Matheson Museum reopens on weekends with two exhibits

The Matheson Museum, which hosts exhibits on Alachua County and Florida history, has reopened on a limited basis, with strict standards for covid precautions. It will be open on Fridays and Saturdays only, from 1 to 4 pm, and will allow only 12 people inside at a time. Masks must be worn (no bandanas, masks with exhale valves, or neck gaiters). The museum is located at 513 E University Ave.

Two exhibits will be on display: Trailblazers: 150 years of Alachua County Women and McCarthy Moment: The Johns Committee in Florida.

Trailblazers: 150 Years of Alachua County Women

This original exhibition highlights the lives and accomplishments of eleven women from cities throughout Alachua County. We will tell their stories, some for the first time, to call attention to
the oft forgotten contributions of women in our history and in the history of Alachua County.
While we are unable to call attention to every woman who has made an impact on the county, these eleven women represent various backgrounds, experiences, and fields of work, all of which are significant to the past and present success of Alachua County. The eleven women featured in
the exhibition are:

Sarah Hamilton Matheson
Sarah Lucretia Robb
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Marjorie Harris Carr
Vivian Filer
Daphne Duval Williams
Judith Brown
Margaret Tebeau
Clara Floyd Gehan
Mary Etta Cubberly
Emmaline Buchholz

McCarthy Moment: The Johns Committee in Florida 

“Have you ever been engaged in any homosexual activities here in Gainesville?”

This question forever altered dozens of lives at the University of Florida between 1958 and 1959.

In 1956, State Senator Charley Eugene Johns created the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee. Better known as the Johns Committee, it tried to uncover subversive activity in Florida. It targeted the NAACP, suspected communists and gay people. Committee members threatened people with prison if they did not cooperate with them. This reign of terror led to dozens of professors and students leaving the university.

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