The recipient of the John Young History Maker Award for 2021, the Honorable Mable Butler blazed a historic career in public service in Orlando and Orange County. She was the first African American woman on Orlando’s City Council and the first African American member on the County Commission.
Orlando lost one of its most prominent and beloved gay icons on July 15, 2019. Joel Strack lived his life out and proud during extremely difficult times for gay men in America. He was a hilarious, generous, and hard-working man.
Teaching about 9/11 in this generation presents its own unique challenges. We experience an intersection of history and memory where teachers and parents are remembering their own personal, lived experiences of that day, and students are often learning about this history for the first time.
Serving as the Orange County Regional History Center’s inaugural HERstory: Women’s History Intern has been an enriching experience for me. I have worked with an amazingly collaborative and enthusiastic group of colleagues, who work to fulfill the museum’s mission.
When W. M. Van Brunt opened what is believed to have been Orlando’s first indoor bowling alley around the end of 1910 or beginning of 1911, the sport was still new to many Americans, but its popularity was steadily growing.
Orlando said farewell to Wet ’n Wild on New Year’s Eve 2016, just shy of the park’s 40th anniversary. SeaWorld creator George Millay opened it in 1977 and most industry experts name Wet ’n Wild Orlando as the world’s first true water park.
Augustus Milton Nicholson was the first taxidermist in Orlando. His shop, located somewhere along West Church Street between Orange and Garland avenues, had a large pen in back containing live snakes and other reptiles that Nicholson caught in the Florida wilds.
By 1932, there was serious discussion in Orlando about creating a city zoo, which residents believed would attract thousands of families and tourists. Both Sanford and Kissimmee already had successful zoos; why shouldn’t their city have one, too?
Adams’ winning design for the new Orange County flag was announced in a ceremony at the new administration building at noon on June 14, 1985, the 100th anniversary of National Flag Day.
Each summer since 2017, the History Center has created an exhibition for the annual remembrance of the Pulse nightclub shooting. This year’s exhibition has been crafted in effort to memorialize the victims and shine a light on the outpouring of love following the events of June 12, 2016.