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Southern Blacks and the American Revolution

Southern Blacks and the American RevolutionThe Amelia Museum of History’s next 3rd on 3rd Presentation is Friday, November 20, at 6:00 PM, and is titled, “Hope of Freedom: Southern Blacks and the American Revolution”, with Dr. Roger Smith.

During the American Revolution the British military offered freedom to enslaved blacks who fled to British camps to fight against the rebellion. But there was often a catch. This offer wasn’t available to those whose owners were loyal to the Crown. For those taken-in, many were cast aside when disease swept through a camp, or abandoned to an oncoming American army during retreats; some were resold into slavery. For a great many people these promises of liberty were a complete façade, designed only to ruin the highly profitable southern plantation economies of the newly-founded United States. But many did indeed regain control of their own destinies against all odds.

The role of British East Florida in this tragic era of American history needs to be understood. The heroics and heartbreaks of southern blacks demands to be heard.

This program is made possible by the Florida Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau program, and is free and open to the public. Seating is first-come, first-served.

For more information contact Gray at 261-7378 ext 102, or gray@ameliamuseum.org.

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Things Have Changed (a lot) Since We Were Young

Heerlerbaan

About half a mile from where I grew up

Things have changed since we were young a guest at the Inn remarked recently. It came kind of as the conclusion to a conversation about fast food and home deliveries of food. Working on our AmeliaBites.com restaurant review website I had noticed how many restaurants these days offer take out and delivery, so when that guest’s teenage child asked me, “What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?”, I must have looked a bit dumbfounded. After a couple of seconds I said: “We didn’t have fast food when I was growing up. All the food was slow.”



“C’mon, seriously. Where did you eat?”

“It was a place called home,” I explained. “Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn’t like what was put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it. And that could be the next morning or lunch time.”

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn’t tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table. And no there was no TV blaring during dinner. Typical table conversations ranged from stories we heard in the village to vacation plans, to politics, religion, school and sports. Here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I hadn’t been afraid that his system could not handle it:

• My parents never drove me to school (or even Kindergarten!). The walk to school must have been a little over a mile and was through the neighborhoods. I walked there after breakfast for 9-12 noon classes, walked back home at lunch time, and walked back to school for 2-4pm classes and played my way back home after classes were over at 4pm. Sometime the 4th year of Grade school I got a hand-me-down bicycle that had one speed: slow.  I was the third son in a family of 5 sons plus parents, so hand-me-downs were pretty much a natural. If it was too cold or snowy, I walked.
• We didn’t have a television in our house until I turned 9. It was black and white, reception was accomplished with rabbit ears, and later an antenna on the roof, and the station went off the air at 11pm, after playing the national anthem and a religious message(?). It came back on the air at about 9 a.m. the next day and there was usually news to begin the day followed by women’s exercise and domestic care programs. On some days there was not enough programming available on Dutch TV but we were lucky to catch the airwaves from Germany (all of 2 stations) and Belgium (two as well, one for Flanders, the dutch side and one for Wallonia, the french side) and good old Radio Luxembourg. No wonder speaking Dutch, German and French at an early age came naturally to us.
• I remember listening to the World Cup soccer on the radio and the highlights of the year were the rivalry match between Holland and Belgium and the daily results of the Tour de France.

 Oh and I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone connection in the house was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen to make sure other people weren’t already using the line. But I still remember the phone number 805 which later became 5805!
• Pizzas were not known to us, unless on our summer vacation trips to Italy, and certainly not delivered to our home… but milk and eggs were and our baker bicycle delivered personally our favorite breads and cookies on Tuesday’s and Saturday’s. His customer route encompassed about 30 miles. His name was Bakker Mueller. Of course we had another bakery 200 yards down the road, but Bakker Mueller was special. Harrie Pasmans was our dairy farmer who brought fresh milk and eggs every morning, horse and wagon and all. My older brother Eef loved to jump on his wagon and help deliver in the weekends. Harrie Pasmans lived about 300 yards to the right of us. About three hundred yards to the left was Farmer Roumans, whose horse and wagon delivered fresh fruits and vegetables and potatoes before noon every day. I fondly remember the days that white asparagus freshly out of the ground and the circumference of a thick hot dog, were the culinary highlight on the dinner plate at home: topped with a special softly spiced real butter sauce reduction and slices of hard boiled eggs and small cubes of delicious cooked ham. I felt closer to Culinary Heaven in those days then ever since.
• The butcher shop was 300 yards to the west and offered a delightful selection of meats I’ve never even seen this side of the Atlantic (no not even at Trader Joe’s). Chicken were not sold in stores then. That came later. If you wanted fresh chicken, you went into the coop and selected one for consumption. And I personally can attest to the truth behind the expression “running around like a chicken without a head.” Come to think of it, we ate a lot less chicken in those days than we do today.
• 500 Yards to the East, almost directly on the border with Germany, stood my grandparent’s home, just a short walk through grain fields. If she had wanted to, mom could have watched us walk to our grandparents from the upstairs bedroom. She probably never did, because raising five sons takes a lot of energy and leaves little time I imagine. Mom had a little trick to make sure however that she got some private time with dad. As toddlers we often got half a glass of red wine with dinner. We were asleep by 8, often by our own choice. But Mom never had to worry about us being safe. Everyone in the neighborhood knew each other well and looked after each other. I still remember the names; the Theunissen family, the Donkers family, the Keulen family, the VanderMeulen family (mom’s sister); it was a square mile of pure, fresh, tasty, playful, safe and innocent heaven on earth. Yes things have changed quite dramatically since I was a teenager half a century ago, but at least I can truthfully refer to something called “The Good Old Days!”

