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Tampa Bay history

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Tampa Bay history
University of South Florida -- Dept. of History
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Tampa, Fla
Dept. of History, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of South Florida.
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History -- Periodicals -- Tampa Bay Region (Fla.) ( lcsh )
History -- Periodicals -- Tampa Region (Fla.) ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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T06-00021-v11-n01-89 ( USFLDC DOI )
t6.21 ( USFLDC Handle )

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SPRING/SUMMER 1989 VOLUME 11, NUMBER 1 CONTENTS From the Editors 3 ARTICLES Stitching and Striking: WPA Sewing Rooms and the 1937 Relief Strike in Hillsborough County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .By James Francis Tidd, Jr. 5 Fort Myers during World War II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Thomas F. Cox, Jr. 22 "One a Day in Tampa Bay": B-26 Bomber Training at MacDill Air Base during World War II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By John J. Sullivan 41 Ten Years of Tampa Bay History : A Photographic Essay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 BOOK REVIEWS Smith, Archaeology of Aboriginal Culture Change in the Interior Southeast: Depopulation During the Early Historical Period . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Nancy M. White 58 Campbell, The Nature of Things on Sanibel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Willard W. Payne 59 Ingalls, Urban Vigilantes in the New South, Tampa, 1882-1936 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .By Gail W, O'Brien 60 Susie, In the Way of Our Grandmothers: A Cultural View of Twentieth-Century Midwifery in Florida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .By Emma B. Ohaegbulam 62 Index for Volumes 6-10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Announcements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73 Notes on Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Tampa Bay History Essay Contest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Copyright 1989 by the University of South Florida Typography and composition by RAM Printing by Consolidated Press, Tampa, Florida


This public document was promulgated at an annual cost of $5,228 or $6.15 per copy, including preparation, printing, and distribution, to disseminate historical information related to the service area of the University of South Florida. [89-66] The editors extend their appreciation to the following people who have made special contributions to TAMPA BAY HISTORY . PATRONS SUSTAINERS Mark T. Orr Roland Rodriguez Bill Wagner FRIENDS Joan Berry Thomas Kearns Anthony Carrad M. Craig Massey William W. Casey Mrs. Lester Olson U.S. Cleveland R. Rex Patrick Rebecca S. DeMatte R. J. Robbins, Jr. John C. Egan Charles W. Russell Charles W. Emerson Raymond J. Sever John M. Fitzgibbons Charlton W. Tebeau James V. Hodnett, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. David E. Ward Marvin L. Ivey


FROM THE EDITORS This issue marks the tenth anniversary of Tampa Bay History . After twenty issues it is hard to believe that this enterprise began with a mimeographed letter of inquiry promising a magazine of local history if enough potential readers expressed interest in subscribing. The positive response of several hundred people launched TBH in 1979. Since then the dedication of readers old and new has been the mainstay in sustaining this nonprofit journal. In addition, we have relied heavily on support provided by the Department of History and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of South Florida. Members of the Board of Advisors have also generously extended assistance in a variety of ways. Last, and certainly not least, TBH is a product of the many authors who have written articles, edited documents, compiled photographic essays and reviewed books over the past ten years. A glance at the index for the last five years, which appears at the end of this issue, gives some indication of the enormous number of writers who have contributed to the successful run of TBH . The generosity of several people helped make this anniversary issue possible and thereby assure the continued success of Tampa Bay History . Robert Alicea, a long-time friend of history and the Department of History at the University of South Florida, encouraged us to shift to computerized "desktop publishing" to prepare TBH for printing. His expertise has given us vastly improved control over production while simultaneously reducing publication costs. In addition, Consolidated Press of Tampa, which has printed TBH for the past two years, helped underwrite the printing of this anniversary issue. We greatly appreciate their generosity. The articles in this issue focus on the impact of the Great Depression and World War II on central and southwest Florida. "Stitching and Striking," the article by James Francis Tidd, Jr., explores the background of a 1937 sitdown strike by women on a WPA project in Tampa. This extraordinary event, involving a strike by women on relief, revealed a number of conflicting attitudes toward government assistance under Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. Within five years, however, Americans were overwhelmed by a new set of problems created by the war. Thomas Cox's article shows how one community Fort Myers met the challenges that arose on the homefront during World War II. In "'One a Day in Tampa Bay,'" John J. Sullivan describes a different challenge that confronted pilots learning to fly B-26 bombers at MacDill Army Air Base in Tampa. The death of dozens of pilots during training exercises in 1942 brought home to civilians the reality of the war. To mark the tenth anniversary of Tampa Bay History , the editors have compiled a special photo essay that is a retrospective of photographs used in the previous twenty issues. This selection shows both the range of topics and the number of communities covered by articles during the past ten years. We rely on your support to keep Tampa Bay History going for another ten years, and we hope you enjoy this issue.


STITCHING AND STRIKING: WPA SEWING ROOMS AND THE 1937 RELIEF STRIKE IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY by James Francis Tidd, Jr. On July 8, 1937, a group of women employed in an Ybor City Works Progress Administration (WPA) sewing room instigated a relief worker sitdown strike in Hillsborough County. They laid aside their materials and called for a unified, general relief walkout. Despite economic hardships created by the Great Depression and faced with possible violence as well as extended unemployment, these women banded together, challenging local and federal authorities to confront numerous problems which plagued WPA efforts, particularly those related to needy female labor. Sewing room work was an important, yet troubled, part of Hillsborough County's NWA undertaking. The experience of sewing women, at work and on strike, reveals much about local support for and criticism of relief activities. President Franklin Roosevelt’s WPA was an attempt to help some of this country’s suffering jobless by providing minimum financial assistance to needy people who labored on beneficial community projects. Beginning in 1935, several million workers found employment on government funded jobs, ranging from toy manufacture to highway construction. Many aspects of American life were affected by WPA efforts, which aimed to improve institutional and cultural deficiencies, while preserving worker confidence and skills. WPA activities were federally capitalized, approved and supervised, but local sponsoring bodies contributed a portion of expenses, primarily by supplying necessary space, materials and equipment. Viewed as an innovative method of combating problems too complicated for traditional solutions, WPA was created in 1935 by the Congress and the President in part to thwart the spread of more radical alternatives.1 Hillsborough County’s economy suffered seriously before and during the depression, and local relief agencies were unable to cope with massive unemployment. Adequate financial assistance to the needy was beyond the ability of Tampa, Plant City and other smaller communities to provide. Ybor City, Tampa’s immigrant quarter, turned “funereal” as slumping cigar sales and factory mechanization forced thousands out of work, inducing many citizens to move north to seek better opportunities. Half of Tampa’s employable population stood idle, and Tampa’s Cooperative Unemployment Council reported that over 10,000 citizens registered as needy in 1932. By March 1935, 8,746 people (including 2,664 women) were on relief in Hillsborough County.2 R. E. L. Chancey, Tampa’s mayor, wrote directly to Roosevelt, complaining that there was “a very live unemployment problem still in Tampa” and voicing his support for WPA activities.3 Officials in Tampa and Hillsborough County applied for and acquired numerous WPA projects from the program’s inception in 1935 through its demise in 1943. Roads, sewers, recreation facilities and other public institutions, including airports, libraries, schools, gymnasiums and tourist centers, were constructed or improved through federal support. Health care for local


blacks improved upon completion of Clara Frye Negro Hospital, and a newly constructed county home and detention hospital served the white populace. Tampa workers replaced the city’s battered seawall and repaved Bayshore Boulevard. The Tampa Bay Hotel, city stockade and fire station were expanded and repaired. Hillsborough’s cultural environment was also enhanced: WPA personnel operated an orchestra, theaters, writer and artist programs, education and citizenship classes, surveys and many other useful community services. By February 1936, sixty-four projects had been started county-wide, employing over five thousand residents. Gloria Jahoda wrote that “had the WPA not come into existence to bring hope to Tampa in 1935, communism would have had impressive success with a substantial portion of blue-collar workers who lived on or near the Hillsborough River.”4 Tampa’s citizens were not unfamiliar with radicalism and often reacted swiftly and violently against those viewed as instigators. Ybor City cigarmakers were experienced agitators, striking against their employers. Tampa officials often used deportation and vigilante violence to quell The Clara Frye Hospital, built by the WPA for black patients, shown in 1938 with the Tampa skyline in the background. Photograph courtesy of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.


strikes. Tampa acquired a reputation for anti-socialist violence, and police officers participated in the brutal flogging and murder of Joseph Shoemaker, who was attempting to promote socialist activity in 1935.5 Despite Tampa’s violent reputation, a group of workers and unemployed organized a local branch of the Workers’ Alliance, which promoted socialist solutions to the economic crisis. Eugene Poulnot, who also suffered at the hands of the Shoemaker vigilantes, became local Workers’ Alliance president and promoted efforts to persuade elected community leaders to increase relief spending. The Workers’ Alliance fought against attempts to close WPA jobs and actively protested worker layoffs. David Lasser, National Workers’ Alliance president, predicted a “crisis” as “demonstrations and sitdowns coincided with exhaustion of funds in various states.”6 Radicals were not the only ones to criticize WPA efforts, not all of which ran smoothly or equitably. A three-week delay in check distribution sparked a small riot in Tampa, as 400 workers clashed with police on September 7, 1935. The Tampa Tribune applauded “outstanding” WPA work like Peter O. Knight Airport and Bayshore Boulevard, but criticized “incidental, non-essential” jobs like tree surgery and. beautification. A report by Mayor Chancey claimed that only thirty-five percent of those eligible had obtained WPA work during May 1937.7 A WPA worker at work on Tampa’s Bayshore seawall in 1936. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections


Most WPA projects were labor intensive construction, beautification and road work, which predominantly utilized men. Women accounted for only twelve to eighteen percent of those on WPA jobs, a rate far lower than their overall participation in the work force. Despite Roosevelt’s interest in employing and training women through the relief agency, men dominated relief ranks in Tampa as elsewhere. Finding suitable employment for females was difficult, particularly for those with limited skills. While many women obtained WPA positions as teachers, librarians, nurses and clerks, and a few ladies were appointed to high management positions, most women were placed in handicraft work. Officials argued that sewing was easier for ladies because they usually had some experience, picked up additional skills quickly and required less supervision. During the week of April 2, 1938, fifty-six percent of women employed on WPA jobs in the United States were engaged in sewing or other goods production, while another forty-one percent were in white collar positions; eighty-seven percent of workers occupied in sewing rooms were women. Nationally, sewing ladies produced 117,800,000 household and hospital items, and 382,800,000 family wear garments. When WPA’s emphasis shifted to defense preparation prior to World War II, WPA sewing ladies repaired uniforms and other armed services material.8 Women in Florida found themselves in jobs similar to those of their WPA sisters nationwide. They were predominantly placed in fields considered acceptable for females, like nursing, The administration building at Peter O. Knight Airport, which was built by the WPA on Davis Islands in Tampa. Photograph courtesy of the USF Special Collections.


teaching, laundry work and domestic service; there were very few women in skilled or semi-skilled construction. Flo rida’s WPA sewing ladies produced a large amount of goods as well, accounting for 10,008,506 garments and 2,528,124 other articles.9 WPA sewing rooms were activated in Hillsborough County on October 28, 1935, and were co-sponsored by Florida’s State Board of Social Welfare, Hillsborough’s Board of County Commissioners and the City of Tampa. During most of WPA’s tenure, sewing rooms were decentralized, with seven locations established early in the program. By September 1936, 375 women were employed, and they had produced 70,847 articles. Ten units were in operation by July 1938. Throughout WPA’s duration, the number of women employed in sewing rooms fluctuated according to financial and policy considerations. One report claimed 1,476 ladies were actively engaged in sewing by September 1936. In December 1937, however, only 1,224 women were busy producing cloth items. They labored at sixteen sites, including one which supported eighty black women. By September 1940, with a small Plant City operation the only exception, A 1934 sewing project in Tampa run by the Civil Works Administration, a federal work relief program which preceded WPA. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.


the projects had been centralized with all sewing women concentrated at a high speed, modernly equipped facility in Ybor City.10 A variety of associations benefited from products supplied by WPA sewing efforts, and it was these local organizations which dispersed WPA materials to needy citizens. They included the American Red Cross, Girl and Boy Scouts, Hillsborough’s Children’s Home, Family Service Association, Old People’s Home, Salvation Army, Women’s Home, Tampa Day Nursery, Traveler’s Aid Society, YMCA, YWCA, Urban League, PTA, civic clubs, orphanages and churches. Hillsborough County’s Health Unit received gowns, aprons, instrument cases and uniforms for nurses. Graduation dresses and outfits were provided to sixty-five high school seniors. Cushion pads were fashioned for army truck seats, and an Ybor City unit repaired and manufactured dolls. Ladies in the Plant City sewing room stitched pillow cases, sheets and obstetric pads and provided quilts for an Arcadia orphanage and Plant City’s jail.11 Sewing rooms served more functions than simply a place for emergency employment, where women could earn a small wage while producing valuable articles needy citizens could not afford to purchase. Some sites provided educational opportunities and recreation through a number of small libraries. For a few women they provided a chance to learn a new, marketable skill, which could help them obtain outside income. Rivalries among units produced a spirit of competition, and products were proudly displayed at fairs and exhibits. Christmas parties were staged, and presents were distributed to workers’ children. Health instruction was given; some nurses actively tried to discourage women who were “adicted [sic] to the use of snuff.”12 Sewing rooms probably served another important function, that of a gathering place where women could communicate and exchange ideas and establish new social contacts and relationships. Notwithstanding positive reports and productive sewing units, some people voiced criticisms of the projects. One lady complained that favoritism was being shown supervisors and that some women did not qualify for their positions. Another charged that white-collar workers received special favors. Some WPA officials were accused of protecting cushy positions for their friends, while sending more qualified women to sew. One writer claimed that “society girls” and recent high school graduates obtained desirable nursery school slots, while teachers with experience sat in sewing rooms. A Family Service Association official complained that WPA sewing room workers seemed “indignant” when questioned about production. Some complaints were rooted in men’s prejudice against women working at all. One particularly harsh critic asserted that the “sewing room project is merely a modified form of direct relief. Practically none of the women employed on this project are qualified workers. Many of them have never been employed prior to the opening of the sewing room projects. However, as these women all have dependents and are entitled to relief, we feel that the proper solution would be to give them direct relief so that they could stay at home with their dependents, where they are needed.”13 Black women were attacked even more severely than whites for opting to work on WPA sewing projects. Southern white men disliked seeing Negro women receive government money because it strengthened black demands for federal intervention, raised their standard of living and provided them an opportunity to escape low-paying menial labor positions. A Tampa doctor angrily complained to U.S. Senator Claude Pepper that a black girl made more in a sewing room than as a maid for his daughter, and he inquired, “How long will the solid south remain solid


when the negro is permitted to insult our white citizens believing that they have the backing of our government?”14 Surely black sewing room women realized their precarious position and must have feared that funding could quickly dry up in response to such attacks. In addition to charges of corruption, waste and mismanagement, sewing rooms were constantly plagued with funding difficulties and relief policy changes. Funds often ran low, forcing closings and layoffs. When money was appropriated, it frequently was insufficient to re-employ large contingents of women. This chronic problem inflamed worker discontent and focused it on existing WPA regulations. Rumors that a strike was brewing circulated for weeks in 1937, and when eighty-eight women were laid off in an economy move, the stage was set for a confrontation between female sewing workers and local officials.15 Four hundred women were employed at the WPA sewing facility on Twelfth Avenue and Twentieth Street in Ybor City on July 8, 1937. Formerly home of the La Flor de Cuba cigar factory, the three-story brick structure had now become federal property and housed a sewing unit which employed both Anglo and Latin women. On a Thursday weeks of concern crystallized when Mabel Hagen, head of the local Workers’ Alliance women's committee, The former “Flor de Cuba” cigar factory in Ybor City which housed the WPA sewing room where the 1937 sitdown strike occurred. Photograph courtesy of the Tampa-Hillsborough Coun ty Public Library System.


