Category Florida History

Flashback Friday: 1974 US Senate Race

Republican US Senator Ed Gurney elected in a 1968 upset over Leroy Collins was the first GOP US Senator elected from Florida since Reconstruction a hundred years earlier. This is one Gurney proved to be a disgrace to the state and one of many single-term statewide elected GOP officeholders of the period between 1966 and […]

Flashback Friday: The Civil Rights Act of 1960

The Civil Rights Act of 1960, Lyndon Johnson’s late attempt to try and win over northern liberals in his Presidential quest has been long forgotten. LBJ has shepherded through the Civil Rights Act of 1957 the first major piece of anti-discrimination legislation passed since 1875 – but one that had been severely gutted in its […]

Flashback Friday: Florida and the U-boat terror during World War II

It’s often overlooked that 75 years ago this month, war raged right off the coast of Florida. For many across the US “the home front” in World War II  represented industrial work and rallying behind the deployment of the military abroad. Here in Florida it represented a whole lot more.  Not only did we have […]

Flashback Friday: 1968 US Senate Race

In 1968, Alabama’s Democratic former Governor George Wallace who had become a national figure with his “stand in the schoolhouse door” ran for President on the ticket of the “American Independent Party.” The candidacy despite coded words like “crime,” “law breakers,” and “patriotism” was about one thing- race. Wallace had been a populist earlier in […]

Flashback Friday: The “Graham Cracker” ticket wins the 1978 Election

Editors note: With Gwen Graham’s entrance into the Governor’s race recently, we have some recollections of the origins of the 1978 race where Graham’s father, Bob emerged from dark horse to Democratic nominee and then to Governor.  Noted Florida historian and author Robert Buccellato gives this vivid account of the origins of the Graham juggernaut that would […]

Rick Scott falls victim to the legislature’s historic “seven year itch”

Florida’s legislature has a way of reinforcing checks and balances on second term “lame duck” governors. Governor Rick Scott experienced this session what Jeb Bush did in 2005 and Lawton Chiles did in 1997 – once you have no midterm election where you need to run with the Governor or a shift in priorities, the […]

Flashback Friday: The courage of post-Governorship Leroy Collins at Selma

Last year, I penned the afterward to Robert Buccellato’s excellent Florida History timepiece, Finding Dan McCarty focusing on the Governorship of Leroy Collins, who took the unfulfilled McCarty mantle and promise, and made Florida a modern state. I have in the past focused much my analysis on Collins’ views toward improving Florida’s business climate and had […]