tv Monroe County Public Library Special Collections CSPAN August 26, 2015 6:17pm-6:31pm EDT
pound marlin at his side. he would not be photographed publicly in a wheelchair. 1961, he took the opportunity to clock himself out. do i feel badly about that? yes. do i blame him? no. i understand what inspired him and i understand his ego. he will and always will be six foot tall and 200 pounds. he wrote because he loved to write. one of my favorite hemingway quotes was from a reporter interviewing him. what age did you know you would be a writer? he said, i've always known. i was born to be a writer. he felt he was the greatest writer in the world.
>> 90 miles from cuba, key west is closer to havana than miami. we learn more about the history of the island from the monroe county librarian. >> we are in the key west branch of the monroe county library. i house the archives for munro county. we try to keep all of the records we can, church records, plus some of the government records that other people have disposed of, a little bit of everything. i pulled out several things i thought would be of interest to the c-span audience. general items, various things that happened here over the many years we have been here. key west had native americans
who either died out or moved out. most of -- most of the ones moved out at the end of the first spanish period. no one had a permanent population until the americans bought florida and commodore to keyorter was ordered west to establish the first naval station. really established the first .ivilization here followed by him was john the landwho bought from a spanish military officer. we consider the letter from commodore porter to his captain, in april 1823 to
be our founding document. , a saluteneral order of 17 guns to be fired at 8:00 this morning from the battery in front of the town. ensign is to be wasted at the flagstaff. the town is to be called allentown and the battery, thompson battery. it is signed by david porter and .e was on the uss peacock he calls it thompson island. thompson was the secretary of the navy. 1900,ng about 1870 until
key west was predominately hispanic. 1876, we had a cuban born mayor. reasons, here for two because of the revolution in cigars.d large cuban cuban grown tobacco made here in huge factories because of some tariff duties and labor problems. they were selling these savannade, famous cigars. -- havana cigars. they were so famous, people were putting key west on the labels of the cigars that were not made here. a lot of the workers were donating to the revolution in
cuba. one of the letters we have is a letter from major general antonio who was second in gomez in cuba against the spanish rule. he is writing to the president of the key west central committee thanking them for their hospitality on his visit here and, of course, the donations they made to fund the revolution in cuba. spanishraig renowned in -- he was quite renowned in spanish-cuban history. er.was called the bronze lawy the spanish built a defensive wall across cuba from north to
south to restrict the revolution to the eastern side of the mountains of cuba. he was the first guy that led an army across there into western cuba, but the cigar industry, they a major industry -- did extensive advertising and work, labelsnice and box labels and so forth. one of the things we have here pohalski cigar company. they made a cigar called the montecristo. they gave out a copy of the
book, "the count of monte cristo."- they have a nice color lithograph of their factory, which stood on white street at the time. city,all it pohalski of key west.burb it was a major industry from the 1880's until the 1920's usually employed about 2000 cigar workers. above the made much threee workers, two to times the amount and average
worker would make. same,ere not all paid the depending on the skill level and how many cigars you could make. it was probably the most prosperous time in key west. one of the other documents we is called a galley proof. hemingway andest it is a galley proof of "to have and have not." some of the directions have been him.en on the margins by some of the hemingway experts is onold me his writing here and his editor maxwell perkins is on here, too.
cuba and hent to left some documents stored in sloppy joe's bar. not" is the have story of key west, the only one of his novels that was based in the united states. wealthy people living here and the locals, who were fishermen and the waterfront people. it is the story of how they interacted with one another and what happened. key west is often springs to mind hemingway, but the other author who lived here the longest was tennessee williams, the playwright. this is tennessee williams
speaking here at the library in 1975 when our auditorium was dedicated in his name. , hisnally known playwright --ys were made into movies "streetcar named desire." he was considered the foremost playwright in the country. he was also the leading founder in an open gay community in key west. if you visited key west or have seen anything about key west, you will hear about the conch republic. as you take the to her bank -- tour, you will
hear about them. it was originally attached to the people and bahamas and it was a derogatory term. for the poor people who could not get anything else to eat, they could catch conch. it is like a big snail that lives in the ocean and it cannot swim away from you. it was a derogatory term and people took it and made it a badge of honor. now everybody wants to call themselves conchs. we are also called the contra republicter -- conch after our road -- after our run-in with immigration. we had to prove we were citizens to go anywhere on the mainland. in rebellion, we created the conch republic.
wilson, who was a great 1970's, hein the came up with his own version. -- can see the large muscle conch in the house and the caption is, "look, it is a conch house." looking at the history and the island, some great history over the years from 1820 to the present. -based now a tourist economy. we still have the military and we still have a varied population. "one humantto is family." we try to be inclusive to everybody.
you don't know what the future holds, but things are changing with cuba. in the past, we had a very close relationship with cuba. it is going to be a new adventure as things between key west and cuba change over the next few years. tour of keyue our west with arlo haskell. he wrote a book on the jewish history of key west. arlo: the book i am working on is called "the jews of key west ." it looks at the jewish community, both the growth of the jewish community which began in earnest in the 1880's and also the earlier history prior to the