History Makers On Wednesday, former Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood will return to a podium in downtown Orlando to help honor J. Charles Gray of GrayRobinson, P.A., as he receives the John Young History Maker award during festivities at the Orange County Regional History Center. This year, the Historical Society of Central Florida will recognize three history makers: past, present and future. In addition to Gray, the late Dr. Philip Phillips will be honored (past), as well as the winner of a $5,000 History Maker Scholarship, to be named Wednesday. The annual gala is the society's largest fundraiser. In 2007, it raised about $90,000 to support exhibitions and educational programs that served more than 146,000 children and adults in the community that year. Gray has been active in Central Florida civic and political affairs for more than four decades and has played a key part in the development of Central Florida, serving in many roles, including city solicitor for Orlando and chairman of the Economic Development Commission of Mid-Florida. Always, there's shopping Maybe you read the Sentinel story about retailers rushing to offer deals that might lure you to part with your "economic incentive" tax rebate. I'm sure the Florida Humanities Council's sale is a total coincidence, not timed to the rebate but to spring cleaning. Whatever the motive, you might want to check out the books and compact discs offered at the council's online store: flahumstore.org. This site has great resources, especially for teachers, who may request free posters and other materials about "The World of Florida's Spanish Colonial Past." Sale items include a set of three CDs: Settlers by the Sea, Cracker Country and Florida's Indians, and books including Michael Gannon's excellent Florida: A Short History for $11 (not including shipping). Joy Wallace Dickinson can be reached at email@example.com, 407-420-6082 or by good old-fashioned letter to the Sentinel, 633 N. Orange Ave., Orlando, 32801.
The Basilica of St. Paul (above) in Daytona Beach became the 2nd basilica in Florida on Jan. 24, 2006. St. James Catholic Church (left), which is now a cathedral, draws a crowd in Orlando in the 1950s. SARA A. FAJARDO/ORLANDO SENTINEL FILE THE FLORIDA CATHOLIC