Talk:Timeline of Pensacola history

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This will no doubt be too broad for constant upkeep, but it will be a good springboard for a bunch of articles we haven't started yet. I'll try to do a little reformatting when I get some time. --Admin 11:10, 14 February 2008 (CST) compilation[edit]

The list below was compiled from the lists at I'm going to start working many of them into the date articles and "On this day..." feature, but they should be cleaned up and wikified first (and confirmed elsewhere if possible). — admin • talk  12:27, 16 April 2009 (CDT)


  • 1862 – Union guns on Santa Rosa Island opened fire on an unnamed steamer brought into the Navy yard by Confederate forces in Pensacola. Although the Confederates suffered no casualties, a large storehouse was hit by an exploding shell and burned to the ground.
  • 1862 – Two Federal blockade ships, the USS Rhode Island and the USS South Carolina, were sighted in the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola.


  • 1861 – The artillery duel between Confederate and Union forces at Pensacola continued until about 4 o'clock this morning. Casualties were minimal for both sides.


  • 1862 – The Union blockader, U.S.S. Sagamore, was sighted near Santa Rosa Island.


  • 1887 – An inch of snow fell at Pensacola today.

1971]] – Reubin O'Donovan Askew, the thirty-seventh Governor of Florida, was inaugurated today for the first of his two consecutive terms as governor. (For more information, see entry for September 11.)


  • 1839 – E. L. Drake of Escambia County became the first Speaker of the Florida Territorial House of Representatives today.
  • 1861 – U.S. Senator Stephen F. Mallory of Florida recommends that the state's Secession Convention secede. This declaration followed a caucus of Southern senators called by Jefferson Davis and John Slidell of Mississippi.
  • 1885 – Edward Aylsworth Perry became the fourteenth governor of Florida (1885-1889) today. (See entry for October 15 for more information.)
  • 1985 – A Pensacola abortion clinic was bombed today marking a significant turn of direction in the anti-abortion movement's opposition to legalized abortion.


  • 1861 – Governor Madison Starke Perry ordered the occupation of Fort Clinch (Amelia Island) by Florida troops. He also authorized Colonel William Chase to seize the Federal forts at Pensacola if he can.


  • 1861 – Federal troops in Pensacola make ready to defend Federal forts against confiscation by Florida troops.


  • 1839 – The first Florida Constitution was adopted in the assembly at St. Joseph's today.
  • [[1861? Governor Madison Starke Perry read a telegram from Florida's congressional delegation that informed them that "Federal troops are said to be moving or about to move on Pensacola forts." This warning, given just before the final debate on the state's secession ordinance, creates a sense of urgency among the delegates. After two hours of debate, the Secession Convention approves the measure by a vote of 62-7. Florida thus becomes the third state to leave the Union. In Tallahassee, crowds dance in the street. Fireworks, a large parade, and the ringing of church bells join together to manufacture an atmosphere of celebration and joy. Similar demonstrations were held in Tampa, St. Augustine, Madison, Pensacola and Jacksonville.
  In Pensacola,  the commanding officer of Federal forces consolidates his men in Fort Pickens.  Later that evening, Union Lieutenant H. Erben leads a raiding party which batters in the gates of Fort McRea.  The Union raiding party spikes the guns of the fort and dumps about a dozen barrels of gunpowder into the sea.


  • 1839 – Florida's first constitution was signed by members of the constitutional convention meeting in St. Joseph's today. Although the document would not become the law of the land in 1839, it provided the basic framework for the first state constitution in 1845.


  • 1861 – Confederate forces seize the U.S. Navy Yard at Pensacola. Forts McRee and Barrancas were also taken. Federal forces garrisoned Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island.


  • 1861 – Shots from the Federal garrison in Fort Pickens forced a Confederate reconnaissance detachment to abandon their effort to reconnoiter the area around the fort.


  • 1861 – The United States Senators from Florida, David Levy Yulee and Stephen F. Mallory, were officially informed today of Florida's secession from the Union.
  • 1892 – Pensacola report four-tenths of an inch of snow today.


  • 1811 – The United States Congress authorized the U.S. Army to occupy Florida.


  • 1792 – William Augustus Bowles and a band of Creek warriors today captured the Panton, Leslie and Company trading post near St. Marks.


  • 1861 – Jackson Morton of Santa Rosa County, Patton Anderson of Jefferson County, and James B. Owens of Marion County were appointed as Florida's delegates to the Southern Convention scheduled to meet in Montgomery, Alabama, on February 4.


  • 1861 – Despite demands by Confederate forces in Pensacola, Union Lieutenant Adam Slemmer refuses to surrender Fort Pickens to them.


  • 1861 – Florida's United States senators David Levy Yulee and Stephen R. Mallory, along with U.S. Representative George S. Hawkins, formally withdraw from the United States Congress today. This following Florida's secession from the Union.


  • 1863 – It was reported that Federal Brigadier General Adam J. Slemmer was captured in the recent Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Slemmer first came to the attention of Floridians when he was a Lieutenant in command of Fort Barrancas in January 1861. It was Slemmer who ordered Federal troops to concentrate in Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island in Pensacola Harbor.


  • 1862 – Brigadier General Samuel Jones has been assigned to command the Army of Pensacola relieving General Braxton E. Bragg.
  • 1864 – Union General Alexander Asboth, in command of Federal forces at Pensacola, reported that 1,200 Confederates were encamped at nearby Pollard. He also reported that two companies of Confederate cavalry were camped at the head of Choctawhatchee Bay.


