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LeRoy Collins

Darryl Paulson: Groveland — Florida’s legacy of hate

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

On July 16, 1949, seventeen-year-old Norma Padgett claimed that her husband Willie was assaulted and she was raped by four black males near Groveland, Florida. Groveland is located in Lake County in central Florida. In July 1986, I co-authored the first scholarly article on the Groveland case in the Florida Historical Quarterly, along with historians David Colburn and Steven Lawson. It wasn’t until 2013, when Gilbert King‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Devil in the Grove, focused national attention on Groveland. The…

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Martin Dyckman: On death warrants, Florida governor’s ‘awesome moral responsibility’

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

When former Florida Gov. LeRoy Collins was nominated in 1964 to head the nation’s new Community Relations Service, South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond opposed him aggressively because Collins had renounced racial segregation. “…I hope that as long as the good Lord lets me live on this earth I will continue to grow and to recognize changes and to meet the new responsibility as changes require,” Collins said. The widely reported confrontation prompted Dessie Horne Williams, a Miami schoolteacher, to write…

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Martin Dyckman: Florida’s overbearing ‘politics of death’

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He would put it off as long as he could, aides said, and trembled when he finally had to sign a black-bordered death warrant. Despite his profound opposition to capital punishment, LeRoy Collins sent 29 men to their doom during his six years as Florida’s governor. He was in anguish each time. To some people, that example casts a poor light on Aramis Ayala, the state attorney for Orange and Seminole counties, whose announced decision to seek no death sentences…

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Florida doesn’t need an elected Secretary of State, or Agriculture Commissioner

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

It would tax the imagination to come up with anything that Florida needs less than to elect a secretary of state once again. Why would the Legislature even consider that? Sen. Aaron Bean, the sponsor, explained it the other day. As reported by FloridaPolitics.com, the Fernandina Beach Republican told the Senate ethics committee that in the main he wants a fifth position on the Cabinet to avoid tie votes that require the governor to be on the prevailing side or…

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Historic home to Gov. LeRoy Collins finally opening

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

After repeated delays, the mansion that was once home to one of Florida’s most well-regarded governors is finally going to swing open its doors to the public. The Grove, a historic house that symbolizes much of the state’s terrible past and transformation, will have its grand opening in March following an extensive renovation that cost taxpayers nearly $6 million. Hidden behind live oaks and magnolias near the Florida Governor’s Mansion, The Grove was built by one of Florida’s early territorial…

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Politicians can learn lesson from LeRoy Collins’ balance of public, private speech

in 2017 by

Thanks to Vladimir Putin‘s hackers and his outlets in the American press, we know that Hillary Clinton said different things in public and in private. Imagine that. But I suspect that you couldn’t find very many politicians (or other people, for that matter) who don’t speak differently depending on who’s listening. Money could safely be wagered that what legislators say to their spouses about guns, abortion and the death penalty does not necessarily reflect how they vote. Some politicians are…

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Legislators speculate on great Floridian for Capitol statue

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A proposal to remove a statue of a Confederate leader at the National Statuary Hall is generating speculation among Florida legislators about whose image should replace it. Legislation to replace the statue of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith doesn’t propose a successor. Smith’s place in history is due to his being the last officer to surrender a significant Confederate military force during the Civil War. Some legislators have suggested Florida should choose a woman, like writer Zora Neale Hurston. Only 10…

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