Six Hundred Square Yards of Happiness

bakker's fietsThings have changed since we were young someone remarked recently. It came kind of as the conclusion to a conversation about food home deliveries. Working on our AmeliaBites.com website I had noticed how many restaurants these days offer take out delivery so when someone asked me, “What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?”, I must have looked a bit dumbfounded. After a couple of seconds I said: “We didn’t have fast food when I was growing up,” I informed him. “All the food was slow.”

“C’mon, seriously. Where did you eat?”
“It was a place called home,” I explained. “Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn’t like what was put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it. And that could be the next morning or lunch.”

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn’t tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table. And no there was no TV blaring

Here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I hadn’t been afraid that his system could not handle it:
• My parents never drove me to school (or even Kindergarten!). The walk to school was through the neighborhoods, what must have been a little less than 2 miles. I walked there after breakfast, walked back home at lunch time, back to school for 2pm classes and played my way back home after classes were over at 4pm. Sometime in 3rd Grade I got a bicycle that had one speed: slow. If it was too cold or snowy, I walked.• We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 9. It was black and white, reception was done with rabbit ears and the station went off the air at 11pm, after playing the national anthem and a religious message. It came back on the air at about 9 a.m. and there was usually news to begin the day followed by women’s exercise and domestic care programs.
• I remember listening to the World Cup soccer on the radio and the highlights of the year in broadcasting were the rivalry soccer game between Holland and Belgium and the daily results of the Tour de France.
• I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen to make sure people weren’t already using the line. But I still remember our phone number 5805!
• Pizzas were not known to us as fast food, unless on our summer vacation trips to Italy, and certainly not delivered to our home… but milk and eggs were and our baker bicycle delivered personally our favorite breads and cookies on Tuesday and Saturday afternoon. His customer route into our neck of the woods encompassed about 30 miles of cycling. His name was Bakker Mueller. Harrie Pasmans was our milkman who brought fresh milk and eggs every morning before 7am, horse and wagon and all. He lived about 300 yards to the right of us. About three hundred yards to the left was Farmer Roumans, whose horse and wagon delivered fresh fruits and vegetables before noon every day. I dream off the days that white asparagus freshly out of the ground, an inch or more in diameter, were the culinary highlight on the dinner plate at home.  Topped with a special softly spiced real butter sauce and slices of hard boiled eggs I felt closer to Heaven in those days then ever since.• The butcher shop was 300 yards to the west and displayed an enormous delight of meats. Chickens were not sold in stores. If you wanted fresh chicken for dinner, you went into the coop and selected one for consumption. I personally can attest to the truth behind the expression “running around like a chicken without a head.”
• 300 Yards to the East, almost on the German border, was my grandparent’s home, just a short walk through the fields. If she had wanted to, mom could have watched us walk to our grandparents from the upstairs bedroom. She never did, she never had to. Safety was not an issue we had to concern ourselves with on a daily basis. Everyone in the neighborhood knew each other well and looked after us. It was 600 Square yards of pure, fresh, tasty, safe heaven on earth.
Yes things have changed since we were young!

World-Renowned Holocaust Exhibit comes to Jax

World-Renowned Holocaust Exhibit comes to JaxThe Courage to Remember: Simon Wiesenthal Center’s World-Renowned Holocaust Exhibit opens April 9 at FSCJ South Campus Wilson Center.