  • 1831 – Today the name of the West Point community was changed to Apalachicola.


  • 1561 – Governor of Pensacola Tristan de Luna was relieved of his command by Spanish authorities following his unsuccessful administration of the newly created colony.


  • 1831 – The Bank of Pensacola was formed today.


  • 1861 – Two companies of Confederate volunteers have been assigned to guard the Chattahoochee Arsenal, while some 1,500 Confederate troops from Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama were encamped at Pensacola Bay. Several batteries have been set up facing Forts Pickens, Barrancas and McRee.


  • 1914 – Lieutenant J. H. Towers and Ensign G. Chevalier made the first flight from the Pensacola Aeronautical Station today. The twenty minute flight covered the military reservation and Bayou Grande.


  • 1926 – The first broadcast of Pensacola's WCOA Radio was piped to the assembled crowd in Plaza Ferdinand.


  • 1861 – The U.S.S. Brooklyn arrived off Pensacola today with troops to support the Union occupation force at Fort Pickens. The troops were not off loaded as both Union and Florida forces maintain an uneasy peace in the area.
  • 1863 – The Quincy extension of the Pensacola and Georgia Railroad began operations today. The train trip from Quincy to Tallahassee took only two hours. The train continued to its terminus at Lake City.
  • 1973 – The first measurable snow since 1958 cover a portion of the Sunshine State. Pensacola reported two inches. DeFuniak Springs and Quincy reported similar amounts. Trace amounts were reported as far south as Clermont. Unofficial reported put the accumulated total of 6 to 8 inches at Jay.


  • 1920 – Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr., the first African-American to achieve four-star rank in the armed forces of the United States, was born in Pensacola.


  • 1892 – Three inches of snow was reported today at Pensacola, while Tallahassee reported two inches. Lake City reported an accumulation of one inch, while Leesburg reported a trace.


  • 1861 – The British consul at Pensacola throws down the gauntlet to challenge the possible blockade of the Confederate States of America when he issues clearance papers for a ship carrying a cargo of cotton for British textile mills.


  • 1842 – Santa Rosa County, Florida's twenty-first county, was established today. Named for Santa Rosa Island, which in turn was named for St. Rosa de Viterbo, a Catholic saint. During Emperor Frederick II's war against Pope Gregory IX, Rose, then 12 years old, preached against submission and obedience to the emperor. As a result her family was banished. County Seat: Milton

1861]] – Jefferson Davis of Mississippi took the oath of office as the provisional President of the Confederate States of America. Among the military companies firing cannon salutes for President Davis were troops bound for Pensacola.


  • 1821 – The United States Senate gave its approval to the Adams-Onis Treaty today. Under the terms of this transcontinental treaty, Spain ceded Florida to the United States in exchange for the elimination of approximately $5 million in outstanding financial obligations.


  • 1861 – Stephen R. Mallory of Florida was appointed Secretary of the Confederate States Navy today by President Jefferson Davis.


  • 1819 – The Adams-Onis Treaty was formally signed today. Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
  • 1885 – The incorporation of the City of Chipley ratified by the Florida legislature.


  • 1844 – The City of Milton was incorporated today.


  • 1885 – The Immanuel Lutheran Church of Pensacola was organized today.


  • 1862 – Confederate General Samuel Jones assumed command of the Department of Alabama and West Florida from General Braxton E. Bragg.


  • 1821 – East and West Florida were unified under the control of General Andrew Jackson today.


  • 1824 – On this date, Tallahassee officially became the capital of Florida. Governor William Pope Duval, the first Territorial Governor, issued the proclamation.
  • 1861 – Floridian Stephen R. Mallory was confirmed by the Confederate Congress as the Secretary of the Navy. Tow of Florida's Representatives, Jackson Morton and James B. Owens, vehemently oppose his confirmation.
  • 1972 – Although the Florida House of Representatives approved the Equal Rights Amendment by a vote of 84-3, it was not considered in the Florida Senate.


  • 1823 – Four companies of United States troops from Pensacola landed in Tampa Bay today to establish Fort Brooke. The City of Tampa grew up around this fort.
  • 1889 – The Pensacola News the forerunner of the Pensacola News-Journal was founded today.


  • 1861 – Braxton E. Bragg, a Mississippi planter, West Point graduate, and Mexican War Veteran, was named to command the Confederate forces in Pensacola. He was a Brigadier general.


  • 1861 – The "Charleston Mercury" reported that Confederate Representatives in Congress James B. Owens and Jackson Morton continued their attack on Florida's Stephen Mallory, the new Confederate Secretary of the Navy, for being a self-seeker and of having shown "bad faith toward Florida, his native state." Mallory was still officially a member of the United States Senate, a position that he would continue to occupy until the Senate officially accepted his resignation, which it did on March 11.


  • 1922 – Florida State Board of Health concludes a rat "proofing" campaign in Pensacola that confined an outbreak of bubonic plague to that city.


  • 1861 – General Braxton E. Bragg arrives in Pensacola and relieves Major General William H. Chase of his command of all Confederate troops in or near the city.
  • 1862 – Two Confederate gunboats under construction in Pensacola Bay have been burned to prevent their capture by Federal naval forces.


