A BREAKDOWN OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL EVENTS IN JACKSONVILLE’S HISTORY

modern downtown Jacksonville Florida skyline

Knowledge is known to have its application is different fields and aspects of the existence of man, a lot of positive developments and deductions which has affected humans have been sourced out from historical findings which also assists in tracking sequence of events that could have a positive or negative impact in the present age. The importance of historical facts and figures cannot be undermined, having a deep study of history can help in predicting future occurrences from past events for aversion of mistakes and achievement of set goals.

Curiosity drives so many individuals in quest for knowledge to venture deep into history for different reasons, some want to make deductions about places or events, others just want a case study to understand and make deductions about humanity in its entirety. History teaches a lot and this depends on reasons for acquisitions which ranges on different topics like quest for technological advancement, cultural perspective and most importantly for research on events and occurrences in a demographical area. A typical example is the breakdown of the most influential events in Jacksonville’s history, a city known for so many interesting and terrifying events.

The historical facts and figures of different events and occurrences in the controversial city of Jacksonville, a city situated in the northeastern region of Florida, United States are so numerous and worth to be noted. Jacksonville, being named after the seventh United States president and first military Governor of Florida, is considered one of the largest in cities with vast land containing more than 500 neighborhoods which include the roofing contractors in Neptune beach, the Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic beach roofers and the Baldwin area. It also contains parks like the Hanna Park, Hemming Park, Klutho Park, Metropolitan Park, Memorial Park, Jessie ball DuPont Park, Riverside Park among others. The great city of Jacksonville has so many notable events which dates back the 1500s.

It was recorded in history that during the 16th century, French explorers visited the vast land which was occupied by Timucua Indians. Before the invasion of the Spanish, the French built their settlement which was known as Fort Caroline right beside the meeting point of St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean. The French Fort Caroline now known in recent times as Jacksonville Florida was initiated in 1562 and established in 1564 by René de Laudonnière, a merchant of noble background from Poitou in France. In 1565, the Spanish invasion led to the destruction of the Fort and they successfully displaced the French from the whole region. The Spanish established their fort named Fort San Mateo right where the French Fort Caroline was initially located.

In 1763, the territory was surrendered to the British after the European 7 year old war. This arrangement only lasted for twenty years before the British lost control of the vast territory after utilizing one of the region’s major resources “Lumber” to further strengthen their navy. However in 1822, the region was mapped into the United States Territory after the Spanish’s second attempt to rule failed through the Georgian’s efforts, it was then renamed “Jacksonville” which led to the formation of Duval County. The structure of the town was properly mapped and gridded, it became incorporated and had its first mayor “William J Mills” in 1832.

Jacksonville had vast agricultural resources in its fields which were exported to the North in exchange of manufactured goods at the time, resources like oranges, lumber, cotton and vegetables, it became known to be a very active commercial center and this facilitated the statehood status in 1845; Florida became one of the member states of the United States of America in 1845. In 1861, the American civil war began between the Confederate States of America and the Union also known as the United States of America and the President Abraham Lincoln led national government which included the 20 Free states and slave states.

The Cleveland Fiber Factory Fire

In the third day of May, 1901, the drought affected city of Jacksonville was gutted by fire with a lot of damages incurred on properties and life. Along the corner of Beaver and Davis streets was a fiber factory known as Cleveland Fiber Factory. It was reported in history that the workers were on lunch break when the laid – out Spanish moss was ignited by sparks from the chimney of a neighboring building. The fierce wind fanned the flames out of control which led to the destruction of about 2,368 buildings and 146 city blocks and seven human deaths. This led to the declaration of a martial law when over 10,000 residents were displaced; the calm was later restored on May 17, 1901.

The great fire incident ushered in a new age of refined and standard buildings which gave a better view to the city as against the former colonial buildings. In 1901, the continental hotel was opened to the public which offered one of the best services of its time, the Florida Automobile association was also organized in 1903 alongside the commission of Mason Park. With the success of the Mason Park, Lincoln Park was also opened to the general public in 1904, the First Baptist Church was also commissioned in the same year.

In August 27, 1960, one of the more horrific events in Jacksonville’s history occurred, there was an attack on the members of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) who were having a peaceful protest. It was recorded that a group of white individuals numbering up to 200 chased after the members of NAACP with the street, their weapon of choice was ax handles and baseball bats. The brutal attack which was initially at just the members of the group but things later went sideways and escalated to an All – blacks – in – sight attack. The gory incident became more controversial when the authorities joined forces with the attackers.

Hurricane Dora

image of hurricane dora 1964 causing tidal waves jacksonville beach fl

In 1964, a tropical cyclone called Hurricane Dora with a speed of about 130mph (215km per hour) occurred in Jacksonville and the effects were devastating. In 1967, the City Council elections were held and the first female African Americans were declared winners and elected. There was a consolidation of the city of Jacksonville and the Duval County governments into a single governing unit in the year 1968 and seven years later in 1973, the Florida Municipal home rule powers act was ratified; the rule however does not extend to the fiscal home rule

In 1993, Jacksonville city was issued an NFL franchise which later became a Super bowl home in 2005. Jacksonville has since being a very unique city with vast economic opportunities both for individuals and corporate businesses, much more a wonderful destination for tourists and visitors in all perspectives of life.

Further Reading

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