On April 18, 1982, the United States Border Patrol set up a roadblock just south of Florida City, on U.S. Highway 1, to catch illegal immigrants traveling to and from the Florida Keys. In response, after five days of ensuing traffic congestion and intrusive behavior by the Border Patrol, the people of Key West staged a mock secession from the United States and established the Conch Republic on April 23.
These images of Key West are from the Dale McDonald collection. Firefighter and photographer Dale McDonald was born in Key West, Florida, on October 2, 1949. McDonald began taking photographs while a student at Key West High School. After graduation in 1968, McDonald enlisted in the United States Air Force.