AMELIA ISLAND – Luc Simone Aury was the bastard son of a pirate named Luis Aury. He was a renowned scoundrel and was wanted for many crimes such as murder, rape, and robbery to name a few. Upon his capture, Aury was sentenced to hang in the gallows behind the jail here on Amelia Island. As word spread, a huge crowd gathered to witness the execution of this famous criminal. The night before the hanging however, Aury managed to slit his own throat in effort to deprive the city of his humiliation. A surgeon was summoned to stitch him up just enough to keep him alive until the execution. With his collar buttoned to hide the wound, he was dragged up the steps on his appointed day. When the trap was sprung, the stitches ripped open, nearly decapitating him. Blood spewed into and all over the crowd. Women fainted, men screamed, and children were trampled as the crowd fled in terror. It has been reported that Aury can still be heard moaning where the old gallows used to be. On rare occasions, his ghost will appear with a gaping slash across his neck covered in blood.
BARTOW – On May 20, 1901, Frederick Rochelle, a black man thirty-five years of age, raped then murdered Mrs. Rena Taggart a well known Bartow, Florida white woman. When Rochelle was captured the next day, citizens took him to the murder scene, tied him to a stake, poured oil on him, then burned him to death.
BASCOM – Actress Fay Dunaway was born here in 1941.
BONITA SPRINGS – The Everglades Wonder Gardens here features a large collection of Florida wildlife including exotic birds, panthers, alligators, flamingos and bears. The facility, originally opened in 1936 as both a wildlife exhibition and a refuge for injured animals, also boasts a botanical garden and a natural history museum.
BRADENTON – Buried here in the Manasota Memorial Park are:
– Baseball manager Bill McKechnie. He is in Section L, Lot 185, Space 1
– Circus owner Charles Ringling. In Section G.
– Circus tightrope walker Karl Wallenda.
– Baseball player Paul "Big Poison" Waner. In Section L, Lot 164, Space 1.
BROOKSVILLE – Spring Hill Cemetery here is located near Fort Dade Ave. People over the years say that at dusk they have seen a man hanging from a tree limb. Others report say that a baby's cry is heard during the night.
Pro football player Willie Brown is buried in the Fort Taylor Cemetery.
Drug store chain owner Jack Eckerd is buried in the Camp E-How-Kee Cemetery. He founded the Eckerd Drug Stores.
BUSHNELL – Professional wrestler Raymond "Hercules" Fernandez is buried here in the Florida National Cemetery
CARRABELLE – The world’s smallest police station here is actually a phone booth. The “smallest police station in the world” is at the corner of U.S. 98 and County Road 67 in Carrabelle.
CLEARWATER – Comic strip cartoonist Charles "Chic" Young is buried here at the Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park He created "Blondie and “Dagwood."
DAYTONA BEACH – Composer/lyricist Robert Wright was born here in 1914. He wrote the song Donkey Serenade.
John Dillinger and his gang celebrated New Years Eve of 1934 here by firing their guns where they were staying at 901 S. Atlantic.
Baseball player Fred Merkle is buried here in the Bellevue Cedar Hill Memory Gardens Cemetery in Section G, Lot 14, Space 8 (unmarked). His error in 1912 cost the New York Giants the pennant.
Educator Mary McLeod Bethune is buried at the Bethune-Cookman College.
EATONVILLE – Writer Zora Hurston was born here in 1891.
FOLKSTON –- In most ways, Folkston, population 2,200, is the prototypical Small Town USA. It has a handful of traffic lights, a corner drugstore and a pair of rail lines that split one side of town from the other. But these aren't any ol' tracks. Two major CSX lines converge just north of Folkston, funneling anywhere from 40 to 60 trains through town each day. Hence the town's nickname, the ''Folkston Funnel.'' In essence, every freight train from the Eastern half of the country must dissect Folkston getting to and from booming Florida. Throw in a trio of Amtrak passenger trains – passing through six times a day –- and it's quite a show for devoted rail buffs Folkston is just over the Georgia border about 40 miles northwest of Jacksonville, on U.S. 1.
FORT LAUDERDALE – Tennis player Chris Everett Lloyd was born here in 1954.
Boxer Rocky Marciano is buried here in the Lauderdale Memorial Gardens Cemetery at 400 N. W. 27th Ave. He is in Section AA, bottom row, 4th to the right.
FORT MEYERS – Henry Ford's winter estate was located here at 2130-2200 McGregor. He lived here from 1886 until his death in 1931.
