During UF visit, historian paints picture of state during WWII

Historians in the News

Florida historian Dr. Gary Mormino painted a very different picture of Florida than most of us know.

He harkened back to a time when more than 200 military establishments stretched from Camp Blanding northeast of Gainesville to training bases in Miami Beach. To a time when military personnel training in Miami Beach vowed to someday return to the Sunshine State because of its beautiful weather and beautiful women.

This was Florida during World War II. Mormino, a history professor at the University of South Florida, spoke at UF about the development and growth of Florida during that war.

Mormino, considered one of the state’s esteemed historians, showed headlines from publications all across the state that illustrated Florida’s transformation as a result of World War II. He showed the work of cartoonists in Florida who depicted Japanese and Germans with exaggerated features.

He spoke of the war’s effect on African-Americans and women in Florida. Many African-Americans who came to Florida during the war suffered considerable discrimination; in fact, riots and protests at various bases and in cities erupted because of the instant integration brought by the war....

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