  • 1849 – Colonel Robert E. Lee completed and filed the "Report of the Board of Engineers Upon Their Examination of the West and East Coast of Florida, from Pensacola Harbor to Amelia Island" with the Chief of Engineers, United States Army. The "Report" made recommendations for the establishment of military reservations along the coast. Lee, who was the Recorder for the Board, filed his final report on March 14, 1849.


  • 1831 – Edward Aylsworth Perry, the 14th governor of Florida (1885-1889), was born today in Richmond, Massachusetts. Perry attended Yale, taught school briefly in Alabama, and took up residence in Pensacola, where he practiced law. Joining the Confederate Army as a private, he rose to the rank of Brigadier General. His administration as governor was marked by the adoption of a new State Constitution and by the creation of the State Board of Education to advance public schools. After his tenure as governor, Perry returned to Pensacola where he died on October 15, 1889.


  • 1823 – United States Secretary of War John C. Calhoun ordered the creation of a road between St. Augustine and St. Mary's. Calhoun also ordered a survey for a road between St. Augustine and Pensacola.


  • 1872 – The section of railroad between Quincy and River Junction (Chattahoochee) was completed today as part of the Jacksonville, Pensacola, and Mobile Railroad.


  • 1891 – The Florida State Board of Health published its first report today. The Board listed the establishment of quarantine stations at Tampa and Pensacola as its primary activities.


  • 1822 – The United States Congress established Territorial Superior Courts for Florida. The courts were to be convened at St. Augustine and Pensacola.


  • 1861 – Confederate General Braxton E. Bragg reported that he has 1,116 men under his command at Pensacola and that his forces were busy fortifying Forts McRea, Barrancas, and in the areas around the lighthouse and naval hospital.


  • 1513 – Juan Ponce de Leon landed on the Florida Peninsula today near the mouth of the St. John's River.
  • 1861 – A large contingent of Confederate troops arrived in Pensacola today to augment the forces under the command of General Braxton E. Bragg.
  • [[APRIL 4

1861]] – Officers and crewmen of the U.S.S. Powhatan, who have been on shore leave in Pensacola, were ordered back to their ship as the Federal warship prepares to depart the port.


  • 1818 – The Spanish fort at St. Marks was occupied today by Major General Andrew Jackson and his troops. The protests of the Spanish commander were ignored.
  • 1926 – Alexander Butterfield, who served as an aide to President Richard Milhouse Nixon, was born today in Pensacola.


  • 1513 – Juan Ponce de Leon claimed Florida for Spain today.
  • 1693 – Admiral Andres de Pez, accompanied by Dr. Carlos de Siguenza and others, explored Pensacola Bay today.


  • 1843 – Two Mormon elders, William A. Brown and Daniel Cathcart, were assigned to Pensacola by the Illinois Conference of the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
  • 1969 – The Niceville Campus of the Okaloosa-Walton Junior College was dedicated today.


  • 1908 – Governor Napoleon B. Broward declared martial law in Pensacola today as striking Street Railway Union workers and strike breakers from New York clashed in the streets of the city.


  • 1861 – The 1st Florida Infantry regiment arrives in Pensacola for duty with Confederate forces under the command of Brigadier General Braxton E. Bragg.
  • 1865 – Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, today. Lee's surrender signaled the end of the Confederate States of America, although the final Confederate surrender would not take place until mid-May.


  • 1886 – Seventy-seven Chiricahua Apache Indians, captured in the western part of the United States, arrived in St. Augustine today. They will be imprisoned in Fort Marion. Geronimo, the war chief of the Chiricahuas, was being held in Fort Pickens in Pensacola.


  • 1861 – The U.S.S. Atlantic arrives off Santa Rosa Island (Pensacola) and disembarks 1,000 men for the defense of Fort Pickens.
  • 1915 – The first successful catapult launching of an AB-2 flying boat occurred today in Pensacola. Lieutenant P.N.L. Bellinger (USN) was at the controls.
  • 1965 – Ground-breaking ceremonies were held today for the University of West Florida in Pensacola, ten years after the University was first authorized by the Florida Legislature (1955).


  • 1861 – Confederate Brigadier General Braxton E. Bragg today imposed martial law in Pensacola and ordered the cessation of all trade and communications with Federal forces in Fort Pickens. The U.S.S. Powhatan arrived today with more men and supplies for Fort Pickens.


  • 1861 – Confederate attempts to bribe the Federal troops at Fort Pickens into surrendering was foiled because of the alertness of the fort's commander, Colonel Harvey Brown.


  • 1698 – The Spanish monarchy issued a "cedula" or royal edict today authorizing the establishment of a fort at Pensacola in order to prevent the area from falling into French hands.


  • 1913 – Three aircraft and a detachment of fifteen men left Pensacola today aboard the U.S.S. Birmingham today for operations off the coast of Tampico during the Mexican-American crisis.


  • 1859 – The town of Live Oak was founded today by the Pensacola and Georgia Railroad.


  • 1818 – Major General Andrew Jackson convened a court martial today for two British subjects in West Florida, Alexander Arbuthnot and Robert C. Armbrister. The two men were charged with inciting the Creek Indians against the United States. The two men were found guilty and put to death. The action was controversial and stirred up a great deal of diplomatic upheaval between the United States and Great Britain.


  • 1861 – Two Federal soldiers deserted Fort Pickens today and turned themselves in to Confederate authorities. Seven Federal soldiers were captured by Confederate forces when the boat in which they were riding overturned.


