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The Florida History Podcast

The Florida History Podcast

By The Florida History Podcast
A weekly look at a different fascintating topic in Florida History
Cover art photo by Derek Reese. @DR928
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Episode 176: September Hurricanes
With Ian approaching Florida we take a look back at September storms that impacted Florida previously from 1935 to present day.
September 26, 2022
Episode 175: William Bartram, The St Johns River and exploring Florida in the 1700's
In this episode we chronicle the 1774 journey of William Bartram through East Florida and exploration of the St Johns River. 
September 20, 2022
Episode 174: The DeSoto Trail
In this short episode, we discuss sites in Florida associated with the DeSoto trail. 
September 13, 2022
Episode 173: Cross Florida Barge Canal
We discuss the Cross Florida Barge Canal project, long in the making that got cancelled in 1971. 
September 06, 2022
Episode 172 - The Spanish American War and Florida
We discuss Florida's central role in the US' first modern military conflict: the Spanish-American War of 1898.
August 30, 2022
Episode 171- Zachary Taylor and Florida
We discuss General and President Zachary Taylor's tremendous relationship and impact upon Florida.
August 23, 2022
Episode 170 - The Saltwater Railroad
We discuss the escape of runaway slaves to the Bahamas and Caribbean via Florida in the 1800's. 
August 16, 2022
Episode 169: James Bond and Florida
Of the first 16 movies in the 007 franchise, Florida was involved in filming of  five of them, with Goldfinger and License to Kill being set partly in Florida. We discuss those films, plus why Casino Royale was not filmed in Florida despite much of the movie being set in Miami. 
August 09, 2022
Episode 168: The Reedy Creek Improvement District
We discuss the history of Disney's Reddy Creek Improvement District, signed into law in 1967 and rescinded in 2022 by the Florida Legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis.  
August 02, 2022
Episode 167: Revisiting Florida and Watergate
We launch a new season of the podcast today. New topics and fresh looks/deeper dives at topics we've previously discussed.  In this podcast, 50 years on we take a fresh look at Watergate and Florida. 
July 26, 2022
Episode 166 (Video) - Andrew Young Crossing, St Augustine
The Civil Rights movements St Augustine campaign had one of its most important moments at this spot. 
July 20, 2022
Episode 165 (VIDEO)- Chief Osceola’s resting place
Chief Osceola’s resting place is in South Carolina where he was moved after being taken prisoner. 
July 19, 2022
Episode 164: Fort King
We discuss Fort King, an important(present) Marion County US fort which existed from 1827 to 1844.
July 12, 2022
Episode 163: Silver Springs
Silver Springs, Florida's original tourist attraction first opened in 1878.
July 05, 2022
Episode 162- Florida GOP 2000-2022
In part two of our look back at the Florida GOP’s evolution we cover the years from Jeb Bush to Ron DeSantis.
June 28, 2022
Episode 161: Florida Republicans 1960-2000
We discuss the evolution of the Florida GOP from 1960 to 2000 talking ideology, environment and political success
June 21, 2022
Episode 160 (Video) : Second Battle of the Loxahatchee River
We look at the site of the second battle of the Loxahatchee River which took place in January 1838.
June 14, 2022
Episode 159 (VIDEO): First Battle of Loxahatchee- Powell’s Battle
Our first video episode features the battle site of Powell’s Battle, The First Battle of Loxahatchee in the second Seminole War. 
June 07, 2022
Podcast Update- June 2022
Update on Podcast - next few weeks we will feature video programming also available on YouTube. A new season of audio content with Robert & Kartik beginning in July is being planned now. Thanks for listening!
June 05, 2022
Episode 158: Second Spanish Period
We close out our Albion Florida series with a quick look at the Second Spanish Period from 1784-1821. We discuss lingering British influence, a state of anarchy that has developed and Florida’s importance to the new United States which sought to incorporate it in the new nation. 
May 31, 2022
Episode 157- St Augustine 1780-1783
St Augustine's population swelled with loyalists and prisoners' including signers of the Declaration of Independence. By early 1781, St Augustine had one of the largest populations in British North America and was heavily fortified. British St Augustine was at its apex, but American victory at Yorktown would change everything. 
May 24, 2022
Episode 156: Pensacola liberated from the British
We discuss the 1781 siege of Pensacola and its critical role in securing the ultimate American victory at Yorktown, later that year. 
May 17, 2022
Episode 155: West Florida in the American Revolution Part 1
We discuss the Spanish and American efforts to free West Florida from British rule between 1779 and 1781. 
May 10, 2022
Episode 154 - Revolutionary War battles in East Florida
The American Continental Army tried three times to invade East Florida. The region had a military significance and even George Washington was concerned about the British presence in St Augustine. All three times they were repulsed before crossing the St Johns River. 
May 03, 2022
Episode 153: Revolutionary War begins, Florida is invaded
We discuss Governor Patrick Tonyn's missteps that left East Florida vulnerable as well as the Continental Army's first attempted invasion for East Florida. 
April 26, 2022
Episode 152- Catholicism and other factors that kept Florida loyal during the Revolution
Why did Florida stay loyal to Britain during the American Revolution?  We discuss the factors. 
April 19, 2022
Episode 151- Introduction to the American Revolution in Florida
We introduce why Florida was so important in the American Revolution despite the lack of teaching about it in schools. 
April 12, 2022
Episode 150: British Florida 1763-1775
We discuss the repopulation of St Augustine, Pensacola's importance, the founding of New Smyrna Beach, the early citrus industry and the St Johns River in this episode. 
April 05, 2022
Episode 149: Florida Becomes British
In this episode we discuss the British takeover of Florida and why  the British made Florida an important strategic point in their empire. Florida was , contrary to the mythical American narrative about the era, critical between 1763 and 1782.   We begin the road to the American Revolution with this episode. 
March 29, 2022
Episode 148: Economics of slavery and War of Jenkins Ear
In this episode we discuss the economics of slavery and The War of Jenkins Ear including the 1740 British Siege of St Augustine .
