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Lauderdale's C-SPAN history tour stretches from ocean to Everglades

When it comes to local history, producers from the public affairs network C-SPAN are finding there's a lot to cover.

The network is busy filming a weekend's worth of programming to air May 16 and 17 about local history and local authors for its C-SPAN2 and C-SPAN3 channels.

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The network's 2015 Cities Tour began its work Sunday at the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum with its recreated depiction of barracks that would have been used by former President George H.W. Bush during his World War II military days. Producers also heard a bit about the mystery of Flight 19, lost over the Bermuda Triangle in 1945.

On Monday, C-SPAN toured the 1905 New River Inn with docent Tim Myette dressed up as county namesake Gov. Napoleon Bonaparte Broward.

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Mayor Jack Seiler said the area's attraction to its early pioneers is not all that different from today's appeal among residents and visitors.

"Back even then, they knew they had something special here," Seiler said.

The network is interviewing local authors for book segments: Keith Mitzner about the city's early settlers; Nova Southeastern University professor Charles Zelden about former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; William Crawford Jr. about the digging of the Intracoastal Waterway; Martha Gutierrez Steinkamp about the country's early alliance with Spain; and Patsy West about the Seminoles.

Ron Bergeron of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will take the crew on a tour of the Everglades. It will also spend time at Port Everglades and the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, where it will feature the collection of author Alex Haley.

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"It's hard to get to everything," said Debbie Lamb, supervising the C-SPAN effort. "The goal is to try to get a variety of history and literary life."

The filming takes place through early Thursday, when the crew heads south to do similar segments in Key West. Previous Florida cities spotlighted are Tallahassee, Tampa, Fort Myers and St. Augustine.

lbarszewski@tribpub.com or 954-356-4556

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