Guest speaker: Dr. Alfred Balitzer, adviser to Simon Wiesenthal Center and chairman of the Foundation for California;

Exhibit to run through April 26, 2013.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s “The Courage to Remember: The Holocaust 1933-1945” is a traveling exhibit that strives to address the issues of intolerance and hatred at the core, empowering people to educate themselves, learn from history and speak out against injustice. The exhibit is available for viewing at the Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts at Florida State College at Jacksonville from April 9-26, 2013.

The exhibit will commence with an opening ceremony on April 9 at 7 p.m. Hosting the opening will be FSCJ Interim President Will Holcombe, Ph.D., with Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti. Guest speaker for the opening ceremony will be Alfred Balitzer, Ph.D., Chairman of the Foundation for California and advisor to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“The Courage to Remember [exhibit] empowers young and old to learn from history, confront bigotry and fight for justice,” said Dr. Balitzer. “This exhibit is not a luxury; it is a necessity in all communities.”

The Courage to Remember exhibit is produced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance; presented by the Foundation for California; and made possible by a grant from SNCF. It has been displayed in over 16 countries over the past 20 years, in addition to a successful tour throughout California and the Southeast. More than 350,000 people have seen the exhibit in California alone.

The exhibit features more than 200 exclusive photographs that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. It offers amazing insight into the Holocaust through four distinct themes: Nazi Germany, 1933-1938; Moving Toward the “Final Solution,”1939-1941; Annihilation in Nazi-occupied Europe, 1941-1945; and Liberation, Building New Lives.

“Two decades after we first designed this exhibit, its lesson is still vital to peace at home and abroad,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “Its timeless messages reflect the words of Simon Wiesenthal: ‘Hope lives when people remember.'”

In 1983 the United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance as a national annual commemoration of the Holocaust. Congress also created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims. Holocaust Remembrance Day is April 8, with Days of Remembrance being observed April 7-14, 2013.

WHAT: The Courage to Remember: opening ceremony and continuing Holocaust exhibit, with more than 200 exclusive photographs
WHEN: Opening ceremony: April 9, 2013 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
WHERE: Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts, Florida State College at Jacksonville, South Campus, 11901 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville FL
COST: Free and open to the public. No reservations required; seating is limited for opening ceremony.
INFO: 904-646-2222

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City Police Department Celebrates 125 Years

City Police Department Celebrates 125 Years

Click to enlarge image

Contributed by Fernandina Beach Police Department

For most residents and visitors in Fernandina Beach, July 30th may have seemed like just another hot summer day. However, for members of the Fernandina Beach Police Department, the occasion was marked with a special celebration as the law enforcement agency quietly turned 125 years old.

On July 30, 1887, one-hundred and twenty-five years ago, the Fernandina (Beach) Police Department was established by ordinance by the City Council. John S. Lee was appointed as the first Chief of Police. The Rules and Regulations Handbook governing the “Police of Fernandina,” was adopted on August 17, 1887 and was just 15 pages long.

By passing the ordinance the Fernandina City Council established a “regular police force comprised of one police chief and no less than four patrolmen.” While the ordinance announced by Council President Fred Hoyt and approved by Mayor John Barr did not specifically state the duties of the police force, it did require the police chief to wear a uniform of navy blue yacht cloth with gold buttons and a gold badge. Patrolmen were required by the ordinance to wear a uniform of Middlesex navy blue flannel with silver buttons and a silver badge. All members were instructed by ordinance to wear a white helmet in the summer months and a black helmet in the winter months.

While some of the department’s history has been lost over time, an article in the local newspaper on March 17, 1891 noted that while the police department was not very large in weight or numbers, the members of the department had “plenty of grit.” The story recalls an encounter by Officer Courter of an unruly subject named Lewis Johnson. The officer attempted to arrest Johnson, but Johnson “defied the order to surrender and Officer Courter summoned assistance by blowing his whistle. Officer Starratt arrived on the scene and Johnson fought both officers, injuring Courter with a blow to the head and injuring Starratt by kicking him in the side. A crowd gathered but did not interfere as the officers eventually subdued Johnson and handcuffed him. As Johnson was brought under control, Chief Higginbotham and Officer DeFee, who had been on the other side of town when the melee broke out, arrived in time to assist in escorting Johnson to jail.” The newspaper closed the story by saying they were glad to note the efficiency of the City’s Police Force and it hoped that they may “continue to be a terror to evil doers.”