March 22, 2022
Episode 147: Fort Mose & Stono Rebellion : Free Blacks and Enslaved African-Americans
The first free African-American settlement in North America is created in Florida and that leads to the region's largest largest slave rebellion to the north in South Carolina. We discuss that and the general build up to the War of Jenkins Ear.
March 15, 2022
Episode 146: Queen Anne's War Part 2- Apalachee Massacre, Siege of Pensacola, Florida depopulated
In this episode we discuss the worst period of Florida's Colonial History,  Queen Anne's War from 1703 onward. This period left Florida depopulated and an economic basket-case, a far cry from the thriving colony of the previous 100 years. 
March 08, 2022
Episode 145: Queen Anne's War kicks off. Battle of the Flint River and 1702 Siege of St Augustine
We discuss the origins of Queen Anne's War including its links to the European War of Spanish Succession.  The war kicked off in 1702 and would prove a calamitous event for Florida. We discuss the issues in 1702, and the battles that took place that year. including the siege of St Augustine  by the English. 
March 01, 2022
Episode 144: Building the Castillo de San Marcos
On the second episode of our Albion Florida series we discuss the reasons the Castillo de San Marcos was built, the frequent raiding of La Florida by English and French pirates as well as the founding on Pensacola and the process by which the Spanish Crown finally built a secure fort in St Augustine. 
February 22, 2022
Episode 143: Albion Florida Intro; El Camino Real and why Florida was different
In the introduction to our series designed to bust historical myths, we discuss why Florida was different than the other European colonies in North America as well as discussing the El Camino Real road that connected St Augustine with towns in the interior of the colony. 
February 15, 2022
Albion Florida Promo
Why are we launching a new podcast series about colonial Florida? We answer that here. 
February 11, 2022
Episode 142- Populist Florida Governors
We discuss previous Florida Governors whose ideology wasn't conservative or liberal but were in fact populists.
February 08, 2022
Episode 141 - Florida Legislative Investigative Committee and the Purple Pamphlet
We discuss a particularly infamous legislative panel in Florida's History- the Charley Johns led FLIC. 
February 01, 2022
Episode 140 - The Tallahassee Sit Ins
We discuss the Tallahassee Sit Ins, a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights movement.
January 25, 2022
Episode 139 - MLK Jr , Florida and Civil Rights
For Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday we discuss Civil Rights and 1964 in Florida including the St Augustine Movement and legislative fights over Civil Rights. 
January 18, 2022
Episode 138- The second act of Claude Pepper
Claude Pepper's second political career as a member of the US House of Representatives from 1963 until his death in 1989 stands as one of the greatest second acts in American political history. 
January 11, 2022
Episode 137- Jimmy Carter and Florida
We discuss President Jimmy Carter's history with the State of Florida. 
January 04, 2022
Episode 136: JFK's deep Florida ties
MSNBC contributor Fernand Amandi joins us to discuss the extensive ties between President John F. Kennedy and the state of Florida. 
December 28, 2021
Episode 135: Former Secretary of State Bruce Smathers on his father Senator George Smathers (Part 1)
Former Secretary of State Bruce Smathers joins us to discuss the legacy of his father the late US senator George Smathers.  We discuss Senator Smathers time in the US House, the 1950election and his  ascendency into the Democratic Party leadership in the US Senate.
December 21, 2021
Episode 134: The Beatles and Florida
MSNBC contributor Fernand Amandi joins Kartik Krishnaiyer to discuss the surprisingly extensive links between the Beatles and the State of Florida. Outside the United Kingdom and perhaps India, it can be argued Florida contributed more to the Beatles story than any other place on the planet. 
December 14, 2021
Episode 133: Governor William D. Moseley and "Let Us Alone"
Current Florida Governor Ron DeSantis embraced the motto "Let Us Alone" in introducing his new Florida Guard idea.  On this edition of The Florida History Podcast, Robert Buccellato and Kartik Krishnaiyer discuss Democratic Governor William Dunn Moseley who originated the motto and used it on his personal state flag. Moseley was a leading establishment Democrat who became the state's first Governor after statehood winning a close contest with former Territorial Governor, Richard Keith Call, a Whig. Moseley was a Jacksonian Democrat, Call more of a Clay Whig, as Florida politics resembled broader US politics at the time. 
December 08, 2021
Episode 132: Why the Smathers Project?
We've talked a lot about George Smathers on previous podcasts, but why is The Florida Squeeze and this podcast launching a project to look comprehensively at Smathers career? We answer that question this week. 
November 30, 2021
Episode 131: Florida Interstates that plowed through African-American neighborhoods
Last week, Governor Ron DeSantis in response to the idea of systemic racism in highway building said "a road is a road." Well, on this week's podcast we will demonstrate that is not the case with several examples from the state of Florida where roads were built right through African-American neighborhoods. Brook Hines joins Kartik Krishnaiyer to discuss this sorry history. 
November 18, 2021
Episode 130: Charles Bennett
We look back at the life of Congressman Charles Bennett with a special contribution from Florida Squeeze writer and former Bennett staffer, Scott Gaillard. We also discus our upcoming Florida Squeeze series on Senator George Smathers.
November 09, 2021
Episode 129: Millard Caldwell
On this episode we look back at Congressman and Governor Millard Caldwell who led the state during World War II.
November 02, 2021
Episode 128: 1974 Governor's Election
Reubin Askew originally didn't want to run for re-election. He eventually choose to run for a second term as Governor. In the race, he overcame a well-funded Democratic primary challenge from the right and a party-switching former Senate President in the General. 
October 26, 2021
Episode 127: Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs, Florida's first African-American statewide official
On Episode 127 we discus Florida's first African-American statewide elected official, Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs. 
October 12, 2021
Episode 126: Josiah Walls, Florida's first African-American Congressman
On today's episode we debut our new audio studio mixing setup - Kartik Krishnaiyer flies solo in discussing the career of Josiah Walls, Florida's first African-American member of Congress who served the state in Washington during the 1870's. Smalls was a freed slave who won the Republican nomination for House in 1870 after serving briefly in the State Senate. He returned to the State Senate after being unseated from Congress and was also briefly the Mayor of Gainesville before teaching at what is now Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. 
