I love museums, especially history museums. I make them the center of my vacation and travels. The past four years of the poor economy have been very bad for museums, and many have closed their doors for good.
And one of my favorite history museums in Florida is the Tampa Bay History Center. It makes the Seminole War a main attraction for the exhibits, with a Disney-like animatronics show staring one of my favorite officers, Capt. John T. Sprague, and one of the most colorful Seminole leaders, Coacoochee (Wildcat.) They replay several times a day, one of the most passionate speeches from the war, done by Coacoochee. The museum also features some of my other favorite subjects like Cabeza de Vaca with the failed Narvaez expedition, and Teddy Roosevelt & the Rough Riders. I thought that I died & went to heaven in the map room on the 3rd floor.
So I really enjoyed this past weekend when I took shelter at a friend's house from Tropical Storm Isaac, and saw the Tampa Bay History Center almost every time I looked at the TV. The History Center has just had the biggest boost and advertisement that it could ever have.
As many know, the Republican Convention this past week has been in Tampa. The convention center is not very big compared to other big city stadiums, so the surrounding buildings have been rented out for office and press space. Fox News Channel is doing its main coverage from the History Center. And when they broadcast, out the windows behind them I can see the memorial to Fort Brooke, and the monument to the Native American Indians and the Trail of Tears.
The guest in the History Center this week have been governors and senators. Celebrities and former presidential candidates. I whole host of names that everyone would recognize. Right near the Columbia Restaurant Café, or yards away from ancient artifacts.
And with Tropical Storm Isaac cancelling the first day of the convention, the reporters were just looking for something to talk about. So they went and showed the exhibits. They talked about the cigar workers and the local history. The museum director was on the news, seen worldwide. It doesn't get any better for a history museum than this, to be seen around the world.
You may hate the Republicans and Fox News, but Hooray for the History Center, because Fox has helped it out in the best way possible.