ON THIS DAY IN:
1901 The teachers of Sears and Russell Hall schools presented Dr. C.F. Kemp, retiring superintendent of public instruction, a flower bouquet and an office chair.
1905 Key West had 20 cigar factories that employed 1,527 workers.
1921 The Casa Marina Hotel, manager L.P. Schutt, was formally opened for its first season, which would run until April 1.
1959 During the night, Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, his military commanders and top aides fled to the Dominican Republic. The move came after a long fight against Fidel Castro's rebels. Refugee boats began arriving in Key West late in the day and into the night.
1969Charles W. Aguero and Raymond Wells were out fishing when a cold front crossed the Keys. They failed to return and no trace was found of them or their boat.
1976 The New Year's celebration in Old Town was marked by violence. Police and merrymakers clashed and fire hoses and tear gas were used to disburse the crowd. A total of 114 were arrested and eight people were injured.
1985 City Electric System and Florida Keys Electric Cooperative reached an agreement for transmission of electricity from the mainland grid to Key West over the Florida Keys lines.
1998 Key West began a five-year, $53 million sewer line replacement project.