declared that a sitdown strike had been called.16 The decision to stage a sitdown. strike was undoubtedly influenced by the recent wave of factory seizures that had begun in December 1936 with the successful sitdown strike by General Motors workers in Flint, Michigan. In the months that followed, various protestors around the country resorted to the sitdown technique because it proved effective in gaining publicity and winning demands.17 In Tampa Mabel Hagen reportedly called for her fellow work ers to “stand together like they do in the North,” and WPA forewomen at the site immediately ordered work to stop.18 Unfortunately, little is known about Hagen or her fellow strike leaders, Adela Santiesteban and Elsie Seth. Although Tampa’s branch of the Workers’ Alliance was active in petitioning local community leaders for increased relief funding, records do not exist which might detail particular women’s roles within the organization. Hagen was described by some as a likeable woman, and she must have had considerable leadership qualities. Two years after the strike, however, another local resident described Hagen in less than glowing terms, accusing her of continued radical activity, thievery and loose morals.19 Whatever her position or personality, Hagen inspired her co-workers. A strike committee was quickly established, and a call went out for reinstatement of the released women. Strikers also demanded a twenty percent increase in wages, a two-week notice of future layoffs and formation of a board which would handle complaints against WPA decisions. They wanted to see this three-person board include representatives from the Workers’ Alliance, the WPA and a mutually acceptable third party. They emphasized that their actions were not directed at local administrators or unit supervisors.20 W. E. Robinson, district WPA supervisor, and Hillsborough County Sheriff J. R. McLeod, first WPA district director for the area, arrived to negotiate with the strikers. Robinson claimed that he had no alternative other than to release the women because he had received direct instructions from Washington to do so. He expressed his regret for the lack of notice, arguing that he had allowed them to continue in their positions long beyond initial directions to reduce payrolls. He protested that he had no authority to establish a grievance committee and that problems should instead be brought directly to him or a representative of the labor department. The women remained firm in their demands, despite Robinson’s assurance that he would review each case and that he had been informed that wages would be increased soon.21 Sheriff McLeod, showing sympathy and restraint, sought to avoid violence, proclaiming, “I have left my badge and gun at the jail.” However, McLeod demanded that any women who wished to leave be allowed to do so, proclaiming that they would receive protection from him. Almost three-fourths of the workers opted to accept his offer and left the factory at day's end, although many may have planned to return later. Approximately 100 to 130 women chose to remain. McLeod’s promise of nonviolence was realized. The protest drew a gathering of nearly five hundred family members and curious onlookers, many of whom expected law officers to The 1937 frontpage headline announcing the sitdown strike in Tampa. Photograph from the Tampa Morning Tribune , July 9, 1937.


Mabel Hagen, leader of the WPA sitdown strike. Photograph from the Tampa Morning Tribune , July 9, 1937.evict the women. Deputies and police were held back from clearing the facility, however, because it was considered a federal site and their authority to take such an action was questioned.22 Clearly, Tampa’s Workers’ Alliance hoped to use the strike to promote their activities. Hagen later charged that Eugene Poulnot had talked her into calling the strike, and Poulnot did seem ready to take a leading role by calling a general walkout from all WPA projects in support of the women. He argued that the sewing ladies could not support their families on thirty-four dollars a month. Although no evidence points to prior knowledge of the strike by national Workers’ Alliance leaders, David Lasser sent a telegram which arrived before midnight, immediately approving the sitdown.23 Despite rejection of the action by a majority of those working at the site, the remaining women sang and smoked, and they cheered the arrival of food and supplies brought in by family members and other supporters. The Workers’ Alliance sent guava pastries, bread, cookies and coffee. The strikers who chose to stay included “girls of eighteen and grandmothers of sixty-five, most of them of Latin descent and most of them wearing yellow Workers’ Alliance badges.” They bedded down for the night amidst rumors that the lights would be shut off, which proved groundless, and waited for the following day’s activity.24 On Friday morning it was clear that police intended to maintain control of the situation. Strikers were confined to the first floor of the factory, and adjacent streets were roped off. Police and deputies stood guard, but allowed food, mail, newspapers, bedding and clothes to be delivered. Most disturbing for the strikers was the arrival of over two hundred workers who had refused to join in the strike. They were allowed to occupy the top two floors of the factory and continue with their work, effectively undercutting the strikers’ efforts.25 Countywide support for the strikers by fellow WPA workers also failed to materialize. Although approximately 250 men walked off their jobs on mosquito ditching and road paving


projects, 3,500 others remained at their positions on thirty-nine WPA jobs countywide. Pickets tried to influence workers at other sites but met with little success. Failure of native-born workers to support the predominantly Latin strike deeply disturbed writers at La Gaceta , Ybor City’s premiere newspaper. They claimed that Americans started the strike, then failed to support it, leaving Latin workers vulnerable and holding the bag.26 Black sewing room workers also failed to stand behind their Latin sisters, though probably for somewhat different reasons. One story reported that women at a black sewing room “chanted derisively” in response to the strike. Reportedly adopting a refrain from a popular black movie, they sang “Lawd no, I cain’t sit down! I just got to heaven and I got to look around. No lawd, I just cain’t sit down.” Even when sixty-four women were released from the Morgan Street sewing room, they failed to join the sitdown.27 Undoubtedly, black women on local WPA projects were reluctant to jeopardize such an important source of income, particularly when positions for blacks were few. Their sense of solidarity with striking workers may also have been weakened by their residential, social and occupational segregation from Anglo and Latin communities. Women strikers peering out from the building where they staged their sitdown. Photograph from the Tampa Morning Tribune , July 9, 1937.


When Frank Ingram, Florida’s WPA director, arrived on the scene, he said he would not cooperate with the Workers’ Alliance, claiming that there were plenty of people willing to take the strikers’ places. He argued that Florida had received a good deal in not having to suffer as many cuts as neighboring states, and he offered to refer complaints to Washington. He gave Robinson permission to close any projects that had insufficient numbers of workers present. Consequently, a number of projects were closed down, and Monday’s scheduled activity cancelled.28 A mass meeting, sponsored by the Workers’ Alliance, was held in Ybor City’s Labor Temple on Friday night. Cigar workers were asked to show support for the women by sponsoring a fifteen-minute work stoppage. Speakers pointed out the injustice caused by American women Tampa policemen patrolling the site of the sitdown strike Photograph from the Tampa Morning Tribune , July 10, 1937.


refusing to back their Latin sisters. Police were in attendance, and calm was maintained. Meanwhile, the striking women stayed put in the factory, despite rumors that police violence would occur during the night. However, local authorities continued to show restraint, and the night passed quietly.29 On Saturday, July 10, Tampa city officials tried a differe nt approach by sending Tampa’s health officer to inspect the facility. He reported that the women were sleeping on tables and chairs and that although their floor was being kept clean, the building lacked proper toilet facilities, which was ironic since a larger number of women had been using the same facilities before the strike. He also claimed that one woman had become ill.30 However, the city’s attempt to scare the women into giving up their sitdown with health warnings failed. Although Poulnot asserted that more workers would be striking, he was able to produce only a small number of pickets, who generated little support. A group of seamen off the ship Cuba, who had been arrested and thrown off the ship when they staged a sitdown strike a month earlier, sent milk to the striking women. Otherwise activities quieted down considerably during the weekend, though only a couple of women chose to give up the strike. The “pastoral” setting, complete with picnics and cows grazing on factory grounds, persuaded local officials to replace police with deputized WPA foremen. Family members of the strikers brought food, clothing, soap and pillows, and they were allowed to visit with the women.31 The Workers’ Alliance continued to promote support activities and prepared to expand the strike during the following week. They called for unity and asked for help from cigar makers and bakers, claiming the women had shown class consciousness, and they published a manifesto arguing against rampant favoritism within Hillsborough's WPA ranks. West Tampa and Ybor City residents were solicited for contributions to help the women, and over $150 was raised. However, all did not go well with the collections. Workers’ Alliance Finance Secretary M. Salazar asked that no money be given unless an official Alliance seal was affixed to the letter of introduction, because someone had been taking advantage of the situation to con unwary supporters.32 Even this limited activity led Sheriff McLeod to request additional deputies to manage expected Alliance demonstrations when projects reopened on Tuesday, July 13. Hillsborough County’s commissioners shied away from any action which might prove a political liability and placed the decision back in McLeod’s lap. McLeod already had the right to deputize citizens if necessary, but claimed he wanted to have a show of support from county officials. Ingram ordered that closed operations be resumed, and warned strikers of a WPA regulation which allowed for workers to be released from their jobs if they stayed away for more than four days.33 Strikers were officially absent for the third day on Tuesday.


Tuesday morning the projects reopened, and violence was avoided everywhere except at the factory site. There a scuffle broke out between a picket and a police officer. Peter Riscile, reported to be an Alliance lookout, was charged with assault and resisting arrest. Riscile was accused of trying to cross a police line, and a police officer reportedly hit him with his own sign. The Workers’ Alliance protested the fight, claiming that pickets were being beaten, but WPA officials claimed ignorance of the entire incident. Riscile later received a suspended sentence, and the Alliance paid his fine.34 Further confrontations were avoided when the sitdown collapsed on Wednesday. On that day, ninety-six women left the factory, throwing their belongings to family members and giving up, although a dozen women held out until after nightfall while strikers’ families pressured Alliance officials to call off the strike. Ingram’s warning that they stood to lose their positions if they held out longer than four days probably provided the greatest incentive, and the final decision came at 10:15 p.m. Although Poulnot and other Alliance officials claimed that they stopped the strike in order to avoid “bloodshed,” it seems more likely that they just never received the level of support they expected. The remaining strikers left the factory and marched to the Labor Temple to join their families and friends. Arriving to grand applause and cheering, strike leaders took center stage. Mabel Hagen, one of several who gave speeches, said she had no regrets, and claimed “it Pickets marching in support of the sitdown strikers. Photograph from the Tampa Morning Tribune , July 11, 1937.


was not pleasant, but we would do it over again.” A large gathering of police, detectives and deputies watched the proceedings behind Sheriff McLeod, who reportedly made sure his presence was acknowledged.35 WPA activities continued well into 1943, and little changed as a result of the strike. Poulnot, Hagen, Santiesteban and four other Alliance leaders were fired from their WPA positions. Poulnot and Hagen were forced to ask Tampa’s Family Service Association for aid, and their involvement in the strike almost cost them aid from even this agency of last resort. “It looks like I am between the devil and the deep blue see [sic],” Poulnot reflected privately in November 1937. Hagen later turned on Poulnot in an effort to obtain work, and reportedly begged for reinstatement. The Workers’ Alliance collapsed in the 1940s, after the group was tainted by charges of communist involvement. Poulnot lost his position in an internal purge by local Alliance leaders.36 Two months after the brief sitdown strike, many Latin women permanently lost their WPA jobs when aliens were eliminated from the relief agency’s rolls. Ybor City was hard hit by this federal ruling, and hundreds of Latins turned to the Family Service Association (FSA) for help. Many of those released had lived in Ybor City most of their lives but had failed to become citizens. The FSA complained that “the law recently passed by Congress, practically barring aliens from WPA employment, has directly affected many families in Tampa. In many cases, the disbarred fathers are the sole support of American born wives and children.” By September, 106 of 162 cases receiving aid from the FSA were aliens who were “very bitter and resentful toward the government because of their recent layoff from WPA rolls.”37 Such actions further damaged the image of the WPA, placed a greater burden on overtaxed relief agencies and gave additional ammunition to radical groups. Many editorials called the strike “foolish,” because of lost jobs and prestige. Poulnot’s attempt to widen the strike backfired and hurt the Alliance’s ability to press for improvements and additional funds. The Tribune claimed that “undoubtedly the futile and foolish conduct of these strikers was prompted by the influence of agitators who are continually stirring up dissatisfaction among relief workers.” A “slight feeling of unrest in some areas of the district, particularly Tampa,” remained a month after the strike’s conclusion because of its unfavorable outcome.38 Ybor City’s relief strike failed for a number of reasons. Native-born American and black women were not sufficiently radicalized to join their Latin sisters, who had a longer, deeper experience with worker protest in the cigar industry. Quick, effective action by WPA officials and local law enforcement agencies, in undercutting and isolating the strikers, dealt a death blow to the strikers’ effort. A calm, non-violent approach avoided incidents which might have otherwise increased support for the strikers, and threat of discontinued projects and lost jobs lessened the strikers’ resolve. Tampa was not ready for widespread radical agitation, particularly outside of Ybor City. The sitdown strike of 1937 revealed a deep chasm in experiences and expectations between Tampa’s Latin and Anglo communities. However, despite a violence-filled past and a poor record in handling labor agitation, local law enforcement showed it could handle this potentially explosive situation calmly and firmly. That the protest began in a women’s sewing center and was led by


women may have caused civic leaders to downplay the necessity for a more forceful response, but at the same time, it showed that women did not always accept their place quietly and that some women were ready to exert pressure to improve working conditions. Finally, the failure of the strike shows that most Hillsborough County residents, although hurt by economic hardship, were more willing to accept reforms in the economic and social system than to embrace more radical activity. 1 Works Progress Administration (WPA), “Final Report on the WPA Program, 1935-43” (December 18, 1946), 7-15; Donald S. Howard, “As WPA Goes On,” The Survey , 72 (October 1936): 297-98; Nels Anderson, The Right to Work (New York: Modern Books, 1938), 19; WPA, “Report on Progress of the Works Program” (March 1937), 25; “WPA Funds Still Available,” American City , 50 (November 1935): 5; William E. Leuchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal (New York: Harper and Row, 1963), 122-28. 2 Gloria Jahoda, River of the Golden Ibis (New York: Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, 1973), 311; WPA, Federal Writers Project, “Seeing Tampa” (1935), 67, University of South Florida Special Collections; Charles W. Tebeau, A History of Florida (Coral Gables, Florida: University of Miami Press, 1971), 398; Hillsboro ugh County Commission Minutes (HCCM), May 21, 1937, #4, p. 211, Hillsboro ugh County Courthouse; Tampa C ooperative Unemployment Council, “Operations of the Tampa Cooperative Unemployment Council,” June 24, 1932, R. E. L. Chancey Papers, box 3, file 20, City of Tampa Records and Micrograph Center (CTRC); Philip A. Hauser, “Workers on Relief in the United States in March 1935, A Census of Usual Occupations,” vol. 1 (WPA Division of Social Research, 1938), 281. 3 R. E. L. Chancey to Franklin D. Roosevelt, March 12, 1936, Tampa Board of Representatives Files (TBRF), box 8-3H-4, file E-2625, CTRC. 4 Jahoda, River of the Golden Ibis , 315 (quotation), 317-18; Karl H. Grismer, Tampa, A History of Tampa and the Tampa Bay Region of Florida (St. Petersburg, Florida: St. Petersburg Printing Company, 1950), 272-73; Proceedings of the Tampa Board of Representatives (TBR), August 27, 1935, #20, 72, CTRC; Tampa Tribune , February 9, 1936. 5 George E. Pozzetta, “!Alerta Tabaqueros! Tampa’s Striking Cigar Workers,” Tampa Bay History , 3 (Fall/Winter, 1981): 19-29; Gary R. Mormino and George E. Pozzetta, “Immigrant Women in Tampa: The Italian Experience, 1890-1930,” Florida Historical Quarterly , 61 (January 1983): 305-06; Robert P. Ingalls, Urban Vigilantes in the New South: Tampa, 1882-1936 (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1988). 6 Tampa Workers’ Alliance, Executive Board Resolution, May 12, 1936, TBRF, box 8-3H-4, file E-2766; Tampa Tribune , August 18, 1935; El Internacional , June 18, 1937. 7 Tampa Tribune , August 1, September 8, 1935, May 7, 1937. 8 WPA, “Final Report,” 41-45; James J. Kenneally, “Women in the U.S. and Trade Unionism,” The World of Women’s Trade Unionism , ed. Norbert C. Soldon (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1985), 76; Philip S. Foner, Women and the American Labor Movement (New York: Free Press, 1980), 293; Martha H. Swain, “‘The Forgotten Woman’: Ellen S. Woodward and Woman’s Relief in the New Deal,” Prologue , 15 (Winter 1983): 201-13. 9 WPA, “Usual Occupations of Workers Eligible for Works Programs in the United States” (January 15, 1936), 24-25; WPA, “Final Report,” 134. 10 WPA, Division of Women’s and Professional Projects, “State Report: Florida, Alachua to Washington #29, Hillsborough” (September 14, 1936), 1, WPA Papers, Record Group 69, National Archives, Washington, D.C.; Florida WPA, Division of Women’s and Professional Projects, “Narrative Reports” (July 1938), 2, (December 1937), 3, 9, (September 1936), 2, ibid.; Tampa Tribune , September 29, 1940.