Like our City, we have a varied and colorful history. One significant and tragic incident occurred on December 8, 1930. While off duty, Police Chief James “Frank” Surrency responded quickly to the call of shots fired and within moments of his arrival was wounded by gunfire from the suspect, who moments earlier had shot and killed a young woman at his house. After mortally wounding Chief Surrency, he later killed another city resident while attempting to flee from responding officers. Meanwhile, Chief Surrency was transported to a Jacksonville hospital where he died from his wounds. Chief Surrency had served the City of Fernandina for more than 20 years and, at the time of his death, occupied both roles as the City Police Chief and City Fire Chief. He was just 43 years of age.

To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Police Department, members of the department designed an anniversary badge. With tax dollars tight, it was decided that officers would be required to buy their own badge and could wear it on their uniforms from July 2012 until July 2013. What resulted was a unique design of the City Seal incorporated with both the flags of the State of Florida and the United States, and a banner announcing the 125th anniversary. The concept was so well received that some officers bought one badge to wear and another encased in plastic to display. At the end of the anniversary year the department will make a decision about whether to continue to wear the badges or retire them from service.

Today the Fernandina Beach Police Department is comprised of a Police Chief and twenty nine sworn members. Whistles have been replaced by radios and Middlesex navy blue flannel uniforms have been replaced by polyester. But the basic duties of the department have not changed much in the last 125 years, nor has our mission to protect lives and property and to serve the citizens of Fernandina Beach. Ours is an exemplary police agency and it is important to honor our history and heritage by marking our 125th anniversary with some visible sign of recognition. The new anniversary badge, coupled with our new police cars, seems entirely appropriate. We hope our community likes them as much as we do.

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40th Anniversary of the Passage of Title IX

40th Anniversary of the Passage of Title IX

Image found at www.GirlsCantWhat.com

Saturday, June 23rd marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits gender discrimination in all areas of education. Title IX is best known for establishing greater opportunities for women and girls to play competitive sports at all academic levels.

Since the passage of Title IX, the number of girls who compete in high school sports has grown ten-fold—from fewer than 300,000 in 1972 to over three million in 2011. Moreover, collegiate athletic programs experienced a six-fold increase in the number of female athletes over the past 40 years. The number of young males playing sports has also increased as a result of Title IX, as more opportunities have been made available at all levels of play.

Despite the many important advancements spurred by Title IX, our nation still has a long way to go before female athletes compete on a level playing field with males. Unequal access, financial assistance and treatment for girls and women in sports still exist in too many communities and educational institutions, and these disparities are often more prevalent among minority and underserved populations, including people with disabilities.

The availability of athletic scholarships dramatically increases a young woman’s ability to pursue a college education and to choose from a wider range of colleges and universities. We also know that competitive sports programs promote greater academic and employment success, improved personal skills and a variety of health benefits for women and girls. Unfortunately girls and women still have fewer opportunities to participate in school sports than their male counterparts, and female athletes still do not receive an equal share of athletic scholarship dollars.

Legendary civil rights leader and tennis champion, Billie Jean King, is one of the most outspoken advocates of Title IX and educational institutions’ full adherence to the law. We are proud to have Billie Jean as a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Her unparalleled accomplishments, and her dedication to promoting the myriad benefits of Title IX, are an ongoing reminder of the importance of achieving gender equity in all parts of our society.

To learn more about the Title IX, visit www.fitness.gov.

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Life and Death at Windover

Life and Death at WindoverThe Amelia Island Museum of History invites you to its next 3rd on 3rd Street Presentation by Dr. Rachel Wentz on June 15th, at 6 p.m.

Dr. Wentz will be discussing her new book Life and Death at Windover: Excavations of a 7,000 Year Old Pond Cemetery.

Windover is an archealogical site near Titusville, Florida, which has produced remains from at least 160 individuals, providing a valuable window to the people of Florida’s Archaic period.

In her book, Dr. Wentz tells us two stories: one is of the people who are interred in the pond, while the other is of the excavation itself, and the individuals who made it possible.

Dr. Rachel K. Wentz obtained her PhD in Anthropology from Florida State University, where she has taught courses in physical anthropology, human osteology, and forensic anthropology. She is also the Director of the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) East Central Region, and serves on the Brevard County Historical Commission.

Admission is free for museum members with a suggested donation of $10.00 for non-members. For more information contact Gray at 261-7378 ext. 102.

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Fernandina Celebrates her French Heritage

Fernandina Celebrates her French HeritageThis year marks the 450th anniversary of the French arrival in Northeast Florida, including here on Amelia Island. The Department of State has encouraged communities in Northeast Florida to celebrate this significant anniversary.

