Skip to main content

WSRE “inStudio” series to commemorate Florida’s Territorial Bicentennial and Escambia County’s 200th

Email share

Four shows will celebrate the region’s rich and diverse heritage reflected in today’s community


PENSACOLA, Fla., June 8, 2021 ― On July 17, 1821, American and Spanish officials oversaw the exchange of flags in Pensacola as Florida formally passed from Spanish to American possession. In partnership with the 200th Anniversary Commission Commemorating Florida’s Territorial Bicentennial, the City of Pensacola and Escambia County, WSRE will broadcast an “inStudio” series commemorating this historical event at 7 p.m. on Thursdays, June 24 – July 15.

Hosted by Sherri Hemminghaus Weeks, the four one-hour episodes will reflect on the region’s role in establishing Florida’s statehood and provide information about bicentennial celebrations and opportunities for community involvement, as follows.

“Florida’s Territorial Bicentennial Commemoration and Pensacola’s Role in the Making of Our State”airs June 24.

This first episode will introduce local events and activities for the commemoration and cover Pensacola’s important role in the transfer of possession while looking back at how the blending of Spanish and American cultures led to a new West Florida. Guests are Margo Stringfield, research associate at the University of West Florida Archaeology Institute; Deborah Mullins, an historical archaeologist; and Brian Rucker, a professor of history at Pensacola State College.

“1821 Sampler Project Linking Past to Present”airs July 1.

The West Florida Genealogical Society invites the public to participate in the 1821 Sampler Project, a web-based, interactive mosaic of faces from the modern-day community uploaded to honor members of the 1821 community. The project is connecting present-day Pensacolians to their past by sharing the stories of these former residents. Guests are Erin Renfroe and Virginia Shelby of the West Florida Genealogical Society; website designer, Joe Vinson; and Stringfield.

“St. Michael’s Cemetery: At the Crossroads of Pensacola’s Past”airs July 8 .

Historic St. Michael’s Cemetery will be explored, in a virtual tour, along with the public partnerships that help bring the past to the modern-day community. Guests are Stringfield and Jennifer Melcher, research associates at the University of West Florida Archaeology Institute; Rob Overton, UWF Historic Trust executive director; and Renea Brown, St. Michael’s Cemetery Foundation of Pensacola president.

“The Dinner Tables of 1821 and 2021: The Diversity of Our Culinary Heritage” airs July 15.

Restaurants are taking part in Escambia County’s bicentennial celebration with menu offerings that reflect the diverse food cultures of the past that live on in regional cuisine today. Guests are Cathy Parker, archaeologist and faunal analyst at the University of West Florida Archaeology Institute; Irv Miller, executive chef at Jackson’s Steakhouse; Maria Goldberg, director of Marketing, Public Relations and Events at Great Southern Restaurants; and Stringfield.

All four episodes will be available for streaming on their premiere dates at