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.
In his most influential innovation, Lue Gim Gong crossed the Hart’s Late Valencia with Mediterranean Sweet varieties to produce an orange that bears his name, a juicy and hardy fruit that could take the cold better than most oranges of the day.
The fountain at Lake Eola has become the closest thing Orlando has to an icon, its green bubble a permanent part of the city’s mental landscape, a survivor from the Fabulous Fifties that debuted under Sputnik skies.
With reliable rail travel and emergent automobiles and airplanes, the distance between sunny Florida and baseball’s best teams shrank almost yearly in the early 20th century.