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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.