11 HCCM, November 3, 1939, #7, p. 486; Florida WPA, “Narrative Reports” (April 1937), 17, (May 1937), 30; Tampa Tribune , December 12, 1937, October 30, 1938; Tampa Children’s Home Minutes, October 8, 1940, USF Special Collections. 12 Florida WPA, “Narrative Reports” (October 1936), 3, (November 1936), 5, (December 1936), 4, (January 1937), 4, 8; HCCM, April 16, 1937, #4, p. 170. 13 Tampa Tribune , April 8, September 28, 1936; Tampa Children’s Home Minutes, April 9, 1940; Plant City, “Community Improvement Appraisal” (March 8, 1938),4, box 186, file 1922, WPA papers. 14 James T. Patterson, Congressional Conservatism and the New Deal (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1976),145; W. M. Rowlett to Claude Pepper, November 2, 1938, box 1086, file 642, WPA Papers. 15 Tampa Tribune , April 18, May 10, July 18, 1936; Florida Labor Advocate, July 2, 1937; HCCM, May 1, 1936, #2, p. 460; Lillian Dasher to C. W. Lyons, April 7, 1937, Florida Service Association Minutes, Family Service Association Papers, USF Special Collections; Hattie McKeel, “Tampa Narrative Report for July 1937,” in Florida WPA, “Narrative Reports” (July 1937). 16 Tampa Tribune , July 9, 1937; La Gaceta, July 8, 1937; McKeel Report. 17 Irving Bernstein, Turbulent Years: A History of the American Worker, 1933-1941 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1971), 499-501. 18 Tampa Tribune , July 9, 1937. 19 J. R. McLeod, telephone conversation, October 1987; Bessie Phinney to Franklin D. Roosevelt, May 18, 1939, box 1086, File 642, WPA Papers. 20 Tampa Tribune , July 9, 1937; McKeel Report. 21 Tampa Tribune , July 9, 1937. 22 Ibid., July 15, 1937. 23 La Gaceta , July 9, 1937; Tampa Tribune , July 11, August 21, 1937; Florida Labor Advocate , August 27, 1937. 24 La Gaceta , July 9, 1937; Tampa Tribune , July 11, 1937. 25 Tampa Tribune , July 10-11, 1937. 26 La Gaceta , July 10, 1937; Tampa Tribune , July 10, 1937. 27 Florida WPA, “Narrative Reports” (July 1937), 23; Tampa Tribune , July 21, 1937. 28 La Gaceta , July 10, 1937; Tampa Tribune , July 10, 1937. 29 Tampa Tribune , July 10-11, 1937. 30 Ibid., July 11, 1937; La Gaceta , July 12, 1937. 31 Tampa Tribune , July 10-14, 1937; Miami Herald , July 12, 1937; McKeel Report; McLeod conversation. 32 La Gaceta . July 13, 1937. 33 Tampa Tribune , July 13, 1937. 34 La Gaceta , July 14, 1937; Tampa Tribune , July 14, 1937.


35 La Gaceta , July 15, 1937; Tampa Tribune , July 15, 1937. 36 Tampa Tribune , August 21, 1937; Florida Labor Advocate , August 27, 1937; FSA Minutes, nd (probably A ugust 13,1937); Poulnot to Aron S. Gilmartin, November 12, 1937, box 143, Worker’ s Defense League Papers, Archives of Labor History, Wayne State University, Detroit; Steve Lamont to Tampa Board of Representatives, August 10, 1940, TBRF 8-3H-3, file 5076; James E. Sargent, “Woodrum’s Economy Bloc: The Attack on Roosevelt’s WPA, 1937-39,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography , 93 (April 1985): 175-207. 37 Tampa Tribune , September 12, 1937; FSA Minutes, September 20, October 15, 1937. 38 Tampa Tribune , July 16, 18, 1937; La Gaceta , July 15, 1937; Florida Labor Advocate , July 16, 1937: Florida WPA, “Narrative Reports” (August 1937), 16.


FORT MYERS DURING WORLD WAR II by Thomas F. Cox, Jr. As war swept across Europe and Asia in 1940, Fort Myers lay sleeping in the Florida sunshine. Its citizens little realized the profound effect World War II would have on the small town on the southwest coast of Florida. Fort Myers had 10,545 residents, and the entire Lee County had only 17,488 people. The city had grown little since the 1920s, when a combination of poor publicity, hurricanes and inadequate planning brought a collapse of Florida’s boom. The depression of the 1930s brought growth to a virtual standstill.1 World War II had an enormous, positive and immediate impact on the economy of Lee County, and it also was the beginning of present expansion. Following the war, the growth of Fort Myers and Lee County was solid and steady, spearheaded by the tourist industry and new residents. Prior to the war, visitors had been mainly very wealthy people who wintered in Fort Myers. The installation of military bases in Lee County during the war brought servicemen, who later returned to the area not merely to visit, but to live, work and raise families.2 Even before entry of the United States into World War II, signs of military preparation abounded in the area. To take advantage of south Florida’s fine, year-round flying weather, schools were established at Riddle-McKay Field at Clewiston and Dorr Field at Arcadia by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) to train flyers during early autumn 1941. Fort Myers opened its doors to the newly arrived RAF cadets and officers at Clewiston. To welcome the 150 men, the Lee County Junior Chamber of Commerce organized an outing in Fort Myers for the weekend of October 11-12, 1941. Volunteers in the community offered thirty automobiles, Glades Bus Lines donated a bus and the American Legion loaned its “locomotive,” a facsimile of a steam locomotive which operated on roads. The contingent left Fort Myers at 12:30 p.m. on October 11. Returning from Clewiston with the British airmen, hosts opened their homes to them. A fish fry was held at the Elk’s Club followed by a dance with local girls on hand to entertain them.” The British airmen were taken to churches on Sunday morning, and a picnic dinner was arranged for them at Fort Myers Beach on Sunday afternoon by the Women’s Community Club.3 The 125 cadets and two officers who came to Fort Myers were struck by the friendliness and informality of the local population. “Pretty girls with soft voices who were easy to talk with” impressed one cadet, who also enjoyed being able to dance without a jacket. The British Airmen found jitterbug dancing the most interesting discovery. “This is new stuff to us,” said another cadet, “but it is a lot of fun.” Several local couples put on an exhibition of jitterbugging and were soon joined by the airmen. “Nobody fell down,” reported the Fort Myers News Press. Mullet and hushpuppies were also new fare to the Englishmen. “We don’t have such fish in England,” one of the airmen noted. “It tastes fresh and our fish are mostly too old. These hushpuppies are something new, but they taste good.”4 On September 16, 1940, the United States Selective Training and Service Act became law, instituting the country’s first peacetime draft. October 16 was set as registration day for all males


between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-five. A national lottery system was used to determine who would be selected. Following registration day, a local board consisting of a chairman and two other members was set up. Once registration was complete a permanent draft board was appointed by the governor. Lee County registered 2,164 men.5 Local men also volunteered for military service. The, United States Navy brought a mobile recruiting unit to Fort Myers in mid-October 1941, and twenty enlisted.6 The following month, the United States Army Air Corps sent a recruiter who indicated that volunteers would also be accepted in the regular army as “unlimited vacancies existed for enlistment in both the regular army and the air corps.”7 Fort Myers soldiers home on leave brought news of maneuvers in Louisiana. They reported that “war games” included severe hardships and even deaths.8 Like other Americans, the people of Fort Myers were shocked by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. On December 8, 1941, they awaited word from the President. Local businessmen habitually visited Smith’s newsstand on First Street to listen to news broadcasts and “Lum and Abner” on Fort Myers’ one radio station, WINK. A thin drizzle of rain was falling as everyone stopped what they were doing at 12:30 p.m. to crowd around radios in newsstands and stores to hear President Franklin D. Roosevelt address a joint session of Congress. At Smith’s more than the usual group of people listened in silence to the President as he asked Congress to declare war. British Royal Air Force cadets in training at Clewiston’s Riddle Field in Hendry County during World War II Photograph courtesy of the Calusa Valley Historical Society.


Following the speech, the national anthem was played. After standing for the anthem, some people left Smith’s to return to their jobs without comment. Others stayed to hear what Congress would do. Those who remained also did not comment. News broadcasts in those days usually produced many an opinion, lively debates and a wisecrack or two. However, the President’s call for a declaration of war produced silence and serious expressions on the faces of the town's people.9 Nevertheless, optimism persisted and at times bordered on naivet. The News-Press stated flatly on December 8, 1941, “We will win this war. It might take a few months, it might even take a year, but it will be done.” The News-Press even remained optimistic about the future of tourism, which along with agriculture and fishing constituted the area’s only industries. Prior to the war, Fort Myers tourism consisted of stays of rather long duration, usually all winter. With the development of Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island, short vacation accommodations were being planned just before the start of the war. It was felt that with short vacations now being dictated by wartime restrictions, the tourist industry might still thrive. Furthermore, declared the News-Press , wars caused disruption in people’s lives. Just as dislocations arising out of World War I helped spark the Florida boom of the 1920s, so too World War II might bring a second boom following the cessation of hostilities.10 Downtown Fort Myers’ waterfront along the Caloosahatchee River in 1940. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.


During the afternoon of December 8, 1941, the Fort Myers Defense Council, under the chairmanship of Pat LeMoyne, met to prepare Fort Myers and Lee County in the wake of the Japanese attack over 4,000 miles away. In addition to LeMoyne, the group consisted of Fort Myers’ Mayor Sam Fitzsimmons, Police Chief Charles Moore, Fire Chief W. L. Anderson and Lee County Sheriff Fred Roberts. The first action of the board was to hire armed guards and post them at the city gas and water plant.11 Although conceding that the placement of guards at utility plants was recommended by national and state defense groups, the Fort Myers News-Press questioned this action. Noting that money used for this purpose might be better spent on defense bonds or stamps, the editorial stated that “Fort Myers was not New York or San Diego; it is just a small town and would be of no use to the Japs.” The paper further suggested that people or defense organizations “higher up” were thinking of unnecessary things to do in order to perpetuate their own jobs.12 The populace, however, apparently felt the need to take some action in order to come to grips with the fact that the nation had been attacked. Most notable was the desire of virtually everyone in the community to join in the war effort in some manner. As a first step, the Fort Myers News-Press suggested that local residents purchase defense bonds and stamps and also attend a The Lee County Home Defense Unit, an organization of volunteers who furnished their own uniforms, was created in 1940 to replace the local company of National Guardsmen which was called away for training. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.


patriotic rally scheduled for December 13, 1941, at Terry Park. Above all, the News-Press cautioned against any impulsive actions out of fear.13 Fear, however, apparently motivated at least one reported incident. O. A. Koepp, a German-born resident, was arrested by Deputy Sheriff Abe Skinner on December 9, 1941. Koepp lived in a shanty on Estero Island, and since his nationality was known, he had been under surveillance by Skinner. Packing all of his belongings in his sixteen-foot sailboat, Koepp had set sail along the Estero Island coast. Considering this action “suspicious,” Skinner intercepted the sailboat, arrested Koepp and turned him over to the FBI for questioning.14 On December 13, the patriotic rally was held at Terry Park with the baseball grandstands used to seat the one thousand people who turned out. The rally featured speeches by members of the Fort Myers Defense Council and a keynote address by J. S. Gillentine, President of Intercounty Telephone and Telegraph Company which provided telephone service to Fort Myers at the time. Gillentine denounced the Axis powers. Pat LeMoyne, chairman of the Defense Council, announced that registration for defense duty would commence, and he called on the populace to sign up as the war effort had places for everyone. The registrations took place the following day at a meeting of the Defense Council, with Chairman LeMoyne and Mayor Fitzsimmons declaring “everything will be secondary to winning the war.”15 Local officials soon made it clear that everyone would help whether they wanted to or not. Chief of Police Moore and Sheriff Roberts announced that beginning January 2, 1942, their officers would start picking up all unemployed men under the existing vagrancy laws. “There are too many people loafing around when workers are needed,” Chief Moore indicated. “This is a national emergency. We can’t waste manpower. Right now the farmers need hands. Other jobs are open. I am cooperating with the Defense Council to see that men and women who are able do their part.” According to the field representative of the Works’ Projects Administration (WPA) and the farm employment supervisor, the farm labor shortage was acute in all South Florida.16 On January 6, Chief Moore and Sheriff Roberts pledged to the Defense Council that all available labor would go into the fields. Although no arrests for vagrancy had yet been made, officers had investigated available labor. “We will do these fellows a favor to see that they go to work,” said Chief Moore. “We will see that the potato crop gets harvested.”17 On January 7, five unemployed men were placed on jobs by the farm employment office. The first arrests were made on January 8, when two elderly men were charged under the vagrancy laws. Altough a justice of the peace found the pair too old to be sent to the fields, the arrests spurred many of the unemployed to seek jobs in the potato fields.18 Answering the United States’ call for more food, Lee County farmers increased production to “help win the war.” Some growers added new fields, and others converted gladiola fields to vegetable production. According to the county agent, the federal government had called for an increase in Lee County’s vegetable production from 3,200 to 4,446 acres and an increase in Irish potato production from 1,000 to 1,200 acres. The agent promised the quotas would be met because “to a man, the farmers of this county are making a patriotic response to this appeal to win the war.”19 Although threats of arrest and a sense of patriotic duty spurred many of the unemployed to seek agricultural work, the new acreage demanded even more workers. As a


result, WPA workers building an airport for Fort Myers were temporarily released to work in the potato fields.20 Civil defense also became a high priority. In addition to the already formed Defense Council, an auxiliary corps of firefighters was organized by Fire Chief Anderson. This corps was composed of volunteers who were trained and kept in readiness in case of air raids or other war-related emergencies. The original call, issued by Chief Anderson on January 5, 1942, was answered by only thirteen volunteers. Disappointed, he issued another appeal two days later for at least one hundred more men. In addition, he mailed cards to those who had listed themselves during defense duty registration as having firefighting experience. These cards brought many volunteers, eventually filling the one-hundred-man quota which the chief had set.21 Air raid wardens were also trained, and the city prepared for its first blackout. This was an entirely new experience for the population of Lee County, as it must have been for the rest of the nation. Driving in blackouts was a particularly difficult experience. The Florida Safety Council issued a warning that noted more people had been killed and injured by traffic accidents during blackouts in England than had been killed by German bombs. The safety council advised drivers to sit in the car before starting to drive to get their eyes accustomed to total darkness and also recommended against gazing at one spot while driving because total darkness coupled with an intense gaze would cause drowsiness.22 As the city awaited its first blackout in January 1942, the News-Press declared that “Fort Myers Wants In.” The newspaper stated that people in the area seemed more eager for a taste of war than they were anxious to avoid its consequences. Some actually protested a Chamber of Commerce advertisement that called Fort Myers the safest winter resort in the country. Everyone seemed to want to do something, “preferably fight a Jap.” The News-Press suggested that since that was not possible, perhaps a blackout would do for excitement. Noting that Fort Myers had been left out of an earlier blackout of eleven counties in the vicinity of MacDill Air Base in Tampa, the editorial complained, “Lakeland and Ocala are not likely to be bombed either, so why should the interceptor command leave us out of the war?”23 Anticipation mounted as the time for the first blackout approached. The chairman of the Air Raid Protection Committee listed several “Don’ts” in the News-Press . These included not waiting until the last minute to prepare homes for a blackout, not calling the telephone company or civil defense headquarters, not driving and, above all, not assuming that this was “just a rehearsal.” Although the time was given in advance for the first blackout, subsequent ones were unannounced and considered “real.” The rules stated that no lights were to be visible from the sky from 9 to 9:30 p.m. on the night of January 28, 1942. The forty air raid wardens for Lee County were to report any lights seen during that period. As the blackout occurred, the only lights visible were the red globe atop the city water tower, a brightly illuminated barge on the river and far off railroad signals. The blackout was declared a complete success with the only detraction being the heart attack of an eighty-three-year-old man who died at the sound of the siren.24 Not everyone agreed with the feasability of blackouts. Following the first one, the News-Press claimed that blackouts were “bunk,” unless some way could be found to dim “Florida’s justly


