Today in Keys History Oct. 17

On this date in 1973, the USS Amberjack (SS522) was decommissioned and turned over to the Brazilian Navy.

1855: William Hackley, 50-year-old married attorney, recorded in his diary: By 5 a.m. Daniel Davis and I went on shore to walk down to the west end of Matacumbe to shoot birds and sent the boat back for Felix Senac to go and examine the Black Mangrove swamp which is the object of the expedition. Davis and I killed 10 small snipe and saw the tracks of a deer. Got off on board about 8 and underway for Cape Sable and anchored in seven foot of water abreast of the lower opening about half past 5. Got on shore about 6 p.m. and walked a short distance on the prairie. William Randolf had Senator Stephen Mallory’s Sharps rifle and William Hinson, the pilot, had my rifle. William bounded a buck and a doe out of the grass within 50 yards of him and fired as they ran off, Hinson also fired at them at a distance of about 200 yards, also without success. Went on board.

1884: The Jacksonville newspaper “The Florida Times Union” reported there were 22 liquor saloons in Key West.

1896: May Johnson, 20-year-old single school teacher recorded in her diary: Rainy, Sat. Oct. 17, 1896. I arose at 7:15, dressed, did work, had breakfast, swept and dusted upstairs and sitting room, did dishes, did washing, wrote to Corinne and Bertha, sewed on apron, had dinner, did ironing, did dishes, dressed, went out to La Brisa, came home with Earle and Charlie, had tea, came to bed. SLIGHTLY DISAPPOINTED.

1899: Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 held a business meeting to discuss uniforms. It was decided to keep the old style uniform. New silver badges were given to each member for identification at fires.

1910: A Category 3 hurricane, with winds to 125 mph at Sand Key, hit Key West. The storm lasted 30 hours. Damage to shipping was heavy, but most of the town escaped serious damage as most buildings had survived the hurricane the previous year.

1973: The USS Amberjack (SS 522), the U.S. Navy’s last diesel submarine, was decommissioned and turned over to the Brazilian Navy in a ceremony at the Naval Station. Her departure ended the submarine service that began in Key West in World War I.

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