Wakulla County Historical Society

"A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable." Thomas Jefferson

Archive for the month “February, 2015”

Donald L. Tucker, Wakulla Native, March 10, 7:00 PM, WCHS Program

Speaker Donald L. Tucker.jpg

Donald L. Tucker       Former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives 1976–1980

Tuesday, March 10, 7:00 PM, Wakulla County Public Library the speaker for our WCHS second Tuesday program is Donald L. Tucker.  We appreciate Don’s faithfulness as a WCHS member and contributor.

The Wakulla County History Society looks forward to another interesting program featuring a Wakulla native whose name is well-known, not only in Wakulla and Leon counties but also throughout the southern states.  Does Donald L. Tucker sound familiar? Of course, there are few days that the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center is not mentioned in the Tallahassee news and activities.  Many Wakulla residents think of the person, Donald Tucker, rather than the Civic Center when we hear the title.

Don, son of former Florida Senator Luther C. Tucker and wife, Grace Spears Tucker, grew up in Crawfordville, graduating from Crawfordville High School in 1953.  Don, senior class president, student body president, and football team captain also attended Florida Boys State where he was elected Governor. After graduating high school, he attended Brigham Young University, enlisted in the Army and after being honorably discharged, served two years as a missionary. After receiving his law degree from the University of Florida, Don began his law practice in Tallahassee and built his home in Crawfordville.

In 1966, Don ran for, and was elected to represent Wakulla, Leon and Franklin Counties in the Florida Legislature.  He was reelected the following five terms becoming Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, the only Speaker in Florida’s history to preside over four consecutive regular legislative sessions.  He was chosen by fellow representatives on two occasions to receive the Florida Times Union Award as “Most Effective Member of the Legislature.”

In 1977, the Legislature unanimously passed the bill signed by Gov. Askew naming the Tallahassee Civic Center “The Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.” Don is also proud that he was responsible for the Continuing Education Center, the Gus Turnbull Building at FSU and the basketball arena at the University of Florida, “The O’Connell Center”.

He was appointed Chairman of the Latin American-Caribbean Commission by Governor Askew and was nominated by President Carter to be Vice-Chair of the Civil Aeronautics Board as well as commissioning him to serve as Special Ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

The Tallahassee Democrat had an extensive article about Don Tucker in April of 1976 in which he is portrayed as a savvy politician enjoying the game, but very much playing to win.  Perhaps that is a very appropriate remark for the man whose name is on the Civic Arena.

The public is invited to attend our meeting on the 2nd Tuesday evening of March, 7pm, at the Wakulla Library.  Come to meet and greet Don and to hear from a Wakulla County native that “made it in the world of politics.”

Submitted by Betty Green

Wakulla Homecoming: A Heritage Event Tickets Now Available

Concert to Benefit Heritage Village Park

The Wakulla County Historical Society presents Lari White and Friends Wakulla Homecoming: A Heritage Event featuring Lari White, Chuck Cannon, Bryan Edwards, Rick Ott, Lindsay Sparkman, and Jerry Evans on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the auditorium of Wakulla High School, 3237 Coastal Highway, Crawfordville, Florida. Tickets are $35/$30/$20 each and will be available March 1 online at wakullahistory.tix.com and at the box office during business hours. The event is A From The Heart Studio-Concert Production.
[Read Press Release]

Lari White, Florida Native Returns To Wakulla County

Lari WhiteFlorida native Lari White enjoys a uniquely multi-faceted career as a Gold and Grammy recording artist, hit songwriter and producer, and versatile actress.  Lari grew up in a musical family, performing with parents Larry and Yvonne White and two younger siblings, entertaining with pop, gospel and folk favorites across the state of Florida. At the University of Miami Lari earned a degree in Music Engineering, preparing herself to become one of the few women in music production.

Lari moved to Nashville as soon as she graduated and won the Nashville Network’s talent show “You Can Be A Star.” She started her illustrious career as a songwriter and recording artist with Ronnie Milsap’s publishing company and RCA Records. Lari’s music has earned three Grammys (The Apostle Soundtrack and Amazing Grace 1 and 2: A Country Tribute), and RIAA Gold status (Wishes/RCA Records). Her most recent studio albums include the R&B flavored “Green Eyed Soul,” hailed by the London Times as “the best soul album this year,” and “Piano Bar,” music from her live appearances on the Delbert McClinton music cruise.

As the first female producer of a male superstar, Lari made music history by producing Toby Keith’s platinum album “White Trash with Money.” Her songwriting credits include Tammy Wynette, Toby Keith, Lonestar, and most recently Danny Gokey, and Pat Green.

Lari turned heads around the world with her role opposite Tom Hanks in the blockbuster movie Cast Away (as the “Angel at the Crossroads” in the final scene). Most recently she hit the silver screen in “Country Strong,” with Gwynneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw. She’s also starred in films for Lifetime TV and CMT. Lari made her critically-acclaimed Broadway debut in the Johnny Cash musical “Ring Of Fire” (2006), and received rave reviews for her performances in the Marilyn and Alan Bergman Tribute with Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. She’s been a featured artist with Marvin Hamlisch and the NY Pops, and has won critics and audiences alike with her appearances at Lincoln Center and Town Hall in New York City.

Most recently Lari has shown her Southern roots as producer of The Shoe Burnin’ Anthology companion music CD available at http://www.lariwhite.com.

See Lari White “live” on April 25, 2015 in Wakulla Homecoming: A Heritage Event. Visit https://wakullahistoricalsociety.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/1252/ for more information.

