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About The Key West citizen. (Key West, Fla.) 1879-current
Key West, Fla. (1879-current)
- The Key West citizen. : (Key West, Fla.) 1879-current
- Place of publication:
- Key West, Fla.
- Geographic coverage:
- Citizen Pub. Co.
- Dates of publication:
- Began in 1879.
- Daily (except Saturday) <1958-1995>
- Florida--Key West.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207829
- Florida--Monroe County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01217770
- Key West (Fla.)--Newspapers.
- Monroe County (Fla.)--Newspapers.
- "Independent Democratic." N.W. Ayer & Son's direct. of newspapers & magazines, 1976.
- Also issued on microfilm from the University of Florida and Crest.
- Description based on: Vol. 30, no. 129 (Dec. 16, 1908).
- Latest issue consulted: Vol. 119, no. 261 (Nov. 10, 1995).
- sn 83016244
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
Key West Citizen
The Key West Citizen (Key West, Florida) published its first issue in 1879 under the direction of Walter Thompson. Throughout the years, the Citizen combined with several other local papers and in 1905 became a weekly operated by Thomas Treason Thompson, Walter Thompson's cousin, and his business partner Macy B. Darnall. Two years later, Thompson and Darnall joined forces with publishers of the Inter-Ocean, another local paper, to form the Citizen Publishing Company and publish the combined, newly formed six-day-per-week edition of the Key West Citizen.
In 1912, L.P. Artman Sr. bought the paper. He set out to modernize its journalistic style and began printing it on a Linotype machine. The paper continued publishing under his direction until 1954 when he passed away and his son, Norman D. Artman, took over as publisher.
This paper has classified itself as Democratic since its inception but always vowed to provide unbiased news. The Citizen is considered a "paper of record," having outlived most other local newspapers during times of war, peace, and prosperity. For decades, the Citizen has prided itself on being the "southernmost newspaper in the USA" and has been a member of the Associated Press. The paper's aim has remained "advancement of the interests of Key West and Monroe County."
From the 1920s to the 1950s, the Citizen covered major national and international news topics of the day, including the attack on Pearl Harbor and World War II, the Great Depression, and affairs in Cuba, with which Key West has close business relations. On a statewide and local level, the Citizen included reports on the development of the railroad system in Florida, the fishing industry, and the Everglades National Park. It featured recurring columns for local sports, news related to "society" and "improvements for Key West advocated by the Citizen."
In 1953, the newspaper introduced the "Colored Community News" and "Notas Cubanas," both recurring sections. Colored Community News was edited by Winifred Sands Johnson and appeared weekly, typically, as a full page dedicated to news and social events in the local African American community. Notas Cubanas was a column published by Raoul Alpizar Poyo. Every column covered a different topic related to Cuba and/or the local Cuban community and was published in Spanish.
Key West, Florida, is the southernmost city in the continental US. Although there are accounts of the island from as early as the 1740s, there was no permanent settlement until around 1821 when Florida became a territory of the United States. The island, however, was not incorporated until 1828.
In 1815, the Spanish governor of Cuba deeded Key West to Juan Pablo Salas, who sold the island to John W Simonton in 1822. Simonton divided the islands into plots and sold three to John Mountain, John Whitehead and John Fleming; the four are considered the "founding fathers" of Key West. The location's importance for shipping necessitated both a military and legal infrastructure. In 1828, the United States government established a federal court to adjudicate admiralty disputes.
Early in its establishment, Key West was home to substantial Bahamian and Cuban populations. In the 19th century, Bahamians fished, turtled, and traded throughout the area. Travel and communication between Key West and Cuba were a common occurrence. Cubans migrated to the town during political upheavals of the 1850s, the Ten Years War (1868-1878), and the Cuban War for Independence of 1895. In the late 19th century, Cubans established substantial cigar-making operations in Key West.
Historically, the city's economy was based on salvaging shipwrecks, salt manufacturing, cigar making, and fishing. Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railroad expanded to Key West in 1912 and connected the Keys and mainland Florida until its rail lines were destroyed by a hurricane in 1935. It was later replaced with the Overseas Highway, an automobile highway spanning 42 bridges that today serves as an extension of US Route 1.
Key West also played a significant role in military efforts. Naval Air Station Key West traces its history back to the arrival of Captain David Porter and his "Mosquito Fleet" of the American Navy, which began operation from the island in 1823. Key West was held by the Union during the Civil War and became an important supply point for the Union Navy in its efforts to blockade Confederate Florida. The island also served as a center of military activity during the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II. Additionally, the base has functioned as a training facility during non-wartimes.
Provided by: University of Florida