KEY WEST, FL, April 7, 2023 — The College of the Florida Keys will conclude its 2023 VIP Series with “On Guard- 200 Years of the U.S. Navy in Key West” on Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. in the Tennessee Williams Theatre on the Key West Campus. This presentation will be led by Dr. Cori Convertito, CFK adjunct faculty, maritime and Florida Keys historian, author, lecturer and museum curator.
Dr. Convertito will discuss the symbiotic relationship between the U.S. Navy and Key West extending as far back as 1823. For two centuries, both have journeyed through periods of menacing pirates, Civil War blockades and blockade runners, the coming of naval aviation, two World Wars, the Great Depression and Cuban migration. This talk provides a rare opportunity for attendees to recognize and appreciate the interlaced connection between each entity; Key West would not exist as it does today without the Navy, and the Navy would not exist as it does today without Key West. More than just a chronological interpretation of the relationship, the talk promises to explore several facets including the economic impact on Key West, the geographic importance of Key West and the Florida Straits, personal stories from naval service personnel and artifacts belonging to the naval service in Key West.
Dr. Convertito holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in maritime history. She has published several articles and has presented papers at several international conferences including the U.S. Naval Academy’s McMullen Naval Historical Symposium, ‘Navy & Nation’ at the National Maritime Museum, UK and the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era through Florida State University. At present, Dr. Convertito is the Curator and Historian for the Key West Art & Historical Society which operates four distinct and inspired museums. She also teaches history at the College.
In its ninth season, the College’s VIP Series invites the community to learn from the Visions, Ideas, and Perspectives of speakers of local, regional, and national prominence. The 2023 season includes presentations that focus on timely topics relevant to Keys’ audiences. Tickets for CFK’s VIP Series events are $5 at the door. Admission is free for students at CFK and Monroe County schools. For more information, call CFK at 305-296-9081 or visit the College’s website at CFK.edu/VIP.
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