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10/10/2016 Member News
Florida Humanities Speaker Series Kicks off Thursday, Oct. 13 with the Story of How Dick Pope Created Cypress Gardens and earned the Reputation of the “Man Who Invented Florida”

Media Release

Experience Florida at the Museum of History
Florida Humanities Speaker Series Kicks off Thursday, Oct. 13 with the Story of How Dick Pope Created Cypress Gardens and earned the Reputation of the “Man Who Invented Florida”

St. Petersburg, FL (October 10, 2016) – The St. Petersburg Museum of History invites the Tampa Bay community to experience Florida through the stories of the Florida Humanities Speakers Series.

Presented by the Florida Humanities Council in partnership with the St. Petersburg Museum of History, this series will present four engaging and entertaining stories of Florida – the Union’s most unique state.

Starting October 13 and running through April of 2017, the series will share a wide range of topics including Cypress Gardens and the man who invented Florida, 500 years of cattle ranching in the Sunshine State and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in St. Augustine.

The Series kicks off Thursday, Oct. 13 with Cypress Gardens: America’s Tropical Wonderland.

Speaker Lu Vickers will share the story of how Dick Pope transformed the swampland on the edge of Lake Eloise in Winter Haven into Cypress Gardens; he created a world-famous attraction that cemented Florida’s reputation as the land of fun and sun.

From creating the water-ski shows to the iconic Southern Belles, Pope became known as the “Man Who Invented Florida.”

Florida Humanities Speaker Series schedule:

Oct. 13, 2017 – Cypress Gardens: America’s Tropical Wonderland

Dec. 15, 2016 – Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition

Feb. 9, 2017 – The Magnificent Drama: Martin Luther King, Jr. in St. Augustine

April 13, 2017 – Getting to Know Florida’s Engaging Water World from the Inside Out


Admission to the Florida Humanities Speaker Series is a suggested donation of $5 and seating is limited. Doors for the series open at 6:30pm and the program will start at 7pm.

The St. Petersburg Museum of History – celebrating its 94th year – is located at 335 2nd Avenue NE on the Pier Approach. Hours are 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday and Noon-5pm on Sundays. For more information, please call 727.894.1052 or visit www.spmoh.org.