Sweeping Florida Politics Clean

The J. Brailey Odham Collection at the Orange County Regional History Center By Cynthia Cardona Meléndez from the Fall 2006 edition of Reflections From Central Florida The political scene in Florida in the 1940s and 1950s exhibited great transitions and, simultaneously, resistance to these changes. Traditionally Democratic, the state was

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Skyscraper Survivors

Three 1920s Orlando buildings represent the first wave of American commercial structures that climbed skyward on beams of steel. The Angebilt, the State Bank of Orlando & Trust Company Building, and the Orlando Bank & Trust Co. still survive in downtown Orlando.

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Preacher’s House

Goldsboro, a bustling all-black community west of French Avenue in Sanford, was established in 1891. If the City of Sanford had not annexed Goldsboro, there would have been two all-black incorporated cities in Central Florida—Eatonville and Goldsboro.

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Joseph Brechner and the 1960s Channel 9 editorials

The History Center is home to the Joseph L. Brechner Research Center, created through a donation from Marion Brody Brechner in honor of her husband.

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This Was Jonestown

Former slaves founded Orlando’s first African American community about 1880, when Sam Jones and his wife, Penny, settled along the banks of Fern Creek, about a mile east of Orlando’s downtown. Orlando’s promise of growth and prosperity attracted other African Americans hoping to find new lives in Florida.

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Preparing for a Landmark Exhibition

 History Center staff are preparing a major exhibition that will open just weeks before the 2020 national election and will look back a century to Election Day 1920 in Orange County – telling the story of the largest incident of voting-day violence in United States history, along with its aftermath.

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The Water-Themed Attractions of College Park

College Park, the Orlando neighborhood that was originally home to citrus and pineapple growers, also has a history of water-themed attractions including Orlando’s very first water park, a mystifying sinkhole, and a spouting well. Discover Russell’s Pavilion, the Mystery Sink, and the Fairview Geyser.

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The Historic Jamestown Colored School Museum

After noticing that the St. James African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church had fallen into disrepair, I began the process of forming a foundation to restore the church and to house a museum there that would tell the story of the colored schools in the Oviedo area.

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COVID-19 Collection

In March, the History Center shared callouts for donations from the community for anything related to the coronavirus in Central Florida, including emails from closed businesses, photos, oral histories, and news articles. Due to lockdown and necessary social-distancing measures, we turned our focus to digital materials.

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Orlando’s Division Street: The history behind what became a symbol of segregation

Historian Tana Porter wrote this story about Orlando’s Division Street for the Winter 2016 issue of Reflections from Central Florida, the magazine of the Historical Society of Central Florida. Division Street, now known as Division Avenue, has become a symbol of our city's segregation period.

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