After the Civil War, Pensacola, like the rest of the South was controlled by Republicans during the Reconstruction era (1865-1877). The Republican government had numerous African American politicians, including several county commissioners, city aldermen, constables, state representatives, and even one African American mayor—Salvador Pons. However, with the 1884 election of native Pensacolian and former Confederate General Edward Perry, a dramatic shift occurred. Perry, a Democrat who actually lost the Escambia County vote during the statewide election, acted to dissolve the Republican city government of Pensacola and in 1885 replaced this government with hand-picked successors, including railroad magnate William D. Chipley. The only African American to remain in city government was George Washington Witherspoon, a pastor with the African Methodist Episcopal Church who was previously a Republican and switched parties to the Democrats. Following Governor Perry's dissolution of the Republican government, the city remained Democratic for more than a century after the Civil War with no African Americans serving in an elected capacity for nearly a century.
Pensacola is nicknamed "The City of Five Flags" due to the five governments that have flown flags over it during its history: the flags of Spain (Castile), France, Great Britain, the Confederate States of America, and the United States. Other nicknames include "World's Whitest Beaches" (due to the white sand prevalent along beaches in the Florida panhandle), "Cradle of Naval Aviation", "Western Gate to the Sunshine State", "America's First Settlement", "Emerald Coast", "Redneck Riviera", "Red Snapper Capital of the World", and "P-Cola"
During the early years of settlement, a tri-racial creole society developed. As a fortified trading post, the Spanish had mostly men stationed here. Some married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, and their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos. The Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism. Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves also reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683.
Browse the array of local art at the Artworks Studio & Gallery. There’s jewelry, pottery, canvas works and more on display. The quaint little shop has much to offer, even if you’re on a budget. Meet some artists and admire their work. It’s an ideal place to find some souvenirs and mementos of your vacation. You can even sign up for a painting class if you like the idea of learning. Take a break out of the hot sun, or spend an enjoyable time on a rainy day. If you take the art class, it’s more affordable than many beach activities.
Pensacola vacations are the perfect opportunity to stretch your wings and seek wisdom in a new place. Each town, city, or region you visit has its own lore, and Pensacola is no different. Take a leisurely stroll back in time at the Historic Pensacola Village where you can tour over 20 properties and self-guided museums. Enjoy a pristine strip of sandy serenity at the Fort Pickens Gulf Islands National Seashore—you won’t find a better place to count the clouds as they float across the vast Florida sky. Speaking of the sky, be sure to visit the National Naval Aviation Museum where you can see more than 4,000 artifacts and observe over 150 restored aircraft. You might even catch a glimpse of the world-famous Blue Angels.
Public primary and secondary education schools in Pensacola are administered by the Escambia County School District. The current superintendent of schools for Escambia County is Malcolm Thomas. The University of West Florida, located north of the city, is the largest post-secondary institution in the area. It also has the largest library in the region, the John C. Pace Library.
*Savings based on all holiday package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Orbitz.com from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, as compared to the price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.
The National Naval Aviation Museum, one of the largest aviation museums in the world, has approximately 150 aircraft on display aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola. NAS Pensacola is also the home of the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, and visitors are welcome to watch the team’s aerial acrobatics at practice air shows on select dates March through November.
Pensacola Beach is an unincorporated community located on Santa Rosa Island, a barrier island, in Escambia County, Florida, United States. It is situated south of Pensacola (and Gulf Breeze connected via bridges spanning to the Fairpoint Peninsula and then to the island) in the Gulf of Mexico. As of the 2000 census, the community had a total population of 2,738. Pensacola Beach occupies land bound by a 1947 deed from the United States Department of Interior that it be administered in the public interest by the county or leased, but never "disposed"; its businesses and residents are thus long-term leaseholders and not property owners.
Pensacola is a sea port on Pensacola Bay, which is protected by the barrier island of Santa Rosa and connects to the Gulf of Mexico. A large United States Naval Air Station, the first in the United States, is located southwest of Pensacola near Warrington; it is the base of the Blue Angels flight demonstration team and the National Naval Aviation Museum. The main campus of the University of West Florida is situated north of the city center.