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Jacksonville History

Learn about Jacksonville's history, from the days of the ancient Timucua Indians, through its heyday as the Winter Film Capital of the World, through its Super Bowl debut.


Alfred I. du Pont Bio
Alfred Irenee du Pont, of the famed du Pont chemical company, was an extremely accomplished individual in addition to being a colorful personality. Known for being the family rebel, du Pont was born 5/12/1864 in Wilmington, Delaware, one of five children.

Isaiah David Hart - Founder of Jacksonville
In June 1822, Isaiah David Hart enlisted the help of a few other individuals and began planning for what was to become the city of Jacksonville, Florida

A. Philip Randolph - Civil Rights & Labor Leader
The works of A. Philip Randolph demonstrate true strength, determination and perseverance of human rights throughout the 20th century. Randolph was involved with many notable contributions to the Civil Rights movement, but one must appreciate his dedication to challenging current labor laws and defending the rights of the disenfranchised.

Henrietta C. Dozier Biography
Henrietta C. Dozier was a brilliant architect, societal trailblazer, and one of Jacksonville's leading citizens. She was born in Fernandina Beach, Florida, on April 22, 1872. Her father Henry died before her birth.

John Archibald Wheeler - Famous Jacksonville Residents
John Archibald Wheeler, known as Johnny Wheeler to his friends, was born in Jacksonville on July 9th of 1911. An engaged and bright young boy, he grew up in a family of librarians who treasured knowledge and education.

Jacksonville in the Civil War
From 1861-1865, the American Civil War raged across the young country as the Union and the Confederacy fought over the abolishment of slavery and a host of other issues. The Confederate States of America broke from the Union and fought to sustain the ownership of slaves.

About the Florida Theatre
The Florida Theatre in Jacksonville has a rich history beginning with its opening more than 80 years ago on April 8, 1927.

Jacksonville, FL in the Great Depression
Jacksonville suffered high unemployment and was one of the first Florida cities to set up an unemployed workers fund: about 40 percent of the population needed financial assistance.

Norman Studios Readies for a Comeback
Late silent filmmaker Richard Norman's five-building, silent film studio complex readies for its comeback. The nation's only surviving full silent film-era complex, and one of the first to feature black actors in positive roles, is being meticulously restored.

Yellow Jack
In 1888, Jacksonville fought it fiercest invader. An epidemic of Yellow Fever swept through town, decimating the population and making fleeing locals America's most wanted.

Downtown Southbank Historic Walking Tour
See some of Jacksonville’s most historically significant sites along the southern bank of the St. Johns River.

About the St. John's River
At 310 miles, the St. John’s River is the longest in the state of Florida. The change in elevation from the source to the mouth at the Atlantic Ocean is less than 30 feet. Because of this, the river moves very slowly at only one third mile per hour.

Henry John Klutho & Jacksonville Architecture
Henry John Klutho was a major architect at the turn of the last century. He first came to Jacksonville in 1901, shortly after the Great Fire of 1901.

Jacksonville, Florida: The Winter Film Capital of the World
In 1908, Jacksonville became the new home of Kalem Studios, the very first film studio in the state of Florida, which propelled the city to fame as the Winter Film Capital of the World.

The Ritz Theatre: A Rich History
The Ritz Theatre has a rich and varied history. Located in the African-American community of La Villa, it was the place to be from the 1920's to the 1960's, when the community gathered to hear musical performances, plays and more

Fire leaves 22 dead
A previous inspection of the Hotel Roosevelt had found that the ceiling of its ballroom was an unsafe fire hazard. Rather than replace it, the owners of the hotel simply built another ceiling directly below it.

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