Tuesday, April 30, 2013


1860 The USS Mohawk escorted the captured slave ship Wildfire into Key West Harbor. The Wildfire had 510 Africans from the Congo River area that were being taken to Cuba to be sold into the slave trade. The Wildfire was in violation of American and international law and the U.S. Navy was actively searching for violators.

1898 War prices ruled in Key West. A tall glass of soda cost $.15, lemonade $.20 and beer $.25. Drinking water was becoming more valuable every day, as the water shortage grew worse because of the lack of rain.

1902 Hanna Brooks, an African-American, died at age 102. She was born in St. Augustine but had been in Key West for 70 years. She was a trained nurse and had ministered to almost every family on the island during her many years of service.

1966 Three Key West High School seniors were killed and one critically injured in a car crash on Old Boca Chica Road after the junior/senior prom.

1971 Governor Rueben Askew appointed Ignatius Lester circuit court judge to fill the unexpired term of the late Aquilino Lopez, Jr.

1980 Governor Bob Graham ordered the Florida National Guard to Key West. The first unit, a company of military police, arrived to assist with the Cuban refugee crisis.

1980 Six more boats arrived from Mariel with about 200 Cuban refugees. This brought the number of refugees to arrive in Key West to more than 4,700.

1982 The establishment of the Conch Republic was getting worldwide attention. Stella Cisneros, Mayor Wardlow's secretary, was busy responding to requests about the Conch Republic.