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Test your Tampa Bay history knowledge

Before you hit the new museum, we thought you might like to test your own knowledge of local history with this quiz, compiled by the Times' Tampa Bay and Florida history aficionados Craig Pittman and Rob Hooker.

1. True or false: The fort on Egmont Key was captured by Union troops during the Civil War.

2. The Mafia boss who ruled Tampa's underworld from the 1950s to the 1980s and was linked to the Kennedy assassination was:

a) Sam Giancana

b) Santo Trafficante Jr.

c) Don Cornelius

d) Donny Darko

3. The word "Buccaneer" originally meant:

a) a grill for roasting meat

b) a big sombrero

c) a place for drinking heavily

d) a collection of bangles and accoutrements worn over a shirt

. 4. Before Vincente Martinez Ybor moved his cigarmaking operation to Tampa, where was it located?

5. In the late 1800s, a Frenchman named Chevalier (who appears as a character in Peter Matthiessen's award-winning novel Shadow Country) lived for three years in what is now Pinellas County and nearly wiped out what?

6. This colorful St. Petersburg mayor was recalled from office in 1921 by voters who grew tired of his antics, which included a fistfight with another official and reports of a booze party in City Hall. Who was he?

a) Noel A. Mitchell

b) Frank F. Pulver

c) Herman Goldner

d) Don Jones

m 7. When Charlie Wall, the reputed kingpin of Tampa's illegal bolita operations, was murdered in 1955, what book did police find on the night stand in his bedroom?

a) Crime in America

b) War and Peace

c) Gone with the Wind

d) The Last Score by Ellery Queen

8. In 1954, a movie called Strategic Air Command was filmed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa and Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg. Who was the lead male actor?

9. For years, a famous couple owned a home overlooking the Pithlachascotee River in Port Richey. Who were they?

a) Johnny and June Carter Cash

b) Roy Rogers and Dale Evans

c) Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe

d) George Jones and Tammy Wynette

1. False. Egmont Key's Fort Dade was not built until 1906, about 40 years after the Civil War.

2. b. Called before a Congressional committee in 1978, Trafficante first took the Fifth, then denied having any part in the Kennedy assassination. But he admitted participating in an unsuccessful plot to kill Fidel Castro.

3. a. It's from the French "boucanier," which means "user of a boucan," a grill for roasting meat. A Haitian variation of it is "barbacoa," which became "barbecue." The term was applied to French settlers in the Spanish West Indies, who became "a lawless and piratical set" after being driven from their trade by Spanish authorities, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary.

4. Key West. Tampa offered better rail and port facilities for shipping the product.

5. Its birds. "The worst scourge that ever came to Point Pinellas was one Chevalier … who located just west of Point Maximo for the purpose of killing birds for the plumes, feathers and skins. I don't know how many birds Chevalier and his ruthless gang slaughtered. … I know it was well into the thousands," a pioneer named John Bethel wrote in 1914.

6. a. Mitchell, a realtor credited with originating downtown St. Petersburg's famed green benches. He conducted real estate auctions while attired in top hat, long tail coat and striped trousers and ran repeatedly for public office. His platform in an unsuccessful campaign for sheriff: "Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil."

7. a. Crime in America. Wall, the son of an early Tampa mayor, once said the devil would take care of him. How right he was. He was found with his throat slashed and his head bashed in. The crime was never solved.

8. Jimmy Stewart played a St. Louis Cardinals baseball player and ex-World War II pilot, recalled to active duty in the Cold War.

9. a. Johnny and June Carter Cash, who performed benefit shows for the police benevolent funds of Port Richey and New Port Richey.

Editor's note: A tease in Thursday's Weekend section asked: What president died a day after appearing in Tampa? We were a bit off on our time frame. The question should have read "died four days after appearing." The president was John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in Dallas.

Test your Tampa Bay history knowledge 01/16/09 [Last modified: Friday, January 16, 2009 10:56pm]
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