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Tampa turns 137 in July, and will host a full week of free events celebrating local history

outside historic plant hall, a tall brick building with minarets on top
Outside the beautiful Henry B Plant Museum at University of Tampa

Tampa is looking good for 137. The city will celebrate its big birthday on July 15, but before, during, and after the official day organizers will host a variety of Tampa-centric events. Here’s a quick list of free happenings during Archives Awareness Week (July 14-20):

July 14 at 1pm: “Everything Musical” at the Henry B. Plant Museum (401 W Kennedy Blvd)


Historian in Residence Dr. Charles McGraw Groh will provide an entertaining look at S. Ernest Philpitt’s impact on Tampa’s music scene in the 1920s, followed by a live demonstration of rare self-playing instruments.

The exterior of a building

July 15 at 11am: Aging Gracefully: The Cigar Industry in Tampa from 1953 to 2010 at the J.C. Newman Company (2701 N 16th St)

Join company historian Holden Rasmussen in J.C. Newman’s The American cigar rolling room as he charts the changes to America’s cigar industry since 1953 and how those changes affected Tampa.


July 15 at 3pm: Happy Birthday, Tampa! at City of Tampa, Old City Hall, Council Chambers (315 E Kennedy Blvd)

City Council member Charlie Miranda will share memories from his thirty years in office, and Fred Hearns, Curator of Black History at the Tampa Bay History Center, will present an informative talk, “1924: Commission Rule in the City of Tampa.”

July 16 at 10am: Lynn Ash: The Story of Tampa at City Center at Hanna Avenue (2555 E Hanna Ave)

Learn more about The Story of Tampa painting during this special discussion featuring its creator, local artist Lynn Ash.

The new home of Tampa's Black History Museum
Tampa’s Black History Museum will be located at 1213 N. Central Ave. across from Perry Harvey Sr. Park in Tampa, Fla.

July 17 at 5:30pm: 1924: Life in Tampa’s Scrub Community at Tampa’s Black History Museum (1213 Central Avenue)

Fred Hearns, Curator of Black History for the Tampa Bay History Center, and Ashley Morrow, Program Manager for Tampa’s Black History Museum, will offer an insightful glimpse into the lives of Black residents in one of Tampa’s oldest communities 100 years ago. This program is free, refreshments will be available, and registration is not required.

July 19 at 10:30am: Memorial Park Cemetery Historical Marker Dedication at C. Blythe Andrews, Jr. Public Library (2607 E Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd)

Join members of the Hillsborough County Historical Advisory Council and community leaders to unveil a new historical marker recognizing Memorial Park Cemetery.


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