  • 1862 – Federal reported place the number of Union soldiers on Santa Rosa Island at 2,119.


  • 1803 – The treaty ceding the territory of Louisiana to the United States was signed today in Paris. The portion of West Florida, from the Perdido River to the Mississippi River, was not part of the original treaty. The United States claimed the area as part of the purchase of the Louisiana Territory. In one bold stroke, President Thomas Jefferson doubled the size of the United States through this diplomatic coup.


  • 1847 – The Pensacola Baptist Church, now the First Baptist Church of Pensacola, was organized today.
  • 1944 – Singer James Purify was born today in Pensacola.


  • 1851 – Dr. John Gorrie, a physician in Apalachicola, patented his ice-making machine today. Gorrie, 1802-1855, looking for a way to cool patients suffering from malaria fever, was granted Patent No. 8080. His invention led the way for commercial ice making machines and eventually for the development of air conditioning. He is one of two Floridians honored with a statue in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C.


  • 1781 – The British garrison surrendered Fort George in Pensacola to a large combined force of French and Spanish troops today.
  • 1860 – The Pensacola and Georgia Railroad started laying track for a line to run between Lake City and the Suwanee River.


  • 1862 – Confederate forces evacuate Pensacola today, torching all the military installations and property in the city. The steamer Fulton was set afire, along with two privately owned smaller boats.

MAY 10

  • 1861 – Union president Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus in Florida, citing the existence of an "insurrection" against the United States in that state.
  • 1862 – Federal forces occupy Pensacola, which was surrendered peaceably by the mayor of the city.

MAY 11

  • 1910 – Jacqueline Cochran, the first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, was born today in Pensacola.

MAY 13

  • 1862 – The U.S.S. Vincennes arrived in Pensacola Bay today to assist with the Federal occupation of the City of Pensacola. The Vincennes was the first Federal ship to enter Pensacola Harbor since the outbreak of the Civil War.
  • 1863 – The U.S.S. DeSoto captured the Confederate schooner Seabird off Pensacola Bay, while the U.S.S. Huntsville captured the Confederate schooner A.J. Hodge at sea off the east coast of Florida.
  • 1969 – The Florida Legislature today ratified the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States that granted suffrage rights to women. The amendment, which was approved by enough states to become a part of the "law of the land" on August 26, 1920, was finally approved by the Legislature in recognition of the achievements of the Florida League of Women Voters. Florida was the 50th state to ratify the amendment.

MAY 17

  • 1775 – The American Continental Congress ordered all trade between the American colonies in revolt against Great Britain and East and West Florida stopped.

MAY 24

  • 1818 – Fort Barrancas, garrisoned by Spanish troops, surrendered to Major General Andrew Jackson today. American troops replaced Spanish troops.

MAY 25

  • 1861 – The Pensacola Rifle Rangers were organized today. Edward A. Perry was elected captain.

MAY 27

  • 1822 – Andrew Jackson delivered his "farewell address" today after appointing William G. D. Worthington as acting governor of East and West Florida.

MAY 29

  • 1765 – The Creek nations held a meeting with British officials in Pensacola to consider trade relations.


  • 1861 – ]] – Confederate mail service officially began today.


  • 1906 – Robert L. F. "Bob" Sikes, long-term Congressman from Crestview, was born today. Sikes, known as the "Old He-Coon," was born in Georgia.


  • 1840 – William Dudley Chipley, West Florida entrepreneur and railroad developer, was born today in Columbus, Georgia.
  • 1944 – Thousands of Floridians and soldiers/sailors trained in Florida participated in the Normandy invasion today. The Normandy operation marked the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany.


  • 1845 – Andrew Jackson, general and former President of the United States, died today at the "Hermitage," his plantation in Tennessee. Jackson was especially important in the modern history of Florida, since he was largely responsible for its acquisition by the United States following his invasion of the then Spanish province.
  • 1925 – The Naval Aviation Museum at the Naval Air Station Pensacola was formally opened today.


  • 1937 – The City of Fort Walton was incorporated today.


  • 1779 – Spain joined the fledgling United States of America today by declaring war against England. Spain hoped to retrieve the colonies of East and West Florida lost to the English in 1763. Spain would regain the territory in 1783.
  • 1834 – The stagecoach road between Tallahassee and Pensacola was delayed when the construction of the portion between Marianna and the Apalachicola River was delayed. The U.S. Quartermaster, overseeing the project, brought charges of mismanagement against the contractor.


  • 1982 – The Florida Senate, meeting in special session, declined to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.


  • 1845 – Governor William Moseley was inaugurated as Florida's first governor today.
  • 1868 – Florida was conditionally re-admitted to the United States today. federal occupation of the state, however, would not end until 1877.


  • 1936 – Actress Nancy Dussault was born today in Pensacola.


  • 1693 – Spanish expedition under Laureano del Torres y Ayala arrived at Pensacola Bay by following an overland route from the St. Marks (Apalachicola) area.
  • 1957 – Gulf Coast Community College was founded at Panama City.


  • 1838 – The Territorial Legislative Council of Florida was reorganized by the U.S. Congress into a bi-cameral body with an Upper House [Senate] and a Lower House [House of Representatives].


