Wakulla County Historical Society

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

Archive for the tag “Historic Articles”

Roof On Moore House Stabilized

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In January we communicated an immediate need for emergency action to preclude further deterioration of the McLaughlin House kitchen and the Moore House as both have developed roof leaks and interior spaces were exposed to water damage. We had tarps to place over the roofs but needed help in finding volunteers to assist. The Moore House work was too dangerous to be completed by using unskilled volunteers on the roof and required a bucket lift.
In February, Bryan Randolph of Best for Less Tree Service volunteered equipment and a “Great group of guys from Wakulla Free Riders used their exceptional skills mastered in their tree service business to make placing a tarp on the entire roof of the Moore House seem routine. Plus, it is how they give back to the community through their motorcycle club,” said Murray McLaughlin. Give Bryan a call the next time you need a tree service and thank them for supporting historic preservation.

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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

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?

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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.

View Our Historic Photos on Pinterest

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8 Things You May Not Know About Memorial Day #4 & 5

Soldier saluting

iStockphotos.com

4. Logan probably adapted the idea from earlier events in the South. Even before the war ended, women’s groups across much of the South were gathering informally to decorate the graves of Confederate dead. In April 1886, the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Georgia resolved to commemorate the fallen once a year—a decision that seems to have influenced John Logan to follow suit, according to his own wife. However, southern commemorations were rarely held on one standard day, with observations differing by state and spread out across much of the spring and early summer. It’s a tradition that continues today: Nine southern states officially recognize a Confederate Memorial Day, with events held on Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ birthday, the day on which General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was killed, or to commemorate other symbolic events. Read more…

8 Things You May Not Know About Memorial Day #2 & #3

Soldier saluting

iStockphotos.com

2. The holiday’s “founder” had a long and distinguished career. In May 1868, General John A. Logan, the commander-in-chief of the Union veterans’ group known as the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a decree that May 30 should become a nationwide day of commemoration for the more than 620,000 soldiers killed in the recently ended Civil War. On Decoration Day, as Logan dubbed it, Americans should lay flowers and decorate the graves of the war dead “whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” According to legend, Logan chose May 30 because it was a rare day that didn’t fall on the anniversary of a Civil War battle, though some historians believe the date was selected to ensure that flowers across the country would be in full bloom. After the war Logan, who had served as a U.S. congressman before resigning to rejoin the army, returned to his political career, eventually serving in both the House and Senate and was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for vice president in 1884. When he died two years later, Logan’s body laid in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol, making him one of just 33 people to have received the honor. Today, Washington, D.C.’s Logan Circle and several townships across the country are named in honor of this champion of veterans and those killed in battle.

Read more…

May 21, 1881: American Red Cross founded

imageIn Washington, D.C., humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons found the American National Red Cross, an organization established to provide humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters in congruence with the International Red Cross.

Barton, born in Massachusetts in 1821, worked with the sick and wounded during the American Civil War and became known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” for her tireless dedication. In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln commissioned her to search for lost prisoners of war, and with the extensive records she had compiled during the war she succeeded in identifying thousands of the Union dead at the Andersonville prisoner-of-war camp. Read more…

May 18, 1860: Lincoln Nominated For Presidency

Abraham Lincoln, a one-time U.S. representative from Illinois, is nominated for the U.S. presidency by the Republican National Convention meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Hannibal Hamlin of Maine was nominated for the vice presidency.

Lincoln, a Kentucky-born lawyer and former Whig representative to Congress, first gained national stature during his campaign against Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois for a U.S. Senate seat in 1858. The senatorial campaign featured a remarkable series of public encounters on the slavery issue, known as the Lincoln-Douglas debates, in which Lincoln argued against the spread of slavery while Douglas maintained that each territory should have the right to decide whether it would become free or slave. Lincoln lost the Senate race, but his campaign brought national attention to the young Republican Party. In 1860, Lincoln won the party’s presidential nomination.

In the November election, Lincoln again faced Douglas, who represented the Northern faction of a heavily divided Democratic Party, as well as Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge and Constitutional Union candidate John Bell. On November 6, 1860, Lincoln defeated his opponents with only 40 percent of the popular vote, becoming the first Republican to win the presidency. The announcement of Lincoln’s victory signaled the secession of the Southern states, which since the beginning of the year had been publicly threatening secession if the Republicans gained the White House.

By the time of Lincoln’s inauguration on March 4, 1861, seven states had seceded, and the Confederate States of America had been formally established, with Jefferson Davis as its elected president. One month later, the American Civil War began when Confederate forces under General P.G.T. Beauregard opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

Come See What Is Happening At The Museum

Wakulla County Historical Society Museum

The WCHS Museum staff has been busy! There are a lot of new, reasonably priced items for sale. Great selection from historic book to bird feeders with items to please every age. Remember, if you are a member, you will receive 10% off of your purchase.

Stop by and check us out from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Mary Ann Laird, Gift Shop Manager

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