October 05, 2021
Podcast Update: Better audio, improved production and new features
We give an audio update on improvements we are currently undertaking to the podcast. 
September 28, 2021
Episode 125: Patrick D. Smith
We discuss one of Florida's greatest authors, Patrick D. Smith author of A Land Remembered and more. 
September 21, 2021
Episode 124: Great Miami Hurricane and the start of the Great Depression
On this week's Florida History Podcast we discuss the devastating 1926 hurricane that (adjusted for inflation) is the most costly hurricane in terms of economic damages in American history. 
September 14, 2021
Episode 123: The Florida Land Boom of the 1920's
The Florida land boom and bust of the 1920's led directly to the Great Depression. 
September 07, 2021
Episode 122: The Florida Parishes and the Republic of West Florida
Why are a group of parishes in Louisiana called "The Florida Parishes?" We answer that question and discuss the short lived Republic of West Florida in this episode. 
August 31, 2021
Episode 121: The Highwaymen
We discuss some of the greatest Florida artists, the African-American Highwaymen this week. 
August 24, 2021
Episode 120: Civil War politics in Florida
We discuss the decision to secede from the union and the politics of Florida during the Civil War in this espisode.
August 17, 2021
Episode 119: Civil War Florida Railroads
On this episode we discuss railroads during the Civil War period in Florida 
August 10, 2021
Episode 118: Wayne Mixson
We discuss former Florida LT Governor and Governor Wayne Mixson who recently passed away.
August 03, 2021
Episode 117: Citrus and the Great Freeze of 1894-95
We discuss the great freeze of 1894-95 it’s impact on the citrus industry and it triggering a growth of citrus in California while also promoting Henry Flagler to extend his railroad to Miami. Florida’s citrus industry recovered eventually but citrus production was cut by almost 600% at one point due to the freeze’s impact and even five years later Florida was only producing 20% of the citrus crop it did before the freeze. In time areas like Polk County and Indian River region became mega-Citrus producing areas and eventually Florida became one of the world’s largest citrus producing areas again.
July 27, 2021
Episode 116: Memories of Ralph Turlington
Memories of the recently departed Ralph Turlington
July 20, 2021
Episode 115: Ralph Turlington
We look back at the career of former Speaker of the House and Commissioner of Education Ralph Turlington. 
July 13, 2021
Episode 114: Depression era Florida governance
In Episode 114 we talk about Great Depression era Florida governance. 
July 06, 2021
Episode 113: The First Underground Railroad Part 4
We conclude our series on the first Underground Railroad, Freedom in Florida with a look at the 1784 to 1821 time period when the Spanish again ruled East and West Florida. 
June 29, 2021
Episode 112: Critical Race Theory and the teaching of history in Florida
On Episode 112 of the Florida History Podcast, Kartik Krishnaiyer gives his own views on Critical Race Theory and the teaching of history in Florida schools. His view is nuanced but also very critical of Governor DeSantis and the myths of American History, but also critical of the narrative that eliminates Florida's importance and discounts the importance of Anti-Semitism and Anti-Catholicism in Florida and the US. 
June 22, 2021
Episode 111: The First Underground Railroad, Freedom in Florida Part 3- The American Revolution
In Part III of our series on runaway slaves finding freedom in Florida we cover the American Revolution and slaves from southern plantations escaping the newly-declared independent United States to the British Colony of East Florida. We also discuss the efforts of the British to arm slaves and strike terror into the hearts of patriot plantation owners by sending brigades of slaves and former slaves that were armed in Florida into Georgia and the Carolina's. 
June 15, 2021
Episode 110: The First Underground Railroad - Freedom in Florida Part 2
This episode covers the period between 1739 and 1763. In 1740, Britain and Spain were once again at war.  For the British in London, knocking Spain out of the war was strategic in a larger global conflict. For the Anglo-American colonists in Georgia and the Carolina’s invading Florida was more about crushing black freedom and extending slavery.  Another clear motivation was the hostility of Anglican settlers of the British areas to Catholicism. We discuss the heroic defense of St Augustine in 1740 and other African-American exploits in this period including the founding of Fort Mose II. 
June 08, 2021
Episode 109: Freedom in Florida, the first underground railroad Part 1
Spanish Florida had been a thriving colony in the early 1600’s but beginning around 1650, measles outbreaks, raids from the English, the French and from Pirates began weakening the mission-based economy of the region. This culminated with Queen Anne’s War which decimated Florida. Absent the gold of other Spanish colonies in the Americas, Spain actively looked for those who would “serve” the crown in its military and economic needs in Florida. This included enticing slaves from English territories to flee to Florida and achieve freedom if they converted to Catholicism. This was made an official policy in 1693 by edict of King Carlos II. This willingness to harbor runaway slaves would alter the relationship between Florida and its neighbors to the north for the next 90 years. In fact, African runaway slaves and Native Americans would prove exceedingly loyal to defending Spanish Florida from English invasions during the 1700’s. In this first episode of a miniseries within our podcast, we discuss runaway slaves and the founding of Fort Mose. This podcast covers the period from the mid 1600's to the Stono Rebellion in South Carolina in 1739. 
June 01, 2021
Episode 108: Jim Williams
On this week's podcast, Robert Buccellato remembers his friend, the late Jim Williams who served in the State Senate, as Lt. Governor and as Deputy US Secretary of Agriculture under Jimmy Carter. 
May 25, 2021
Episode 107: Hernando De Soto's Florida Mission
In 1539 Hernando De Soto landed on the west coast of Florida and made history as the first European to explore the future United States of America. 
May 18, 2021
Episode 106: Dempsey Barron: The Master of the Florida Senate
In Episode 106 we discuss Dempsey Barron, the most powerful Florida Senator in modern history. 
May 11, 2021
Episode 105: Angola, Florida. A settlement for runaway slaves in Manatee County
We discuss Angola, a settlement of runaway slaves that existed between 1810 and 1821. The settlement was destroyed on the orders of Andrew Jackson.
