Blackout Order Issued by Governor Spessard Holland during World War II

Blackout Order Issued by Governor Spessard Holland during World War II


"A" By Official Order of Governor Spessard L. Holland and the Commanding Officer at Key West, Florida:
You are hearby requested to take the following steps to comply with the recent blackout order carried in the press. 
(1) It is requested that you immediately take steps to have extinguished all street lights on water front streets and highways at once, and those actually on the ocean front, not those on the west side.
(2) Screen water front side lights on all streets running down to the water front for about four (4) city blocks away.
(3) Screen all advertising lights and lighted windows near beach front that are facing seaward and are directly visible from off shore.
(4) Screen all bright lights on seawards side, directly visible from the sea, and within two (2) miles from the water front, this again does not apply to those low lying lights on the mainland that maybe already screened by invisible objects. 
(5) In case of a brightly lighted installation near beach have the light so directed and screened so that no direct light can be seen from off shore. 
By Order of the:
Palm Beach Civilian Defense Council
O.B. Carr, Executive Director
F.L. Gates [signed]


State Archives of Florida: Series S419, Box 25, Folder 6


Official blackout order outlining the steps that must be followed along Florida's coastline during World War II. The order was issued by Governor Spessard Holland and the commanding officer of Key West and distributed by the Civilian Defense Council of Palm Beach.


ca. 1941-1945




Florida during World War II (1940-1945)

General Note

During World War II, to deter air and submarine attacks, the Federal government's Office of Civilian Defense and the various State Defense Councils enforced a variety of blackout restrictions. This was particularly important along Florida's long, exposed coastline, where lights from houses, hotels, and amusement parks could silhouette allied merchant ships and make them inviting targets for German U-Boats. Civil Defense wardens enforced these blackout regulations, which remained in effect for the duration of the war.