Love Florida history? Florida Time is a weekly column and newsletter that features Sunshine State history, trivia, events and even your own stories. Sign up by texting FLORIDATIME to 345345.
So...what is Florida Time?
Florida Time shares history lessons, personal memories and more about the state of Florida. It’s created for Florida natives, Florida transplants and even vacationers who simply love history. More than just a newspaper column, it’s a brand name people trust. It includes a weekly column written by historian Eliot Kleinberg -- more than just another Florida man.
Want to catch up on the stories you’ve missed? Check out the Florida Time archive.
What are the primary subjects of Florida Time?
We’re glad you asked. Each week, Florida Time features sometimes entertaining, always interesting historical stories. So far, we’ve learned about Juan Ponce de Leon's search for the Fountain of Youth, how Florida got its name and how modern Florida did NOT spring from the forehead of Walt Disney in 1964. If you’ve wondered it, Eliot has likely written about it -- or he’ll plan to (your story request is one email away).
Whatever your question, we have a column to answer it. And if not, we will soon. Don’t believe us? Here are some questions people are asking on Google and the articles we found that answer them.
What Florida county am I in? How Florida counties got their names -- a complete history, with photos
What is Florida’s history? Here are Florida’s top 25 stories of all time
Why is Florida the best state? Exploring the heavens with Jules Verne and Florida’s space history
Who is this Eliot Kleinberg anyway?
Eliot, who we like to call EK or “Mr. Kleinberg,” is the OG of newsmen, and more importantly, of Florida history. When we told him that exact statement, he asked if OG stood for “old guy.” And we were like, old where?
EK was born in South Florida and has spent four decades as a reporter -- 30 of those years at The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach. In addition to extensively writing about Florida and Florida history, he also covers local and breaking news.
But when we say extensive Florida History writing, we mean it. EK has ten books, all focusing on the rich history of the Sunshine State. You may have one or two of them in your library: there’s "Black Cloud" on the great 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane and "Weird Florida" part one and two, just to name a few.
More than his books, Eliot loves sunny Florida so much that he's written nearly 1000 local history columns for his local paper. For his coworkers, he created an annual Florida lunch to celebrate the state’s birthday -- complete with a room full of transplants, themed foods and an impossible-to-pass Florida history quiz. Again, think we’re kidding? Try your hand at the first of many Florida history quizzes, lovingly compiled by Eliot himself.
Our EK is the son of prominent South Florida journalist Howard Kleinberg whose work some of you may be familiar with.
Oh, there’s also a newsletter.
If you’ve gotten this far in the article, the Florida Time newsletter is one you need in your inbox. It’s a multi-faceted history destination curated with you in mind. For starters, because we have Florida Time readers from The Keys to the Panhandle and even as far out as Texas, we created a “Hometown History” section. It shows the love we all have for all 65,755 square miles of our home state.
Want to catch up on newsletters you’ve missed? Check out the Florida Time newsletter archive.
“Hometown History” gives you eclectic, romantic, exciting and rich nostalgia from Destin and Jacksonville, St. Cloud and St. Augustine, Sarasota, Lakeland, Little Havana and more. Some “Hometown History” stories even come from you, our readers. Want to share a cool story about your family, life or hometown? Email us at email@example.com.
Leaving a voicemail with “Reader Rewind.”
“Reader Rewind” is like a radio show but with your stories. When readers call into our voicemail line, they’re greeted by EK and asked to share their Florida story.
Once the voicemail is in, editors turn it into a script and then edit it into an audio story that can be enjoyed by readers of the Florida Time column and newsletter. These voicemails are stories from one Floridian to the rest.
Readers continue to surprise us with their amazing slice of history.
Give it a try: 850-270-8418. We can’t wait to hear from you.
What else can I expect from the Florida Time newsletter?
We’ll share Florida Fun Facts. Our state is as crazy as it is interesting and beautiful, after all. Some of our favorites, thus far, are:
1. Fernandina Beach, the small north Florida town, was so filled with pirates, thieves and smugglers that President James Monroe called it a festering fleshpot.
2. Did you know not one Floridian voted for Abraham Lincoln in 1860?
3. Florida is the only state that has two rivers with the same name. There is Withlacoochee River in northern Florida and Withlacoochee in central Florida.
The newsletter also features something from the newspaper days: a Classifieds section. No, but for real, it’s a cool spot for us to share Florida history-related events either in your city or in places you’d travel to.
Enough about that. We can show you better than we can tell you. Click on the email subject lines below to see a few issues of the Florida Time newsletter.
Issue 30: It snowed once in Florida
Issue 22: Blame it on the swim team
Issue 10: Transplants are Floridians, too
If you want to sign up for the Florida Time newsletter, simply text FLORIDATIME to 345345.
Eliot Kleinberg has been a staff writer for the past three decades at The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, and is the author of 10 books about Florida (www.ekfla.com). Submit your questions, comments or memories to FloridaTime@Gatehousemedia.com. Include your full name and hometown. Sorry; no personal replies.