  • 1862 – In response to a July 4 letter from S. R. Mallory which informed Governor John Milton that the 2nd Florida regiment had lost 471 soldiers since May 1 and which suggested that the governor start a recruitment drive for that unit, Milton replied to General James Longstreet on this date that an effort would be made. Milton states that this will be a hard task since so many have already been mustered into Confederate service and that "those who are left are scattered throughout the state."


  • 1861 – Colonel Brown, Federal commander of Fort Pickens in Pensacola Harbor, received reinforcements of New York Volunteers, but informed the Secretary of War that more were needed to hold the fort against an anticipated Confederate assault.

]] – JULY 13

  • 1971 – Rhonda Spence became the first Florida citizen to cast a ballot under the age of twenty-one when she voted in a city election in DeFuniak Springs. Twenty-year old Lennie H. Andrews, a sailor, had turned in an absentee ballot on the Friday preceding the election, but the ballot was not opened until after Miss Spence had cast her vote.


  • 1846 – Augustus E. Maxwell became the Attorney General of Florida and served until April 11, 1848.


  • 1821 – Andrew Jackson prepared to take possession of Florida for the United States following its purchase from Spain. This was the final day of Spanish control of La Florida and ended Spanish control of territory on the North American continent.


  • 1821 – General Andrew Jackson formally accepts sovereignty to Florida on behalf of the United States in Pensacola at Government House and Fort Barrancas. American troops, led by Colonel George Brooke (for whom Fort Brooke--later Tampa--was named), with General Jackson following, exchanged courtesies with Spanish Governor Cavalla and a formal exchange of ownership ceremony followed.


  • 1922 – Alan S. Boyd, the first Secretary of Transportation [January 6, 1967-January 20, 1969], was born in Jacksonville. He became the first Floridian to serve in the cabinet of a president of the United States. (Stephen R. Mallory of Pensacola served as Secretary of the Navy in the Confederate cabinet of Jefferson Davis.)


  • 1821 – On this date, Escambia and St. Johns Counties became the first two counties in Florida (now numbering 67). Escambia County was named for the Escambia River, but the origins of this name is lost forever. Some scholars think "Escambia" is derived from the Spanish verb, "cambar," which means to barter. Others, however, argue that the word is derived from either the Choctaw or Chickasaw dialects. St. Johns County was named for San Juan Bautisata, the Catholic saint.


  • 1822 – First official session of Territorial Legislature Council began in Pensacola.
  • [[]] – A Federal force composed of elements of the 7th Vermont Veterans Volunteers, the 82nd U.S. Colored Infantry, the 1st Florida Cavalry (U.S.), the 14th New York Cavalry, and the 1st Florida Battery (U.S.) attacked Confederate forces at the newly-completed Fort Hodgson (Camp Gonzales) 15 miles north of Pensacola. Eight Confederates were captured, in addition to the regimental flag of the 7th Alabama Cavalry and a considerable amount of provisions.


  • 1764 – Elias Durnford was appointed civil engineer of West Florida. He contributed to the town plan and early street layout of Pensacola.
  • 1861 – Thomas E. Jordan was appointed postmaster of Pensacola by Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who also appointed Chandler C. Yonge as the Confederate attorney for the Florida district.


  • 1816 – Two hundred and seventy Negroes and Indians were killed by a direct hit on a powder magazine by U.S. troops invading Florida. The so-called "Negro Fort," now called Fort Gadsden, was located on the Apalachicola River.


  • 1901 – DeFuniak Springs was incorporated as a town, and Dr. G. P. Henry was elected the first mayor.


  • 1763 – Spain transfers title to Florida to Britain in exchange for the return of the City of Havana, Cuba, which had been captured when Spain allied itself with France in the French and Indian War. Britain controlled Florida from 1763 until 1783, when it again became a Spanish possession at the end of the American Revolution.


  • 1763 – Colonel Augustine Prevost of the British Army accepted possession of West Florida from the Spanish at Pensacola.
  • 1864 – The Federal gunboat Metacomet arrived in Pensacola with Confederate and Union wounded from fighting around Mobile.


  • 1719 – The French Fort San Carlos (Pensacola) surrendered unconditionally to Spanish forces.


  • 1822 – Jackson County, Florida's third county, was created on this date. It was named for Andrew Jackson, Governor of Florida and President of the United States.


  • 1559 – First Spanish settlement in the present United States was established by Don Tristan de Luna Arellano. De Luna's party consisted of Dominican friars, soldiers, and settlers who built their settlement on the site of today's Pensacola. The settlement was abandoned after two years.
  • 1864 – Union General Alexander Sandor Asboth (an Austrian refugee and friend of Louis Kossuth) ordered his troops, about 1,400 men, to leave Pensacola and move across the Perdido River for operations near Mobile Bay.


  • 1882 – First two-and-one-half mile railroad bridge completed across Escambia Bay.


  • 1821 – The Floridian, Pensacola's first newspaper, was established.


  • 1814 – United States troops under the command of Andrew Jackson entered Florida in pursuit of Creek and Seminole Indians, while Jackson occupies the City of Mobile.


  • 1822 – The City of Pensacola was incorporated by the Territorial government of Florida.


  • 1920 – The 19th Amendment grant women suffrage was formally ratified by a sufficient number of states to add it to the Constitution. Florida did NOT ratify this amendment until May 13, 1969. Despite the refusal of the Legislature to ratify the amendment, women had been granted the right to vote in city elections as early as 1917 when Florence Villa, Moore Haven, Palm Beach, and Pass-a-Grille allowed them to cast their ballots.