famous moon.” The Caloosahatchee River rippled in the bright moonlight on the night of January 28, outlining Fort Myers “practically as light as day.” The editorial further pointed out that towns in England were bombed daily regardless of blackouts, and on the basis of that experience and the bright moonlight in Fort Myers, the News-Press suggested that the populace spend less time on “the futile arts of hiding out and devote more attention to learning what to do when a raid took place.”25 “Dimout” orders were issued for the southwest Florida coastline on July 9, 1942. In an effort to keep shore lighting from silhouetting ships and making them easier targets for enemy submarines, restrictions applied to all lighting ten miles or less from the coast and to cities of 5,000 or more people and located within a distance of thirty miles from the coast. Prohibited lighting included illustrated signs, floodlights illuminating buildings and monuments and lighting for night athletic events. Headlights on cars facing seaward within 500 yards of the coastline were prohibited, and spotlights and high-beam headlights within that area were also disallowed. At first, the only inconvenience from dimouts appeared to be the changing of baseball and football games to daylight hours. The News-Press called the dimout regulations far more sensible than the air raid blackouts and indicated that little or no inconvenience should result.26 However, the News-Press later reversed itself In an editorial entitled “Dimout Dangers,” the newspaper pointed out in March 1943 that several traffic accidents had occurred as a result of the dimout, and the editorial asked, “To what purpose are we suffering this jeopardy? It has something to do with submarines and air raids. . . . Many people have decided that dimouts are not of any use.” In a question aimed at civil defense officials, the News-Press demanded, “What are we supposed to do, sit home in fear and trembling of an air raid or be brave and ride the streets to scrape fenders in the dimout?” Moreover, the paper argued that “the county as a whole has probably suffered more loss of life and property damage as a result of air raid precautions than we would in a token raid. . . . As Fort Myers is hardly a token target and as shipping lines are too far away for even the brightest headlights to reach, it is clear that we are risking the persons of our citizens and wasting time which could very well be put to some useful purpose.”27 Another controversy arose with Sheriff Roberts’ call in March 1942 for everyone who owned a high powered rifle to register with him. “I want every man to have a chance to do his patriotic duty in case the Japs come,” declared the sheriff.28 The News-Press immediately labeled Roberts’ action as the most sensible of all the civilian defense measures taken. Comparing a possible invasion of the Lee County coast with the Japanese invasion of Java, the newspaper noted that in the vanguard of the Japanese invasion were bicycle troops and that Roberts’ riflemen could harass these troops, gaining time for a military defense force to be deployed. Although a decision banded down by Florida Attorney General Tom Watson charged the county sheriff with responsibility for defense in the absence of military forces, General A. H. Blanding of the State Defense Council openly criticized Sheriff Roberts’ action. General Blanding stated that civilians untrained in army methods would simply be massacred. According to General Blanding, the army did the fighting, and civilians should stay out of it. Moreover, captured soldiers would be treated as prisoners of war, but civilians were not accorded such courtesy under the rules of war. The News-Press suggested to the State Defense Council that General Blanding’s theories were outdated, that the Japanese and Germans had invaded by infiltration


and that civilian riflemen were the perfect answer for temporary engagement with such an enemy.29 Ten major rationing programs were introduced nationally by the Office of Price Administration in 1942. Different purposes were served by the various restrictions. For example, tires were rationed due to the rubber shortage, gasoline because of the tire shortage, coffee because of the diversion of ocean shipping, canned food because of the shortage of tin, and shoes because of competing military needs. Local boards administered the program under the theory that decisions of prestigious local people would be more difficult to challenge.30 When rationing became a reality in January 1942, the Lee County Tire Rationing Board was created. Applications to purchase new tires and tubes were furnished to all dealers in Lee County. A procedure was implemented whereby applications were filled out at the dealer of the purchaser’s choice and then counter-signed at Sanders Brothers Tire Company which inspected the old tires to ascertain that replacement was necessary. The co-signed application was then presented to the Lee County Tire Rationing Board. If the request was approved by the board, a certificate was issued allowing the consumer to buy the new tires. Non-residents were required to follow the same procedure except their requests had to be ruled upon by the State Tire Rationing Board in Tallahassee. The monthly quota for Lee County was set at forty tires and thirty-three tubes for passenger cars, motorcycles and light trucks and 101 tires and eighty-four tubes for trucks and buses. New tires, not allowed for pleasure vehicles, were reserved for cars operated by physicians, nurses, veterinarians and vehicles used to maintain fire, police, public health, safety and mail services. Trucks used in most commercial enterprises were allowed new tires as were buses.31 New automobile purchasing was also rationed effective January 1, 1942. The first permit to buy a new car was issued to the Fort Myers Police Department on March 5 to purchase a Ford sedan for patrol duty. Procedure for the purchase of new cars required the showing of need and was limited to physicians, nurses, veterinarians, ministers, essential community services, transportation to jobs crucial to defense or the war effort, government workers, newspaper delivery and farm and produce delivery services.32 In October 1942, Victor Hough of Hough Chevrolet Company accepted chairmanship of the Nationwide Victory Service League which promoted conservation of existing automobile transporation. “We must all take responsibility to keep what cars and trucks are available in good condition so they can serve the nation for the duration,” Hough stated. The league urged all car owners to join the organization, study books on the care of cars and make their equipment last as long as possible.33 A complicated system of gasoline rationing also began in January 1942, and it was superseded by a more efficient system seven months later. All owners of passenger cars and motorcycles were required to register for the “A” and “D” gasoline ration books during July 1942. “A” cards were for cars and “D” cards for motorcycles. Only basic ration books containing forty-eight coupons worth four gallons each were offered. If a person felt that he could not operate his automobile on sixteen gallons per month, he could apply to the Lee County Rationing Board for consideration. However, the board chairman stated that it would be very difficult to obtain more


gasoline than allowed. Only in the event that no ride-sharing arrangements could be made or access to a bus line was impossible would exceptions be granted. Truck, bus, taxi, and boat owners had to register for special rationing books. Those who qualified were issued “B” cards which were supplementary cards.34 Sugar and coffee were also rationed. Since the area produced a rather large quantity of honey, this became a quick and easy sugar substitute. Some ingenuity was shown in selection of coffee substitutes. In October 1942, it was reported that four of the six major grocery stores in Fort Myers were completely out of coffee and prospects looked dim for any deliveries. However, a substitute brew, trademarked “Hollywood Cup,” appeared. This was a combination of figs, barley and bran which, according to one grocer, “looked like coffee, had a kindred odor and had particles about the size of coffee grounds.” It cost thirty-five cents per pound but was advertised to “go twice as far as coffee.”35 Rationing of meat and poultry caused a black market to thrive in Lee County. The News-Press reported that an increasing proportion of the choice grades of beef and pork and practically all poultry was being marketed through “various devious channels” to circumvent price and ration controls. Plenty of steak was available on the black market at eighty or eighty-five cents per pound as was chicken at seventy-five cents per pound against the official price ceiling of thirtynine cents per pound. Although the shortages were not as acute as in New York, where half-block-long lines waited at butcher shops, the News-Press made the point that housewives found obeying the law difficult in view of the flourishing black market.36 Among things taken for granted today which caused problems during the war was the advent of Daylight Savings Time. Controversy followed a federal government announcement that it would commence on February 9, 1942. Although the announcement indicated that all official clocks were to be moved ahead one hour, several segments of the population resisted and remained on Eastern Standard Time. The change meant that children would have to get ready and board school buses before daylight. Farmers felt they could not begin work before sunrise or lose an hour of work. The school board split on the issue with the school superintendent favoring Eastern Standard Time and the school board chairman supporting Eastern Daylight Time. The school board reached a compromise which allowed the schools to remain on standard time for six weeks and then switch to daylight time. Apparently, controversy raged over this issue, because the News-Press tried to diffuse the situation by pointing out that there was no “lack of patriotism” in opposing the change and no “attempt to interfere with God's works” by supporting it. The final result was local acceptance of the compromise by the school system and the changing of time by all except the Slater Lumber Mill and the farmers.37 The most important wartime changes in Lee County resulted from the location of two U.S. Army Air Corps Bases. The Buckingham Gunnery School eventually brought some 20,000 men and women, and the conversion of Page Field into a base for bombers attracted another 5,000 military personnel.38 On January 18, 1942, a board of U.S. Army officers, led by Lieutenant Colonel W. A. Maxwell, arrived from Tyndall Field at Panama City, Florida, to inspect potential sites for an airfield in Lee County. The proposed camp was called a “flexible gunnery school” and would


As part of gasoline rationing, a national campaign urged drivers to organize ride-sharing. Photograph from Propaganda: The Art of Persuasion by Anthony Rhodes.


duplicate the one located at Panama City. Two tracts were needed, one from 2,000 to 3,000 acres for headquarters and another six by eight miles for a firing range. Originally it was designed for a station of 3,000 men and 1,400 students with 300 to 400 officers. Colonel Maxwell said that because of the large expenditure in building the camp and the benefits its presence would bring to Lee County, it was expected that the county would acquire the necessary land either by purchase or lease. Initially, Colonel Maxwell showed interest in three sites: Buckingham, a second one north of Pine Island Road and west of the Tamiami Trail and a third southwest of Fort Myers in the Iona area. After viewing the sites, Colonel Maxwell ruled out Buckingham and the site southwest of town, leaving only the site north of the river for consideration. Buckingham was initially ruled out because eleven miles of new roads would have to be built to the site. However, the group of officers reversed themselves and selected the Buckingham site on January 20. The chief consideration in selecting Buckingham over the site north of the river was better drainage because the elevation was higher. Colonel Maxwell declared that the monthly payroll at the camp would be $300,000, and he felt that the camp could be in operation by August 1, 1942.39 The Lee County Commission and the Fort Myers City Council moved quickly. On January 21, the two groups agreed unanimously to acquire 75,000 acres of land at a cost of $3,750 per year on a lease from Consolidated Land Company and Babcock-Carrier Land Company. In March the county commission and the city council took steps to acquire outright 4,160 acres for the headquarters post. County Commissioner Harry Stringfellow was the prime motivator and negotiator in dealing with the army on the air base. Given the needs expressed by the army, Stringfellow realized early that there really were no other areas in the state that could be utilized for these purposes.40 Many people in Fort Myers were elated. The experience of Panama City showed dramatically increased business activity as a result of its gunnery school. Rosy predictions were made, some of which came true. For Fort Myers it would mean 300 to 400 more houses rented all year round, in addition to all of the jobs related to serving these residences. Obviously many retail stores would benefit, but among the predictions which never materialized were the expectations that “Alva will blossom out into a town with a picture show and a mayor; the four corners at Olga will become busy with trade and the one business building at Buckingham will mushroom into a settlement gay with bright lights.”41 Some of the local population remained dubious about the new air base, fearing that it would change the character of the town. These people felt that instead of remaining an eminently respectable tourist city, Fort Myers would become a hectic army post with loud shooting and bombing. Information provided by the army indicated that this would be a flexible gunnery school; that is, schooling would focus on the relatively small caliber arms used for flexible firing from aircraft. These weapons had ranges of only approximately seven miles and were not unusually noisy. Moreover, proponents of the base pointed out that army air force pay was higher than that of the regular army and the students would be selected, making for a higher caliber serviceman than might be found at a regular army base.42 Lee County officials also facilitated the use of Page Field as an air base. On February 9, 1942, the manager of the Fort Myers airport met with officers from MacDill Field in Tampa. After


inspection of the airport, they met with Lee County Commission Chairman Stringfellow and Fort Myers Mayor Fitzsimmons. Stringfellow announced that the air force sought a location for a bombardment squadron of 2,000 men and 250 officers. Stringfellow told the visiting army officers that the county would make the airport available if it were approved by army air force authorities.43 The army asked for 600 additional acres which were quickly provided. One half of the desired land was owned by Henry Pearce and W. Ashton Smith, and both agreed to lease their land immediately to the county for one dollar per year. Pearce and Smith asked the out-of-state owners of the remaining half of the land to donate their land on the same terms. With their agreement Chairman Stringfellow signed a lease consigning the land to the United States government on February 19. Citing Pearce and Smith as the “two good citizens that had made the deal possible,” Stringfellow introduced a motion which was approved by the county commission reimbursing the owners for property taxes on the land. The army sent a personnel officer to Fort Myers in March 1942 to investigate housing and recreation facilities for troops to be stationed there. Although he asked not to be quoted, word leaked out that comments were made to the effect that “there ought to be a good opening here for journeymen painters and dealers in lawn mowers.” One real estate agent was asked, “What do you do, show prospects these houses in the night time? Inside they’re fine but outside they look like something the cat Buckingham Air Base under construction in 1942. Photograph courtesy of Fort Myers Historical Museum.


wouldn't drag in.” Apparently “beautiful Fort Myers” was not seen that way by army officers at that time, and the News-Press took homeowners to task for not painting their houses and giving the town a bad image.44 Approximately 650 men from the 98th Bombardment Group transferred from Barksdale Field, Louisiana, in late March and occupied tents at Page Field Airport. The first troops lost little time in nicknaming the facility “Palmetto Field,” as a result of the extensive work necessary in removing the tough palmetto roots. Perhaps other unprintable names were assigned to the air base after a plague of peticulosus humainus (bedbugs) infested the camp in May and all buildings had to be evacuated for two weeks and steamed. Servicemen also reported that mosquitoes were “terrible all the time.”45 The first troops arrived at the Buckingham Air Base in early June 1942. However, construction work at the base was not completed until September. Roughly 2,400 workers were employed to construct the air base, and local merchants indicated that their business bad increased from 200 to 300 percent as a result of the base.46 Many servicemen stationed at the two army air bases in Fort Myers returned after the war to settle in the area. Some became prominent citizens. Oscar Corbin, a native of Kentucky, was a Standing gunnery practice at Buckingham Air Base. Photograph courtesy of Fort Myers Historical Museum.


gunnery instructor at Buckingham. Citing the friendliness he found among the residents as well as the apparent potential for business in Lee County, he returned and opened a feed store and garden center in Fort Myers. He was elected Mayor of Fort Myers in 1967 and was re-elected in 1972.47 Carl Creel, a white officer, commanded a company of black troops at Buckingham. Creel later stated that while stationed at Maxwell Field, Alabama, the black troops had had six commanders in five weeks in early 1942. When asked if he would volunteer to take command of the troops, Creel refused, but he was ordered to take command of them after their transfer to Fort Myers. Creel indicated that they became a “fine outfit” and formed the first musical band at Buckingham. Subsequently, other bands were formed, and contests were held. The band from Creel’s troops won them all. Creel returned to Fort Myers following the war and operated a highly successful independent insurance agency for many years.48 John Beckett was a fighter pilot instructor at Page Field. Beckett recalled that “people in the area were wonderful.” He stayed with the Walter Moody family during the war, and Thelma The setting for practice at the truck-mounted shooting range gives some idea of the primitive conditions at Buckingham Air Base. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.


