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Walt Disney with Company at Press Conference
Walt Disney (1901–66), the American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, and entrepreneur, was best known for creating such iconic characters as Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, for whom Disney himself was the original voice. In the 1930s and 1940s, he produced full-length animated films that included Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio (1940), and Bambi (1942). In 1955, Disney opened Disneyland, a theme park located in Anaheim, California that featured many attractions based on Disney film characters. This 1965 photograph shows Disney and his brother ...
All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Player Marg Callaghan Sliding into Home Plate as Umpire Norris Ward Watches
Many minor baseball league teams had disbanded by late 1942, because of young men of military age being drafted to serve in World War II. The All-American Girls Baseball League was founded as a nonprofit association in 1943 by a group of powerful financial figures in professional baseball, concerned that baseball parks across the United States might collapse. They included the owner of Wrigley Field in Chicago, businessman Phillip K. Wrigley; Brooklyn Dodgers president and general manager Branch Rickey; and Paul V. Harper, a Chicago attorney who was a trustee ...
Midwinter Crowd at Miami Beach
Winter tourism became a major factor in the development of Miami and south Florida from the 1920s onward. Development, particularly of hotels, grew apace, with the increasing popularity of this tourism and retirement haven, and much helped by the spread of commercial aviation. By 1940 Miami had about two million vacationers a year. President Harry S Truman was there for the dedication of the Everglades National Park in 1947. Some of the new hotels, such as the 1948 Sherry Frontenac, had fine Art Deco details. This photograph, taken on December ...
Two Women on Water Skis Wearing Tutus and White Gloves
Dick and Julie Pope founded Cypress Gardens in 1936, one of the many roadside attractions that began to line the highways of Florida and other U.S. states in the 1920s. Located between Orlando and Tampa in Winter Haven, the lush botanical gardens attracted tourists driving south through central Florida on U.S. Highway 27, known as the Orange Blossom Trail. During the early 1940s, Pope hired women to walk around the park wearing antebellum-style dresses. He introduced water-skiing shows during World War II to entertain soldiers who visited the ...
African American Man Wrestling an Alligator at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
One of the symbols of the state of Florida in the popular imagination is the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). From the earliest European explorers to the present day, visitors have been fascinated by this cold-blooded freshwater reptile. With a name derived from the Spanish word lagarto (the lizard), alligators can grow to an average of 13–15 feet (4–4.6 meters) and weigh 500–1,000 pounds (227–453 kilograms). The alligator used to be prized for its meat and skin, was once hunted and harvested to near extinction ...
Portrait of Sponge Diver John M. Gonatos
The Florida sponge diving industry developed in the area of Tarpon Springs beginning in the late 19th century. In 1891, the entrepreneur John King Cheyney founded the Anclote and Rock Island Sponge Company. Cheyney initially harvested sponges from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico by hooking the sponges from boats. In 1897, Cheyney employed a young Greek sponge buyer and technical expert, John Cocoris, who explained how sponge divers in Greece, using rubberized wet suits, could harvest four times as much sponge as people working from boats. Cheyney placed ...
A Mill Worker Watches Over the Loading of Powder Fine Phosphate
Major phosphate deposits were first discovered in Florida in Alachua County in the early 1880s. By the turn of the century, phosphate mining was a major industry as phosphate seams were identified in central and southwestern Florida, and mining became an essential economic engine for cities such as Dunnellon, Newberry, and Mulberry. From hand mining with wheelbarrows and picks, to large-scale mechanized mining employing hydraulic pumps and draglines, the industry changed dramatically in the course of the 20th century. Phosphate rock must be separated from the mud and other materials ...