Fernandina Beach will be celebrating our French Heritage with a few exciting events:

French Naval Schooners Arrive
Join the City of Fernandina Beach in welcoming two French Naval ships as they make their way along the Southeast Coast. Over 50 French sailors will be calling Fernandina home for the weekend of April 27th to 29th.

Isle de Mai Petanque Tournament
Petanque America, located in Fernandina Beach, will be hosting a one-day Petanque Tournament in honor of the French anniversary at the Amelia River waterfront on April 29, 2012.

NE Florida’s French History
Friday, May 18th, the Amelia Island Museum of History will offer a presentation on the History of French Influence in Northeast Florida.

Naming the Jean Ribault Pocket Park
To celebrate our community’s French heritage, the City will officially dedicate one of the downtown pocket parks in honor of Jean Ribault on May 19, 2012.

Stay tuned for 2013, which is the 500th anniversary of the Spanish arrival in Florida…

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The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody

searchamelia.com: decline and fall of practically everybody

A Humbling View of the People that Made History

Our resident Internet Scout Rick Traum came up with another jewel he found on line to share with us. His latest discovery is this 2006 painted canvas in the style of Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band by 3 Chinese Painters, that is now digitized with the life stories of 103 historical and contemporary celebrities, some of mankind’s defining landmarks such as the Pyramids and Stonehenge, important book and cultural references and even lolkat (“Im riding in a kamel pockits”) and the Ford T model.

This painting tough truly remarkable in its execution, is even more interesting by its associations. You will find Chairman Mao, enslaver of all the Chinese people sit beside Abe Lincoln who abolished slavery in America. Dr. Jack Kevorkian shares a table with Sigmund Freud; Marilyn Monroe is surrounded by Arafat, Brando, Fidel, Lao Tzu, Goethe and Che Guavara, but none of these guys have eyes for her. Actually she is kind of hidden behind a camel’s ass, while the camel has a humorist link to a series of people who became celebrities in spite of looking like a camel.

Another more disturbing discovery is the way Robert Oppenheimer, father of the Atom Bomb, looks at Elvis the King and how Stalin has Leonardo da Vinci’s attention. George Bush junior is depicted famously off track with pointing his spyglass in the opposite direction of where Osama bin Laden is looking at a procession of 72 Virgin behind George’s back. In 2006 their history and fall from the front pages of World News had not been written yet.
As a matter of fact this painting immediately reminded me of Will Cuppy’s 1949 novel “The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody”, a book that should be in everyone’s library.

The Painting was created by 3 Taiwanese painters, whom painted themselves into the corner of this illustrious dinner party, watching from the top of the Great Wall of China with Durante degli Alighieri – Dante reading from his famous works. It is titled “Discussing The Divine Comedy With Dante”, another book that should be in your library, and seems to be a metaphor for today’s celebrity-obsessed world.

When you click on the link , a big version of the computerized painting appears. Run your cursor over the people.
The program tells you who they are – every single one of them.
Now click on a person and you obtain the individual’s life history. Fascinating… and it can keep you busy for hours! If I would home school my children, I’d have a great tool to keep them interested in learning.
But for you who need your daily shot of tabloid celebrities, don’t bother trying to find Paris Hilton or the Decline and Fall of the Kardashians; they didn’t make the cut.

Here is the list in case you can’t find one. Enjoy!

