History

The Works Progress Administration comes to Orlando


The Works Progress Administration (WPA) stands as one of the United States government’s most ambitious and far-reaching programs. This policy, enacted during Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency from May 6, 1935, until June 30, 1943, aimed to combat the widespread economic crisis of the Great Depression. It cost $5 billion ($186 billion today), employed 8.5 million workers and completed more than one […]

Downtown Orlando’s civil rights sit-ins

The way we were

“For an appetizing meal or snack, visit a Woolworth’s lunch department.” This was a familiar advertisement readers would see in their daily 1950s newspaper. However, it was known that this invitation did not extend to everybody. In 1960, four black students from North Carolina A&T State College were refused service at Woolworth’s all-white lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, because […]

The Way We Were: How they rolled 100 years ago

How they rolled 100 years ago

In the early 20th century, a new sport was introduced to Downtown Orlando. On April 9, 1912, the Orlando Evening Star declared, “Nothing can be more health-giving than this amusement, for every muscle in the body comes into play. The body learns to bend and sway to the swing of the arms, and the eye is tutored into the quick […]

Day Trippin’: Solomon’s Castle

Solomon’s Castle

If you could imagine a castle anywhere in Florida, where would it be? Palm Beach County? Miami Beach? How about Ona — a small community in Hardee County about two-and-a-half hours southwest of Orlando. Still not sure where that is? This is one place you may have to find using an atlas or the map app on your smartphone. The […]


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