Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tampa Bay History Center's First Anniversary Gala

The Tampa Bay History Center Hosted our First Anniversary Gala on Friday, January 22nd.

Over 350 people attended this year's black-tie event, which featured live music from Jazz trio Thick as Thieves. An old-time brass band greeted guests at the entrance to the History Center while special guest pianist Paul Wilborn performed in TECO Hall.

The Gala Committee, led by June Annis, Chose Tampa's historic streetcar as the theme for this year's party. One of 14 "Tampa Icons" hanging in the Lykes Atrium, the streetcar represents the History Center's first year of progress and our movement into the future.

We have included some photos of the Gala from our friends at Cultural Affairs Magazine. More photos are also posted to our Flikr account.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 1/23/85

This week 25 years ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired the second head coach in team history. Would they go with in-house favorite, team defensive coordinator Wayne Fontes, or an established winner like former Atlanta Falcons head coach Leeman Bennett?

To read more, check out the Tampa Sports History blog, or the January 22 print edition of La Gaceta newspaper.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Duckwall Lecture at the Tampa Bay History Center Features Former Governor Bob Martinez and Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Jan Platt

Former Governor Bob Martinez and former Hillsborough County Commissioner Jan Platt will take part in a panel discussion entitled, VJ Day: Tampa Bay at the End of World War II, at the Tampa Bay History Center on Sunday, January 24th at 1:00 pm.

Noted historian Gary Mormino will serve as moderator for the panel which, in addition to Martinez and Platt, will include several other Hillsborough County residents who grew up during the waning years of WWII. Mormino is the director of the Florida Studies program at USF St. Petersburg and author of Land of Sunshine State of Dreams and The Immigrant World of Ybor City.

“The Tampa Bay area was instrumental in the war effort,” said Tampa Bay History Center Curator, Rodney Kite-Powell. “Thousands of pilots received training at MacDill Field and Tampa’s shipyards built ships for the Navy. Many veterans returned to Tampa after the War.”

Sponsored by the Frank E. Duckwall Foundation, the lecture is free and open to the Public. For more information, contact the Tampa Bay History Center at 228-0097 or visit our website.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tampa Bay History Center Book Group and Florida Conversations Lecture Series Features "Ditch of Dreams"

Before Walt Disney enchanted Central Florida and Cuban flair ignited Miami, the intricate bends of the Oklawaha River annually attracted thousands of tourists to the Sunshine State. However, in the wake of the Great Depression, the 1940s introduced a Federal Works Project which threatened to destroy the wild scenery that characterized North Florida’s natural waterways. In a state constantly conflicted by politics and environmentalism, the story of the Cross Florida Barge Canal characterizes the battle between “progress and preservation.”

Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal and Struggle for Florida’s Future, written by Dr. Steven Noll of the University of Florida and Dr. David Tegeder of Santa Fe College, boldly delves into the complexities of the Canal’s political and environmental struggle. After years of elaborate research, Ditch of Dreams reveals a story of environmental citizen advocacy which succeeded in halting the largest Public Works Project in the midst of construction. The history of the Cross Florida Barge Canal reaches beyond its extensive history, in many ways it illustrates Florida’s current political conflicts.

This month the Tampa Bay History Center will feature Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal and Struggle for Florida’s Future at the book group discussion on January 21, at 10:30am. Also, Dr. Steven Noll and Dr. David Tegeder will speak at the Tampa Bay History Center on Sunday, January 31, at 3:00 pm. as part of the Florida Conversation Lecture Series. Both events are free and open to the public.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 1/15/80

This week 30 years ago, the University of South Florida attempted to shake up their struggling men's basketball team by firing Head Coach Chip Conner. With a 4-8 record, the Bulls still had a chance to turn their season around. Did the Bulls respond positively to the change, or would the season go down as one of the worst in USF history?

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

Friday, January 15, 2010

Audrie's Odds and Ends from the Tampa Bay History Center Museum Store

In November 1902, Washington Star political cartoonist Clifford Berryman drew a cartoon entitled, “Drawing the Line in Mississippi”. This illustration, used as a metaphor, was drawn from a news story involving a boundary dispute between Mississippi and Louisiana. The cartoon showed President Theodore Roosevelt, rifle in hand, with his back turned on a cute, cowering, Louisiana Black Bear cub.

The story reported that while on a hunting trip in Mississippi, the President (an avid big game hunter) had trouble finding anything worthy of him discharging his rifle. To accommodate Roosevelt, his staff captured the cub for the President to shoot. The President could not bring himself to kill the cub - the thought of shooting a bear tied to a tree did not seem sporting so he spared the animal’s life and set it free.

Morris Michtom and his wife Rose, Jewish immigrants from Russia and owners of a Brooklyn toy store, inspired by the cartoon, created a hand-sewn, stuffed bear. Intending it only as a display, Michtom placed the stuffed bear in his toy store window along with a copy of the cartoon. Swamped by customers eager to purchase this cute plaything, he asked for and received President Roosevelt’s permission to use Roosevelt’s name for the bears that he and his wife made. And so, the “Teddy Bear” was born.

As an American immigrant success story, Michtom’s company went on to became the Ideal Toy Company which remained in the family until 1970.
Audrie's Odds and Ends is written by our Museum Store Manager, Audrie RaƱon.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 1/5/75

This week 35 years ago, Freddie Solomon of the University of Tampa capped his amateur career with a memorable performance in the Lions All-American Bowl at Tampa Stadium. Solomon hoped to quiet the doubters who regarded him as just an all-around great athlete rather than a pro-quality quarterback as well.

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

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tampa Sports History, 1/3/70

This week 40 years ago, the 2nd Annual All-American Bowl, featuring many of the nation's top college prospects, came to Tampa Stadium. An alleged incident of racial discrimination prior to the game involving several players threatened to mar the otherwise successful event.

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


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