  • 1862 – Colonel Edward A. Perry of the 2nd Florida Infantry Regiment was promoted to brigadier general.


  • 1818 – Spain severs diplomatic relations with the United States for failing to discipline General Andrew Jackson following his seizure and occupation of forts in Spanish Florida.


  • 1861 – Today a small Union raiding party from Ft. Pickens crossed Pensacola Bay and set a million dollar drydock that General Braxton E. Bragg had ordered moved from the Naval Yard.


  • 1949 – Washington Junior College, the first state-supported junior college for African-Americans, was established on this date in Pensacola.


  • 1948 – The first students registered for classes today at Pensacola Junior College, which was located in a former tourist home.


  • 1864 – Union General Alexander Asboth, headquartered in Pensacola, reported today that Confederate forces under the command of a Colonel Montgomery were fortifying Marianna and other small outposts in Northwest Florida.
  • 1928 – Reubin O'Donovan Askew, Florida's 37th governor, was born today in Muskogee, Oklahoma. A graduate of both Florida State University and the University of Florida Law School, Askew began his political career as a member of the Florida House of Representatives (1958) and a member of the Florida Senate (1962). Askew was President pro tempore of the Senate in 1969-1970.

]] – ]] – Askew was elected governor in 1970. Among the many "firsts" in his administration was the appointment of the African-American member of the Florida Supreme Court, the first female member of the Cabinet, and the first African-American member of the Cabinet. Governor Askew also headed a movement to put the "Sunshine Amendment" on the election ballot through a statewide petition campaign.


  • 1863 – The U.S.S. DeSoto captured the British steamer, Montgomery, today after a nine hour chase in the Gulf of Mexico south of Pensacola.


  • 1861 – The Confederate schooner, Judah, was burned by Federal troops at Pensacola Bay.
  • 1862 – Richard Keith Call, third (1836) and fifth (1841) Territorial governor of Florida, died on this date at his Leon County plantation, "The Grove."
Call was born in Prince George County, Virginia, on October 24, 1792.  He entered service with General Andrew Jackson during the Creek War in 1813.  Jackson was so impressed with the young soldier, he made him his aide-de-camp.  He first came to Florida with Jackson in 1814, returned with the General in 1821 to set up the new government for the American territory.  In 1822, he became a permanent resident of the territory and practiced law in Pensacola. 
He served in a number of public positions--as a member of the Legislative Council, a delegate to the Congress, receiver of the West Florida land office, a brigadier general commanding troops in the Seminole War, and Territorial Governor.  His differences with Federal authorities over the prosecution of the war led to his removal as governor.  He supported William Henry Harrison for president and was subsequently appointed to the governorship again in 1842.  When Florida became a state, Call ran for governor in 1845, but was defeated. 


  • 1720 – Fort Carlos at Pensacola was surrendered by the Spanish to besieging French forces.


  • 1863 – Union General Alexander Asboth and 700 mounted troops attacked the village of Eucheanna in North Florida. The raiding column then struck a hastily prepared Confederate fortification at Marianna, the county seat of Jackson County. Marianna was plundered. Eighty-one prisoners were taken, 200 horses and 400 cattle were rounded up, and 600 Negro slaves were impressed. Asboth and the Federal troops abandoned Marianna that night and returned to Pensacola with their spoils.


  • 1876 – Temple Beth El Congregation, Florida's oldest Jewish Congregation, was founded at Pensacola.


  • 1810 – The territory between the Perdido River in West Florida and the Mississippi River was declared an independent republic by a convention meeting in Baton Rouge. The republic lasted for a mere seventy-four days.
  • 1823 – Charged by the Territorial Legislature to find a site for the construction of a capital city, Dr. W. H. Simmons left St. Augustine heading west. He was to make contact with John Lee Williams, who left Pensacola at about the same time. The men were to meet approximately halfway between the two cities and select the site. The site chosen was a small Indian village called Tallahassee.


  • 1864 – Union forces under General Alexander Asboth attacked the hastily prepared Confederate defenses at Marianna today. The following description of the action was offered by William Watson Davis in Civil War and Reconstruction in Florida (New York: Columbia University, 1913), pp. 311-312.
"The raiders come up rapidly.  They sweep aside the barricade with artillery and follow this with a determined charge by the 2nd Maine Cavalry.  The Confederate force breaks up.  Some flee through the town for the Chipola river beyond.  Some take refuge in the Episcopal church near the barricade and continue the fight from its windows.  A torch is thrown against the church.  It took fire.  As it occupants rush from the burning building they are shot down and fall amid the gravestones of the churchyard.  Some of the boys are burned to death in the church.  At the bridge across the Chipola a desperate resistance beats back the Federal advance.  Marianna is plundered.  Eighty-four prisoners are taken, 200 horses, 600 negroes, and 400 cattle.  The Federal loss is not recorded.  That night the Federal column quits Marianna on its return march to Pensacola.  The prisoners and movable booty are carried along."


  • 1979 – Former Governor Reubin O'D. Askew was sworn in as the United States Trade Representative with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, serving as a member of President Jimmy Carter's Cabinet.


  • 1802 – John Gorrie, the acknowledged inventor of air conditioning, was born today. Gorrie, a physician, was born in Charleston, SC. The idea for artificially cooling air in limited spaces was recognized by the U.S. Patent office when it granted him Patent Number 8080 on May 6, 1851.
A statue of John Gorrie was placed in the Capitol rotunda in Washington, DC, in 1914.  Gorrie is one of two Floridians thus honored.