Thomas E. Edison died in his home here at 2341 McGregor in 1931. His lab is still intact as he left it.
Western outlaw Edgar Watson is buried here in the Fort Myers Cemetery in Lot 8, Block 6. It has been reported that he killed the bandit queen Belle Starr.
GAINESVILLE – Actor River Phoenix is buried here in the Evergreen Cemetery at 1800 S. E. 4th St. He died of a drug overdose on Hollywood's Sunset Strip. Other reports say that he was cremated and his ashes were scattered over his family's Florida ranch.
GIBSONTON – Ever since the 1940s, carnival people have come here to Gibsonton, Florida to winter and ultimately retire. They gather at the Showtime Lounge to swap stories of their carnival days. Residents have included, Otis the Frog Man, the Dog-faced Girl, the Siamese twins, the legless lady, the 700 pound man, the Lobster Boy, the Alligator Man, the Human Blockhead, and the Amazing Monkey Girl. Many of the side show "Freaks" are buried in the nearby Showman's Rest Cemetery.
HOLLYWOOD – Six-year-old Adam Walsh disappeared from a Sears store here on July 27, 1981. Two weeks later, the boy's severed head was found in a canal 120 miles away near Vero Beach, but his body and his killer have never been found. His father, John Walsh is now the host of America's Most Wanted. The prime suspect, Otis Elwood Toole, died in a prison hospital in Raiford in 1996.
The Baltimore Orioles held spring training here in the 1950s.
Al Capone Jr. was living here in the 1960s.
HOMESTEAD – Coral Castle is a giant monument built out of megalithic stones – most of which are coral. It was built by a Latvian immigrant named Edward Leedskalnen after his fiancée broke off their engagement in their native Latvia. Heartbroken, Leedskalnen came to America where he built Coral Castle.
HOMOSASSA SPRINGS – Baseball player Dazzy Vance is buried here at the Stage Stand Cemetery in Section 4.
JACKSONVILLE – Born here in Jacksonville were: director Merian C. Cooper in 1893 (He created and directed the film King Kong in 1933), actress Judy Canova in 1916, and singer Pat Boone in 1934.
The King Edward Cigar Factory here at 459 E. 16th was the largest cigar factory in the world in 1950.
Race driver LeeRoy Yarborough is buried here in the Peoria Cemetery.
Buried here in the Evergreen Cemetery are: baseball player Bill Terry. In the Garden Cloister Mausoleum, Project F, Unit 3, Section C, and Pro football player Charles "Boobie" Clark.
JUPITER – Actor Burt Reynolds owned a ranch here in 2004.
KEY WEST – Born here in Key West, Florida were actor Stepin Fetchit (Lincoln Theodore Andrew Monroe Perry) in 1892, and basketball player Dave Robinson in 1965.
Key West has the highest average temperature in America.
Ernest Hemingway wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls, A Farewell to Arms, To Have and Have Not, and Snows of Kilimanjaro while living at 907 Whitehead St. from 1931 to 1950. Hemingway wrote in the studio located on the second floor of the little cottage behind the house. His widow Pauline died in the home in 1951. The home was built by shipping magnate, Asa Tift in 1851
The graves of many of those who died in the Spanish-American War and most of the crew of the U.S.S. Maine are here in the Key West Cemetery at Margaret and Windsor Lane. The Main was sunk in 1898.
The Cemetery behind St. Paul's Church here at 401 Duval St. is supposedly haunted by a group of children who died in a fire across a small alleyway from the Cemetery. The fire was started by the pastor of the church to kill his wife, who was having an affair with the deacon. He started the fire while a Sunday school class was taking place, killing all inside. The sounds of children can be heard playing in the corner of the Cemetery where they were buried. The land the church resides on was donated by John Fleming, who is buried in the churchyard.It is rumored that a ghost, perhaps Mr. Fleming, wanders the grounds of the church.
KINARD – Blue grass fiddler Vassar Clements was born here in 1928.
LACOOCHEE – Baseball player Jim "Mudcat" Grant was born here in 1935.
LAKE OKEECHOBEE – A flood here on September 13, 1928 killed 2,000 people.
