SW074 Dade Battlefield Marks Centennial as a Historic State Park; Balances Seminole War Commemoration with Recreation Opportunities

September 19th, 2021

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Event note: The Dade Battlefield Historic State Park hosts Florida Heritage Day and a Dade Park Centennial Celebration all day on Nov. 13. The gathering includes Florida Music - Folk Crafts - Living History Demonstrations - Pioneer Games for Kids - Hands-on Activities for Kids and Adults and Food Vendors.

September 2021 marks the one-hundred-year anniversary of the state’s acquisition of the land we call the Dade Battlefield to create the historic state park in Bushnell. The State and park officials commemorate this anniversary in an all-day event in conjunction with Florida Heritage Day, on Saturday, November 13, 2021.

This is a story of local Floridians with a sense of history and of honor who campaigned to formalize the battlefield forever more as hallowed ground. Without their efforts, especially the park’s greatest advocate, Judge Bryan Koonce, today the land might be in private hands, long since developed and with no traces remaining of the seminal fight that began the Second Seminole War.

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The infamous "Kepi Cap" Civil War-Era private that park visitors dubbed "Major Dade". 

The state's acquisition earned little news coverage; however, the formal dedication ceremony on America's birthday, July 4, 1922, noted a dignified gathering who openned the park for picnicking and play. 

Steven Rinck, president of the Seminole Wars Foundation and a long-time president of the Dade Battlefield Society, joins us to tell this fascinating story of purpose, determination, and tenacity to create a haven where the dead can be honored and the living can enjoy its leisure time.

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Host Patrick Swan is a board member with the Seminole Wars Foundation. He is a combat veteran and of the U.S. Army, serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Kosovo, and at the Pentagon after 9/11. A military historian, he holds masters degrees in Public History, Communication, and Homeland Security, and is a graduate of the US Army War College with an advanced degree in strategic studies. This podcast is recorded at the homestead of the Seminole Wars Foundation in Bushnell, Florida. 

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