May 04, 2021
Episode 104: Fort Lauderdale and Spring Break
This week we discuss Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale from the 1940's until the 1980's. 
April 27, 2021
Episode 103: 1954 Governor's Race and the future of Florida - Leroy Collins v Charlie Johns
We look back at arguably the most important Governor's race in Florida's History - the 1954 Governor's Race. 
April 20, 2021
Episode 102: 1952 Governor's Election
We talk about the historic 1952 Governor's Election. 
April 13, 2021
Episode 101: How Pensacola and West Florida led to the Siege of Yorktown and American independence
In 1781, The Spanish captured Pensacola, the capital of West Florida from the British. The events and diplomacy around the siege and capture of Pensacola led directly to George Washington's finest hour - his victory at Yorktown months later. In this episode we continue the narrative from Episode 99 and discuss how it directly led to American victory over the British. 
April 06, 2021
Episode 100: Why we love Florida History and why we've never had a Floridian elected President
In Episode 100 we reflect on our first 100 shows and discuss why we love Florida history and eventually why no one from Florida has ever been elected President or Vice President. 
March 30, 2021
Episode 99: The American Revolution in West Florida
On this episode we discuss the American Revolution in British West Florida prior to the Siege and Battle of Pensacola. The British Colony of West Florida included areas that are part of the modern day US states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.   American naval operations liberated the Lake Ponchatrain area while the Spanish successfully captured Baton Rouge, Natchez and Mobile from the British. 
March 23, 2021
Episode 97: The complicated route history of I-75 in Florida
I-75's originally authorized route to Tampa was completed in 1964. However over the next few decades efforts would be made to extend I-75 and reroute it as well. We go through the complicated efforts and twists and turns in the road in this episode. 
March 09, 2021
Episode 96: Listener Q's 1 - Henry Flagler, The Governor's Mansion, Big Sugar and Colonial St Augustine
In this episode we answer listener questions on multiple topics including Henry Flagler and the allegations of a black shanty town being burnt down, The Governor's Mansion, the bipartisan fight to make Big Sugar pay for Everglades cleanup and a comparison of Colonial St Augustine to cities in the 13 British Colonies to the north. 
March 02, 2021
Episode 95: Edison and Ford winter homes
In Episode 95 we discuss Thomas Edison and Hnery Ford's winter exploits in Florida and discuss the politics of the Gilded Age and the GM-Ford rivalry. 
February 23, 2021
Episode 94: Florida and Presidents
In this episode we take a look at Robert Buccellato's latest book which covers Presidents visiting Florida. 
February 16, 2021
Episode 93: Muhammad Ali in Miami
As immortalized in the 2020 Regina King film, One Night in Miami, much of Muhammad Ali's boxing career and political activism were made in the Sunshine State. 
February 09, 2021
Episode 92: Florida and Watergate
Florida played a big role in the Watergate Scandal. We discuss all the links on this edition of the podcast. 
February 02, 2021
Episode 91: 1968 Miami Protests and Riots during Republican National Convention
Less famous that the demonstrations and riots during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the protests during the 1968 RNC in Miami were an important event in one of the most critical years in American History. 
January 26, 2021
Episode 90: FDR Assassination attempt - 1933 in Miami
Before taking office in 1933, President-Elect Franklin D. Roosevelt was fortunate to escape assassination while giving a speech at Bayfront Park in Miami. The Mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak who was with FDR was hit and died three weeks later. 
January 19, 2021
Episode 89: Pandemics and Florida, 1918 to 2021
In this episode we refresh a podcast we first released in March about the 1918 Pandemic, in light of the spike in cases of the current COVID-19 pandemic in Florida. 
January 12, 2021
Episode 88: Florida Politics and The Everglades since 1970
For a second straight week, Michael Grunwald from Politico Magazine and the author of The Swamp joins us to discuss politics and the Florida Everglades. 
January 05, 2021
Episode 87: Michael Grunwald joins us to discuss the Big Cypress Jetport
Michael Grunwald, author of award-winning book The Swamp and current Politico Magazine writer joins us to discuss the controversy over the building of the Big Cypress Jetport in the late 1960's. We discuss the political and ecological battles that took place in this period. 
December 29, 2020
Episode 86: I-10 and other Tallahassee road fights
The route I-10 takes through the Tallahassee area today was not the original route that was sought. It wasn't even the second or third choice. We discuss that and also other fights about roads through wooded and rural areas of North Florida on this week's Florida History Podcast. 
December 22, 2020
Episode 85: Circa 1600's Spanish Missions and its impact on Colonial Florida
On this episode of The Florida History Podcast we discuss Spanish Mission in Florida during the 1600's, the collapse of the missions after the English Invasions during Queen Anne's War and how the collapse of the missions destroyed Florida's economy. 
December 15, 2020
Episode 84: Fuller Warren, Florida's Huey Long
In this episode we discuss Fuller Warren, one of the most controversial and colorful characters in the state's political history. 
December 08, 2020
Episode 83: Runaway Slaves on the Apalachicola River, The War of 1812 and Andrew Jackson
On Episode 83 we discuss the Negro Fort (in modern Franklin County) which was a harbor for runaway slaves encouraged by British abolitionists and Spanish officials. Andrew Jackson and the pro-slavery United States destroyed the fort and killed 334 people in 1816, the single biggest resistance by African-Americans to white military power in North America prior to the Civil War. 
December 01, 2020
Episode 82: 2020 Presidential Election in historical context part 2
Part 2 of our discussion on the 2020 Election in a historical context.
November 25, 2020
Episode 81: McCarthyism in Florida: The Johns Committee and the Purple Pamphlet
In Episode 81 we discuss Charley Johns infamous Legislative Committee which investigated the NAACP, academics and civil rights groups. It also produced the infamous "purple pamphlet" meant to condemn Homosexuality in Florida. 
