TEST YOUR KNOWLEGE WITH THIS ST. PETE HISTORY QUIZ!
Question: Which of these stories is NOT true?
ST. PETE’S MILLIONAIRE BACHELOR MAYOR Before becoming St. Pete’s Mayor, Frank Pulver sold his candy kingdom to William Wrigley Jr. for one million dollars He became famous touring the country in a white suit promoting St. Pete.
FREE PUBLICITY DIRECTOR – In 1918 the city came into the services of John Lodwick, without charge. “I’ll do the job and at the end of the season you pay me what you think it has been worth.”
SUNSHINE BABIES Eight St. Petersburg toddlers made national headlines “All Sunshine, No Clouds in their Young Lives,” reported national newspapers, “All eight of them have been taught to walk and talk without a sunless day.”
FREE PAPERS ON CLOUDY DAYS – Editor Lew B Brown coined the name Sunshine City around 1920 and used it to promote his local newspaper, the Evening Independent. He offered a free paper any day that the sun didn’t shine, which occurred 5 times a year, during the 57 years the Evening Independent was published in St. Pete.
TREASURE ISLAND – One night in 1915 WilliamMcAdoo buried a chest full of lead on the beach. Next morning, ensuring tourists were in view to witness the “discovery,” McAdoo and his crew removed the “treasure.” Hence the name Treasure Island.
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH – In the 1500s, Ponce de Leon searched for the Fountain of Youth in Florida. Though he never revealed it’s exact location, it was identified in St. Petersburg by Edwin Tomlinson. A stinky, sulferous spring, the “fountain” was eventually moved and is now in a small park near the Rowdy’s stadium.
PURITY LEAGUE – Outraged citizens of St. Petesburg were not actually outraged by one-piece swimsuits. Instead, they were in on the scam! Created in 1926 as part of Lodwick’s groundwork for the Sea Vamp publicity campaign, some outrageous citizens may have even frequented St. Pete’s Solarium where nude sunbathing was de riguer!
SEA VAMPS Lodwick’s plan worked perfectly. “Help! Sea Vamps Capture St. Pete’s Millionaire Bachelor Mayor!” and similar headlines ran in dozens of newspapers, accompanied by photographs of Mayor Pulver and women in one-piece swimsuits.
THE LONGEST BRIDGE IN THE WORLD! – In 1927 the Gandy Bridge became the “Longest Highway Bridge In the World!” and cut 8 hours off drving from Tampa.
DOUBLE YOUR MONEY WITH REAL ESTATE – Before the depression, Florida, real estate spectators flipped properties in just a few days. A tourist could buy roperty when the arrived, sell it when they left and pay for their entire trip with the profits!
They are all true! Well, actually, the story that Ponce de Leon searched for the Fountain of Youth may not really be true after all. A jealous rival supposedly made it all up after de Leon died, to make him look like a fool. Fake news!