Publisher’s Note: Sorry for the fact that Sarah Palin’s face keeps coming up on the Painting Page, endorsing Newt Gingrich. Definitely a distraction from another “celebrity” who thankfully did not make the cut and another one who hopefully never will.
searchamelia.com: Dinner with Celebrities
1. Bill Gates, Microsoft founder
2. Homer, Greek poet
3. Cui Jian, Chinese singer
4. Vladimir Lenin, Russian revolutionary
5. Pavel Korchagin, Russian artist
6. Bill Clinton, former U.S. President
7. Peter the Great, Russian leader
8. Margaret Thatcher
9. Bruce Lee, martial arts actor
10. Winston Churchill
11. Henri Matisse, French artist
12. Genghis Khan, Mongolian warlord
13. Napoleon Bonaparte, French military leader
14. Che Guevara, Marxist revolutionary
15. Fidel Castro, former Cuban leader
16. Marlon Brando, actor
17. Yasser Arafat, former Palestinian leader
18. Julius Caesar, Roman emperor
19. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault, WW II U.S. aviator
20. Luciano Pavarotti, singer
21. George W. Bush, former U.S. President
22. The Prince of Wales
23. Liu Xiang, Chinese Olympic hurdler
24. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General
25. Zhang An, the painter
26. Mikhail Gorbachev, former Russian leader
27. Li Tiezi, the painter
28. Dante Alighieri, Florentine poet
29. Dai Dudu, the painter
30. Pele, Brazilian footballer
31. Guan Yu, Chinese warlord
32. Ramses II, Egyptian pharaoh
33. Charles De Gaulle, French general
34. Albert Nobel, Swedish chemist who founded the Nobel prizes
35. Franklin Roosevelt, former U.S. President
36. Ernest Hemingway, American novelist
37. Elvis Presley, American singer
38. Robert Oppenheimer, U.S. physicist
39. William Shakespeare, playwright
40. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer
41. Steven Spielberg, U.S. film director
42. Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter
43. Marie Curie, physicist and pioneer of radioactivity
44. Zhou Enlai, first Premier of the People’s Republic of China
45. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, German writer
46. Laozi, Chinese philosopher
47. Marilyn Monroe, American actress
48. Salvador Dali, Spanish painter
49. Dowager Cixi, former ruler of China
50. Ariel Sharon, former Israeli Prime Minister
51. Qi Baishi, Chinese painter
52. Qin Shi Huang, former Chinese Emperor
53. Mother Teresa, Roman Catholic missionary
54. Song Qingling, Chinese politician
55. Rabindranath Tagore, Indian poet
56. Otto Von Bismarck, German statesman
57. Run Run Shaw, Chinese media mogul
58. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss philosopher
59. Audrey Hepburn, actress
60. Ludwig Van Beethoven, German composer
61. Adolf Hitler, Nazi leader
62. Benito Mussolini, Italian fascist leader
63. Saddam Hussein, former Iraq president
64. Maxim Gorky, Russian writer
65. Sun Yat-Sen, Chinese revolutionary
66. Den Xiaoping, Chinese revolutionary
67. Alexander Pushkin, Russian author
68. Lu Xun, Chinese writer
69. Joseph Stalin, former Soviet Union leader
70. Leonardo Da Vinci, Italian painter
71. Karl Marx, German philosopher
72. Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher
73. Abraham Lincoln, former U.S. President
74. Mao Zedong, Chinese dictator
75. Charlie Chaplin, British actor
76. Henry Ford, founder of Ford motor company
77. Lei Feng, Chinese soldier
78. Norman Bethune, Canadian physician
79. Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist
80. Juan Antonio Samaranch, former International Olympic Committee president
81. Chiang Kai Shek, Chinese general
83. Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist
84. Li Bai, Chinese poet
82. The Queen
85. Corneliu Baba, Romanian painter
86. Auguste Rodin, French artist
87. Dwight Eisenhower, former U.S. President
88. Michael Jordan, U.S. basketball player
89. Hideki Tojo, former Japanese Prime Minister
90. Michelangelo, Italian Renaissance painter
91. Yi Sun-Sin, Korean naval commander
92. Mike Tyson, American boxer
93. Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister
94. Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author
95. Shirley Temple, American actress
96. Albert Einstein, German physicist
97. Moses, Hebrew religious leader
98. Confucius, Chinese philosopher
99. Ghandi, Indian spiritual leader
100. Vincent Van Gogh, Dutch painter
101. Toulouse Lautrec, French painter
102. Marcel Duchamp, French artist
(Osama bin Laden, founder of al Qaeda, is behind George W. Bush, no 21)

Stained Glass Restoration of Trinity Methodist

Stained Glass Restoration of Trinity MethodistThis is your opportunity to view the award-winning restoration of the stained glass windows at Trinity United Methodist Church in Fernandina Beach, Florida.

During restoration of the Trinity United Methodist Church in 2000, plywood covering the damaged stained windows was removed and each window was individually refurbished by Creative Glassworks. Each stain glass panel had at least 50 pieces held in place with lead which had become warped over the years due to age, pollution, vibration, and breakage from Hurricane Dora in 1964. The window restoration goal was not to recreate the look when new, but rather to repair and conserve what was already in place.

Kirk Reber is the director of Creative Glassworks and a glass artist. Creative Glassworks was awarded the Preservation Excellence Award from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation for its work at Trinity UMC.

Reber noted, “Living in a nation in existence only 224 years, we have a responsibility to preserve that which is important to us culturally and to respect the artistry and craftsmanship of those who preceded us.”

