A BIG BIRTHDAY COMING UP, BUT DOES ANYONE REMEMBER...OR CARE?
Former Florida governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham was in Lakeland last Thursday to give a lecture at Florida Southern College, and Lakeland Ledger political columnist Bill Rufty takes note today that the longtime Democratic politician reminded those in attendance that folks seem to be forgetting a major anniversary that will be here soon: The 500th anniversary of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon's discovery and naming of "Pascua Florida" in 1513.
Graham mentioned that to date no plans have been drawn up to celebrate this historic event, and urged his listeners to demand that recognition be organized.
Mr. Rufty writes:
He praised Florida Southern's Center for Florida History and said observing and preserving the past is highly important.
"But I am concerned that we don't know enough about how we got to where we are in Florida. Next year Virginia is celebrating the 400th anniversary of Jamestown," he said.
"Now, I am not disparaging Virginians for celebrating the 400th anniversary vs. the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Florida, but there is no federal commission and no state effort and within seven years the anniversary is upon us."