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Nuestra Señora de Atocha

Nuestra Señora de Atocha was a Spanish treasure galleon and the most known vessel of a fleet of ships that sank in a hurricane off the Florida Keys in 1622. At the time of her sinking, Nuestra Señora de Atocha was laden with copper, gold, tobacco and indigo from Spanish ports at Cartagena and Porto Bello in New Granada and Havana, bound for Spain; the ship was named for the parish of Atocha in Madrid. Much of the wreck of Nuestra Señora de Atocha was famously recovered by an American commercial treasure hunting expedition in 1985. Following a lengthy court battle against the State of Florida, the finders were awarded sole ownership of the rights to the treasure. Nuestra Señora de Atocha had been delayed in Veracruz before she could rendezvous in Havana with the vessels of the Tierra Firme Fleet; the treasure, which arrived by mule in Panama City, was so immense that it took two months to record and load it onto the Atocha. After still more delays in Havana, what was a 28-ship convoy did not manage to depart for Spain until 4 September 1622, six weeks late.

When the crippled ship sank on 6 September, Nuestra Señora de Atocha had lost all of her 265 crew and passengers except for three sailors and two slaves, who survived by clinging to the mizzen mast. Among the sailors killed in the disaster was Bartolomé García de Nodal, explorer of the Straits of Magellan surrounding Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America. All of her treasure sank with the ship 30 leagues from Havana. After the surviving ships brought the news of the disaster back to Havana, Spanish authorities dispatched another five ships to salvage Nuestra Señora de Atocha and Santa Margarita, which had run aground nearby. Nuestra Señora de Atocha had sunk in 17 metres of water, making it difficult for divers to retrieve any of the cargo or guns from the ship. A second hurricane in October of that year made attempts at salvage more difficult by scattering the wreckage of the sunken ship still further; the Spaniards undertook salvage operations for several years with the use of Indian slaves, recovered nearly half of the registered part of its cargo from the holds of Santa Margarita.

The principal method used for the recovery of this cargo was a large brass diving bell with a glass window on one side: a slave would ride to the bottom, recover an item, return to the surface by being hauled up by the men on deck. It was lethal, but more or less effective. Dead slaves were recorded as a business expense by the captains of salvage ships; the loss of the 1622 fleet was a severe blow to Spanish commercial interests, forcing the crown to borrow more to finance its role in the ongoing Thirty Years' War and to sell several galleons to raise funds. While their efforts over the next ten years to salvage Santa Margarita were successful, the Spanish never located Nuestra Señora de Atocha. Beginning in 1969, American treasure hunters Mel Fisher, Finley Ricard and a team of sub-contractors, funded by investors and others in a joint venture, searched the sea bed for Nuestra Señora de Atocha for sixteen and a half years. In 1980, Fisher had earlier recovered portions of the wrecked cargo of the sister ship Santa Margarita.

He proposed the idea to several other potential helpers, who were discouraged by the fact that this dangerous professional diving job would be paid at minimum wage unless the ship could be found. The Nuestra Señora de Atocha wreck and its mother lode of silver and emeralds was discovered in July 1985, it was Mel's son, who radioed the news to Treasure Salvors headquarters on the Florida coast, from the salvage boat Dauntless. The salvaged coins, both gold and silver, were minted between 1598 and 1621, although numerous earlier dates were represented as well, some of the dates extending well back into the 16th century. Many of the dates and types of the period had been either rare or unknown prior to the salvage of the wreck, it is understood by experts that the sterncastle, the part of the ship that would hold most of the gold and rare Muzo emeralds, is still missing from the shipwreck. These and other valuable items would have been stored in the captain's cabin for safekeeping in the rear part of Nuestra Señora de Atocha.

After the discovery, the State of Florida claimed title to the wreck and forced Fisher into a contract giving 25% of the found treasure to the state. Fisher fought the state. After eight years of litigation, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled in favour of Fisher on 1 July 1992, he was awarded rights to all found treasure from the vessel. Fisher died on 19 December 1998. In June 2011, divers from Mel Fisher's Treasure Salvors found an antique emerald ring believed to be from the wreck, it is said that the ring is worth an estimated $500,000. The ring was found 56 kilometres from Key West, along with other artifacts. In 2014, Nuestra Señora de Atocha was added to the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most valuable shipwreck to be recovered, as it was carrying 40 tonnes of gold and silver, 32 kilograms of emeralds. U. S. Supreme Court decision, Florida Dept. of State v. Treasure Salvors, Inc. "Treasure!: The Search for the Atocha" on IMDb "The Sinking of the Galleon Atocha, 1622 - The Model " on YouTube "Atocha Episode 1" on YouTube "Atocha Episode 2" on YouTube "Atocha Episode 3" on YouTube "Trail Of The Atocha" on YouTube

Jesse James' Women

Jesse James' Women is a 1954 American Technicolor Western film starring as well as directed, co-produced and co-written by Don "Red" Barry, who portrays Jesse James. The supporting cast features Jack Buetel. Filming took place in Mississippi. Jesse James is posing as a rancher whilst his gang is laying low, he uses various women to plan his robberies. Don "Red" Barry as Jesse James Peggie Castle as Waco Gans Jack Buetel as Frank James Lita Baron as Delta Michael Carr as Bob Ford Joyce Barrett as Caprice Clark Sam Keller as Cole Younger Betty Brueck as Cattle Kate Kennedy James Clayton as Cameo Jane Laura Lea as Angel Botts Alton Hillman as Champ O'Toole Curtis Dossett as Banker Clark Jimmie Hammons as Sheriff Clem Botts Mac McAllister as Ace, O'Toole's Manager Frank Cunningham as Pete Don "Red" Barry - "Careless Lover" "In the Shadows of My Heart" Jesse James' Women at the American Film Institute Catalog Jesse James' Women on IMDb Jesse James' Women is available for free download at the Internet Archive

Mary Lou Harkness

Mary Lou Harkness was a librarian and a university library director, the first woman to hold that title at any Florida university. She was the fourth employee hired by the University of South Florida, she was born Mary Lou Barker in Denby, South Dakota, where her father was proprietor of a general store on the Oglala Sioux Indian Reservation. Mary and her brother would either walk or ride horseback to a two-room schoolhouse during her grade school years, but by her senior year she and her family had moved to Gordon, Nebraska to live with family friends, she graduated high school as valedictorian. Following that, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University. Next, she attended the University of Michigan for two semesters of post-graduate study, she earned the master's degree in library science from Columbia University. Her first employment in the field of librarianship was at the Georgia Institute of Technology, before her graduation from Columbia University. While at Columbia, she was recruited to work Florida’s newest state university, the University of South Florida.

She was hired in 1958 as the fourth employee of the university. Ms. Harkness and other library employees worked at a house in Tampa’s Hyde Park neighborhood, a house on campus, the university student union ballroom before the library building opened in 1961. In 1968, Harkness became the library's director – the first woman to hold such a position in the Florida university system, indeed one of a few to hold such a position nationwide, her career at USF saw her help create a library collection that started from zero, grew to 800,000 by the time she retired as library director in 1988. During this time she helped to implement automation technology, she fought to ensure that it received its fair share of funding, from Florida legislators who, she said, tended to favor older universities in the state. In 1962 Harkness traveled to Nigeria to assist with the creation of national system of libraries, she felt about women's rights and women in politics. She was member of the Athena Society, the USF Women's Club, she worked on the campaigns of former state Sen. Betty Castor, former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio