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A Land Remembered

Remembering Florida Writer Patrick Smith

By now you’ve probably learned of the passing of Patrick Smith, a celebrated writer best known for his classic “A Land Remembered,” a historical novel about the frontier days of Florida. Smith, a Merritt Island resident, was a three-time Pulitzer…

Zora Neale Hurston

Festival celebrates talents of Eatonville author Zora Neale Hurston

The mark of Zora Neale Hurston left an indelible impression on a global fan base. And for a quarter of a century, Hurston’s Eatonville hometown has hosted an annual multi-day, multi-disciplinary festival to celebrate her literary legacy. This year’s event…

The Cracker Culture in Florida History

Video: History of The Florida Cracker

Dana Ste. Claire’s Cracker: The Cracker Culture in Florida History  is a wonderful anthology concerning an important part of the state’s history and folklore. The book is thorough in its research, even-handed, and engaging. In the following videos, Ste. Claire…

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson’s Sage Advice

Because of his insatiable drive to learn, Thomas Jefferson was able to offer plenty of  (worthwhile) guidance to others throughout his life.  In 1825 — a year before his death at the age of 83 — Jefferson composed his final…

Mark Twain

Mark Twain’s “Letter from Santa Claus”

Mark Twain penned the following letter to his daughter Susie on Christmas in 1875.  It’s an entertaining read: Twain — ghost writing for Santa Claus– mentions moon children, expensive postage, and the “cold country above the Big Dipper.” Susie’s Letter…

Photograph of the black board in the New York Gold Room, September 24, 1869, showing the collapse of the price of gold. Handwritten caption by James A. Garfield indicates it was used as evidence before the Committee of Banking & Currency during hearings in 1870. Via Library of Congress

The History of Black Friday

The term “Black Friday” was originally used to describe the September 24, 1869, stock market crash, which was just one of the many self-inflicted misfortunes to besmirch the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant (The Grant administration had its fair share…