The Florida History Podcast

The Florida History Podcast

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A weekly look at a different fascintating topic in Florida History Cover art photo by Derek Reese. @DR928


55: Florida’s War of 1812: Patriots, James Madison, the Spanish and the British
May 19 • 22 min
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…
54: Great Jacksonville Fire of 1901 and Roosevelt Hotel Fire of 1963
May 12 • 14 min
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…
53: Space Coast history and military voting in Florida
May 5 • 26 min
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…
52: Smathers v Pepper and the rise of McCarthyism
Apr 28 • 29 min
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…
51: Robert King High
Apr 21 • 18 min
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.
50: Florida Governors tough decision points
Apr 17 • 26 min
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…
49: Rum Runners and Moonshiners of Old Florida
Apr 13 • 14 min
In Episode 49 we discuss the prohibition era in Florida in detail, particularly the rum running that took place using Florida’s vast coastline.
48: Dan McCarty and the making of modern Florida
Apr 6 • 22 min
In Episode 48 we discuss one of the most famous and important Floridians of the 20th Century - Dan McCarty.
47: Robert Searle’s St Augustine raid and the founding of South Carolina
Mar 31 • 11 min
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…
46: 1918 Influenza in Florida
Mar 27 • 12 min
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.
45: Central Florida toll roads
Mar 24 • 24 min
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.
44: Sir Frances Drake and the 1586 English sacking of St Augustine
Mar 17 • 13 min
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…
43: Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
Mar 10 • 15 min
In Episode 43 we look back at Florida’s first populist Governor and his scheme to drain the Everglades.
42: Pat Tornillo and the Statwide Teachers Strike of 1968
Mar 3 • 13 min
Florida was ground zero for a major moment in which the Labor movement and Public Employees Unions were changed for ever.
41: George Smathers, JFK, LBJ and Nixon
Feb 25 • 30 min
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…
40: Miami Beach
Feb 18 • 16 min
In Episode 40 we delve into the history of one of the most famous places in Florida - Miami Beach.
39: The Florida Presidential Primary
Feb 11 • 27 min
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…
38: Andrew Jackson and Florida
Feb 4 • 26 min
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…
37: The American Revolution - Florida’s role
Jan 28 • 13 min
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.
36: Reubin Askew
Jan 21 • 21 min
Arguably Florida’s greatest Governor. we look back at Reubin Askew’s career.
35: Martin Luther King Jr. in St Augustine
Jan 13 • 12 min
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…
34: Impeachment and Florida
Jan 7 • 11 min
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.
33: Everglades National Park
Dec 31, 2019 • 15 min
Everglades National Park is a unique global environmental gem. We discuss the history of the park in this episode.
32: Snow and cold blasts in Florida
Dec 24, 2019 • 16 min
White Christmas’ are rare in Florida, but cold blasts around the Holidays have had an impact on the state
31: Ancient Spanish Monastery in Florida
Dec 17, 2019 • 7 min
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.
30: I-4 corridor political evolution
Dec 10, 2019 • 29 min
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.
29: Biscayne National Park grows from Islandia and Stiltsville
Dec 3, 2019 • 14 min
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…
28: From Old Capitol to New Capitol
Nov 26, 2019 • 16 min
We discuss the selection of Tallahassee as the capital city of territorial Florida and the building and use of each capitol building.
27: Claude Pepper
Nov 19, 2019 • 42 min
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…
26: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and rural 20th Century Florida
Nov 12, 2019 • 16 min
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.
25: The Populism and Racism of Sidney Catts
Nov 5, 2019 • 19 min
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…
24: Cuban Revolution transforms Florida politics
Oct 29, 2019 • 27 min
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…
23: British St Augustine and American Revolutionary attempts to capture the city
Oct 22, 2019 • 14 min
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.
22: Colonial St Augustine
Oct 15, 2019 • 16 min
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…
21: Bob Graham Workdays
Oct 8, 2019 • 13 min
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.
20: Reconstruction era politics in Florida
Oct 1, 2019 • 18 min
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.
19: Florida in the Movies
Sep 24, 2019 • 26 min
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.
18: The Golden Age of Florida Politics
Sep 17, 2019 • 24 min
The 1970’s were an enlightened age in Florida Politics and Government.
17: Pan Am and FDR’s first Presidential flight from Dinner Key
Sep 10, 2019 • 15 min
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…
16: Florida’s Labor Day Hurricanes
Aug 30, 2019 • 17 min
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…
15: The Seminole Wars
Aug 27, 2019 • 13 min
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…
14: Prohibition in Florida
Aug 20, 2019 • 15 min
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.
13: Henry Flagler Part 2: The Railroad hits Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and the Keys
Aug 13, 2019 • 20 min
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…
12: Henry Flagler Part 1: Flagler’s St Augustine
Aug 6, 2019 • 17 min
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…
11: The colorful political career of Claude Kirk
Jul 30, 2019 • 31 min
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.
10: Hurricane Andrew & Hurricane Katrina
Jul 23, 2019 • 35 min
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.…
9: Kennedy Space Center, the Cape and Florida as the world’s gateway to space
Jul 16, 2019 • 24 min
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…
8: “Walkin Lawton” Chiles
Jul 9, 2019 • 50 min
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.…
7: Key West and the Conch Republic
Jul 2, 2019 • 18 min
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…
6: The Pork Chop Gang and birth of modern progressive Florida politics
Jun 25, 2019 • 34 min
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…
5: Walt Disney World comes to Central Florida
Jun 18, 2019 • 12 min
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.
4: Florida as a Presidential Swing State
Jun 11, 2019 • 19 min
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.
3: The Civil War(War between the States) in Florida
Jun 4, 2019 • 17 min
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…
2: North Florida v South Florida
May 29, 2019 • 25 min
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…
1: Introducing The Florida History Podcast
May 28, 2019 • 8 min
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,…