Working against the odds, teenagers and their band leader became effective goodwill ambassadors for Orlando’s African American community in the days before the Civil Rights Movement.
Father Pinder led the fight to integrate Orlando’s restaurants and lunch counters, stores, playgrounds, parks, and schools. He helped to persuade the Orlando Sentinel to eliminate its “Negro Section” and to cover African Americans in the main edition of the paper.
History Center staff members were saddened to learn of the death on Dec. 4, 2019, of Mary Ann Carroll, who was long a stalwart member of the group of Florida Highwaymen artists who have visited the museum for Meet & Greet events twice a year.
Known during her lifetime as the “First Lady of Negro America,” Mary McLeod Bethune is remembered for her contributions as an educator and civil rights activist. Although the founding of Bethune-Cookman University is probably her most well-known accomplishment, it is one of many.
On March 6, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his one and only trip to Orlando to give a speech at Tinker Field. More than 50 years later, the Collections Department at the Orange County Regional History Center is searching through the collections for footage of that historic visit.