Gulfport Historical Society Brings Florida Sessions Online

Florida native and New York Times Bestselling author Craig Pittman courtesy of the Gulfport Historical Society

Florida native and New York Times bestselling author Craig Pittman will be speaking virtually, along with other Florida experts, at an upcoming event sponsored by the Gulfport Historical Society. Photo courtesy of the Gulfport Historical Society


Folks may be venturing out more these days, but the Gulfport Historical Society (GHS) is keeping it at home with a new virtual event coming up on May 22 at 7 p.m.

“Florida Snapshots is a series of short presentations from local writers featuring their favorite moments – whether weird, wonderful, or woeful – in Florida history,” according to the Society press release. “Attendees can tune in for a round of fun and informative mini-presentations and discussion, accompanied by a signature beverage (we provide the recipe, you provide the drink). It is our socially-distanced way of feeding our love for history, and our need for community, during these troubled times.”

The Friday, May 22 Florida Snapshots session brings out some heavy hitters from the Floridaphile world, including native Craig Pittman, whom the Florida Heritage Book Festival recently named “a Florida Literary Legend.” Pittman spent 30 years at the Tampa Bay Times, and has acquired numerous awards for environmental reporting. He’s also written five books, including the New York Times bestseller “Oh, Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country.”

Pittman’s presentation, “That Time the Navy Invaded Cedar Key,” will recount when, in the 1890s, President Benjamin Harrison dispatched a Navy cutter to arrest the mayor of Cedar Key.

Thomas Hallock, professor in the Florida Studies program at USF-St. Petersburg, and author of “From the Fallen Tree: Frontier Narratives, Environmental Politics and the Roots of a National Pastoral,” will be presenting “Story Upon Story for ‘Princess’ Mound,” which traces the origins of the many stories and historical markers at the Pinellas Point (or “Princess”) Mound, using the site to “tease out the problems of ‘siting’ early Florida history.”

Rounding out the program is Gulfport resident Amanda Hagood, Assistant Dean of Faculty for Academic Special Projects at Eckerd College, who will presenting “John Muir Comes to Florida, Almost Dies (Twice), and Writes a Book About It.”

“John Muir’s adventures in California’s Sierra country have become the stuff of environmentalist legend,” writes the Gulfport Historical Society. “But his first grand nature sojourn – and his first major publication – brought him right here to Florida. He did not find exactly the ‘flowery Canaan’ he was hoping for.”

The event is free and open to the public, and guaranteed safe from coronavirus. The GHS says the session will also be recorded for those who are not able to view in real time, and is sponsored by Thaler Law Firm.

For more information, email the GHS at info@gulfporthistoricalsociety.org. Tune into this link May 22 at 7 p.m. to watch: meet.google.com/jst-oiza-sbj

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