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The Galleon Atocha
The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum is a 501 (c) (3) accredited, not-for-profit organization existing to research, interpret, and exhibit the maritime history of Florida and the Caribbean in ways that increase knowledge, enrich the spirit, and stimulate inquiry.

Programs & Events/ What's Happening

Mel Fisher Maritime Museum Lecture Series

  • Tuesdays at the museum beginning at 6:30 p.m. 

  • Limited seating available. First Come First Seated Basis.  Arrive early to avoid disappointment

  • No tickets or reservations required.


February 20:

Charting the Land of Flowers: 500 Years of Florida Maps 

Join Rodney Kite-Powell is director of the Touchton Map Library at the Tampa Bay History Center. This presentation covers the 500 years of Florida's recorded history through the use of important and in some cases, rare maps of the state.  Attendees will get a better understanding of why Florida's history is an important but often neglected part of American history, as well as hear stories about the state's settlement and growth.


Kite-Powell received a bachelor of Arts from the University of Florida and a Master of Arts from the University of South Florida, both in American History. In 2019, he was named the official county historian for Hillsborough County. A published author of three books on Florida history.  Kite-Powell will present on the history of mapping Florida spanning 500 years. 

This is a Florida Humanities Council Florida Talks program.

Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this (publication) (program) (exhibition) (website) do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.


February 27:



The Winds and Tides of Key West's Strategic Location and Military Influence



Rodney Richardson explores the connections and influence of the military’s presence on the development of Key West and how it contributed to geopolitical events in the Caribbean and beyond. Topics of exploration are the founding of Naval Air Station Key West, Contributions during WWII, Training and Testing events in the 1950s, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Mariel Boatlift of 1980, Counter Drug Interdictions from the 1980s to today, and some cinema trivia regarding military movies filmed on location in the Florida Keys.


Rodney Richardson, a native Floridan and retired Marine Corps Officer, holds a Masters in Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, RI and a Masters in Museum Studies from the University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. He currently works at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum as an independent researcher.


Mel Fisher Maritime Museum - Galleon "Atocha"
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