November 19, 2020
Episode 80: Florida's 2020 Presidential Election in Historical Context Part 1
On part 1 of our look at Donald Trump's Florida victory in a historical context, Kartik Krishnaiyer is joined by Dave Trotter of Mr. Trotter had the most accurate modeling of Florida's elections in both 2018 and 2020.  Among the topics discussed are the GOP's turning of traditional Democratic areas, Trump's success with Latino voters and the rebuilt Republican horseshoe, a key to the party's success in the state. 
November 15, 2020
Episode 79: 1970 Florida Elections
On the 50th Anniversary of the 1970 Election which saw the statewide elevation of Lawton Chiles and Reubin Askew as well as the defeat of prominent Republicans we look back at that crazy cycle in Florida. 
November 03, 2020
Episode 78: Minorcans in Florida
On this week's Florida History Podcast we discuss the oldest community of continued settled Floridians of European descent- the Minorcans of St Augustine. 
October 27, 2020
Episode 77: Hurricane Wilma
15 years ago this week, South Florida was devastated by Hurricane Wilma. 
October 20, 2020
Episode 76: Florida forts in the Civil War
Three Florida forts played critical roles in the Civil War. We discuss them on this week's podcast. 
October 13, 2020
Episode 75: 1876 and 1976 Presidential Elections in Florida
Florida was one of the epicenters of the Centennial and Bicentennial year Presidential Elections.
October 06, 2020
Episode 74: Presidential Holidays in Florida
Beginning with Harry Truman's Little White House through Mar-a-Lago and Donald Trump, Florida has since the 1940's been a frequent Presidential retreat. 
September 29, 2020
Episode 73: High Tech Florida
From the 1970's to the 1990's, Florida with its governing principles and quality of life amenities became a hub for tech innovation. the IBM PC was created in Boca Raton by a Florida-born and raised engineer. Also many other high tech startups and established companies called Florida home at the time. We discuss this history on this week's podcast.
September 22, 2020
Episode 72: MGM Studios and Disney v Universal
In the late 1980's Florida saw two major film studio plan and build studio-related amusement parks in Central Florida. We discuss it here. 
September 15, 2020
Episode 71: When Florida had two men who claimed the Governorship
In 1872, Florida in midst of Reconstruction was the site of great political intrigue as both the sitting Governor and sitting Lt. Governor claimed the office. 
September 08, 2020
Episode 70: Labor Day 1935 Keys Hurricane tragedy
The 1935 Keys Hurricane is the strongest on record to ever hit the United States. It was a tragedy that saw hundreds of World War I veterans lose their lives. We discuss the Bonus Army protest, the eventual deployment of many of the veterans to Florida and the tragic events of September 1-2, 1935. 
September 01, 2020
Episode 69: Katrina and Florida
On the 15th Anniversary of Katrina we look back at the tragic storm's impacts on both south Florida and the Panhandle. . 
August 25, 2020
Episode 68: EPCOT Center
We look back at the history of EPCOT Center and the involvement of the state in the building of the Disney park. We also discuss Florida's heady days of the 1980's when the state was at the cutting edge of the technology and aerospace industries. 
August 18, 2020
Episode 67: Defunct Florida Amusement Parks
We discuss bygone roadside attractions and amusement parks in this episode. 
August 11, 2020
Episode 66: The political fights over the building of Florida's Turnpike
The fight over the building and route of the Sunshine State Parkway (now Florida's Turnpike) were a major part of Florida politics from the late 1940's to the mid 1960's. In the end everyone wanted credit for helping to build the road that contributed to Florida's transformation from sleepy backwater to mega-state - but not everyone deserved credit. We discuss it on this podcast.  
August 04, 2020
Episode 65: Special- Reconstruction in Florida
With Black Lives Matter protests and controversies about Confederate statues dominating non-COVID headlines in Summer 2020, we revisit the Reconstruction Era in Florida. 
July 28, 2020
Episode 64: Achille Murat, Florida's Napoleonic connection
In Episode 64 we discuss Achille Murat, Florida's connection to Napoleon Bonaparte. 
July 21, 2020
Episode 63: The Rosewood Massacre
1920's Florida was a violent place racially. The state which recorded the most per capita lynchings in nation between 1901 to 1950 is especially infamous for one particularly gruesome event - the Rosewood Massacre. Neil Blackmon joins us to discuss the horrible events. 
July 14, 2020
Episode 62: Florida Politics in 1968
With 2020 raging we look back at Florida's political scene in a year 2020 has been compared to - 1968. 
July 07, 2020
Episode 61: Selma and 1968: The post-Governorship of Leroy Collins
On this week's edition of The Florida History Podcast, we discuss Governor Leroy Collins historic work after leaving the Governorship. Collins played a critical and often under-discussed role in ensuring the Selma to Montgomery march went ahead and ran in 1968 for the US Senate - a race where his moderate racial views ran head on into racially-conservative late 1960's Florida. 
June 30, 2020
Episode 60: Florida Governors, Racism and Civil Rights
In Episode 60 we look at how three very different governors handled race relations in the state. 
June 23, 2020
Episode 59: Lynchings, KKK activity and racial reconciliation in Florida
We discuss the history of lynchings in Florida and the debate over racial reconciliation in the 1990's and 2000's related to lynchings and racial violence.  NOTE: we plan to have individual podcasts in the future on specific events like Rosewood, this is a general narrative. 
June 16, 2020
Episode 58: The Condo Commandos
In Episode 58 we discuss the Condo Commandos, a group of leaders that made and broke elections in Florida for decades. 
June 09, 2020
Episode 57: Florida's history of urban racial riots and MLK Jr. 1964 St Augustine movement
In this special episode of The Florida History podcast, released early this week due to the civil disobedience and protesting going on nationally in the wake of George Floyd's murder, we look back at Florida's history with urban racial strife in the 1980's and 1990's. The 1980 Miami riots were the worst urban riots in the United States between the end of the Civil Rights era and the 1992 post-Rodney King verdict LA riots. In the second half of the podcast we review Martin Luther King's historic campaign in America's oldest European settlement, St Augustine and how it influenced Congress to pass the  landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. 
