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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ON THIS DAY IN:

1885 John Geiger died in Key West. He was born in St. Augustine in 1807 and came to Key West as a pilot for Commodore David Porter in 1823. He was the first licensed harbor pilot in the state of Florida. Geiger was a master wrecker and built what is now known as the Audubon House.

1898 As war with Spain grew nearer American Consul General Fitzhugh Lee and other Americans arrived on ships from Havana.

1924 The state of Florida's Internal Improvement Fund was advertising Wisteria Island (later known as Christmas Tree Island) for sale. The island was created when marl from the harbor was thrown upon the shoal and measured about 400 by 300 feet in size.

1937 The Jose Marti Monument in Bayview Park was unveiled. Mayor Harry C. Galey, Cuban Senator Jose M. Castillo and Marie Gusten, matron of the Mercedes Hospital, presided over the ceremony.

1950 President Harry Truman returned to Washington after a month's rest in the Key West sunshine.

1963 Two reporters from the Key West Citizen visited No Name Key to investigate reports that anti-Castro revolutionaries were using the island for training. They found a secret camp with nine young Cubans training on the island. At that time there was no bridge to the island off Big Pine Key.

1985 In an election for a special tax levy that would pay for a new fire truck for the area around Conch, Duck and Grassy Key, the vote ended in a 60 to 60 tie. In accordance with Florida law, a lot was drawn to decide the election and the "no" was drawn defeating the bond issue.

1993 The short spur of Whitehead Street from Front Street to the Key West Aquarium was named David Wolkowsky Street in honor ofWolkowsky's work in making Key West one of the premier tourist attractions in the United States.