City of Tampa celebrates its birthday by exploring its history

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Before there was a Tampa Riverwalk, or an Amalie Arena and before The University of Tampa took over a once grand hotel, Tampa was a very different place.

Starting Sunday and running through July 20, the city of Tampa will celebrate its birthday by looking at its past. Archives Awareness Week offers up fresh perspectives and historical stories, some of which are being shared for the first time. 

The week's lineup features a different event each day and most are free to attend. Exhibits will be held all weeklong at the Tampa Bay History Center, Tampa Museum of Art, John F. Germany Public Library, Henry B. Plant Museum, Ybor City Museum State Park, and Old City Hall.

- On Sunday, July 14, at 2 p.m., Sacred Heart Church will feature a program on former City of Tampa Mayor John Jackson, and his wife Ellen, who were founding members of the church.

- On Monday, July 15, the City of Tampa will highlight local historians Fred Hearns, Andy Huse, and E.J. Salcines, who share what Tampa was like 50 and 100 years ago. Guests will receive a new publication, Tampa in 1919.

- On Tuesday, July 16, at 3:30 p.m., the Henry B. Plant Museum will screen a new documentary film, Letters from Tampa: Two Spanish-American War Stories. Following the film, join Dr. Charles McGraw Groh on a guided tour of a temporary exhibit, Dirty Laundry: True Tales of Women Workers at the Tampa Bay Hotel.

On Wednesday, July 17 at 1 p.m., Tampa Bay History Center curator Brad Massey will tell guests about Tampa in 1919, and share various items from the collection.

- On Wednesday, July 17th at 2:00p.m., the Robert W. Saunders. Sr. Library will hold an archiving tutorial on how to preserve historical documents and photographs.

- On Thursday, July 18 at 2 p.m., librarians at the University of South Florida Libraries Special Collections will feature a show and tell session highlighting unique and valuable materials. 

- On Thursday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m., the Tampa Museum of Art will feature a talk, the Influence of Abstract Expressionism.

- On Friday, July 19 at 10 a.m., the Tampa Bay History Center will lead a 90-minute guided tour of downtown Tampa. $20 per person, registration required:

- On Friday, July 19 at 1 p.m., librarians at the Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Library's African American History and Genealogy Library will lead a demonstration on how to use microfilm to conduct genealogical research.

- On Saturday, July 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tampa Historical Society will host an open house sharing historical artifacts