If you missed previous chances to view the restoration, Trinity UMC at 715 Ash Street (corner of Ash and 8th) will be open on Saturday, November 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for people to view the restored vintage stain glass windows “in the light of day.” In addition, Ron Kurtz will be at the church at the noon hour as docent to lead a discussion and answer questions. Kurtz is an author of a popular history of Amelia Island and a series of children’s books and sits on the Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library board.

This opportunity to view the restoration is free and open to the public.

1861 Civil War Awakening

1861 Civil War AwakeningYou are invited to a lecture, 1861: The Civil War Awakening presented by the Amelia Island Museum of History featuring Adam Goodheart.

WHEN: Saturday, September 10th at 4:00 pm.

WHERE: Atlantic Avenue Recreation Center, Fernandina Beach.

WHAT: As part of the Civil War Series, The Amelia Island Museum of History will present a lecture by Adam Goodheart, author of the best selling book, 1861 The Civil War Awakening, at the Atlantic Avenue Recreation Center, Fernandina Beach, September 10th at 4:00 pm. His book received a glowing review on the cover of the April 24, 2011 New York Times Book Review. This event is sponsored by John Hudson with Raymond James & Associates. It will be a prelude to the Museum’s “Florida in the Civil War” exhibition, which will start in October. Mr. Goodheart will sign copies of his book after the lecture and at the Book Loft bookstore at 214 Centre St., from 10 am to 12 noon on Saturday, September 10th.

COST: Tickets are $25 for members; $30 for non-members; and $15 for youth under 19. They will be available at the Museum, 233 South 3rd St., Fernandina Beach.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Call the Museum at 904.261.7378, ext 102, visit ameliamuseum.org, or Facebook.

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Amelia Island Museum of History Celebrates Birthdays

Amelia Island Museum of History Celebrates Birthdays Amelia Island Museum of History is a great place to celebrate your next birthday! I’m not saying that you are old! The Museum actually offers children’s birthday parties!

They offer a variety of themes but here are two to consider:

Victorian Ladies Tea Party
Have a Victorian lady host a tea party in honor of the birthday girl. Watch the children delight in Victorian etiquette lessons, tea and finger sandwiches served on real China. Party favors are included!

Timucuan Pottery Party
Birthday guests will learn about the Timucuan Indians and how we know about lives they led. See real artifacts and decorate your own “pottery shard.” Snacks and drinks are included.

For other theme ideas and pricing give them a call at (904) 261-7378 ext. 100.

Old Town Fernandina Celebrates Bicentennial

Old Town Fernandina Celebrates BicentennialFernandina Beach, FL – On Saturday April 2nd, Old Fernandina (known as Old Town) celebrates the 200th anniversary of the naming and platting of the town during the 2nd Spanish period. On January 1, 1811, the Amelia Island Post was renamed Fernandina after King Ferdinand VII of Spain, and in May of the same year George Clarke was instructed by the Governor of the Province of E. Florida to bring order to this wild border town by platting it according to the ancient Law of the Indies.

On Bicentennial Day you may choose to be an early bird and take part in the Fort-to-Fort 5k walk/run from the site of Fort San Carlos on the Plaza to Fort Clinch in the State Park at 8:30. If you arrive on the island by car either, follow the signs to N.14th Street and Franklin and enjoy free parking under the shady trees before you take the free Amelia Island Trolley shuttle to Old Town. The trolley will be looping from the parking area into and around Old Town all day.

Or drive down Centre St and catch the Amelia River Cruise boat to the Old Town dock at Tiger Point Marina and then walk 2 minutes to the Plaza. The first boat trip is at 9:30 with hourly trips on the half hour and return trips from Old Town on the hour. Only $5 round trip, seniors and children under 12 free.

When you arrive, go to the San Carlos Plaza overlooking the river for the opening ceremony at 10:00 with a special visit from the Spanish Consul-General. Warning! Keep your eyes and ears open for Pirates! Commemorative T-shirts will be on sale.

Then you have decisions to make:

· Walk Someruelos Street to the site of the old town gates and join the Bosque Bello cemetery tour ($8 tickets on sale at the library). Or begin the Home Tour and visit one or two of the Captains’ Homes and Cottages before completing the tour of all six homes later ($10 tickets on sale at the Museum and Lindy’s on Centre Street). Tickets available from March 21st.

· Make sure you don’t miss one of the Nature tours from woods to river, at 10:30 or 2:00 when you will learn of the history of the flora and fauna of Old Town.