Moody introduced him to Thelma Ireland, who became his wife. Beckett returned to the area upon his discharge from service and acquired a Gulf Oil distributorship. He became chairman of the Lee Memorial Hospital Board and later served on the Lee County School Board.49 Otis Campbell, a native of Pennsylvania, first, saw the southwest Florida area as a serviceman at Buckingham. Falling in love with the area, he returned following his discharge to become associated with a highly successful independent insurance adjusting firm.50 Any account of army life would be incomplete without an anecdote concerning governmental inefficiency. A. W. D. Harris of Fort Myers, also stationed in Fort Myers during the war, recalls a shipment of army tanks that were all unloaded on First Street. Only then was it discovered that the tanks were destined for the army post of Fort Myers, Virginia, approximately one hundred miles from where the tanks were manufactured.51 Victory in Europe (VE) Day was celebrated in Fort Myers by the closing of business places, public offices and schools on May 8, 1945. Mayor Dave Shapard, however, issued a special Servicemen stationed at Page Field improvised for recreation facilities. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.


request for restaurants to stay open, and they complied. Victory in Japan (VJ) Day celebrations began on the night of August 14, 1945 and continued through August 15 with a victory parade.52 On September 30, 1945, Buckingham Air Base was closed as was Page Field Air Base. While met with mixed feelings in the area, conversion to peacetime proceeded swiftly. Buckingham became headquarters for the Lee County Mosquito Control, and a fleet of planes for this purpose still uses the runways and facilities left from the war days. Page Field was returned to county control and served as the area’s only commercial airport until 1983. Today it is a private airport, and the barracks built during the war have become private homes and businesses.53 Tourism, the major industry in Fort Myers today, suffered during World War II, but it soon recovered and expanded. Estimates indicate that 2.5 million tourists entered Florida annually during 1939-1941. Although no figures are available for the war, tourism for the next four years was negligible due to wartime restrictions on travel and gasoline rationing. However, 1946 saw an estimated 4.5 million tourists visit Florida, and the number steadily expanded with Fort Myers attracting many new visitors.54 The anticipated real estate boom began even before the end of the war. Transactions for the week of April 15, 1945, were the most spectacular since the boom year of 1926. The George Judd holdings north of the river, for example, sold for $100 per acre. All over the county, tracts large and small began to sell, as the end of the war drew closer.55 Population growth following the war was spectacular. From 10,604 inhabitants in 1940, Fort Myers grew to 13,195 in 1950 and 22,523 in 1960. The Lee County population, which stood at 17,488 in 1940, expanded to 23,404 in 1950 and had mushroomed to 54,539 by 1960.56 During the war years the building industry in Fort Myers was practically dormant. Following the war, however, construction activity became feverish. Building permits amounted to $394,560 in 1945, but the value had risen to $806,633 in 1946. The year 1947 saw the largest total value of building permits since the boom days--$1,429,705. A one-million-dollar bond issue was approved by the voters of Lee County on May 25, 1946, for the construction of schools. By 1948, the number of children in Lee County public schools numbered 4,325 as compared to 3,224 ten years earlier.57 The advent of the air age in Fort Myers was heralded by the News-Press in July 1945. Citing the development of the railroad and the automobile as harbingers of earlier booms, the newspaper predicted the commercial airplane would be the carrier of the postwar boom. “The destiny of south Florida is to become the great winter market basket of 100 million Americans who live in wintry latitudes,” noted the editorial which envisioned a skyway express service carrying flowers, fruits and vegetables to northern markets within six hours. The editorial closed with the hope that, unlike the boom of the 1920s, postwar expansion would bring healthy, steady growth.58 This proved to be the case. Fort Myers and Lee County would never be the same as a result of World War II. The period surely stands as a watershed in the area’s history.


1 Fort Myers News Press , November 21, 1984; Fort Myers Planning Department, Historic Fort Myers (Fort Myers: Fort Myers Planning Department, 1982), 12. 2 Patricia Pope Bartlett and Prudy Board Taylor, Lee County, A Pictorial History (Norfolk, Virginia: Donning Co., 1985); Fort Myers News Press , November 21, 1984. 3 Fort Myers News Press , October 11, 1941. 4 Ibid., October 12, 1941. 5 Ibid., September 17, 30, 1941. 6 Ibid., October 5, 1941. 7 Ibid., November 16, 1941. 8 Ibid., October 13, 1941. 9 Ibid., December 9, 1941. 10 Ibid., December 8, 10, 1941. 11 Ibid., December 8, 1941. 12 Ibid., December 9, 1941. 13 Ibid., December 11, 1941. 14 Ibid., December 10, 1941. 15 Ibid., December 13, 14, 1941. 16 Ibid., January 1, 1942. 17 Ibid., January 7, 1942. 18 Ibid., January 8-10, 1942. 19 Ibid., January 6, 1942. 20 Ibid., January 9, 1942. 21 Ibid., January 6, 1942. 22 Ibid., January 4, 28, 1942. 23 Ibid., January 4, 1942. 24 Ibid., January 25, 29, 1942. 25 Ibid., January 30, 1942. 26 Ibid., July 9, 10, 1942. 27 Ibid., March 26, 1943.


28 Ibid., March 3, 1942. 29 Ibid., March 5, 14, 1942. 30 Richard Polenberg, War and Society: The United States, 1941-1945 (New York: Lippincott, 1972), 32. 31 Fort Myers News Press , January 6, 1942. 32 Ibid., March 5, 1942. 33 Ibid., October 17, 1942. 34 Ibid., July 8, 1942. 35 Ibid., October 17, 1942. 36 Ibid., May 17, 1945. 37 Ibid., February 4, 5, 6 (quotation), 10, 1942. 38 Ibid., October 7, 1973. 39 Ibid., January 19-21, 1942. 40 Ibid., January 22, 24, 1942. 41 Ibid., March 5, 1942. 42 Ibid., January 25, 1942. 43 Ibid., February 10, 1942. 44 Ibid., February 19, March 16, 1942. 45 “History of Page Field,” 1, 12, located in United States Air Force Historical Research Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. 46 Fort Myers News Press , August 7, 1942. 47 “Over Here,” 1986 video, located in Fort Myers Historical Museum, Fort Myers, Florida. 48 Ibid. 49 Ibid. 50 Otis Campbell, personal interview, November 30, 1987. 51 “Over Here.” 52 Fort Myers News Press , May 8, August 16, 1945. 53 Ibid., September 8, 1945. 54 Florida Tourist Study (Tallahassee, Florida: Florida Development Corporation, 1961),14. 55 Fort Myers News Press , April 22, 1945.


56 U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Census of Population 1960; Characteristics of the Population vol. 1, pt. 11 (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of the Census, 1963), 15. 57 Karl H. Grismer, The Story of Fort Myers (St. Petersburg, Florida: St. Petersburg Printing Company, 1949), 247. 58 Fort Myers News Press , July 20, 1945.


“ONE A DAY IN TAMPA BAY”: B-26 BOMBER TRAINING AT MacDILL AIR BASE DURING WORLD WAR II by John J. Sullivan In 1942, a dark year for Americans, groups flying B-26 medium bombers began to train at MacDill Army Air Force Base, a raw military installation only recently carved out of a narrow peninsula jutting for about two and one-half miles into Tampa Bay.1 At MacDill, as German and Japanese victories shocked Americans, young men, plucked out of comfortable civilian life only a few months earlier, struggled to master weapons of war. The B-26 Martin Marauder medium bomber was not easily mastered. With a crew of six, it was designed for medium altitude bombing attacks at high speed carrying a substantial bomb load. It bristled with .50 caliber machine guns for defense. Army Air Force planners believed it would reach its target undetected, drop its bombs with precision and defend itself effectively against enemy fighter planes as it streaked back to the base.2 The Marauder’s narrow wings and two powerful engines gave it speed in flight, but they also gave it exceptionally fast landing and takeoff speeds requiring long runways. It had vicious stall propensities; few pilots felt confident that they could fly it with just one engine operating.3 Regular Army Air Force pilots called it a “hot” airplane. The young pilots enrolled in hurry-up training programs called it “widow maker,” and “Baltimore prostitute,” commemorating both the city where many were built and its disreputable character. Throughout the Army, fliers repeated the sour phrase, “One a day in Tampa Bay,” which summed up the Marauder’s reputation. In the latter part of 1942 at MacDill, thirty-four accidents claimed fifty-six lives despite a favorable climate and air approaches free of obstructions.4 As one disaster followed another, fear verging on panic spread among the medium bomb groups. Every pilot of the 320th Bomb Group, with the exception of the commanding officer and his executive, expressed a desire, formally or informally, to be transferred away from B-26s.5 Local civilians also expressed concern. A growing uneasiness in Tampa may have been heightened by the comment made at a public meeting by an Army Air Force officer who explained that “The vital drive, the urge to fly in a manner approaching recklessness and lack of fear are qualities which have made American pilots feared and respected in combat--these same qualities have also contributed to some accidents in routine operations.”6 Some of the reckless flying was in violation of regulations. Since low flying aircraft alarmed animal herds and ranchers, the Army responded to complaints by painting large numbers on the sides of aircraft so that they could be identified and reported.7 General Henry H. Arnold, Chief of Air Staff of the Army Air Forces, was deluged with complaints about the B-26. Some plain words came from Brigadier General Samuel M. Connell, Commander of the III Bomber Command at MacD ill, who wrote: “This is a very hot airplane


MacDill Army Air Force Base during World War H, showing (clockwise from the top): A flight of B-26 Martin Marauders over the Gulf of Mexico; the hanger line with B26’s on the apron; a maintenance crew at work on a B-26; the right wing and motor of a B-26; base headquarters. Photograph courtesy of the Center for Air Force History.


and in my opinion it is poor policy to try to train fresh school graduates to fly B-26s unless they are given transition on a plane similar [to it].” He recommended creation of a board to investigate the aircraft, and he called for a stop in production if its faults could not be corrected.8 Arnold appointed a special investigation board headed by Major General Carl Spaatz to determine whether production should be continued. Arnold knew that combat airmen could not wait for the best possible weapons; they had to fight with the arms available. The board recommended that production be continued with several changes in the plane’s design, including wider wings.9 To ease the morale problem in the B-26 groups, Arnold ordered his best pilot, Jimmy Doolittle, to “take a B-26, fly it under any and all conditions, and then go down to the B-26 outfit, take command, and show those boys that flying this ship was no different from flying any other.”10 When Doolittle finished this assignment, he had the young pilots making both landings and take-offs on one engine. He later described his experience: “The B-26 Marauder was an unforgivable airplane and it was killing pilots because it never gave them a chance to make mistakes. . . . I checked it over, flew it and liked it. There wasn’t anything about its flying characteristics that good piloting skill couldn’t overcome. I recommended that it continue to be built and it was.”11 Doolittle’s efforts were significant, but the B-26’s reputation was not easily altered. With criticism of the bomber continuing, Arnold asked the country’s best woman pilot to fly the Marauder. Jackie Cochran flew the aircraft, and while recognizing its faults, she saw no reason why it should not be continued in service. She suggested to Arnold that the women pilots of the organization she headed fly B-26s. Arnold agreed, and 150 pilots of the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots began ferrying duties with B-26s. During World War II they logged many thousands of miles with only one minor accident.12 Modifications recommended by Spaatz, Doolittle, Cochran and others made the newer models safer and easier to fly. The fine record of women pilots improved the Marauder’s reputation, but the B-26 remained a “hot” airplane to the men training for combat with it. In 1943 MacDill was still engaged in medium bombardment training. The training units welded pilots, navigators, bombardiers, gunners, radio operators and engineers into combat crews. The pace they were required to set was determined by the urgency of total war. Forging competent operational units demanded intense formation flying. In spite of B-26 modifications and growing knowledge of how to fly the airplane, the accident rate at MacDill remained high throughout 1943, totalling sixty-three accidents. Some of the aircraft never returned from flights over the Gulf of Mexico.13 In 1943 the power of the United States was brought to bear on the Axis nations. Doolittle and Spaatz commanded American air forces fighting Germans in North Africa. From English bases America’s Eighth Air Force began to strike targets in Germany with its heavy bombers. As the penetrations of German air space deepened, heavy losses threatened to curtail the bombing offensive, the only Allied effort that was hitting Germans in their homeland.


The high command of the Army Air Force decided to rush B-26 groups to England in the hope that medium bombers would take some of the pressure off the heavies. One of the first units to arrive was the 322nd Bomb Group which had finished training at MacDill in September 1942. Major General Ira Eaker, Eighth Air Force commander, welcomed the newcomers, and directed that they begin combat missions as soon as possible. “When can you go after those enemy fighters where they live?” he asked the commander of the medium bomb groups.14 German radar gave early warning of allied aircraft crossing the English Channel. To escape detection, Eighth Air Force leaders decided to send the B-26s on missions at low altitude. On May 17, 1943, twelve B-26s of the 322nd Bomb Group were sent to attack a power plant at Ijmuidan, Holland. They flew across the North Sea at low level and encountered intense fire from antiaircraft guns near the target. Bombing results were poor. One week later the 322nd sent its bombers to Ijmuidan again, and a nightmare ensued. Eleven planes set out on the mission; only one returned.15 Of the sixty crewmen who crossed the Dutch coast, thirty-eight were killed, and twenty captured. Two fliers were fished out of the sea.16 Immediately following the calamitous Ijmuidan mission, General Eaker ordered a complete re-evaluation of Eighth Air Force doctrine on the use of medium bombers. Investigators concluded that the B-26 could not be used in unescorted low altitude attacks against targets defended by German antiaircraft weapons without incurring suicidal losses.17 Eighth Air Force B-26s were given different missions--to support ground forces and to attack carefully selected targets from medium altitude protected by fighter escort. In these roles B-26s compiled a proud A B-26 bomber flying over St. Omer, France, during World War II. Photograph courtesy of the Smithsonian Institute.


and significant record. Throughout the war in Europe they attacked many kinds of targets including troop concentrations, missile sites, bridges, railroad facilities and air fields. MacDill Army Air Force base contributed significantly to development of a powerful bomber force in World War II. Every accident was thoroughly investigated leading to a steady improvement in the B-26 safety record. The air crews that trained at MacDill flew gallant missions in every theater of war and made an important contribution to the defeat of the Axis nations. 1 “History of MacDill Army Air Force Base,” 49, archive 286.01-1, Center for Air Force History (CAFH), Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. 2 “Battlefield Studies,” archive 519.041-1, CAFH. 3 Ibid. 4 “History of MacDill,” 51. 5 Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate, The Army Air Forces in World War II: Services Around the World , vol. 7 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958), 444. 6 Tampa Times , April 17, 1942. 7 Tampa Morning Tribune , February 12, 1943. 8 “History of MacDill,” 52. 9 Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate, The Army Air Forces in World War II: Men and Planes , vol. 6 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958), 200. 10 Henry A. Arnold, Global Mission (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1949), 259. 11 Carroll V. Glines, Jimmy Doolittle (New York: Macmillan Company, 1972), 125. 12 Jacqueline Cochran and Mary Ann B. Brinley, Jackie Cochran (New York: Bantam Books, 1987), 214. 13 “History of MacDill,” 35. 14 “Minutes of Commanders Meetings,” box 20, Papers of General Ira Eaker, Library of Congress Manuscript Division, Washington, D.C. 15 Roger Freeman, Marauder at War (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1978) 49. 16 Devon Francis, Flak Bait (New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1948), 122. 17 Robert A. Lovett to Henry H. Arnold, June 18, 1943, archive 319. 1, Record Group 107 38, National Archives, Washington, D.C.


TEN YEARS OF TAMPA BAY HISTORY: A PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY In the past ten ears, Tampa Bay History has published hundreds of photographs to illustrate articles, documents and book reviews. Increasingly, historians have come to recognize that period photographs provide a valuable means of documenting the material culture of modern society. Florida has been especially fortunate in this regard because so much of its development occurred after the invention of photography in the mid-nineteenth century. The state has attracted a large number of amateur and professional photographers, lured to the area by exotic sights and tourist attractions. Local photographers, such as the Burgert Brothers of Tampa, have also left invaluable collections of Florida scenes. In addition, old family albums have provided priceless snapshots of everything from historic sights to family gatherings that open a window on the past to show how people dressed, worked, lived and played in previous generations. Photographs used in Tampa Bay History have come from a variety of sources, including public and private collections as well as books, but many have never been previously published. As a special feature of this tenth anniversary issue, the editors have selected a sample of photographs from past issues. Those reprinted here show the broad array of topics and locales covered by Tampa Bay History and demonstrate the importance of photography in recording and preserving the history of the fifteen-county area served by this journal.


Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, a French artist, participated in an ill-fated attempt to colonize Florida. His BrevisNarratio was published in 1591 and includes his drawings that vividly portray the life of Timucan Indians, whose tribes populated the Tampa Bay area. The Timucans were one of the tribes who clashed with the French and the Spaniards during inland expeditions of sixteenth-century Florida. Jehu J. Blount’s General Store, located at First and Hendry Streets in Fort Myers, shown in 1886. A few years earlier Fort Myers and the rest of Lee County was relatively unpopulated. The freeze of 1894-1895 prompted the area’s development, due in large part to the lack of damage to the Lee County orange groves. Photograph from Yesterday’s Fort Myers by Marian Godown and Alberta Rawchuck.


Life in pioneer Florida could be harsh, but advancement came by 1884 with the first rail link to the Tampa area. Another sign of advancement was the founding of a local bank. The Polk County Bank, organized in 1886 at Bartow, used oxen to bring in its safe on a flat cart pulled on temporary rails. Photography courtesy of the Polk County Historical Commission. San Antonio, in Pasco County, was first founded in 1881 by Edmund Dunne who established its 50,000 acres as a Catholic colony. In June 1883, 130 people inhabited the colony, which was surrounded by several lakes. In this photo, several people gather in front of the San Antonio Post Office in 1890. Photograph courtesy of Madeline Beaumont.


No longer limited to the dictates of the sea, Florida grew in relation to the development of communication and transportation. The coming of the railroad was a major boost to towns along the lines. This is the Orange Belt Railroad's station at Clearwater around the turn of the century, with a train just pulling into the station. Photo courtesy of the USF Special Collections. The sea was the route that brought most of the early settlers to Florida. Higel’s wharf at the foot of Ma in Street in Sarasota is shown here around the year 1900. From the town’s founding in 1886 to 1902, when the Florida West Shore Railroad was extended to Sarasota, this dock was the town’s link with the outside world. Photograph courtesy of the Sarasota County Historical Archives.


The Great Freeze of 1894-1895 wiped out citrus growers in northern parts of Florida and ultimately relocated the center of the citrus culture southward. The increase in people and citrus production led to the growth of Pinellas County and its eventual independence from Hillsborough County. Photograph from Stokes Collection, USF Special Collections. Prior to the arrival of Greek immigrants, Tarpon Springs attracted northeasterners seeking a health resort. The partnership of John Cheyney and John Cocoris, utilizing Greek diving methods to harvest sponge, led to the establishment of Tarpon Springs’ industry and its Greek culture. This photo shows the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs around 1920. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.


The freeze of 1894-95 developed warm weather areas of South Florida such as Lee County. Tropical climate and abundant sea life in its waters were two highly touted attributes. This picture displays the fish caught in one day by thirteen-year-old Annie Holloway. Photograph from FloridaTimes-Union and Citizen, December 19, 1897. U.S. troops “slept this way to keep above water,” at Port Tampa in 1898. When the U.S. Congress declared war upon Spain on April 25, 1898, the small town of Tampa served as the assembly and embarkation port for the army in its plans to invade Cuba. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.


Until 1868, the state of Florida had no established public school system. While the public school system grew in the rest of the United States, Florida relied on “public/private” schools that were common in frontier regions of early America. Improvements came in the late 1800s but limited funds and scarce supplies forced schools to be resourceful. As late as 1900, the outdoor classroom remained a popular feature of private schools. Photography courtesy of Manatee County Historical Society. This turn-of-the-century photo depicts the business of downtown Arcadia in front of the DeSoto National Bank. As of 1897, Arcadia, the county seat of DeSoto County, had a population of nearly 800 and depended on the orange and cattle industry. In 1896, the area shipped between 30,000 and 40,000 boxes of fruits. Photograph courtesy of U.S.F. Special Collections.


Florida contributed soldiers and products to the American effort in World War I, with servicemen on the battlefields and civilians on the homefront making a concerted effort to win the war. Sarasota’s first Armistice Day parade in 1919 marked the anniversary of the war’s end. The national holiday, now Veterans’ Day, long served as a reminder of the price Americans paid in the Great War. Photograph courtesy of Sarasota County Historical Archives. Although completed and opened to traffic on April 25,1928, the Tamiami Trail had been in the process of construction since 1916. For a time interest in the road connecting Tampa and Miami waned. However, the adventurous spirit of the Tamiami Trail Blazers, the first men to cross the unfinished portion of the trail from Ft. Myers to Everglades City in autos, rekindled interest in the project. Photograph courtesy of P. K. Yonge Library.


The affordability of Model T’s and the expansion of roads led to n influx of tourists and the rapid growth of cities in the Tampa Bay area. In this photo “Tin Can Tourists” camp at DeSoto Park in Tampa in 1920. Photograph courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System. The “Roaring Twenties” in many ways proved to be the crossroads where traditional America, steeped in the origins of a rural nation, faced an urbanizing republic that was being transformed by the advances of technology. The struggle over Prohibition was one element in the uncertainty of this conflict. Here the Hillsborough County Sheriff and his men dismantle a still on January 10, 1925. Photograph courtesy of Hampton Dunn.


The Everglades proved to be one of the most formidable frontiers in the United States until the turn of the century. Trappers made the first canals possible, thereby linking the Okeechobee to the rest of the world. A dependable dike and sophisticated water control system came after the devastating hurricanes of 1926 and 1928. This photo depicts members of the Coast Guard and National Guard at Belle Glade clearing up the debris scattered by the storm. Photograph courtesy of the Great Outdoors Publishing Company. The depression affected large cities like Miami and Tampa as well as small towns like Ellenton and Oneco in Manatee County. As illustrated in this photo of Oneco, the local grocer also pumped gas and operated the post office in the early 1930s. With the depression in mind, he posted a sign on his window: “Cash Talks Loud.” One of the bargains adver tised was three rolls of toilet paper for 21 . Photographic courtesy of the Manatee County Historical Society.


The mutual aid societies which Cubans, Spaniards and Italians formed helped the immigrant groups adjust and respond to their surroundings in Tampa. The interaction among the groups led to the building of hospitals, pharmacies and medical laboratories. Social activities were also established. At its peak during the 1920s the Circulo Cubano boasted its own boxing arena. Photograph courtesy of Florida State Archives. New Deal programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) gave work to the unemployed and provided hope during the depression years. The efforts of developer Arthur B. Edwards helped bring a CCC camp to Sarasota for the building of a state park in the Myakka River Valley. The Myakka River State Park was dedicated in 1941. In this photo CCC workers construct a building with outside walls made of logs cuts from cabbage palms. Photograph courtesy of the National Archives and Records Service.


A cowboy rounding up cattle on a ranch near Ruskin in Hillsborough County, in 1947. Between 1842 and 1949 open-range cattle-ranching provided both an industry to the sunshine state and a way of life to the cowmen who grazed their cattle on the open-ranges of South Florida. The practice ended in 1949 when stockowners were required to fence in cattle on their own property. Photograph courtesy of Florida State Archives. Between 1830 and the 1950s nearly every Florida community had a railroad depot which served as the community social center and the source for contact with the outside world. The Doodlebug #2900, of the combined Seaboard Coast. Line, passes by the wooden depot for the Atlantic Coast Line in Highlands City in Polk County with a single coach on its way to Naples. This rare combination engine/freight car had itself been retired and scrapped by the time Amtrack took over the passenger service. Photograph courtesy of R. Randolph Stevens.


BOOK REVIEWS Archaeology of Aboriginal Culture Change in the Interior Southeast: Depopulation during the Early Historic Period . By Marvin T. Smith. Gainesville, Florida, 1987. University Presses of Florida. Pp. xiii, 185. Illustrations. Tables. Appendices. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Cloth. $20.00 We now just begin to realize the enormous cultural and physical devastation begun when the first Spaniard stepped off a ship into the aboriginal southeastem U.S. in the sixteenth century. Far more than firearms or swords, the inadvertent (at first) action of biological weapons, Old World diseases, caused immediate depopulation and social collapse in coastal areas and other places where natives underwent direct contact with the newcomers. But the effects of contact traveled much farther than did the Europeans themselves. This excellent book is a well-reasoned reconstruction of what happened to native populations in the interior Southeast, where there was little early direct interaction between European and Indian and, thus, few written records. Archaeology is the method for examining the unrecorded past. Marvin Smith uses the minutiae of the archaeological record to demonstrate the tremendous population collapse and sociopolitical reorganization resulting not from acculturation to European ways but from this indirect contact in a portion of the interior Southeast, including the Georgia-Alabama piedmont and the Ridge and Valley province of Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. He combines fascinating detail from both well-known and obscure historical documents with specifics of artifact assemblages, and be also includes handsome maps, tables and photos of burials and high status artifacts. Though Europeans did not make it into this study area, their material culture did. Stylistic change in European trade goods can place different sites accurately in time during the early historic period; thus, culture change can be examined. The premise is that the once complex, powerful native chiefdoms collapsed very soon after contact because of drastic depopulation from disease. Specific data are applied to test Smith's hypotheses. Diseases such as smallpox do not show up on the skeleton, but some bones show wounds from metal weapons, and mass graves suggest sudden deaths of many from epidemics. Site sizes and numbers both decline through time, suggesting diminished populations. There are also signs of massive population movements. Evidence of population decline is indirect, but the data more clearly demonstrate political breakdown. Building of mounds, defensive palisades and ditches abruptly ceases by about 1630, suggesting the decline of a centrally organized labor force. Native settlement hierarchies, including a range from multi-mound centers to single mounds/villages to small hamlets, give way in the seventeenth century to a pattern of only smaller habitation sites. Earlier historic graves with European artifacts are those of elites; later such objects are more widespread, suggesting breakdown of the social hierarchy.


Smith shows these changes are not from acculturation or direct contact, which would have left traces of European animals, plans and Christian practices. Historical evidence and a few items (such as a Dutch glass bead) clearly from northern native groups fleeing contact indicate the pressures of war, firearms and the slave trade, indirect means for what Smith calls “deculturation.” By the early eighteenth century small remnant groups with severely altered aboriginal culture and vastly simplified sociopolitical organization had to band together for defense, and they evolved into the historic Creek Confederacy. Lately there is intensive research on the de Soto entrada and its effects, especially on Florida and the massive culture change from succeeding centuries of the Spanish presence. I hope Smith’s fine study will encourage other such work in areas such as northwest Florida or southwest Georgia, where contact was not direct but still devastating. The lessons to be learned are invaluable; such situations continue to occur, as in the Amazon basin of this century. Nancy M. White The Nature of Things on Sanibel . By George R. Campbell. Introduction by Cleveland Amory. Sarasota, Florida, 1988. Pineapple Press. Revised edition. Pp. xvi, 174. Illustrations. Appendices. Index. Paper. $14.95. It is a pleasure to read again this charming and provocative book by a person who has long been a student of the natural history of southwestern Florida and of Sanibel Island. More than a student, George Campbell has also been an advocate for wildlife and has led the fight to protect and save our endangered species, especially the alligator. Over a period of several years, much of the substance of this book appeared as thoughtful and thought-provoking articles in the Island Reporter , a venerable (for us) Sanibel newspaper. Assembled and edited for this book, they form a body of information that is fundamental for appraising the circumstances and modem history of our endangered wildlife. Twenty-five chapters, averaging about six pages each with illustrations, discuss most of the significant mammals (e.g., panther, marsh rabbit, otter, dolphins), many birds of surpassing interest (e.g., ospreys, egrets, spoonbills), shell species, fish (sharks and rays) and, of course, reptiles and amphibians. Two chapters are devoted to edible and poisonous plants. Within the chapters, checklists are provided for snakes, lizards and turtles. Virtually every chapter includes excellent and sensitive drawings by Molly Eckler Brown. Especially significant points are also illustrated with photographs. The book is rounded with a brief discussion of “Man, the endangering species,” with a checklist of the mammals of Sanibel, an extensive index, a map of the island showing its preserves and roads, and two opposite appendices having to do with special rules and laws. The mammal checklist is of special interest because many of the species have accompanying arrows that indicate by their slants the author’s opinion of whether the animal is increasing, holding its own, or decreasing. Of the thirty-two species so rated, only ten are shown holding their own or increasing, one of which is Homosapiens, who, appropriately, rates an extra-heavy arrow!


Overall, however, this edition is an exact copy of the first edition, published in 1978. It is “revised” by inclusion of a new foreword that devotes a paragraph or two to each of the chapters, describing changes that have occurred in the interim. It is clear that this has not been carried to appropriate notes in the appendices. For instance, the river otter is shown to be on the increase in the original mammal checklist-and in this edition, but Mr. Campbell states in the revisionary note for the relevant chapter that “the otter population shows a substantial decline. . . .” Similarly, it would have been useful in a truly revised edition to show an up-dated map that reflects relevant island changes in the past decade of vigorous growth. This work might more accurately be described as an annotated reprinting. Regardless of revisionary shortcomings, George Campbell’s wit, charm, firm opinions and solid knowledge of natural history make this a book every person concerned about Sanibel Island biology should have. If you already own a copy of the first edition, however, you will probably not find it necessary to buy this second one. Willard W. Payne Urban Vigilantes in the New South: Tampa, 1882-1936 . By Robert P. Ingalls. Knoxville, 1988. University of Tennessee Press. Pp. xx, 286. Illustrations. Maps. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Cloth. $29.95. Urban Vigilantes is anchored at one end by the 1882 lynching of an English immigrant, and, at the other, by the 1934 mob murder of a black prisoner and the flogging death in 1935 of a white radical. Between these mob actions, the author carefully documents a series of Citizens’ Committees created by Tampa’s business and professional elite and designed to thwart union efforts by cigar employees who were preeminent, among the city’s work force. Frightened by the ease with which manufacturers of luxury, handrolled cigars could relocate, and worried about the devastating economic effects of relocation on their own fortunes, the elite kidnapped and exported labor leaders, smashed the labor press, destroyed equipment in the soup kitchens feeding striking workers, shot an AFL leader in 1903, and took the lives of two Italian immigrants in 1910 and of a northern-born Socialist in 1935. Throughout the book, the author argues that all of the vigilante actions, including the lynchings of black men in 1903 and 1934, were part and parcel of establishment violence, emerging from the traditions of community-justice and republicanism in the Old South and continuing into the New. One has to wonder, however, just how “southern” this elite was, and whether all of the violence, including the non-labor-associated lynchings and attempted lynchings, can be traced to the same social sources. The pre-war economy of Tampa was based on cattle ranching, not the production of staple crops, and early lynchings, which occurred in 1858, resembled those committed under frontier conditions; that is, they were of common criminals who flooded the town in the wake of Florida’s last Indian war. Clearly, a prominent member of the Citizens’ Committees of 1887 and 1892 led the lynching of the Englishman in 1882, but establishment violence against blacks did not occur in Tampa during Reconstruction, and by the turn of the century, the local elite opposed mob murders as “bad for business.” Consequently, the killing of Lewis Jackson in 1903 W as done secretly by a well-organized band of fifty people. In contrast, condemnation of lynchings by the business community did not occur in much of the South until


Two Italian immigrants lynched by vigilantes during the 1910 stike by Tampa cigarworkers. Photograph from Urban Vigilantes in the New South .


