Vice President Alben W. Barkley visits in June, 1952.
A 1953 graduate of West Point, Gen. Arthur E, Brown Jr., culminated a 36-year military career as Director of the Army Staff (1983-1987), and Vice-Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army (1987-1989) in 1989. Brown has been elected in the Florence City Walk of Honor.
Presidential family member Margaret Truman gave a concert at Coffee High School sponsored by the Sheffield Pilot Club in April, 1955.
President Harry S. Truman visits the area in October, 1960.
Vice President Lyndon Johnson visits in May 18, 1963.
Hugh P. Harris became a four-star general in 1964, the 66th officer to receive this rank. A leader in the development of the airborne concept, he held such important posts as Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command. Harris has been elected to the Florence City Walk of Honor.
One of only 141 American service men to receive the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War, U.S. Army SP4 Don Leslie Michael received this award posthumously, and his name appears in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes. Michael has been elected to the Florence City Walk of Honor.
In 1976, Fran McKee became the first woman line officer promoted to Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy. A wide range of opportunities for women in the Navy is a result of her personal example and her work on the Navy’s Equal Rights Committee. McKee has been elected to the Florence City Walk of Honor.
In his 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives (1977-1991), Ronnie Flippo held such important posts as the chairmanship of the Space Science Subcommittee during the development of the space shuttle, Columbia. Flippo has been elected to the Florence City Walk of Honor.
President Jimmy Carter visits the area in September, 1980.
The Commission form of government continued until 1984 when the form was changed to Mayor/Council.
President Ronald Reagan visits in 1984.
After flying more than 90 worldwide reconnaissance missions, in 1990 Lt. Col. Ed Yielding set a coast to coast aircraft speed record of 67 minutes 54 seconds flying the SR-71 spy plane, The Blackbird, which is now at the Smithsonian. Yielding has been elected to the Florence City Walk of Honor.
The SR-71 Spy Plane: The Blackbird
Prior to her retirement in 1991, RADM Mary Hall had been in command of the United States Navy Nurse Corps and was the first Navy Nurse to be awarded the Distinguished Service Medal since WWI. Mary Hall and her husband Noel Hall, Sr. have been residents of Florence since the early 1990s.
In 1998, The Federal Courthouse building was renamed the John McKinley Federal Building.
Mayors of the City of Florence from 1950-1999:
1948-1951 E.F. Yielding
1951-1954 Ellie F. Martin
1954-1957 Walter Harrison
1957-1964 Ellie F. Martin
1964-1966 A. Carl Putteet
1966-1969 Ben H. Craig, Jr.
1969-1978 William E. Batson
1978-1979 J. Hollie Allen
1979-1980 James F. Hall
1980-1981 J. Hollie Allen
1981-1984 William E. Batson
1984-2001 James Eddie Frost
US Congressman from Florence from 1950-1999:
1977-1991 Ronnie G. Flippo served in the U.S. House of Representatives
National and International Appointments from Florence/Lauderdale County from 1950-1999:
1950 Former Florence resident D. James W. Taylor was appointed Deputy-General of UNESCO.
1964 Hugh P. Harris becomes the 66th officer to receive rank of four-star general.
1976 Rear Admiral Fran McKee becomes the first woman line officer promoted to Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy.
1980s Michael Hall Mobbs served as representative of the Secretary of Defense at the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks.
1982 Wendell Wilkie Gunn, graduate of the University of North Alabama, serves as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and Assistant Director for commerce and Trade in the U.S. Office of Policy Development.
1994 Dr. Amit Roy is named President of the International Fertilizer Development Center.