LAKE WALES – Buried here in the Lake Wales Cemetery on Highway 27 just south of Mulberry St. is the Calbeck family, Lorene and Mark and their three children, Shirley 5, Pamela 3, and Jane 15 months. The tragic story of the Calbecks' began on May 24, 1956 when Lorene, then 34, took her three children for a ride in the family car. Stopping on a nearby deserted road, she shot each of them four times in the left side of their chest. Then she took them back to the mobile home they lived in on Highway 27, placed them side by side, wrapped them in cellophane, called the family doctor, then fired two shots in her chest. However, doctors were able to save her life. A grand jury declared her mentally incompetent and remanded her to a state mental hospital. Several years later she was released and returned home to her husband. In the early 1980s when her husband died she buried him next to their children here in the Cemetery On January 3, 1989, Lorene came here to the Cemetery, sat down on a lawn chair near the family plot and fired a bullet into the left side of her chest, then drove back to her mobile home on Highway 27. She called 911, but she died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. She left a note that she wanted to be buried here next to her husband and children.
LAKELAND – Born here in Lakeland, Florida were singer Frances Langford in 1914, and baseball player Boog Powell in 1941.
The Detroit Tigers held spring training here in the 1950s.
LANTANA – Football coach Lou Little is buried here in the Lantana Cemetery.
LARGO – A nursing home fire here on March 29, 1953, killed 35 people.
MANDERIN – Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," owned and managed a 30-acre orange grove here in 1868.
MARCO – Golfer Gene Sarazen is buried here in the Marco Island Cemetery at 489 E. Elkhorn.
MELBOURNE – Singer Jim Morrison was born here in 1946.
Baseball player Andy Seminick is buried here in the Melbourne Cemetery.
MIAMI – Born here in Miami were: actor Sidney Poitier in 1924, former U. S, attorney general Janet Reno in 1938, baseball player Steve Carlton in 1944, dancer Ben Vereen in 1946, singer Gloria Estefan in 1957, and ballet dancer Fernado Bujones in 1965.
The first Burger King was opened here in 1951 by James McLamore.
Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermack was assassinated here on February 15, 1933.
Andrew Cunanan shot and killed Gianni Versace here in front of Verace' South Beach Ocean Drive mansion on July 15, 1997.
Gangster Al Capone rented the penthouse suite 804 here at the Ponce de Leon Hotel in 1928. It had a walled patio that overlooked Flagler Street.
Buried here in the Our Lady Of Mercy Catholic Cemetery at 11411 N. W. 25th St. (Miami-Dade) are:
– Comedian Jackie Gleason.
– Dancer June Taylor.
– Jockey Eddie Arcaro. He is in the outside Columbariam niche 2.
– Boxer Benny "The Kid" Paret. He died a few days after he was knocked out by Emile Griffith in a championship fight in 1962.
– Actor Sylvester Stallone's future burial site is here.
Baseball player Jimmie Foxx is buried in the Flagler Memorial Park Cemetery in the Garden Cross-Good Shepherd Section, Lot 1271
Buried in the Mount Nebo Cemetery in Miami-Dade are: News commentator Gabriel Heatter, Gabriel in Section A, P15, Lot F, Space 2, and Mafia gangster Meyer Lansky.
MIRAMAR – Actor Johnny Depp grew up here.
NORTH MIAMI – Actress Roxie Roker Kravitz is buried here in the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery (Miami-Dade). She is in East Court 2 Lot 19 Gr 2B in the grass area on the left side by side walk. She played Helen Willis in the Jeffersons TV show.
OCALA – Born in Ocala, Florida were: actor Patrick O'Neal in 1927, and actress Elizabeth Ashley in 1939.
OCKLAWAHA – On January 16, 1935, Ma Barker, leader of the Barker/Karpis gang, and her son Fred were shot and killed in a shootout here with the FBI. When the FBI agents knocked on the front door of the rental home near Lake Weir, 63-year-old Ma opened the door. Seconds later, 32-year-old Fred walked onto the porch and opened up fire with a machine gun. For the next five hours the two sides exchanged gunfire almost continually. When the shooting from inside the house stopped, the agents entered and found Ma and Fred both dead. Ma was found in the second floor, left, front bedroom. She had been shot three times, and her machine gun, still hot, was clutched across her breast. Her pocketbook contained $10,200 in large bills. The house was riddled with nearly 3,500 bullets. The bodies of Ma and Fred were taken to Pyles Funeral home in Ocala. Located at 13250 Highway 27A on the north end of Lake Weir, the house today is in original condition and still has some of the bullet holes from the shoot-out. GO THERE
ORLANDO – The Washington Senators held spring training here in the 1950s at Tinker Field.
Golfer Payne Stewart is buried here in the Dr. Phillips Cemetery.
Baseball player Zack Taylor is buried here in the Woodlawn Cemetery.
Baseball player Joe Tinker is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Section L, Lot 21. He was part of the famous Chicago Cub infield "Tinkers to Evers to Chance."
