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A photo history of Florida dropping the hanky

Each year at the close of Florida's 60 day legislative session, the sergeants of each chamber go the Rotunda to drop a handkerchief signaling the end of the session. It doesn't always work out. There have been times when one chamber has left early, sometimes in a huff, which makes a mess of the hanky drop.

The whole thing got started when the Senate President and House Speaker had no other way to signal the end of the session. There was a time when the chambers did not face each other. That got remedied when the chambers were aligned. Then of course with the advent of phones the whole ceremony became simply symbolic. 

In one of these photos one might spot a young Ron Book looking on. And you will also see when one chamber sergeant dropped a tablecloth instead of a handkerchief. Is is also interesting to note that until fairly recently, spectators were not roped off.

Sine die 19551955 - House Sergeant-at-Arms Amos Davis dropping handkerchief.

 

Sine die 1961
1961 House Sergeant-at-Arms Amos Davis dropping handkerchief.

Sine die 1963
1963 House Sergeant at Arms, W.A. Ballentine (l), and Senate Sergeant at Arms, LeRoy Adkison.

Sine die 1978
1978 House Sergeant-at-Arms Wayne Westmark (l), Senate Sergeant-at-Arms John Melton.

Sine die 1979
1979 House Sergeant-at-Arms Wayne Westmark (l) brings a tablecloth. On the right is Senate Sergeant-at-Arms John Melton.

Sine die 19871987 House Sergeant at Arms, Wayne Westmark (l), and Senate Sergeant at Arms, Wayne Todd.

  Sine die 2006

2006 House Sergeant at Arms Earnest W. "Earnie" Sumners (l) and Senate Sergeant at Arms Donald Severance.

Sine die 2008
2008 House Sergeant at Arms Earnest W. "Earnie" Sumners (l) and Senate Sergeant at Arms Donald Severance.

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