Learn about Florida history, environment at Highlands Hammock SP
Highlands Hammock State Park presents Florida Series Four!, a Tuesday evening lecture series that is free and open to the public in the park's Recreation Hall. Each event will be preceded by“Meet and Greet” informal book sales and signings at 6 pm, with the main program beginning at 7 pm. The programs examine keystones in Florida history and environmental issues.
JANUARY 9 – FLORIDA AND WORLD WAR II
GARY MORMINO, Professor of History Emeritus, USF, St. Petersburg
On the eve of Pearl Harbor, Florida was the smallest state in the South. Today, Florida is a Sunbelt megastate. World War II is the lynchpin. The war galvanized Floridians, resulting in the influx of two million servicemen. WWII also ignited a modern civil rights movement, new roles for women, and the dawn of the Florida Dream. Explore Florida’s role in the war with Dr. Gary Mormino as he examines the great social, cultural, and economic forces that transformed Florida into the “Sunshine State,” now the third most populous in the country.
FEBRUARY 6 – RAIN: A HISTORY FOR STORMY TIMES
CYNTHIA BARNETT, Florida Author & Journalist
Take an engaging natural and cultural tour of RAIN, from its key roles in civilization, religion, and art to the peculiar history of the world’s first raincoat to the rain obsessions of our “Founding Forecaster,” Thomas Jefferson. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Barnett will focus on hurricanes and examine the increasingly violent storm events of the past two decades. Discover how many communities are coming to live differently with rain and forming a new water ethic in America. Rain is a shared experience which connects all of us – as profound as prayer and art, as practical as economics, as genuine as an exchange between strangers on a stormy day.
FEBRUARY 20 – THE LEGACY OF FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT’S WPA IN FLORIDA
DAVID SCHMIDT, Curator, Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, Highlands Hammock State Park
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was one of FDR’s most controversial programs to put people to work during the Great Depression. The buildings, bridges, post offices and other projects that were completed during the 1930s and 40s constitute a significant infrastructure now largely forgotten. Even less well known are the New Deal initiatives that included art, photography, film, literature, music and theater. Roosevelt scholar David Schmidt looks closely at WPA works in Florida including the 1942 mural of saber-toothed cats by the great American wildlife artist Charles R. Knight that was rescued from the Sebring Post Office and now hangs in the Sebring Public Library.
MARCH 6 – FLORIDA TRANSPORTATION HISTORY:
PLANES, TRAINS, & AUTOMOBILES (& STEAMBOATS, TOO!)
STEVEN NOLL, Professor of History, University of Florida, Gainesville
Florida's history as a territory and a state can be told through the changing methods of transportation designed to move people and goods both to Florida and within Florida. Examining the changing transportation networks in the state, Dr. Steve Noll will trace how Florida changed from a backwoods frontier to one of the most important states in the union. Tying transportation history to social history, travel on a journey that moves from the Bellamy Road of the 1820s to the modern transportation issues currently facing the Sunshine State.
Park entry fees are waived after 6 pm.
Highlands Hammock State Park is located at 5931 Hammock Road, Sebring FL 33872
Program presented by the Division of Recreation and Parks Department of Environmental Protection
Programs are sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the Florida Department State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, Highlands Hammock State Park, and the Friends of Highlands Hammock State Park, Inc.
For more information, call 863-386-6094 or visit www.floridastateparks.org/park/Highlands-Hammock.