after World War I. Killing in secrecy, rather than before large crowds, was more characteristic of the late 1930s than 1900. In 1917 and again in 1927, Tampa leaders acted firmly to prevent lynchings, requesting assistance from the National Guard and joining the forces protecting the prisoners in both cases. In 1927, they formed a “vigilance committee” of ‘leading citizens’” which patrolled the streets along with other military and police personnel. Who then were the 1,000 people who tried to storm the jail in their quest for alleged murderers in 1917 and 1927? Obviously, they were angry, for they rioted for three days in the latter year, ceasing only after soldiers killed six of them. What socio-economic interests did they represent? What tensions, in addition to labor, beset this community? Is it possible that Tampa’s labor violence was less “southern” than Ingalls supposed and that the non-labor-affiliated lynchings and attempted lynchings were less “establishment?” These possibilities deserve consideration, but they should not obscure the importance of Ingalls’ contribution. Although he does not analyze conflict among Tampa whites, he documents impressively the unlimited ends to which American businessmen would go to defeat labor, the support throughout the nation which such actions could generate, and the persistence of radical proclivities among Tampa’s cigarworkers, despite, or perhaps in part because of, their lack of success. He also argues persuasively that class solidarity existed across ethnic lines, in the case of native businessmen and immigrant manufacturers on the one hand, and white and minority union members on the other. In short, rather than explicating some uniquely southern phenomenon, this book reveals a great deal about the American establishment and the lengths to which it will go, when given tacit approval, to protect class hegemony. It deserves a wide reading. Gail W. O’Brien In the Way of Our Grandmothers: A Cultural View of Twentieth-Century Midwifery in Florida . By Debra Anne Susie. Athens, Georgia, 1988. University of Georgia Press. Pp. ix, 254. Preface. Illustrations. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Cloth. $25.00. In this book, Debra Anne Susie provides an excellent account of lay midwifery mostly from the perspectives of African-American lay midwives and the women they served. She tells the story of the “granny” midlife in Florida, stressing her values, principles, commitments, tradition and noting the skills she acquired from “hands on” experience. She also describes various strategies employed by Florida State Health officials to discredit the lay midwife and to eliminate her practice. Significant among these was the plan of Health officials, who saw the lay midwife as a “necessary evil to be borne until medical services were improved” (p. 8), to establish a public health care program to educate and license midwives. This, the author says, was the immediate goal; but the longterm plan “was to replace the lay midwives with modem medical and hospital services, to improve, regulate, and eventually to eliminate midwifery” (p. 8). Attainment of this ultimate goal took a long time. This was true, first, because hospital facilities frequently failed to reach outlying rural areas where the bulk of the black population lived. Most importantly, because of the segregated environment in the southern United States,


Florida hospitals provided care to blacks only for emergencies and only in hospital basements. It was this segregated environment, the author notes, that prolonged the services of lay midwives. The author explains that the black community in Florida viewed the practice of midwifery as “a personal calling, whether directly from God or indirectly through a respected elderly midwife” (p. 8). She describes how several of the African-American midwives she interviewed received their calling to the practice and asserts that most of them had a strong desire to pass down their craft, especially to a family member who demonstrated her aptitude for midwifery through an apprenticeship. According to the author’s findings, the birthing chamber was the focal point of a variety of female attachments and relationships between the laboring woman, her midwife, family members and a number of other females, all gathered to support the laboring woman throughout her birthing experience. The midwife’s services, she notes, did not end with the birth of the child. Part of her responsibility was to provide her client postpartum care for at least ten days. For the midwife, her clients and their families and support groups, the entire birthing process was very exciting and was viewed as within the natural province of women. The midwife was held in the highest respect in her community. “She was a local wise woman who presided over the important occasion of birth,” and was called on for other healing remedies as well. The author’s subsequent account includes a discussion of the attitude of the State of Florida and its officials toward lay midwives during the process of implementing plans to eliminate the practice of midwifery. A program of registering all midwives was the first phase of the elimination plan. However, the midwives who were required to register with County Health Departments did not understand that doing so would begin a chain of events that would lead to the demise of their craft. Those who voluntarily registered believed that the state was legalizing their trade and providing an opportunity for training and for refinement of their craft. Other elements of the phasing out process included forced retirement of registered midwives and the requirement that the lay midwives obtain a physician’s permit. Other factors cooperated with the wishes of the state. The availability of federal funds for health care and desegregation laws made hospital care and facilities available to blacks and drastically reduced the number of doctors’ permits for home births. Revived interest in midwifery (home birth) among the white middle class in the 1970s and the harassment of practitioners by various county health departments led to the passage of a midwifery statute by the Florida legislature in 1984. The statute eliminated further training or promotion of lay midwives in Florida and was designed to replace the traditional lay midwife with the nurse-midwife. As a consequence of the statute and earlier measures, the rich tradition, skills and wisdom of black midwives in Florida are gone forever, and until now unnoticed. The author of this book dwells entirely on the experience of African-American lay midwives. Since midwifery is an age-old tradition that transcends ethnic and cultural boundaries, her account should have included experiences and perspectives other than those of blacks on the subject. However, the book is an excellent tribute to lay midwifery and one that should be of interest to libraries and students of the subject.


Emma B. Ohaegbulam


AUTHOR/TITLE INDEX FOR VOLUMES 6-10 "Afro-Cubans in Exile: Tampa, Florida, 1886-1984,11 by Greenbaum, V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 77-93. Afro-Cubans in Ybor City , by Greenbaum, revd., V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 56-57. Alduino, Frank, "Prohibition in Tampa," V.9, No. 1, 1987: 17-28. An Annotated Bibliography of Florida Fiction, 1801-1980 , by Gardner, revd., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 88-89. The Architecture of John Henry Klutho , by Broward, revd., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 84-86. "Army Life in Tampa During the Spanish-American War: A Photographic Essay," by Camp, V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 17-28. Babb, Ellen, co-author, "Public and Private Lives: Women in St. Petersburg at the Turn of the Century," V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 4-27. Banes, Ruth A., rev., V. 9, No. 1, 1987: 66-67. Banes, Ruth A., rev., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 70-72. Barker, Eirlys M., "Pioneer Florida: A Photographic Essay," V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 58-74. Barker, Eirlys M., " 'A Sneaky Cowardly Enemy': Tampa's Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1887-1888," V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 4-22. Bell, Iris, "Walter D. Bell: Lawyer, Jurist, and Legislator," V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 6175. Bernard, Richard, M., coed., Sun belt Cities, revd., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 89-91. Bevis, Wayne, rev., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 86-87. The Billy Bowlegs War, 1855-1858 , by Covington, revd., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 5961. "The Birth of an Infant Society: The Hillsborough County Medical Association, 1895-1899," by Slusser, V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 4-18. '' 'A Blot on Tampa's History': The 1934 Lynching of Robert Johnson," by Howard, V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 5-18. "Boasters, Boosters, and Boom: Popular Images of Florida in the 1920's," by Ricci, V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 31-57. "Bradenton in 1904," from the FloridaTimesUnion , V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 47-50. Bramson, Seth H., Speedway To Sunshine , revd., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 84. Broward, Robert C., The Architecture of John Henry Klutho , revd. V.7, No. 1, 1985: 84-86. Buker, George E., rev., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 61-62. Buker, George E., Sun, Sand And Water , revd., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 62-64. Cabrera Infante, G., Holy Smoke , revd., V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 58-60. Camp, Paul Eugen, "Army Life in Tampa During the Spanish-American War: A Photographic Essay," V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 17-28. Camp, Paul Eugen, intro to "St. Petersburg's First Public School," V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 76-82. Campbell, Daniel R., "Right-Wing Extremists and the Sarasota Schools," V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 16-26. Catholicism in South Florida , by McNally, revd., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 80-82. Chamberlin, Donald L., "Fort Brooke: Frontier Outpost, 1924-42," V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 5-29. Chapman, David L., "Documenting the Struggle for Civil Rights: The Papers of Robert and Helen Saunders," V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 47-54. "The Chicago Cubs Come to Tampa," by Covington, V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 38-46. "Cigar Label Art: A Photographic Essay," by Westfall, V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 106-116.


"Cigar Label Art: Portraits of Tampa's Past," by Westfall, V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 515. "The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Creation of the Myakka River State Park," By Sullivan, V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 4-16. Coker, William S., co-author, Indian Traders of the Southeastern Borderlands , revd., V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 51. Colburn, David R., Racial Change and Community Crisis , revd., V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 65-66. Cotton Fields and Skyscrapers , by Goldfield, revd., V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 86-87. Covington, James W., The Billy Bowlegs War, 1855-1858 , revd., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 59-61. Covington, James W., "The Chicago Cubs Come to Tampa," V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 38-46. Covington, James W., rev., V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 51. "The Cradle of Mutual Aid: Immigrant Cooperative Societies in Ybor City," by Mormino and Pozzetta, V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 36-58. "Cubans in Tampa: From Exiles to Immigrants, 18921901," by Prez, Jr., V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 22-35. Davis, Jack E., "The Spirits of St. Petersburg: The Struggle for Local Prohibition, 1892-1919," V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 19-33. "Dawn of the Automobile Age: A Photographic Essay," by Farnell, V. 7., No. 1, 1985: 42-60. DeFoor, II, J. Allison, "Odet Philippe in South Florida," V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 28-37. "Desegregating Public Schools in Manatee and Pinellas Counties," by Paulson and St. Julien, V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 30-41. Dibble, Ernest F., rev., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 78-80. "Documenting the Struggle for Civil Rights: The Papers of Robert and Helen Saunders," by Chapman, V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 47-54. Dunn, Hampton, Florida: A Pictorial History , revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 66-67. Dunn, Hampton, rev., V.7, No. 1, 1985: 87-88. Dunn, Hampton, Tampa: A Pictorial History , revd., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 76-78. Dunn, Hampton, "Transportation in Florida from Oxen to Airplanes: A Photographic Essay," V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 24-35. Edge of Wilderness , by Matthews, revd., V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 87-89. Ellis, Carolyn, rev., V.8, No. 2, 1986: 68-69. Evans, Josephine King, "A Symbol of the Sixties: The Florida Mental Health Institute," V. 9, No. 1, 1987: 4-16. Farnell, Cheryl, Dawn of the Automobile Age: A Photographic Essay ," V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 42-60. Favata, Martin A., coed., La Relacin o Naufragios de Alvar Nez Cabeza de Vaca , revd., V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 55. Fernndez, Jose B., coed., La Relacin o Naufragios de Alvar Nez Cabeza de Vaca , revd., V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 55. Fifty Feet in Paradise , by Nolan, revd., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 87-89. Finest Kind , by Green, revd., V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 68-69. Florida Folktales ., ed. by Reaver, revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 69-70. FloridaTimesUnion , "Bradenton in 1904," V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 47-50. Florida's Pinellas Peninsula , by Young, revd., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 78-80. Florida: A Pictoral History , by Dunn, revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 66-67.


Ford, Kendrick, rev., V. 9, No. 1, 1987 67-68. "Fort Brooke: Frontier Outpost, 1824-1842," by Chamberlin, V. 7, No. 1 1985: 5-29. "Fort Myers and Lee County in 1897," V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 65-75. "Fort Myers' Lee Memorial Hospital: The Early Years," by Rawchuck, V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 27-35. "Fort Myers: From Rafts to Bridges in Forty Years," by Weidenbach, V. 9, No. 1, 1987: 29-36. Fraser, Jr., Walter J., coed., The Web of Southern Social Relations , revd., V. 9, .No. 1, 1987:66-67. "From Strikes to Scourge: Tampa in 1887," from the Tampa Journal and the Tampa Tribune , V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 29-46. Futch, Jana S., rev., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 72-73. Gardner, Janette C., An Annotated Bibliography of Florida Fiction, 1801-1900 revd., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 88-89. GatorHistory , by Proctor and Langley, revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 73-74. Glenn, James Lafayette, My Work Among the Florida Seminoles , revd., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 59-61. Goldfield, David R., Cotton Fields and Skyscrapers , revd., V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 86-87. Governor LeRoy Collins of Florida , by Wagy, revd., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 82-83. "The Great War: A Photographic Essay," by Taylor, V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 47-64. Green, Ben, Finest Kind , revd., V. 8, No 2, 1986: 68-69. Greenbaum, Susan D., "Afro-Cubans in Exile: Tampa, Florida, 1886-1984," V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 77-93. Greenbaum, Susan D., Afro-Cubans in Ybor City, revd., V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 56-57. Greenbaum, Susan D., rev., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 59-61. Greenbaum, Susan D., rev., V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 66-68. Gulfport Historical Society, Our City of Gulfport, Florida , revd., V. 9, No. 1, 1987: 67-68. Harrison, Guy Porcher, coauth., "Withlacoochee, a New Deal Legacy: A Photographic Essay," V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 34-46. Hewitt, Nancy A., "Women in Ybor City: An Interview with a Woman Cigarworker," V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 161-165. Hirshberg, Edgar W., rev., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 66-67. Hoffman, Paul E., rev., V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 55. Holmes, Jack D. L., rev., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 57-59. Holy Smoke , by Cabrera Infante, revd., V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 58-60. Howard, Walter, "A Blot of Tampa's History': The 1934 Lynching of Robert Johnson," V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 5-18. "'I'm a Stranger Here': Blues Music in Florida," by Kaster, V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 5-23. The Immigrant World of Ybor City , by Mormino and Pozzetta, revd., V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 51-53. "Index for Volumes 1-5," V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 65-75. Indian Mounds of the Atlantic Coast , by McDonald and Woodward, revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 68-69. Indian Traders of the Southeastern Spanish Borderlands , by Coker and Watson, revd., V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 51. Ingalls, Robert P., rev., V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 86-87.


Ingalls, Robert P., "Strikes and Vigilante Violence in Tampa's Cigar Industry," V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 117-134. Irvin, Ruth S., intro. to "The Reminiscences of an Itinerant Preacher," V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 75-83. Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada , by Miller, revd., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 57-59. Kaster, Kent, "'I'm a Stranger Here': Blues Music in Florida," V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 5-23. Kerber, Stephen, "The P. K. Younge Library of Florida History," V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 36-42. Key West: Cigar City, USA , by Westfall, revd., V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 66-68. Kleine, Georg H., rev., V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 57-58. King, Olin, "St. Petersburg's First Public School," V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 76-82. Kleine, George H., rev., V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 57-58. Klingman, Peter D., Neither Dies Nor Surrenders , revd., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 83-84. La Relacin o Naufragios de Alvar Nez Cabeza de Vaca , ed. by Favata and Fernndez, revd., V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 55. Langley, Wright, co-author, Gator History , revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 73-74. "Latin Entrepreneurs and the Birth of Ybor City," by Westfall, V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 5-21. Lawson, Steven F., "Ybor City and Baseball: An Interview with Al Lopez,"\ V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 59-76. Lawson, Steven F., rev., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 82-83. McDonald, Jerry N., coauthor, Indian Mounds of the Atlantic Coast , revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 68-69. McNally, Michael J., Catholicism in South Florida , revd., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 80-82. Matthews, Janet Snyder, Edge of Wilderness , revd., V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 87-89. Matthews, Richard, rev., V.6, No. 2, 1984: 87-89. Mayer, George H., rev., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 83-84. Melvin, Patricia Mooney, rev., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 89-91. Miller, Janice Borton, Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada , revd., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 57-59. Miller, Randall M., rev., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 80-82. Moore, Jack B., rev., V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 65-66. Mormino, Gary R., "The Cradle of Mutual Aid: Immigrant Cooperative Societies in Ybor City," V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 36-58. Mormino, Gary R., coauthor, The Immigrant World of Ybor City , revd., V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 51-53. Mormino, Gary R., coauthor, Tampa: Treasure City , revd., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 56-57. Morris, Joan P., coauthor, Seminole History , revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 72-73. Morris, Joan P., coed., The Photographs of Alvan S. Harper, Tallahassee, 1885-1910 , revd., V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 84-85. "Mrs. Grace Allen: First Lady of USF," V. 8, No. 2, 1986:56-64. My Work Among the Florida Seminoles , by Glenn, revd., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 59-61. Neither Dies Nor Surrenders , by Klingman, revd., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 83-84. Newton, James, Uncommon Friends , revd., V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 53-55. Nolan, David, Fifty Feet in Paradise , revd., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 87-88.