May 31, 2020
Episode 56: Expressway Revolts and Secondary Toll Roads in Florida
On this week's edition of The Florida History Podcast, Brook Hines joins us to discuss the development of activism and community involvement around opposing expressway building in urban areas. A national movement that began outside Florida, expressway revolts broke out across the Tampa Bay area and south Florida in the 1970's and 1980's. 
May 26, 2020
Episode 55: Florida's War of 1812: Patriots, James Madison, the Spanish and the British
The War of 1812 has for whatever reason a certain obscurity in American History. Even more obscure is the so-called "Patriot Rebellion" and American invasion of Spanish Florida in 1812. A conflict peripherally connected to the larger war between the United States and Great Britain (including the British colonial possessions in Canada), American forces actually invaded Florida and raised the stars and stripes on Amelia Island. A conflict that flared on and off for several years, even included the declaration of a "Republic of East Florida," and the creation of legislative and judicial institutions. 
May 19, 2020
Episode 54: Great Jacksonville Fire of 1901 and Roosevelt Hotel Fire of 1963
The Great Jacksonville Fire of May 3, 1901 is the third worst urban fire in American history. The city was witness to another tragic fire in December 1963 as the Roosevelt Hotel was the scene of tragedy while it played host to several famous guests in the midst of the holiday season. We discuss both fires on this edition of The Florida History Podcast.
May 12, 2020
Episode 53: Space Coast history and military voting in Florida
Brook Hines joins us to discuss the evolution of the Space Coast from the time of the first space launches from Cape Canaveral in the 1950's to today. We discuss the political, residential and social evolution of the area in addition to comparing the Space Coast to the Florida Panhandle and South California in terms of its voting patterns and military influence. 
May 05, 2020
Episode 52: Smathers v Pepper and the rise of McCarthyism
Ryan Ray joins us to discuss the epic 1950 US Senate Democratic Primary between liberal New Deal Senator Claude Pepper and moderate Cold Warrior Congressman George Smathers. Arguably the dirtiest US Senate campaign in 20th Century American History, the Smathers win ushered in the era of McCarthyism and red-baiting in campaigns across the country. 
April 28, 2020
Episode 51: Robert King High
Today we look back at a great Mayor of Miami and statewide figure, Robert King High who passed all too young at the age of 43. 
April 21, 2020
Episode 50: Florida Governors tough decision points
For our landmark 50th episode, in the midst of the crisis around COVID-19, we look back at major crises faced in the past by Florida Governors and how each individual coped with it. We take a look at the process of decision making and the influences on each Governor in the midst of crisis.  We will resume to our normal weekly releases, on Tuesday this coming week. Episode 51 will be released on April 21. 
April 17, 2020
Episode 49: Rum Runners and Moonshiners of Old Florida
In Episode 49 we discuss the prohibition era in Florida in detail, particularly the rum running that took place using Florida's vast coastline. 
April 13, 2020
Episode 48: Dan McCarty and the making of modern Florida
In Episode 48 we discuss one of the most famous and important Floridians of the 20th Century - Dan McCarty.
April 06, 2020
Episode 47: Robert Searle's St Augustine raid and the founding of South Carolina
Few events in Florida's history had as direct an impact on the policies of the Spanish colony as the 1670 founding of Charleston, South Carolina. In this episode of the Florida History Podcast we go through the events that immediately proceeded 1670 including English Pirate Robert Searle's raid on St Augustine. 
March 31, 2020
Episode 46: 1918 Influenza in Florida
As much of Florida continues to be locked down due to the Coronvirus pandemic we look back at a previous pandemic that killed thousands in our state. 
March 27, 2020
Episode 45: Central Florida toll roads
In this episode Dave Trotter joins us to discuss the history of toll roads in Central Florida and how they helped fuel the explosive growth of the region.
March 24, 2020
Episode 44: Sir Frances Drake and the 1586 English sacking of St Augustine
Sir Frances Drake, a famous figure in English history raided St Augustine in May 1586. The Spanish settlement was destroyed as Drake attacked Florida in the midst of the Anglo-Spanish War. Two years later Drake would be among the English commanders in the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Drake's raid had major impacts as the Spanish crown decided to consolidate it's Florida settlement at St Augustine, abandoning points north. It also led to a greater fortification of the town, which led into the 1600's, a time when St Augustine was one of the most prosperous settlements in what is now the United States. 
March 17, 2020
Episode 43: Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
In Episode 43 we look back at Florida's first populist Governor and his scheme to drain the Everglades. 
March 10, 2020
Episode 42: Pat Tornillo and the Statwide Teachers Strike of 1968
Florida was ground zero for a major moment in which the Labor movement and Public Employees Unions were changed for ever. 
March 03, 2020
Episode 41: George Smathers, JFK, LBJ and Nixon
George Smathers wasn't just an eyewitness to power. He was near the center of it. One of the few Americans in the twentieth century to have had a close personal relationship with three Presidents, Smathers came of age when he beat liberal incumbent Senator Claude Pepper in the 1950 Democratic Primary. Smathers, generally a conservative Democrat was very different than the progressive Pepper - Smathers was cozy with power and pragmatic with his voting record and ideology.  He was an important figure both politically and personally in Washington and back home in Miami.  We discuss his career in this week's podcast. 
February 25, 2020
Episode 40: Miami Beach
In Episode 40 we delve into the history of one of the most famous places in Florida - Miami Beach. 
February 18, 2020
Episode 39: The Florida Presidential Primary
Beginning in 1972, Florida's Presidential Primary became a critical event in the Democratic Party's nominating process. Starting in 1976, it was an important date on the GOP's nomination calendar. Throughout the 1980's and 1990's Florida played a critical role. But as other states moved up their primaries, Florida was largely irrelevant in 2000 and 2004. Then in 2007 the legislature moved the 2008 primary up to late January, a move rejected by both national parties. Dropped back to a traditional March date, Florida surprisingly ended up playing a critical role in the GOP's nominating process in both 2012 and 2016. 
