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Monday, October 28, 2013

on this day in:

1899 High winds destroyed a landmark when it blew down the large almond tree at the Custom House. The tree was planted by John P. Baldwin when he was Collector of Custom from 1853 to 1861.

1923 Florida Publishing Company, publisher of the Cuban weekly newspaper "Florida," was at 727 Whitehead Street. Feliciano Castro was the editor and Juan P. Rolo was the manager.

1923 M.K. Gwyn was the surgeon in charge of the United States Marine Hospital.

1930 While chasing a rum-running boat near Key West, the USCG fired at the boat before it stopped and the three men were arrested. The men claimed that Willie (Twisteye) Demerritt had been shot and fell overboard. A search failed to find his body. The local authorities tried to charge the Coast Guard men with murder but they were taken out of town and charges were dropped. Demerritt was never seen again.

1951 Speaking before approximately 1,200 people at Bayview Park, Governor Fuller Warren announced that the toll gate, which presents an economic barrier between Key West and the North, would be removed before the close of 1952 as promised during his 1948 election campaign.

1955 Joe Pearlman announced that Pearlman Estates, a new subdivision of 80 homes, would be constructed between 19th and 20th streets. The new two-bedroom homes would sell for $9,850; the three bedroom homes would sell for $11,380.

1960 An Aerovias Q. flight was hijacked over Cuba and forced to fly to Key West. During the hijacking, a Cuban guard was killed and three people were wounded.