The Crooms’ legacy of education lives on. Distinguished alumni of the Hopper Academy and the Crooms Academy include the author/anthropologist Zora Neal Hurston; U.S. Rep. Alcee L. Hastings; and George Allen, the first black graduate of the University of Florida’s law school.
“When we were goin’ and blowin’,” Bob Snow says Church Street Station “had such a reputation.” In its prime in the 1980s, it was one of the premier attractions in Florida. Lili Marlene's Aviator's Pub and Restaurant was the "top-grossing restaurant in the state until Hard Rock.”
Gus Henderson was the embodiment of the “self-made man”; from his humble beginnings, he became one of the South’s most eloquent editorialists and left an indelible mark on Central Florida history.
In 1962, the citizens of Orlando passed a Civic Improvements Bond issue that provided a million dollars to replace the Albertson Public Library, a Neoclassical-style structure that opened in 1923. For the new building, the city selected the Connecticut-based architect John Johansen (1916-2012).
This is the extraordinary story of an Orange County native who became an aviation pioneer and world-class airshow performer. Grace Ellen Butt graduated from Winter Park High and Rollins College and was a debutante of the Rosalind Club, but to her generation, she was the legendary “Grace the Ace.”
Being sick or injured in early 20th-century Orlando was a much different experience than it is today. If you could not afford to pay a doctor to make a house call, you might have found yourself in a lantern-lit hospital ward, cooled only with fans blowing over crushed ice.
Like so many Midwesterners, Annie Oakley wintered in Florida, and despite her fascinating, globe-trotting personal history, two of the most “pivotal events of her life” happened in the Sunshine State. She was a part of our history, as Florida was of her’s.
In honor of Black History Month, Mayor Jerry L. Demings and the History Center proudly presents a special showing of the award-winning documentary film “Marching Forward.”
Central Florida has long been a tourism hot spot where roadside attractions that have come and gone. Some, such as Cypress Gardens, loom large in Florida’s history, while others have been largely forgotten. Here’s a photographic look back at just a few.