This Day in History: December 7, 1941, of course, The Day of Infamy, as FDR called it.
When the US went to war, it shaped the future development of our entire county.
Sarasota County was slowly emerging from the Great Depression at the beginning of 1940. The city’s new
Lido Casino opened, Myakka River State Park was nearing completion, the Civic Center was finished, and work had begun on the new Sarasota-Bradenton Airport. Although land values were still low and there was very little construction in the county, tourism was increasing and Sarasota was beginning to show activity. Read the full article by Mark Smith on sarasotahistoryalive.com.
The servicemen who trained here came from all over.
When the war was over, those servicemen, eager to settle down, remembered Sarasota as a Paradise. Take a look at the “Sarasota Album” on the Army Air Corps museum site. They brought their families and bought homes. Sarasota County grew from 16,106 in 1940 to 28, 287 in 1950, a 43 % increase. The City of Sarasota’s population went from 11,141 in 1940 to 18,896 in 1950, a 40% increase.
The Florida Dream, produced by FHC and WEDU-TV, tells the story visually on Youtube, all the way into the 21st century. A short clip from the hour-long program about military personnel’s particular dream is shown here.
The Great War, or as it sadly had to be renamed, World War I, affected Sarasota as well. Read about it.