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
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


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