February 11, 2020
Episode 38: Andrew Jackson and Florida
Andrew Jackson is one of the most controversial and significant figures in American history. He is also one of the most significant and controversial figures in Florida history. The conqueror of Florida for the United States, Jackson hostility to Native Americans and runaway slaves drove his desire to overthrow the Spanish administration in the area. We discuss Jackson's flaws as well as his few redeeming qualities in this week's episode. 
February 04, 2020
Episode 37: The American Revolution - Florida's role
Few history books or common conversations about the American Revolution mention Florida. But our state saw battles fought on our soil and lots of side impacts from the war. We discuss them in this week's show. 
January 28, 2020
Episode 36: Reubin Askew
Arguably Florida's greatest Governor. we look back at Reubin Askew's career. 
January 21, 2020
Episode 35: Martin Luther King Jr. in St Augustine
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was debated and passed while Martin Luther King Jr. brought great attention to the racial practices of Florida by leading a movement in St Augustine for integration during the Spring of 1964. We relive the St Augustine movement this week in honor of MLK Jr.'s birthday. 
January 13, 2020
Episode 34: Impeachment and Florida
We look back at the Watergate scandal's Florida origins, Florida's role in the Clinton impeachment and talk about the current proceedings against Donald Trump and its Florida ties. 
January 07, 2020
Episode 33: Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is a unique global environmental gem. We discuss the history of the park in this episode. 
December 31, 2019
Episode 32: Snow and cold blasts in Florida
White Christmas' are rare in Florida, but cold blasts around the Holidays have had an impact on the state 
December 24, 2019
Episode 31: Ancient Spanish Monastery in Florida
A short episode this week as we discuss the Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach, the oldest European-built structure in the United States. 
December 17, 2019
Episode 30: I-4 corridor political evolution
Political scientist Dave Trotter an expert on historical trends in Florida politics joins us to talk about the evolution of ideology, partisan preferences and elections since the 1950's in the areas of Florida around Interstate 4. 
December 10, 2019
Episode 29: Biscayne National Park grows from Islandia and Stiltsville
Biscayne National Park is one of the most unique geographic features in the United States. But the areas that are now part of the national park were almost developed. The creation of the park was one of the great early victories for Florida's burgeoning environmental movement. In Episode 29, we discuss the fight to designate Biscayne a national park. 
December 03, 2019
Episode 28: From Old Capitol to New Capitol
We discuss the selection of Tallahassee as the capital city of territorial Florida and the building and use of each capitol building. 
November 26, 2019
Episode 27: Claude Pepper
Claude Pepper was one of the most prominent political figures ever from Florida. We look back at the legendary career of the fighting progressive Pepper, one of the most famous New Deal Democrats in the United States. A career that spanned six decades is discussed at length in this episode. 
November 19, 2019
Episode 26: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and rural 20th Century Florida
We discuss Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings work, her adulation and why we consider her "Florida's Steinbeck." We also converse about progressiveism and racism in that era of Florida life and politics. 
November 12, 2019
Episode 25: The Populism and Racism of Sidney Catts
In an era when Florida and the south was dominated by one party and African-Americans had been disenfranchised, Sidney J. Catts came to power. His Governorship was lamentable era for the state as he publicly advocated racism towards African-Americans while fueling paranoia about Catholics and the possibility of a Papal takeover of Florida. 
November 05, 2019
Episode 24: Cuban Revolution transforms Florida politics
In Episode 24 we discuss how the Communist Cuban Revolution transformed Florida politics. We discuss the exile communities impact on politics as well as the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis. We also discuss migration patterns that changed the way much of south Florida voted and touch upon the racial tensions of the 1980's and 1990's in southern Florida as it related to the migrations and politics of the time. 
October 29, 2019
Episode 23: British St Augustine and American Revolutionary attempts to capture the city
In 1763 the British took possession of St Augustine after almost 200 years of both Spanish interest and English/British raiding of the city. St Augustine played a role in the American Revolutionary War, something not often talked about today. 
October 22, 2019
Episode 22: Colonial St Augustine
St Augustine is the oldest European settlement in the continental United States. We discuss the foundation of St Augustine, the collapse of the French settlement at Fort Caroline, the sacking of the city by Sir Francis Drake, the building of the Castillo de San Marcos, the creation of Fort Mose by freed/runaway Slaves from British North America and the defense of the city in the 1740 siege by the British invaders from Georgia. Next week we will discuss St Augustine under British rule and the role it played in the American Revolution. 
October 15, 2019
Episode 21: Bob Graham Workdays
In 1978, State Senator Bob Graham rides a campaign gimmick into the Governors office - then continues the workdays as he becomes on of the most popular and impactful public officials in Florida's history. 
October 08, 2019
Episode 20: Reconstruction era politics in Florida
Few periods in American history evoke the passion and controversy of the Reconstruction era in the south. In this week's podcast we discuss Reconstruction era Florida politics and the ideology of the political parties at the time. 
October 01, 2019
Episode 19: Florida in the Movies
Florida has been a mecca for film since the early 1900's. We discuss Florida's rich movie history dating from the silent film era. We talk about the commitment the state had to the humanities and films both shot and set in Florida. 
September 24, 2019
Episode 18: The Golden Age of Florida Politics
The 1970's were an enlightened age in Florida Politics and Government. 
September 17, 2019
Episode 17: Pan Am and FDR's first Presidential flight from Dinner Key
We discuss the Florida origins of Pan American World Airways the most famous name in aviation. Pan American is famous for the China Clipper, transpacific service and transatlantic flights from New York. But the airline also pioneered flying to Latin America and developed a base at Dinner Key in Coconut Grove as its first international hub even before the Marine Air Terminal in New York.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt took the first ever Presidential airplane flight in January 1943 to attend the Casablanca Conference following Operation Torch (the Allied invasion of North Africa).  The flight was on Pan Am and departed Dinner Key en route to the conference. We discuss the flight and the history behind Presidential aviation in the episode also. 
September 10, 2019
Episode 16: Florida's Labor Day Hurricanes
Ahead of Labor Day Weekend 2019 when Florida is preparing for Hurricane Dorian we look back at previous Labor Day storms that have impacted the state including the 1935 Keys storm and 2004's Hurricane Frances. We also speak in general about Florida hurricanes continuing a discussion from episode 10 which was focused on Hurricane Andrew. 
