Happy Hour with Dr. Gary Mormino

Dr. Gary Morino


Come have a drink with Gary Mormino, you might learn something.

Dr. Mormino, a professor of history at the University of South Florida, is the author of several histories tracing the development of Florida from the turn of the 19th century to the present day. An expert on Florida’s historic immigration patterns, he is the author of “The Immigrant World of Ybor City,” considered a definitive work on Cuban, Spanish and Italian immigration to one of the major ethnic communities in the state. His other major works include “Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida,” and “Immigrants on the Hill: Italian-Americans in St. Louis, 1882-1982.” His book on Ybor City received the Theodore Saloutos Prize for the outstanding book in ethnic-immigration history. Two of his articles have received prizes for the best writing in Florida history. He has written for the St. Petersburg Times, Orlando Sentinel and Miami Herald. He currently writes a bi-weekly column on state and local history for the Tampa Tribune. Mormino received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina and has taught at USF since 1977. In 2003, the Florida Humanities Council named him its first Humanist of the Year.

St. Petersburg on the Homefront: 1941-45

Dr. Gary Mormino, one of Florida’s leading historians, discusses the lasting impact of World War II on Florida, including the explosive military growth from 1940-1945, the transformation of the home front, and the increased population, economy and tourism after the war. His discussion touched upon both “the explosive military growth in Florida between 1940 and 1945—Florida at its peak had grown to almost 200 military establishments—and the transformation of the home front.” It’s difficult to contemplate, but Mormino confirmed that during 1943 and 1944, UF had to actually cancel Gator Football, because only 700 men were enrolled at the university. His talk also addresses race relations, the role of women and victory gardens.


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