Pensacola is home to WEAR-TV, the ABC affiliate for Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, and Mobile, Alabama, and WSRE-TV, the local PBS member station, which is operated by Pensacola State College. Other television stations in the market include WALA-TV, the Fox affiliate; WKRG, the CBS affiliate; and WPMI, the NBC affiliate, which all are located in Mobile. Cable service in the city is provided by Cox Communications and AT&T U-Verse. WUWF is the area's NPR affiliate and is based at the University of West Florida. WPCS (FM) is broadcast from the Pensacola Christian College campus, where the nationwide Rejoice Radio Network maintains its studio.
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.
British military resources were limited and Pensacola ranked fairly low on their list of priorities. For this reason only small token amounts of British military forces were ever sent to defend Pensacola. This was in contrast to colonies such as South Carolina, where large numbers of British soldiers were sent. After Spain joined the American Revolution in 1779 on the side of the rebels, Spanish forces captured the city in the 1781 Battle of Pensacola, gaining control of West Florida. After the war, the British officially ceded both West Florida and East Florida to Spain as part of the post-war peace settlement.
Pensacola loves its Blue Angels; you’ll find pictures of the blue-and-gold aircraft painted on local bridges. Head west of the city to visit their home base, Naval Air Station Pensacola, where practices start up again in March. The base also hosts the 4National Naval Aviation Museum, 4National Naval Aviation Museum Google Map: 1750 Radford Blvd., Naval Air Station Pensacola Website: http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/ 850-452-3604 or 850-452-3606 open year-round. It’s the world’s largest, and you can easily spend half a day or more among its minutely detailed aircraft carrier models and restored aircraft, including the World War II Corsair, nicknamed “Whistling Death,” with its unique inverted gull wing, and the Que Sera Sera, the first aircraft to land at the South Pole. “Home Front U.S.A.,” an exhibit of small-town life in 1943, re-creates a street lined with wartime grocery and barber shops, full of vintage treasures. At the museum’s heart is a 10,000-square-foot atrium, where four historic Blue Angels aircraft hang overhead in perfect formation. Admission is free.
The region's warm climate and desirable setting isn't the only reason people choose to live in Pensacola. The military has a relatively small, though very significant, presence here. The Naval Air Station Pensacola was the first of its kind commissioned by the U.S. Navy, and its job prospects draw military families. Residents also find employment in the health care, manufacturing and, of course, tourism sectors.
Located 40 miles from Pensacola, Shalimar is much loved by tourists. Head to this place to access the Eglin Air Force Base and Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, two outstanding attractions you won't quickly forget. Just 45 miles away is another neighboring destination that's well worth visiting. Destin is a handy place to access amazing attractions like Destin Commons and Big Kahuna's Water and Adventure Park.
Located north of the Bayou Texar from downtown Pensacola, the Pensacola International Airport is serviced by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. Nonstop flights are available to major destinations around the country, including Houston, the District of Columbia and Miami. There is also a Greyhound bus terminal north of downtown near the intersection of Route 29 and Interstate 10.
Pensacola and several surrounding areas were devastated by Hurricane Ivan. Pensacola was on the eastern side of the eyewall, which sent a large storm surge into Escambia Bay; this destroyed most of the I-10 Escambia Bay Bridge. The storm knocked 58 spans off the eastbound and westbound bridges and misaligned another 66 spans, forcing the bridge to close to traffic in both directions. The surge also destroyed the fishing bridge that spanned Pensacola Bay alongside the Phillip Beale Memorial Bridge, locally known as the Three Mile Bridge.
The city of Pensacola utilizes a strong mayor-council form of government, which was adopted in 2011 after citizens voted in 2009 to approve a new city charter. An elected mayor serves as the chief executive of the city government, while a seven-member city council serves as the city's governing body. A council president is selected by the council from its members, along with a vice president.
As was the case in most of Florida, the Democratic primary was the real contest for most state and local elections until the 1970s. However, from the 1960s onward, due in part to the Republican Party's Southern strategy, residents of this staunchly conservative military and Bible Belt city began splitting their tickets and voting Republican in national elections. Despite this, Democrats continued to win most elections at the state and local level well into the 1990s, though most of them were very conservative even by Southern Democratic standards.
Pensacola is a sea port on Pensacola Bay, which 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 the community of Warrington) and is home to 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.
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.