Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ON THIS DAY IN:

1831 The new collector of customs, William A. Whitehead, arrived on the schooner Evan T. Ellicott after 58 days of travel from Baltimore.

1912Henry Flagler arrived on the first train from the mainland to Key West, officially opening the Overseas Extension of the Florida East Coast Railroad. Flagler was welcomed to Key West by Mayor J.N. Fogarty and probably the largest crowd ever gathered in Key West. George W. Allen presented Flagler with two large silver medallions from the citizens of Key West.

1926 The La Concha Hotel was formally opened to the public. The San Sebastian Troubadours entertained the 175 Key Westers who dined on the hotel's terrace.

1948William Demeritt died at age 68. He had served as superintendent of the Seventh Lighthouse District from 1913 until it became part of the Coast Guard in which he served as a captain until he retired. He was mayor of Key West from 1945 to 1947.

1953 The Navy formally dedicated the baseball field at the naval station as Walker Stadium. Sergeant Norris A. Walker, whose mother lived in Key West, was killed Feb. 19, 1945 on Iwo Jima.

1954 Movie star Rita Hayworth and her husband Dick Haymes arrived for an indefinite stay at the Casa Marina Hotel.

1957 The Florida Sheriff's Association met at the Casa Marina Hotel.

Baseball's Ted Williams, with fishing guide Jimmie Albright, had a fishing duel in the Florida Keys with golf's Sam Snead, with fishing guide Cecil Keith. Williams won with two bonefish to Snead's one.

1976 Supervisor of Elections William Billy Freeman announced that the ballot in the presidential preference primary would be in both Spanish and English. Monroe County became one of seven Florida counties to fall under the Voting Rights Act, passed by Congress in 1975.