August 30, 2019
Episode 15: The Seminole Wars
We cover the three Seminole Wars fought between 1816 and 1858. We look at the promises made and broken by the United States to the Native Americans as well as the treachery of the US forces. We also talk about how these wars impacted the careers of future Presidents Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor. 
August 27, 2019
Episode 14: Prohibition in Florida
We discuss the colorful prohibition era in Florida and the rugged individualism that made the state a haven for bootleggers, moonshiners and figures in organized crime.  
August 20, 2019
Episode 13: Henry Flagler Part 2: The Railroad hits Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and the Keys
In part 2 of our look at Henry Flagler, we discuss the extension of the railroad south of Palm Beach. The railroad's extension led to the development of Miami, now a world class city and one of the economic and cultural capitals of the Americas. But at the time the railroad was built Miami was small village at the mouth of the Miami River. Florida's leading city at the time, Key West sat 150 miles away and completely unconnected by road or railroad to Florida's mainland. Flagler would change that and eventually link Key West to the rest of Florida.  But unlike other towns Flagler built his railroad to and through, Key West was an established and vibrant city, the largest at the time in Florida and one of the richest in the United States. So Flagler connected Key West but did not "colonize" the way he did St Augustine, Palm Beach, Miami and so many other places where he in fact developed the core of the towns.  
August 13, 2019
Episode 12: Henry Flagler Part 1: Flagler's St Augustine
Standard Oil co-founder Henry Flagler builds a railroad to St Augustine and revives the oldest city in the America's north of the Rio Grande. Flagler's railroad is then extended south to Palm Beach where he builds Whitehall, one of his residences and the Breakers Hotel. Flagler's St Augustine compliments the remaining colonial buildings from the Spanish and British periods and gives St Augustine it's third prosperous era after the early Spanish days (1565-1704) and the English period when colonial Tory defections to Florida grew the city (1763-1783. This is part one of a two part series on Henry Flagler. 
August 06, 2019
Episode 11: The colorful political career of Claude Kirk
Among the least ideological and most colorfully controversial characters in the history of Florida Politics, Claude Kirk the state's first post-reconstruction Governor is always someone fun to talk about. 
July 30, 2019
Episode 10: Hurricane Andrew & Hurricane Katrina
We look back at the impact of Hurricane Andrew on the governance, politics, attitude and demographics of Florida. Governor Chiles recorded the lowest ever approval rating in the state's history immediately after the storm while President George H.W. Bush's botched reaction helped lead to an era of ultra-competitive Presidential elections in the state.   We also talk about the similarities between Andrew and Katrina and the impact on Florida's building codes, evacuation procedures and government in general. 
July 23, 2019
Episode 9: Kennedy Space Center, the Cape and Florida as the world's gateway to space
We discuss Florida's role in the American space program to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon launch from Cape Canaveral and the July 20 moon landing in 1969. Apollo 11 like all other Apollo missions was launched from Kennedy Space Center.  In this episode, we discuss the importance of the space program to development of Central Florida, the exposure the launches gave Florida, and the politics around keeping the space program centered around the state at a time when NASA and the federal government were considered moving the Shuttle program. 
July 16, 2019
Episode 8: "Walkin Lawton" Chiles
We look back at the political career of Lawton Chiles beginning with his walk across the state in 1970. We look at the divisions within the Florida GOP in 1970 that allowed Chiles and Reubin Askew to be elected statewide that year as new south Democrats. We also look at Chiles Senate career and his campaigns for Governor in 1990 and 1994. We also discuss his dealing with a GOP-led legislature after the 1996 and his tragic death in 1998 just a month after Jeb Bush's election. 
July 09, 2019
Episode 7: Key West and the Conch Republic
We dive into the history of one Florida's most important and independent historical cities- Key West.  The city which was the most populated in the state in the late 1800's has played host to Presidents, writers and political leaders while maintaining its charm and independence. 
July 02, 2019
Episode 6: The Pork Chop Gang and birth of modern progressive Florida politics
A must listen for any political junkie in the state, we dissect the legendary Pork Chop Gang and the birth of modern Florida politics. We look discuss how the power of the rural North Florida legislators was eventually broken and the why Florida emerged as a shining progressive state in an otherwise conservative south.
June 25, 2019
Episode 5: Walt Disney World comes to Central Florida
We take a quick look back at Walt Disney's decision to build a huge theme park and community of the future in Central Florida. 
June 18, 2019
Episode 4: Florida as a Presidential Swing State
Since 1876 Florida has been a decisive state in Presidential politics both in General Elections and in party primaries. We take a quick look back at some of the colorful history of presidential elections and primaries in our state. 
June 11, 2019
Episode 3: The Civil War(War between the States) in Florida
Episode 3 focuses on the central role Florida played in the Civil War as a supplier not of only  of men but of resources to the Confederacy.  Despite being the lowest populated southern state on the eve of the war, Florida was critical to the Confederate War effort and the Union's plans to choke the confederacy. 
June 04, 2019
Episode 2: North Florida v South Florida
In episode two we take a brief look at the historic divisions between south Florida and north Florida. The cracker identity v the "Cincinnati effect."  We discuss the cultural identity of both regions and the inevitable clash both politically and socially that would come in time. The conflict between different regions of our diverse state will be an underlying theme of much of what is discussed on this show in the future. We talk about the rivalry between regions and how Florida historically has always had divisions between parts of the state. 
May 29, 2019
Episode 1: Introducing The Florida History Podcast
In our initial podcast co-hosts Kartik Krishnaiyer and Robert Buccellato discuss the rich history and legacy of the State of Florida laying out topics  of discussion for the show going forward.  Whether it is colonial St Augustine, Henry Flagler's railroad, Disney World setting up shop in the state, the growth of Eastern Airlines, The Civil War or any number of other topics in Florida history we will cover it on this weekly podcast. 
May 29, 2019