PALATKA – General Joseph “Vinegar Joe” Stillwell was born here 1883.
PALM BEACH – In 1933, Joseph Kennedy purchased a home here at 1095 North Ocean Drive. It was built in 1923 for department store owner Rod Wanamaker. During John F. Kennedy's presidential years, the home was known as "The Florida White House," but it was also the place where William Kennedy Smith was accused of raping a girl in 1991. The compound was sold in 1995 for $4.9 million.
Other homes of the rich and famous here are: Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago at 1100 South Ocean, once the palatial estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post, John Lennon and Yoko Ono's former house at 720 North Ocean, the Estee Lauder estate at 126 South Ocean, and Ron Perelman at 1300 S. Ocean.
PALM ISLAND – Gangster Al Capone died here on January 25, 1947 in his mansion at 93 Palm Ave. Capone bought the 14-room home for $40,000 and spent another $100,000 for improvements including the largest private swimming pool in Florida. The home was built by brewer Clarence Busch in 1922. Capone's widow Mae sold the house in 1952 for $64,000 including the furnishings. It was sold again in 1971 for $56,000.
PENSACOLA – Born in here in Pensacola, Florida were: Senator Charles Percy in 1919, actress Nancy Dusalt in 1936, and baseball player Don Sutton.
The home of General Andrew Jackson was located at Palafox and E. Intendencia Streets.
Geronimo was once jailed in Fort Dickens on the west end of I Street.
PLANT CITY – Baseball player Rip Sewell is buried here in the Oaklawn Cemetery. He was famous for his "Blooper Pitch."
POMPANO BEACH – Actress Esther Rolle was born here in 1933 and she is buried here in the Westview Cememetery. She played the mother in the TV show Good Times.
Buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery are Comedian Herb Shriner, and baseball player Edward Walsh. Walsh is in the Fountain Garden #2, Lot 101, Space 4.
RAIFORD – Assassin Joseph (Giuseppe) Zangara is buried here in the Union Correctional Institution Cemetery, 20 miles N. E. of Gainsville on Route 121. When he attempted to assassinate President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, he killed Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak instead. Zangara was executed in Florida's electric chair.
The prime suspect in the 1981 kidnapping and Adam Walsh, 6, Otis Elwood Toole, died here in the prison hospital in 1996.
ROSEWOOD – In January of 1923, Rosewood, an all-black town, was attacked and burned by a white lynch mob after a white woman in the neighboring town of Sumner claimed a black man attacked her.
SARASOTA – The former home of John Ringling is at 5401 Bay Shore.
The winter headquarters of the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus was located at the east end of 18th Street.
Circus owner John Ringling is buried here in the John and Mable Ringling Museum.
Actress Nita Krebs is buried in the Sarasota Memorial Park Cemetery. She played the part of a Lullaby League Munchkin in the movie"The Wizard of Oz."
Baseball player Hoyt Wilhelm is buried in the Palms Memorial Park Cemetery.
STUART – Bandleader/singer Vaughn Monroe is buried here in the Fernhill Memorial Gardens Cemetery. at 1501 Colorado Ave.
TALLAHASSEE – Founder of Famous Amos Cookies Wallace Amos was born here in 1936.
Musician Julian "Cannonball" Adderley is buried here in the Southside Cemetery.
Buried in the Oakland Cemetery are former Senator Claude Pepper, and golfer Bert Yancey.
TAMPA – Born in Tampa, Florida were: actress Evelyn Brent in 1899, actress Butterfly McQueen in 1911, musician Cannonball Adderley in 1928, singer Mel Tillis in 1932, baseball player Lou Pinnella in 1943, baseball player Steve Garvey in 1948, , and baseball player Dwight Gooden in 1964.
Actor Rondo Hatton is buried here in the American Legion Cemetery.
Baseball player Johnny Vander Meer is buried in the Garden of Memories Cemetery.
TEQUESTA – Buried here in the Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery are singer Perry Como, and baseball player Billy Herman. Herman is in the Heritage Hall Mausoleum, Wall G, Level 2,
WALDO – Waldo was known as the speed trap capital of the world in 1995.
WINTER PARK – The very first "Walk of Fame" was originated here in the autumn of 1929 by Hamilton Holt, president of Rollins College when he gave the college 22 stones from the former homes, birth places, and graves of world famous people from all parts of the world. The stones were set between Carnegie Hall and Knowles Hall, and along a walk leading past Carnegie Hall. Some 700 stones have since been placed along both sides of the pathways.
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