  • 1861 – Federal forces on Santa Rosa Island near Pensacola were scattered in a surprise raid by Confederate troops.
  • 1913 – The Secretary of the Navy appointed a board to select a site for naval aviation training. Pensacola was eventually chosen as the site and thus began that city's long association with naval fliers. So many aviators pass through the training facility, date, and marry local females, that Pensacola is known as "The Mother of the Navy."


  • 1861 – Confederate General Braxton E. Bragg assumed command of the Department of Alabama and West Florida today.


  • 1889 – Edward Aylsworth Perry, 14th governor of Florida (January 6, 1885-January 8, 1889), died today in Pensacola. Born in Richmond, Massachusetts, Perry attended Yale University, taught briefly in Alabama schools, and entered the practice of law in Pensacola in 1853. As the elected commanding office of the "Rifle Rangers," he entered Confederate service in July 1861. He served as captain, colonel, and brigadier general. He was severely wounded at Frayser's Farm (June 30, 1862) during the Seven Pines (May 31-July1, 1862) campaign. He commanded Florida troops during the Battles of Fredericksburg (December 13, 1862) and Chancellorsville (May 1-4, 1863). He missed Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863) because of a bout with typhoid, but did participate in the Wilderness campaign where he was again wounded. Following his recovery, Perry was assigned to command the Alabama reserve troops, a task he fulfilled until the end of the war.
After the war, Perry resumed the practice of law.  Active in state and national politics, he was elected governor in 1885.  During his administration, Florida adopted a new Constitution and established the State Board of Education to oversee the public school system. 


  • 1829 – Governor William P. Duval today signed the charter documents for the incorporation of Christ Church Parish, an Episcopal congregation in the City of Pensacola.


  • 1864 – Approximately 200 Federal soldiers from Fort Barrancas in Pensacola attacked a small group of Confederate cavalry in Milton. One Union soldier was killed and several others wounded. There is no record of Confederate losses.


  • 1864 – Federal raiders, operating along the shores of Escambia Bay, confiscated approximately 1,500 bricks, several doors, and a large amount of window sash for use on Federal fortifications/buildings in the Pensacola area.
An expedition made up of men from the U.S.S. Stars and Stripes made its way up the Ocklockonee River in West Florida.  Today and tomorrow, this expedition destroyed an extensive Confederate fishery on Marsh's Island and captured a detachment of Confederate soldiers assigned to guard the fishery.


  • 1736 – James Oglethorpe signed a treaty with Spanish Florida Governor Francisco del Moral Sanchez in which both sides agreed to control their Indian allies and stop molesting each other.


  • 1984 – Millard Fillmore Caldwell, the twenty-ninth governor of Florida (January 2, 1945-January 4, 1949), died today at his antebellum home in Tallahassee. Caldwell was born on February 6, 1897, near Knoxville, TN. He attended Carson-Newman College and the University of Mississippi. After service in the Army in World War I, he attended the University of Virginia.
He came to Florida in 1924 and practiced law in Milton.  In 1929 and 1931, Caldwell represented Santa Rosa County in the Florida House of Representatives.  From 1933 until 1941, he represented Florida's Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.  During his congressional service, he represented the United States in international conferences at The Hague (1938) and Oslo (1939).
Elected governor in 1944, he promoted the enactment of the Minimum Foundation Program for public schools and the development of the Capitol Center.  After a number of Federal positions, Caldwell was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court in 1962 and elected that same year without opposition.  In 1967, he was elected the Chief Justice.  Caldwell retired in 1969.


  • 1820 – The Adams-Onis Treaty transferring title of Florida to the United States was signed by the King of Spain.


  • 1864 – A detachment of 600 Union troops left Fort Barrancas in Pensacola and attacked the town of Milton. Nine Confederates were taken prisoner. Several soldiers on both sides were wounded. The Federal troops captured a small quantity of lumber and timber. The ferry crossing across the river was destroyed by the troops.


  • 1862 – The U.S.S. Sagamore, under the command of Lieutenant Commander George A. Bigelow, captured the British blockade running steamer Trier off the coast of the Indian River Inlet. The U.S.S. Montgomery seized the blockade running steamer Caroline off the coast of Pensacola.
Union soldier surprised a detachment of Confederate cavalry at Gonzalia (about 20 miles north of Pensacola) early this morning.  All but nine of the Confederates were killed or captured. 

1865]] – A constitutional convention, called at the direction of President Andrew Johnson and Provisional Governor William Marvin, met today in Tallahassee to write a new state constitution as a condition for readmission into the Union. The constitution, which was to become effective on November 7 without a vote of the citizens, never became effective because President Johnson lost control of the process of Reconstruction to Congressional Republicans.


  • 1558 – Tristan de Luna y Arellano was named by the Viceroy of Mexico, Luis De Velasco, to head the Spanish expedition to occupy Florida.


  • 1764 – George Johnstone, the first governor of British West Florida, arrived in Pensacola today.
  • 1799 – All Spanish and American military officers were ordered out of West Florida today by William Augustus Bowles, the Caucasian Creek chief. Bowles promulgated the order as the "Director General" of the State of Muskogee, which had its capital Mikasukee near present-day Tallahassee. Bowles was eventually taken prisoner by an agent of the United States government who delivered him to Spanish authorities in 1803. He was imprisoned in Havana and died there.


