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Education

One a Day in Tampa Bay

2021-03-10T10:20:19-05:00March 10th, 2021|

Tragedy at MacDill AFB Situated strategically four miles south of Tampa, Florida, at the end of a peninsula that separates Old Tampa Bay from Hillsborough Bay is MacDill Air Force Base. Established on May 24th, 1939, for the Army Air Corps, it was initially called Southeast Air Base, Tampa. The base has overseen a variety of missions that continue today. However, this article focuses on only a short period at the outbreak of World War [...]

A “Grand” Grand Traverse Lighthouse Christmas

2020-12-16T11:53:25-05:00December 16th, 2020|

There are few accounts of Christmas at the Light Stations across the country.  One of these accounts is from Bette McCormick Olli who grew up at Grand Traverse Lighthouse.  Her story gives a eyewitness record of how Keepers and their families balanced family life with duty to keeping the light shining.  We hope that you enjoy her account and remember that, even today, we have men and women serving across the world sometimes with or [...]

Part from World War II-Era Plane Found!

2020-10-02T10:19:53-04:00October 2nd, 2020|

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum received the tail section of a World War II-era plane that washed up along South Ponte Vedra Beach during the recent nor’easter.  The initial findings suggest that the part came from a F4F Wildcat, an aircraft produced by the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation mostly based on aircraft carriers.    The section includes a tail hook suggesting it was carrier-based.  As the plane came in for a landing, the tail [...]

World War II on Americas’s First Coast: Part Two: The American Response – “Semper Paratus”

2020-08-11T09:36:34-04:00August 11th, 2020|

The reality of war on America’s own East Coast was a shock to its residents, and it was no different for the people of St. Augustine. The United States Navy kept the news of the U-boat attacks under wraps while they scrambled to take defensive action, and action they did take. In February of 1942, the USS Roper (DD-147), a Wickes-class destroyer returned to Norfolk, VA, after successfully performing escort duty to Londonderry, Ireland. [...]

World War II Exhibit to Open August 1, 2020

2020-07-29T15:21:56-04:00July 28th, 2020|

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL – The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum proudly announces the opening of a new exhibit, “Guardians of the First Coast: Building Readiness for World War II,” on August 1, 2020. This exhibition, housed in the Museum’s 1941 Coastal Lookout Building, honors the brave men and women who defended our coast as World War II began. The exhibit showcases firsthand stories, letters, photographs and videos collected from those who served in World [...]

World War II on Americas’s First Coast: Part One: The “Second Happy Time”

2020-08-11T08:49:14-04:00June 18th, 2020|

On Sunday, December 7th, 1941, the Imperial Navy of Japan attacked the American Pacific Fleet at its base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The devastating loss of life and carnage that morning not only surprised Americans, it also surprised and delighted Adolph Hitler. Hitler was shocked, not only that the Japanese had attempted it, but that it had been, in his mind, so “successful.” Nazi Germany declared war on the United States four days [...]

Women’s History Month: First Female Lighthouse Keeper in Florida

2020-04-20T13:38:02-04:00March 20th, 2020|

The first St. Augustine Lighthouse, called the Spanish Watchtower, which became Florida's first lighthouse in 1824. Maria Andreu, wife of Head Keeper Joseph Andreu, became the first female lighthouse keeper in Florida when her husband died in 1859. By Kimberly King, Museum Staffer To best understand the importance of women at the St. Augustine Lighthouse, we must understand that women have always supported the light keepers. They ran the household so that the [...]

Handcrafted wooden strip kayak offered through silent auction

2019-08-20T15:21:46-04:00August 20th, 2019|

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The nonprofit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is offering a handcrafted wooden kayak to the community through a silent auction. Created by volunteers in Heritage Boatworks, the kayak is made from strips of red cedar, mahogany and cypress coated with fiberglass. Heritage Boatworks volunteers working on the strip kayak. This unique design features the St. Augustine Lighthouse spelled out in in Morse code which runs along one side, made from [...]

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