This week in Destin history: A KKK campaign on the beach

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Aug. 11 - 17

35 years ago — 1978

The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan were in Destin campaigning for members on the beach with brochures and an airplane with an aerial banner above the beach.

The Log reported the number of real estate businesses had grown from three or four in 1973 to almost a dozen in 1978.

The Destin boat Ballyhoo, skippered by Ed Robinson, won the seventh annual Captains Billfish Tournament in Panama City, and captain, crew and angler walked away with a “boatload” of prizes.

A petition circulated in Destin asking the county to improve county property at First Street to make a boat ramp.

30 years ago — 1983

Phil Vacarro’s 406-pound blue marlin, caught aboard Capt. Bruce Marler’s Sand Kicker, was the biggest catch of the eighth annual Fort Walton Beach/Destin Open Billfish Tourney.

25 years ago — 1988

Cowboy star Lash Larue visited the Destin area and promoted videotapes of his 1940’s and ’50’s movies and television shows.

Destin City Council said no to a county plan for the city to take over Wayside Park.

The city of Destin sought arrest powers for its harbormaster in order to enforce marine laws in Destin harbor.

Fifteen architects submitted conceptual proposals for the new Destin Community Center.

20 years ago — 1993

Destin Hospital’s Gift Shop is a well-kept secret, offering toothbrushes to flowers, and clothes to jewelry. Proceeds make scholarships available.

Miracle unfolds as a 2-year-old visitor from Isola, Miss., falls from eighth floor of Breakers East condominiums and receives only a few scratches.

The Water’s Edge Homeowners Association planted palm trees to contribute to the Greening of Destin project.

Fort Walton Beach High School varsity cheerleaders named the overall top team in cheerleading competition at the National Cheerleaders Association camp at Florida State University.

Possibly the longest manmade reef in Florida’s history, the 11,400 foot project by “Reef Chief” Jack Spey, south of Destin jetties and another south of old Crystal Beach Pier, used construction rubble from construction of the Mid-Bay Bridge.

Attorney visiting from Texas voiced concern in a letter to City Council about the presence of “soft pornography” she found in several tourist shops. Alvin’s Island was one who responded saying “You see worse than that on the beach” and they are only gag gifts and not really obscene.

10 years ago — 2003

As beach debates continued, some Gulf front owners said, “I own to the water’s edge.” A law professor for FSU College of Law said the “state Constitution trumps the language in the deeds … and the water seaward of the mean high tide line is held by the state in trust for the public.”

Dr. Scott Ennis was the only plastic surgeon specializing in pediatric reconstructive surgery between Birmingham, Ala., and Gainesville.

Rave Motion Pictures builds at Destin Commons and boasts 14 auditoriums and 3,400 seats with four-feet of leg room between rows of seats.

The crew of the Morning Glory out of Destin faced a tense situation when a 503-pound blue marlin charged the baits of the boat nine times before a solid hook-up was made. The fish became entangled in the fishing line and died after unsuccessful attempts to save its life. The fish was donated to Water Front Rescue Missions.