  • 1862 – Eighteen Union ships took up station off the Gulf Coast of Florida to interdict and disrupt the activities of Confederate blockade-runners.


  • 1752 – Most of the Spanish settlement on Santa Rosa Island nearly destroyed by a hurricane.


  • 1915 – The first successful catapult launch of a piloted aircraft from a ship was made today by Lieutenant Commander H. C. Mustin off the deck of the U.S.S. North Carolina in Pensacola Bay. Lieutenant Commander Muslin was flying an AB-2 "flying boat."


  • 1814 – General Andrew Jackson today took control of Spanish Pensacola. British troops quartered at Fort Barrancas blew up their fort and were evacuated under the watchful eye of more than 3,000 American soldiers.


  • 1814 – Spanish Governor Maurique formally surrendered Pensacola to American forces under the command of General Andrew Jackson today, officially acknowledging the reality of Jackson's defeat of Spanish forces. Jackson soon restored Pensacola to the Spanish, but only after the British forces had been evacuated to the mouth of the Apalachicola River.


  • 1821 – Today Andrew Jackson submitted his resignation as governor of Florida to President James Monroe. Monroe officially accepted the resignation on December 31.


  • 1821 – Governor Andrew Jackson follows his letter of resignation with a second letter to President James Monroe urging quick acceptance of his resignation, because "I am truly wearied of public life. I want rest."
  • 1862 – A Federal expedition from Pensacola, which included five boats, a special work gang, and sixty U.S. marines, was headed along the coast to St. Andrews Bay with orders to destroy all salt works located between the two ports.


  • 1864 – An expedition of the Union army left Fort Barrancas (Pensacola) today for an incursion to Pine Barren Ridge, Florida.


  • 1698 – The first units of a Spanish expedition led by Juan Jordan de Reina arrived in Pensacola Bay with the task of erecting fortifications. The Spanish effort was aimed at thwarting French colonization efforts in West Florida.


  • 1810 – The first session of the Senate of the "State of Florida"--known as the Republic of West Florida--started today in Francisville, Louisiana. Today's Florida was still under the control of the Spanish government.


  • 1862 – The U.S.S. Montgomery captured the Confederate sloop William E. Chester near Pensacola Bay today.


  • 1863 – Confederate forces readied themselves for an attack on the Union forces at Pensacola, which were under the command of General Alexander Asboth.


  • 1861 – Federal batteries at Fort Pickens opened a barrage against two Confederate ships at anchor near the Navy wharf in Pensacola. Confederate batteries returned the fire. Two Federal ships, the Richmond and the Niagara, joined in. The Confederate Fort McRee sustained heavy damage in the eight-hour artillery duel.


  • 1722 – The Spanish re-established control over Pensacola following the loss of the territory by France as a result of the outcome of the War of the Quadruple Alliance in Europe. Spanish Lieutenant Colonel Alejandro Wauchope received possession of Pensacola from French Lieutenant Jean Baptiste Reboue.


  • 1817 – Fifty-nine soldiers and settlers were killed or wounded in an attack by Indians on the Apalachicola River.


  • 1861 – Confederate General Braxton E. Bragg reported that he had approximately 3,000 men under his command in Pensacola, but arms for only about 600 of them.


  • 1825 – President John Quincy Adams confirmed the selection of Pensacola as the site for the construction of a United States Navy Yard.


  • 1864 – Governor John Milton signed into law a bill that created special courts for trying slaves, free Negroes, and mulattos accused of capital offenses. Milton also signed a bill that places all white male inhabitants of Florida between the ages of 16 and 55 into militia service.
  • 1886 – Citizens of Pensacola woke up this morning to a blanket of snow on the ground. More than one-half inch of the "white rain" fell on Florida's second city.
  • 1918 – The Florida House of representatives rejected statewide suffrage for women by a vote of 31-37.]] – ]] –


  • 1821 – Pensacola's First United Methodist Church was established as a Methodist mission in this Panhandle city.


  • 1862 – The Pensacola and Georgia Railroad was opened to Gee Gee's Turnout, four miles from Quincy.


  • 1861 – General Braxton E. Bragg, on duty in Pensacola, reported that he was having great difficulty persuading his troops to reenlist for the "duration of the war." Many of the initial 90-day terms of enlistment were expiring and some troops were ready to abandon their units and go home.


  • 1861 – More than 1,000 Federal troops arrived to reinforce the Union garrison holding Fort Pickens and Santa Rosa Island in Pensacola Bay.


  • 1780 – The Spanish, French and American military authorities, led by General George Washington, were planning a combined raid against British held Pensacola and the three colonies/states of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.


  • 1861 – The Legislature authorized the City of Pensacola to print $25,000, to be issued in small bills, for which the city's resources were pledged to redeem.


  • 1824 – The United States Quartermaster Corps today signed contracts for the construction of a 16-foot wide roadway from Tallahassee to St. Augustine. This road was part of the St. Augustine to Pensacola Road and the cost of the project was $13,500.


  • 1824 – Walton County, named for General George Walton, was established today. Walton served as the Secretary of West Florida during the governorship of Andrew Jackson (1821-22) and as the Secretary of East-West Florida from 1822 until 1826. Walton was the son of George Walton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.