Visitor Guide

PK Visitor Guide 2017

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 49 of 135

50 VISITPERDIDO.COM ) A COTTON CANDY SUNSET AT JOHNSON BEACH ( THE NEW COMMEMORATIVE TABLET WAS LAID DURING 2016'S CEREMONY JOHNSON BEACH The national seashore was named Johnson Beach after Army Private Rosamond Johnson, Jr. After enlisting in the Army at only 15, Johnson died in combat at age 17. Johnson rescued two injured soldiers and brought them to safety before he was fatally wounded while returning for a third comrade. He was the first Escambia County resident to die in the Korean War. Johnson posthumously received the Purple Heart on August 21, 1950. During the time of Johnson's death, Pensacola beaches were racially segregated. After the Korean Conflict, the county-owned recreational area was renamed to honor its fallen hero at the suggestion of the Sunset Riding Club, Inc. The club leased the land in 1950 from the county for the sole use of bathing, beach and recreational facilities for "colored citizens." Although the lease was cancelled in 1956, the name Rosamond Johnson Beach remained. The area became part of Gulf Islands National Seashore May 8, 1973. A permanent monument in his honor was erected at Johnson Beach on June 10, 1996. Every year, the Pensacola area holds a ceremony of remembrance for Johnson and his family on the first Saturday in May. During 2016's ceremony, a new plaque with inscriptions regarding Johnson's life and heroism was placed by the Star Pavilion just beside the beach.

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