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Tampa History, News and Events

Fidel Castro Dead? Rumors Sweep Internet!

Posted in Today on Friday, January 09, 2015.

Fidel Castro Dead? Rumors Sweep Internet!

HAVANA — Social media around the world have been flooded with rumors of Fidel Castro’s death, but there was no sign Friday that the reports were true, even if the 88-year-old former Cuban leader has not been seen in public for months.

The Biggest Hit!

Posted in History on Sunday, August 17, 2014. Written by Scott M. Deitche

The Biggest Hit!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It’s also been about 50 years since the first echoes of conspiracy began circling around the killing. With the release of the Warren Commission report in September of 1964, charges of cover-ups and withholding information about the case began in earnest. To this day, the JFK Assassination is one of the most debated events of the 20th century, spawning hundreds of books, thousands of articles, and a number of movies and television shows.

READ MORE HERE

Tampa Mafia Takeover Of The ‘Burg’

Posted in History on Friday, September 26, 2014. Written by Scott M. Deitche

Tampa Mafia  Takeover Of The ‘Burg’

When bolita kingpin Charlie Williams was killed in Ybor City in February of 1953, it was the end of a local control of the bolita rackets in the ‘burg. While Williams was able to grow his business with little influence from Tampa at first, he started working more and more with wiseguys from across the Bay. 

Hundreds mourn the 'death' of Fidel Castro

Posted in Today on Friday, January 09, 2015.

after rumors sweep Twitter (but are they confusing him with recently departed Fidel Castro Odinga from Nairobi?)

Hundreds mourn the 'death' of Fidel Castro

Twitter is abuzz with rumors former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has died but a Nairobi personality also named Fidel Castro died only days ago.

Claims that Cuba's former leader has died have surfaced before. There has been no official confirmation that the 88-year-old has died.

1970 West Tampa All-Stars

Posted in History on Tuesday, November 18, 2014. Written by Mark Panuthos

Enshrined in the Al Lopez Baseball Museum

1970 West Tampa All-Stars

Forty-three years ago, John Cuesta accomplished a first in the storied history of Tampa Bay baseball. He and his West Tampa All Stars won the Senior Little League World Series, defeating Throgs Neck, a team from the Bronx, New York, in two straight games.

READ MORE HERE

Fight Night in Tampa!

Posted in History on Sunday, April 06, 2014. Written by Joe Harless

Fight Night in Tampa!

Travel down 7th Avenue in Ybor City far enough and eventually you'll come to a rough looking neighborhood by the train tracks. The warehouses in the area stand empty and a few convenience stores pop up every couple of miles. The grass needs cutting, the bushes need trimming and some of the low-slung buildings need to either be demolished or rehabbed.

READ MORE HERE

Jai-Alai in Tampa

  • Jai-Alai in Tampa

    Jai-Alai in Tampa

    Michael Murillo

    The ball flies past players’ heads at more than 150 M.P.H. before striking the front wall with a hard click–and speeding back toward them. In an instant it’s trapped in a basket attached to a man’s hand like a wicker hook. He whips his body forward, flicking the basket and propelling the ball back toward the wall–again at blurring speeds–while another player positions himself for a chance at it when it comes back. The noisy exchanges continue until points are scored, teams savor victory and crowds cheer in the stands. This is Jai-Alai!

Cuscaden Park: Ybor City's Field of Dreams!

  • Cuscaden Park: Ybor City’s Field of Dreams

    Cuscaden Park: Ybor City’s Field of Dreams

    Mark Panuthos

    If Ybor City’s backbone was its cigar factories, Cuscaden Park was its heart. The park still exists today, though a faint shadow of its former self. Its 500 seat capacity grandstand was demolished and its baseball fields gave way to soccer fields. To drive past the park today, some would never know that this field was once Ybor City’s Field of Dreams.  

Key West & the Building of the Over-Sea Railroad

  • Key West & the Building of the Over-Sea Railroad

    Key West & the Building of the Over-Sea Railroad

    Maureen J. Patrick

    Skepticism was enormous despite Henry Flagler's reputation as the man whose railway, steamship, and hotel ventures had brought much of Florida from backwoods to modernity in a few busy decades.

Professional Wrestling in Florida

  • Professional Wrestling in Florida: The Heavyweight Decades

    Professional Wrestling in Florida: The Heavyweight Decades

    Michael Murillo

    From the founding of the Florida territory in the late 1940s to the later decades, when the familiar voice of longtime announcer Gordon Solie would convey the ringside drama to television audiences every Saturday, professional wrestling enjoyed an enthusiastic- if inelegant- popularity in Florida. Thousands would crowd venues such as the Miami Convention Center, the Lakeland Civic Center, the Jacksonville Coliseum and dozens of others.

Historic Theater "Springs" To Life

  • Historic Theater ‘Springs’ to Life

    Historic Theater ‘Springs’ to Life

    Shawn Kyle

    Many famous artists have graced the stage at the Springs Theater. Jennifer Lopez rented the space for private rehearsals when she performed at Super Bowl  XXXV in Tampa. Robert Smith of rock band The Cure recorded vocal tracks there. Swing revivalists Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin, and the Florida Orchestra have all recorded compositions at the theater.

When Florida Left The Union

  • When Florida Left The Union

    When Florida Left The Union

    January 10, 2011 marked the 150th anniversary of Florida’s secession from the United States. Florida followed South Carolina and Mississippi and was the third state to leave the Union. The Civil War began three months later when Southern forces fired on Union-held Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. The opening shots of the war were almost directed at Fort Pickens in Pensacola Harbor, but President Abraham Lincoln decided to resupply the South Carolina fort instead.

Baseball's Tampa Smokers

  • The Tampa Smokers

    The Tampa Smokers

    Ralph Lazzara, III

    The Tampa Smokers played a major role in Tampa’s sports history. In later years they were followed by minor-league teams the Tampa Tarpons and today’s Tampa Yankees.