Manager, Manny Leto.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 6/25/80

In late June 1980, the Tampa Bay Rowdies were a team that shined at home, but struggled mightily on the road. A dismal road trip to Minnesota and Rochester resulted in two losses and a noticeable lack of offensive punch. Could the team's return to Tampa for a showdown at Tampa Stadium against San Diego be the answer to their woes?

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the June 25 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Artifact Spotlight: Lamar Sparkman illustrations of Sandy Warshaw

In the 1950s, Sandy Warshaw had already earned notoriety in Tampa as a local junior tennis sensation. A champion of local and state-wide tournaments, Warshaw eventually rose to as high as fifth in the nation among junior players and won the prestigious Orange Bowl 18-and-Under singles championship in 1959. Just two weeks later, she captured the Dixie International Title by defeating three-time champion Laura Lou Kunnen in three sets. Today, Sandy Warshaw is best known as Sandra W. Freedman, who served two terms between 1986 and 1995 as the 55th mayor of Tampa.

Lamar Sparkman, a renowned cartoonist and artist for the Tampa Times and Tampa Tribune from 1947-87, is one of Tampa’s best-known chroniclers of sport. Local athletes knew they had made it when Sparkman chose them as a subject. One of his most lasting contributions to the Tampa sports scene came in 1975, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers commissioned Sparkman to design the team’s logo. The winking pirate, commonly referred to as “Buccaneer Bruce,” became one of the most recognized logos in all of sports. Sparkman passed away earlier this year at the age of 88, but his contributions to local history will never be forgotten. -- Travis Puterbaugh

2010.013.001-.002
Gift of The Honorable Sandra W. Freedman

Why Do They Call It That? Avon Park & Amenia Avenue

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 6/14/75

In mid-June 1975, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally revealed their team colors and logo. The creation of renowned Tampa Tribune artist/cartoonist Lamar Sparkman, the figure who came to be known as "Buccaneer Bruce" would immediately become one of the most recognizable, and ultimately debated, logos in all of sports.

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the June 18 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 6/15/85

It's hard to believe, but it has been 25 years since the last Tampa Bay Bandits home game. On June 15, 1985, the Bandits concluded their regular season home schedule against the Birmingham Stallions. Limping towards the playoffs, the Bandits desperately needed a win to regain momentum and put a terrible few weeks behind them.

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the June 11 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Florida Conversations at the Tampa Bay History Center Welcomes 'Final Countdown' author, Pat Duggins

The 2009-2010 Florida Conversations Lecture Series concludes with National Public Radio’s “Space Expert” Pat Duggins on Sunday, June 13th, at 3:00 p.m. in TECO Hall. Duggins will discuss his book, Final Countdown: NASA and the End of the Space Shuttle Program.

The Space Shuttle was once the cornerstone of the U.S. space program. However, each new flight brings us one step closer to the retirement of the shuttles in 2010. Final Countdown is the riveting history of NASA's Space Shuttle program, its missions, and its impending demise. It also examines the plans and early development of the space agency’s next major effort: the Orion Crew Exploration Capsule.

Pat Duggins the News Director at Alabama Public Radio. His documentary on the first anniversary of the Columbia accident earned a prestigious First Place National Headliner Award and an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association. Duggins has covered 86 shuttle missions over 20 years.

Florida Conversations is underwritten by the Tampa Bay History Center Endowment Fund at USF. The series is co-sponsored by the USF Libraries Florida Studies Center and the Tampa Bay History Center.

Florida Conversations is free and open to the public. For more information, visit us online or call (813) 228-0097.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tampa Sports History, Interview with Jim McVay

From 1982-1986, Jim McVay served as the Director of Marketing for the Tampa Bay Bandits of the United States Football League. During that time, he devised the marketing strategies for the most innovative and fan-friendly product in the entire league. Today, McVay serves as the President/CEO of the Outback Bowl, one of the most popular and successful games of the college bowl season. McVay recently sat down to reflect on the era of good times and fun known around these parts as “Banditball.” 

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the June 4 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

History Center Hosts Father's Day Watch Party with the Tampa Bay Rays

Bring Dad and the whole family to the Tampa Bay History Center for a free Rays Watch Party on Sunday, June 20th beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Watch the Rays battle the Florida Marlins on a 20-foot LED screen in Cotanchobee Park. Plus, dads get in free to the History Center galleries with one paid admission.

Join Rich Herrera, voice of the Rays Republic, as he broadcasts the pre- and post-game shows live from the History Center.

Kids can hang with Raymond and the Rays street team, swing for the fences in the Ray’s batting cages, play ball on our Nintendo Wii consoles, or slide into the Kids Craft area.

Visit the St. Petersburg Times tent and register Dad to win a special VIP Rays Experience including tickets to a game, player meet-and-greet and on-field passes to watch batting practice.

This special Father’s Day Watch Party is presented by the Tampa Bay History Center, the Tampa Bay Rays, the St. Petersburg Times and TBT, and begins at 12:30. First pitch is at 1:10.

Parking will be available at the St. Pete Times Forum East Lot, Channelside Parking Garage or the Channelside Surface Lot.

For more information, visit our website or call 813-228-0097.

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