· Of course, you must make sure that you sit and enjoy the History Vignettes at either 11:00 or 1:30 in which former Old Town residents tell the dramatic tale of their lives during the turbulent 2nd Spanish period.

· The museum docents will surprise you with tales of ancient burials, massacre, treasure, tunnels, boardwalks and saucy ladies. Their knowledge of Old Town history, ancient and modern, will be told throughout the day.

· Make sure you regularly check out the progress of the archeological dig on Someruelos Street. Who knows what these experts will find?

There will be plenty of opportunity for you to sit and relax, find something good to eat, enjoy the Spanish music, watch the sailboat race, and visit with the Pirates. The afternoon will begin with Flamenco dancing at 1 pm and the Island Chamber Singers and superb Spanish music by a master guitarist will complete your day. Opportunities still available for food and merchandise vendors!

For more information visit www.oldtownfernandina.org/bicentennial or phone 904.491.1259.

Cedar Key Pirates Peddle for a Purpose

Cedar Key Pirates Peddle for a Purpose

Pirates Peddle for a Purpose

In 1861, the 155 mile David Yulee Levy’s Florida Railroad connecting Fernandina Beach to Cedar Key, Florida was completed. The first train arrived on the dock at Cedar Key on March 16, 1861. This spring marks the 150th anniversary connecting the East Coast of Florida to Florida’s West Coast.

To mark this historic occasion, a group of cycling pirates from the Cedar Key Pirates in Paradise will leave Fernandina Beach on March 16th and average 50 miles a day retracing the tracks to Cedar Key.

Following the original route as closely as they can, they will travel through the towns of Callahan, Baldin, Starke, Waldo, Gainesville, Archer and Rosewood with the group completing their three day journey by arriving in Cedar Key at noon on Saturday.

This Pirates group is still in their infancy at only four months old, but they are doing what Pirates do best by finding a couple of charities and implementing a fun way to raise money. “Cedar Key Pirates in Paradise Peddling for a Purpose” is collecting pledges, or wagers on whether they will finish the ride or not.

Spearheading the ride are John Hadden and Bobby McCabe. Cyclist and Pirate McCabe told me, “We will arrive on Dock Street where the Pirates are having our Treasure Hunters Rummage Sale fundraiser. Our charities are the Cedar Key Food Pantry and the Wounded Warriors Project.”

Here in Fernandina Beach, the city is officially recognizing the anniversary at the March 1st Commissioner Meeting by presenting a Proclamation, “PROCLAMATION – 150TH FLORIDA RAILROAD ANNIVERSARY – Proclaims 2011 as the year of ‘The 150th Florida Railroad Anniversary’,” to Phyllis Davis, Executive Director of the Amelia Island Museum of History.

If you would like more information about the ride, would like to make a donation or simply grab your bike and join them, visit their FaceBook page to learn more.

Don’t worry if you miss the Cedar Key Pirates in March, they will be returning the end of April to participate in the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival’s Pirate Parade. This annual parade gets the Shrimp Festival festivities started and our noisy band of Fernandina Pirates hand out beads and pirate hats while they bring up the rear of the parade firing cannons and black-powdered weapons from their street-worthy parade ship, Amelia’s Revenge!

Two Bridges to the Mainland

Two Bridges to the Mainland

Thomas Shave Bridge

As we all know, there are two bridges that connect Amelia Island to the mainland, the bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway, named for Thomas J. Shave Jr. and the George Crady Bridge on the south side of the island.

Thomas J. Shave Jr. was a local attorney and Judge on the island. He died in 1977 and on April 20, 1978, the Florida Senate introduced by Special Order, Senate Bill 434, designating the newly constructed bridge on State Road 200 (A1A) as the Thomas J. Shave Jr. Bridge.

The other bridge connects the southern end of Amelia Island to Talbot Island. It is one-mile long and was constructed in 1999. It is named for George Crady, a local Florida State Representative and great supporter of Florida State Parks. A longtime resident of Yulee, Mr. Crady is an avid fishing enthusiast as well. The “old” bridge, constructed in 1948, is located just west of the new one and is used as a pedestrian fishing pier. It is part of George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park. This state park is known for having some of the best fishing grounds in Florida. The fishing bridge is open 24 hours a day and is often crowded with fishermen.

Living here for almost 13 years, I have crossed over both of these bridges countless times and often wondered about their history and the men that they are named for. These two bridges connect our paradise island with the rest of the world and the men they were named for are responsible in different ways for making this place that we love what it is today.