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The early years of the Daytona Daily News covered aspects of the Florida Land Boom of the 1920s. Tourism received heavy coverage. The St. Johns & Halifax River Railway, later renamed the Florida East Coast Railway, arrived in Daytona in 1886, a decade after the city had been incorporated. With the railway's arrival, Daytona's proximity to the ocean made it a tourist destination. The public read about the Daytona Speedway attracting fans, heard rousing stories of moonshining, and received coverage of seaside activities in the Sunshine State. During this time, particularly in this place, America started going into water and not just walking along the shore. The Daytona Daily News began publishing in 1903. In 1927, following the 1926 merger of the Florida cities of Daytona, Daytona Beach, and Seabreeze into the new city of Daytona Beach, the newspaper changed its name to the Daytona Beach News. But the new name was short-lived. Later in 1927, the newspaper merged with the Daytona Beach Journal . In 1936, the new newspaper split into the Daytona Beach Evening News and the Daytona Beach Morning Journal. The newspaper, then under the title of the Daytona Beach News-Journal was acquired by the Davidson family in 1928. Herbert M. Davidson edited the newspaper from 1928 to his death in 1985, a longer than usual tenure, even for a family-owned newspaper. His father, Julius Davidson, the first president and general manager of the paper, enjoyed a reputation for outstanding community service and civic involvement.

Provided by: University of Florida