Wakulla County Historical Society Presents Concert to Benefit Heritage Village Park

20140519-000312-192274.jpgThe Wakulla County Historical Society presents Lari White and Friends Wakulla Homecoming: A Heritage Event featuring Lari White, Chuck Cannon, Bryan Edwards, Rick Ott, Lindsay Sparkman, and Jerry Evans on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the auditorium of Wakulla High School, 3237 Coastal Highway, Crawfordville, Florida. Tickets are $35/$30/$20 each and will be available March 1 online at http://www.wakullahistory.org and at the box office during business hours. The event is A From The Heart Studio-Concert Production.

“This will be a spectacular event,” said Historical Society President Cathy Gray Frank “. . . we are overwhelmed by the generosity of such accomplished musicians, it would notbe possible without the tireless efforts of our volunteers and we appreciate everyone’s contribution.”

Murray McLaughlin, Vice President/Heritage Village Park, indicated that Lari White and Chuck Cannon are coming from Nashville to perform donating their time and talent for the event from which all proceeds will benefit Heritage Village Park. “Lari has deep roots in Wakulla County as her father, Larry White, was born  and raised here and graduated Sopchoppy High School. Her grandparents Cortez and Rosebud White lived in Medart. Rosebud was one of the siblings who lived for a time in the McLaughlin House.” Chuck Cannon has family roots in Jefferson County. “Chuck with Lari as headline performers is a huge contribution for a successful event,” said Rick Ott, Concert Producer. http://www.chuckcannon.com

Read more about the Heritage Village at http://wakullahistory.org/heritagevillage.html

Lari White and Friends Wakulla Homecoming: A Heritage Event

 

Wakulla Homecoming: A Heritage Event

Wakulla Homecoming: A Heritage Event

 

Tickets available March 1, 2015.

WCHS to feature Robert Buccellato, author of Florida Governors: Lasting Legacies.

Wakulla County Historical Society Second Tuesday Program
February 10, 7:00 PM, Wakulla County Public Library

The Wakulla County Historical Society’s February 10 program features Robert Buccellato, author of a new book entitled Florida Governors: Lasting Legacies.  This 128 page book with 194 photographs will be released by Arcadia Publishing on February 2.  “Florida has a rich and diverse history, with a wealth of exciting events and colorful characters that form a brilliant narrative for any lover of history,” Buccellato said.  Highlights of this book include a foreword by Governor Wayne Mixon, new insights into forgotten figures of Florida’s past, and 200 years of Florida history covered in one book.  The Historical Society will have these books available for sale at the February 10 meeting and in the Old Jail Gift Shop in the WCHS Museum & Archives.

Robert Buccellato, 28, is a noted historian of the Florida governorship and the authorized biographer of Governor Wayne Mixon.  His second book on the Life and Politics of Florida’s 39th Governor will be released by The History Press in August 2015.  He is a graduate of Florida State University and lives in Crawfordville with his wife Stephanie.

Wayne Mixon served as lieutenant governor during the Bob Graham administration and became Florida’s 39th governor in January 1987 when Graham stepped down to take his seat in the United States Senate.  Mixon served as governor for three days until Bob Martinez’s inauguration.

For more information contact the Wakulla County Historical Society Museum & Archives, located at 24 High Drive in Crawfordville, at 850-926-1110 or 24research@gmail.com. Business Hours are Thursday/Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Do You Need Help Discovering Your Ancestors?

August Calendar

Wakulla County Museum and Archives has highly trained Genealogy specialist to assist you with finding your family.

Call 850-926-1110 to make an appointment.

J. Harold Thurmond & Judge Mike Carter Share Wakulla County’s Rich History

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The Historical Society’s second Tuesday program in January Judges of the 1800s and 1900s featured speakers J. Harold Thurmond, retired Clerk of Court, and Mike Carter, retired County Judge.

Thurmond’s remarks included: H.L. Henderson (1871), W.T. Duval (1873, 1877), W.A. Giles (1881), B.S. Smith (1885), W.A. Giles (1887), C.M. Cox (1888), William H. Walker (1890), W.W. Giles (1891), and S.J. Giles (1895). WCHS member Helen Harvey, who regularly attends the programs, commented that she was impressed with the “spectacular research Harold did to share so many interesting facts.” Thurmond’s humor, teaching background, and talent for storytelling mesmerized the audience. He commended the effort of his “whole family” to produce the presentation while daughter Jana monitored the slide show.

Mike Carter litigated the last case ever tried in the Historic Wakulla County Courthouse (c. 1892) and his remarks began with R. Don McLeod who presided as county judge from 1901 to 1928. McLeod’s famous ruling that a mullet is a bird because it has a gizzard occurred in the old courthouse which has sported a mullet weathervane since it was restored by the Chamber of Commerce. Carter continued the topic with Raney Whaley (1928), A.L. Porter (1932), George Harper (1956), Evelyn Flack (1974), Michael Carter (1983), and Jill Walker (1990). Carter shared many stories of personal interaction with Judge Porter and fellow lawyer Jewell Hudson during his career of practicing law. Carter also recounted with good humor the controversial election between himself and Judge Flack.

Both Carter and Thurmond are active Historical Society members. Program Chairman Betty Green said, “We are so thankful to have people who are willing to share the rich history of Wakulla County with such fascination. We really appreciate their support.” Alongside Thurmond’s family in the audience were Judge Harper’s widow, Naomi, and sons George, Kenny, and Larry. All historical programs are recorded and available on CD upon request in the Old Jail Gift Shop. Historical Society meetings are on the second Tuesday, September through May, except October and December, at 7:00 pm in the Public Library at 4330 Crawfordville Highway. The Wakulla County Historical Society Museum & Archives is located on Courthouse Square at 24 High Drive in Crawfordville and is open Thursday and Friday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

By Arkad

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