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THE WAY WE WERE . . . 1922

The Festival of States was born in 1896 as the Washington's Birthday celebration. By 1922, the civic celebration had its current name and developments were worthy of the Page 1 lead headline:

Festival of States to end in blaze of fireworks glory.

Event chairman Al Lang said the $3,500 spectacle would be "greater than any ever produced in St. Petersburg before."

Also on the front page March 19, 1922, was a story about a countywide fund-raising effort to keep open the schools. Several pages later was a full-page advertisement titled "Selling St. Petersburg: Sales Talk No. 2 _ Schools." The ad said that St. Petersburg schools, "already known all over the country for their excellence," lacked the sufficient tax revenue for operating purposes. Sales talk No. 1, by the way, was Climate.

Another full-page ad invited leaders to invest with the Tampa Bay Oil Lands Co., which owned property near a drilling site in Oldsmar.

On the verge of opening up a great oil pool, the ad proclaimed. "Experienced oil operators do not invest their money and drill a well unless they are P-O-S-I-T-I-V-E of the ultimate results."

A map led readers to the conclusion that oil was discovered along the rim of the Gulf of Mexico _ Tampico, Brownsville, Galveston _ so "why not Florida?" No oil was found.

In the Weekly Summary Local News . . . John Wanamaker donated $1,000 toward the building of a YMCA. . . . More than 1,000 fans turned out for the first Boston Braves practice at Waterfront Park. . . . Negroes would have a separate voting place from the whites in the city election April 2. The director of finance said "the segregation aided materially in the counting of the votes."

Other ads: Cascarets 10 For Constipated Bowels _ Bilious Liver . . . Last Race of Season, Sunday March 26th In Cuba, We Leave March 23rd . . . J.T. Ricker, M.D. said men who smoke pipes or cigars are safe. Cigarettes and dope are dangerous, producing old-age diseases. I will cure the habit in 25 days.

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