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Historical Research

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 [...]

Doubly Doomed: World War I and the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918

2020-04-14T12:50:50-04:00April 6th, 2020|

Compiled by James Smith In the closing days of World War I, the world faced one of the worst pandemics of the modern era, the Spanish Flu Pandemic.  The term Spanish Flu originated largely because the United States government did not want news of the disease to diminish the war effort, since the conflict was nearly won. World War I ended with the armistice on November 11, 1918.  However, Spain remained neutral in the conflict.  [...]

Lighthouse Keeper Series: Francis Philip Fatio Dunham

2019-03-18T14:54:12-04:00March 18th, 2019|

By Jay Smith             On June 26, 1916, readers of the St. Augustine Evening Record read an entertaining interview with 68 year old Oregon Dunham offering “very interesting reminiscences” from a man “whose remarkable memory…retained so much of what happened in the earlier days.” Dunham recalled significant events in the Oldest City, including the Civil War and some of the local folklore.  “Oregon” was a nickname for Francis Philip Fatio Dunham.  His mother, Mary, was [...]

Updates from the Lab

2018-05-01T13:15:43-04:00May 1st, 2018|

While our beautiful new Maritime Archaeology and Education Center (MAEC) was being built, conservation was disassembled and all artifacts were put into a state of monitored wet storage. Taking those items out of storage and getting conservation back on track has been a slow and detailed process. This process requires an inventory and condition analysis of all items, as well as setting up each area of conservation in order for treatments to begin. Though we [...]

Discoveries at the Barracks

2018-03-21T16:11:54-04:00March 21st, 2018|

The World War II-era United States Coast Guard (USCG) structure on site is currently being restored after serving as office space for many years at the Museum. The structure was constructed after the US entered into World War II. Before December 1941, the US military was in various stages of mobilization that included increasing military personnel, munitions and equipment. The official telegram that head keeper Daniels received, which initiated a military mobilization plan that [...]

Archaeologists + Dating = Success Through Collaboration

2018-02-21T14:48:12-05:00February 21st, 2018|

The past three months have been very busy for our Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) archaeologists. They have been analyzing artifacts discovered on the Museum property during last summer's construction of the new Maritime Archaeology & Education Center, as well as sites through St. Johns and Flagler Counties uncovered during the storms. Our analysis started by contacting Dr. Lee Newsom, a Professor of Anthropology at Flagler College. Dr. Newsom is an expert in examining preserved plant remains from [...]

A Quick Retelling of the Cuban Archaeologists’ Visit

2017-10-11T14:56:30-04:00October 11th, 2017|

From second left to right: Roger Arrazcaeta Delgado; Marcos Antonio Acosta Mauri; and Yoser Martínez Hernández of the Gabinete de Arqueología of Havana, Cuba at their rowing stations in the chalupa, “San Agustín”. By Dr. Sam Turner Between August 25th and September 14th the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum hosted an archaeological cultural exchange which consisted of a visit by three Cuban archaeologists, Roger Arrazcaeta Delgado, Yoser Martínez Hernández, and Marcos Antonio [...]

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