"Odet Philippe in South Florida," by DeFoor, II, V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 28-37. "Open-Range Cattle-Ranching in South Florida: An Oral History," by Otto, V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 23-35. The Other Side of the River , by Zeiss, revd., V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 85-86. Otto, John S., "Open-Range Cattle-Ranching gin South Florida: An Oral History," V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 23-35. Our City of Gulfport, Florida , by Gulfport Historical Society, revd., V. 9, No. 1, 1987: 67-68. Outposts on the Gulf , by Rogers, revd, V.9, No. 2, 1987: 57-58. Paulson, Darryl, coauthor, "Desegregating Public Schools in Manatee and Pinellas Counties, 1954-1971," V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 30-41. "The Peace River: A Forgotten Highway," by Ware, V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 19-30. Prez, Jr., Louis A., "Cubans in Tampa: From Exiles to Immigrants, 1892-1901," V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 22-35. Prez, Jr., Louis A., rev., V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 58-60. Prez, Jr., Louis A., "Reminiscences of a Lector: Cuban Cigar Workers in Tampa," V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 135-141. Prez, Jr., Louis A., "Ybor City Remembered," V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 170-173. Peters, Jean, rev., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 76-78. The Photographs of Alvan S. Harper, Tallahassee, 1885-1910 , ed. by Morris and Warner, revd., V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 84-85. "Pioneer Florida: A Photographic Essay," by Barker, V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 58-74. Pizzo, Anthony P., coauthor, Tampa: The Treasure City , revd., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 56-57. "The P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History," by Kerber, V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 36-42. Poyo, Gerald E., rev., V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 51-53. Poyo, Gerald E., "Tampa Cigar Workers and the Struggle for Cuban Independence," V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 94-105. Pozzetta, George E., coauthor, "The Cradle of Mutual Aid: Immigrant Cooperative Societies in Ybor City," V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 36-58. Pozzetta, George E., coauthor, The Immigrant World of Ybor City , revd., V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 51-53. Proctor, Samuel, coauthor, Gator History , revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 73-74. "Prohibition in Tampa," by Alduino, V. 9, No. 1, 1987: 17-28. Prouty, Ronald N., "War Comes to Tampa Bay: The Civil War Diary of Robert Watson," V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 36-65. "Public and Private Lives: Women in St. Petersburg at the Turn of the Century," by Babb and St. Julien, V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 4-27. "Public Schools in Southwest Florida, Part I: A Photographic Essay," by St. Julien, V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 43-55. "Public Schools in Southwest Florida, Part II: A Photographic Essay," by St. Julien, V. 9, No. 1, 1987: 37-48. Racial Change and Community Crisis , by Colburn, revd., V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 65-66. "The Radical Latino Island in the Deep South," by Yglesias, V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 166-169. "The Railroad Depot: A Photographic Essay," by Stevens, V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 3652.


Rawchuck, Alberta C., "Fort Myers' Lee Memorial Hospital: The Early Years," V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 27-35. Rawchuck, Alberta C., rev., V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 85-86. Rawchuck, Alberta C., rev., V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 53-55. Reaver, J. Russell, ed., Florida Folktales , revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 69-70. "The Reminiscences of an Itinerant Preacher," by Tydings, V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 75-83. "Reminiscences of a Lector: Cuban Cigar Workers in Tampa," by Prez, Jr, V. 7, No 2, 1985: 135-141. Rice, Bradley R., coed., Sunbelt Cities , revd., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 89-91. Ricci, James M., "Boasters, Boosters, and Boom: Popular Images of Florida in the 1920's," V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 31-57. "Right-Wing Extremists and the Sarasota Schools, 1960-1966," by Campbell, V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 16-26. Rinhart, Floyd, coauthor, Victorian Florida , revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 70-72. Rinhart, Marion, coauthor, Victorian Florida , revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 70-72. Rogers, William Warren, Outposts on the Gulf , revd. V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 57-58. St. Julien, Milly, coauthor, "Desegregating Public Schools in Manatee and Pinellas Counties, 1954-1971," V. 7,No. 1, 1985: 30-41. St. Julien, Milly, coauthor, "Public and Private Lives: Women in St. Petersburg at the Turn of the Century," V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 4-27. St. Julien, Milly, "Public Schools in Southwest Florida, Part I: A Photographic Essay," V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 43-55. St. Julien, Milly, "Public Schools in Southwest Florida, Part II: A Photographic Essay," V. 9, No. 1, 1987: 37-48. "St. Petersburg's First Public School," intro by Camp, V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 76-82. Saunders, R. Frank, Jr., coed., The Web of Southern Social Relations , revd., V. 9, No. 1, 1987: 66-67. Schaleman, Jr., Harry J., rev., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 62-64. Seminole History , by Wills and Morris, revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 72-73. The Singing River , by Warner, revd., V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 55-56. Slusser, Cathy Bayless, "The Birth of an Infant Society: The Hillsborough County Medical Association, 1895-1899," V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 4-18. Slusser, Cathy Bayless, rev., V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 55-56. Smiljanich, Terry A., rev. V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 73-74. "Smuggling at Tarpon Springs: A Protest," V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 53-55. "'A Sneaky, Cowardly Enemy': Tampa's Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1887-1888," by Barker, V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 4-22. Speedway to Sunshine , by Bramson, revd., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 84. "The Spirits of St. Petersburg: The Struggle for Local Prohibition, 18921919," by Davis, V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 19-33. Stevens, R. Randolph, "The Railroad Depot: A Photographic Essay," V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 36-52. Stevens, R. Randolph, rev., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 84. "Strikes and Vigilante Violence in Tampa's Cigar Industry," by Ingalls, V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 117-134.


Sullivan, John J., "The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Creation of the Myakka River State Park," V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 4-16. Sun, Sand, and Water , by Buker, revd., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 62-64. Sunbelt Cities , ed. by Bernard and Rice, revd., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 89-91. "A Symbol of the Sixties: The Florida Mental Health Institute," by Evans, V. 9, No. 1, 1987: 4-16. "Tampa Cigarworkers and the Struggle for Cuban Independence," by Poyo, V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 94-105. Tampa Journal and Tampa Tribune , "From Strikes to Scourge: Tampa in 1887," V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 29-46. Tampa Tribune and Tampa Journal , "From Strikes to Scourge: Tampa in 1887," V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 29-46. Tampa: A Pictoral History , by Dunn, revd., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 76-78. Tampa: The Treasure City , by Mormino and Pizzo, revd., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 56-57. Taylor, Robert A., "The Great War: A Photographic Essay," V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 47-64. Tebeau, Charlton W., rev., V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 56-57. "This is the Story of My Life," by Williams, V. 9, No. 1, 1987: 49-65. Thomason, Michael, rev., V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 84-85. "Tony Pizzo's Ybor City: An Interview with Tony Pizzo," V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 142-160. "Transportation in Florida from Oxen to Airplanes: A Photographic Essay," by Dunn, V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 24-35. Tydings, Richard McKendree," The Reminiscences of an Itinerant Preacher," V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 75-83. Uncommon Friends , by Newton, revd., V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 53-55. Victorian Florida , by Rinhart and Rinhart, revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 70-72. Wagy, Tom R., Governor LeRoy Collins of Florida , revd., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 8283. Wakelyn, Jon L., coed., The Web of Southern Social Relations , V. 9., No. 1, 1987: 66-67. "Walter D. Bell: Lawyer, Jurist, and Legislator," by Bell, V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 61-75. "War Comes to Tampa Bay: The Civil War Diary of Robert Watson," by Prouty, V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 36-65. Ware, Lynn, W., "The Peace River: A Forgotten Highway," V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 19-30. Warner, Joe, The Singing River , revd., V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 55-56. Warner, Lee H., coed, The Photographs of Alvan S. Harper, Tallahassee, 1885-1910 , revd., V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 84-85. Waterman, Patricia H., rev., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 69-70. Watson, Thomas D., coauthor, Indian Traders of the Southeastern Spanish Borderlands , revd., V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 51. The Web of Southern Social Relations , ed. by Fraser, Jr, Saunders, Jr., and Wakelyn, revd., V. 9, No. 1, 1987: 66-67. Weidenbach, Nell Colcord, "Fort Myers: From Rafts to Bridges in Forty Years," V. 9, No. 1, 1987: 29-36. Westfall, L. Glenn, "Cigar Label Art: A Photographic Essay," V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 106-116.


Westfall, L. Glenn, "Cigar Label Art: Portraits of Tampa's Past," V. 6, No. 1, 1984: 5-15. Westfall, L. Glenn, Key West: Cigar City, USA , revd., V. 8, No. 2, 1986: 66-68. Westfall, L. Glenn, "Latin Entrepreneurs and the Birth of Ybor City," V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 5-21. Westfall, L. Glenn, rev., V. 9, No. 2, 1987: 56-57. White, Gay Blair, The World's First Airline , revd., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 86-87. White, Nancy Marie, rev., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 68-69. Williams, Kate Barnwell, "This is the Story of My Life," V. 9, No. 1, 1987: 49-65. Wills, Martee, coauthor, Seminole History , revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 72-73. "Withlacoochee, a New Deal Legacy: A Photographic Essay," by Wynne and Harrison, V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 34-36. "Women in Ybor City: An Interview with a Woman Cigarworker," by Hewitt, V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 161-165. Woodward, Susan L., coauthor, Indian Mounds of the Atlantic Coast , revd., V. 10, No. 2, 1988: 68-69. The World's First Airline , by White, revd., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 86-87. Wynne, Lewis N., coauthor, "Withlacoochee, a New Deal Legacy: A Photographic Essay," V. 10, No. 1, 1988: 34-46. "Ybor City and Baseball: An Interview with Al Lopez," by Lawson, V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 59-76. "Ybor City Remembered," by Prez, Jr., V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 170-173. Yglesias, Jose, "The Radical Latino Island in the Deep South," V. 7, No. 2, 1985: 166-169. Young, June Hurley, Florida's Pinellas Peninsula , revd., V. 8, No. 1, 1986: 78-80. Zeiss, Betsy, The Other Side of the River , revd., V. 6, No. 2, 1984: 85-86. Zylstra, Sape, rev., V. 7, No. 1, 1985: 84-86.


ANNOUNCEMENTS Sarasota Origins , the first volume of a new journal of local history published by the Historical Society of Sarasota County, is available at Sarasota bookstores for $10.55, including sales tax. The illustrated eighty-page journal has articles covering the federal naval raid on Sarasota in 1864, pioneering at Bee Ridge, John Hamilton Gillespie, the Sarasota County courthouse and the earliest Sarasotans. * * * * The Historical Society of Sarasota County sponsors a number of activities in addition to a new journal of local history (see above announcement). These includes monthly membership meetings with speakers, walking tours and a newsletter. Membership rates (for a calendar year) are: $10 (individual); $15 (family); $25 (sustaining); $100 (patron); $250 and over (life endowment). For more information write to the Historical Society of Sarasota County, P.O. Box 1632, Sarasota, Florida, 34230. * * * * The dinasaurs have returned to the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. The exhibit "Dinasaurs Alive!" will continue through September 24. The Museum, located at 4801 East Fowler Avenue (across from the University of South Florida) is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admisssion is four dollars for adults and two dollars for children. Annual memberships which include unlimited free admission to the museum, are available at a variety of rates beginning at $15 for college students and senior citizens and $35 for a family. The Museum of Science and Industry will host a series of two-week summer programs for children of all ages. Beginning on June 19 and running through August 18, the programs focus on a variety of scientific topics, including the study of dinasaurs. For more information, call the Museum of Science and Industry at 813-985-5531.


NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS THOMAS F. COX, JR., a Claims Examiner for the Florida League of Cities, is a graduate student in history at the University of South Florida. GAIL W. O'BRIEN is Associate Professor of History at North Carolina State University. EMMA B. OHAEGBULAM, a member of the American College of Nurse Midwives, is a certified Nurse Midwife in Tampa. WILLARD W. PAYNE, formerly Vice President of the New York Botanical Garden and Division Director of Biological Sciences at the University of Florida, is currently Executive Director of the Nature Center and Planetarium of Lee County. JOHN J. SULLIVAN, a former New York educator, did graduate work in history at New York University and currently operates a farm in Sarasota County. JAMES FRANCIS TIDD, JR., earned a B.A. degree in history and is currently working on a M.A. degree in history at the University of South Florida. NANCY M. WHITE is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Florida.


TAMPA BAY HISTORY Published Semi-annually by The Department of History College of Social and Behavioral Sciences University of South Florida Tampa, Florida Managing Editor ROBERT P. INGALLS Associate Editor STEVEN F. LAWSON Associate Editor NANCY A. HEWITT Administrative Editor PEGGY CORNETT Editorial Assistant KENT KASTER Administrative Assistant SYLVIA WOOD Production Coordinator LYNDALL W. LEE SPONSOR COLLEGE OF SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES University of South Florida Correspondence concerning subscriptions, contributions, books for review, and all other editorial matters should be sent to the Managing Editor, Tampa Bay History, Department of History, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33620. (Telephone: 813-974-2807). ISSN:0272-1406. Manuscripts from potential contributors should be typed and double-spaced with footnotes, also double-spaced, placed at the end and prepared in conformity with the style used by the journal. Manuscripts cannot be returned unless accompanied by a stamped self-addressed envelope with enough postage. The subscription rate is $15 for one year. Single issues and back files are available. Printed semi-annually, in the spring/summer and fall/winter. Tampa Bay History disclaims responsibility for statements made by contributors. Tampa Bay History is indexed in Historical Abstracts, America: History and Life .


Programs, activities, and facilities of the University of South Florida are available to all on a non-discriminatory basis, without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, or handicap. The University is an affirmative action Equal Opportunity Employer. COVER: U.S. servicemen at Buckingham Air Base during World War II. See "Fort Myers during World War II," pp. 22-40. Photograph courtesy of Fort Myers Historical Museum.


BOARD OF ADVISORS DONALD BALDWIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Modern Media Institute PATRICIA BARTLETT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fort Myers Historical Museum HAMPTON DUNN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Historian MICHEL EMMANUEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Attorney KENDRICK FORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pinellas County Historical Museum MARIAN B. GODOWN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Historian LELAND HAWES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tampa Tribune HARRIS H. MULLEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ybor Square Ltd. TRAVIS J. NORTHCUTT, JR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Human Resources Institute, University of South Florida ANTHONY PIZZO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Historian SAM RAMPELLO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hillsborough County School Board CARL RIGGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Center for Excellence in Mathematics, University of South Florida WALLACE RUSSELL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Department of Psychology, University of South Florida ROBERT SAUNDERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hillsborough County Office of Equal Opportunity Affairs CATHY SLUSSER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Manatee Village Historical Park TERRY A. SMILJANICH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Attorney CHERIE TROPED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roped Communications, Inc. JACKIE WATSON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pioneer Florida Museum


"DEFENDANT BLAMES 'VELVET' IN 'JOOK' FOR AUTO ACCIDENT" "'It was something they put in those drinks I had at a "jook joint," judge. "Thus J. W. Stewart, 38, Jacksonville insurance salesman explained to Judge Himes in criminal court yesterday why he crashed his car into a parked truck and filling station at Twenty-second street and state road No. 5 in broad daylight and didn't come to his senses until 24 hours later.... " 'I just had two drinks, judge,' insisted Steward, 'and that amount of liquor wouldn't hit me like that. They must have put some knockout drips in them. The girl told me it was a special kind of drink. She called it a "velvet".' "But his story gained little sympathy form the judge. "'You ought to have better sense than to go in those jookjoints,"' Judge Himes told him. 'As it is, you're lucky not to be facing a manslaughter charge.' "'Ninety days in jail.'" Tampa Morning Tribune , November 16, 1937.


"HOW TO KEEP HOT" "Arise about an hour late in the morning so as to escape the cool freshness of the early dawn. "Proceed hurriedly to prepare the breakfast or for the business day. "Do not take a cold plunge or sponge, as this may lower the vitality and result in comparative coolness for several hours. "Dress as nearly as possible as in winter. Flannels are not necessary, but high collars and heavy outer clothing should be worn. Choose new materials as much as possible there is nothing so cool as worn cotton garments. "Complain constantly about the heat. If necessary to raise the temperature a little further, fly into frequent rages... "Do everything hurriedly. Do not seek the shady side of the street. At the close of the day eat heartily of hot meats, soups and rich pastries, and drink plenty of hot tea and coffee. "After supper do not sit out on the porch in cool attire. Dress neatly, sit in the house and light the lamp early; sit close to it and read until bedtime. Do not sleep with the window open. A draft may upset all the care of the day. "If this regime is carefully followed it is guaranteed to give full measure of hot weather to anybody. It is even possible by crowding it a little to enjoy a heat stroke or apoplexy." Tampa Morning Tribune , June 20, 1919.


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