From time to time you may hear St. Pete referred to as "The Sunshine City" And recently new graphics appeared on the Utility Building downtown and elsewhere with the tagline "You are my Sunshine City". The nickname goes back to 1910...
Lew Brown was the longtime newspaper editor of The Evening Independent and a tireless promoter of St Pete. He's credited with helping nickname St Pete "the Sunshine City".
In 1910 he started a promotional offer of a free newspaper to "everybody every day the sun does not shine on St Petersburg". This PR stunt lasted 76 years right up until the paper closed shop in the 1980's due to declining sales.
During the first month of the Sunshine Offer, Brown had to give out free papers twice. Friends immediately cautioned him saying he'd go bankrupt at that rate. Some even called him foolish to have made such an offer.
Well his famous offer stood for over 75 years and Brown only gave away free papers on 296 days or about 4 per year on average while gaining a tremendous amount of publicity throughout the nation for years!
During a period from 1967-68, the Sunshine City set an official Guinness Book World Record for having the most consecutive days of sun in a row at 768 days! Lew Brown's Sunshine Offer played a role in establishing the record and further secured St Pete's image of a sunny tropical paradise (especially to those folks up north).
Fast forward to the present and St Pete's new ad campaign promoting "My Sunshine City". It's an effort to create a new image by tying the future with the past. Using a play on the Sunshine City nickname, officials are not simply relying on literal sunshine, but also the bright quality of life here in St Pete. Everything from the vibrant and diverse art scene to the dynamic restaurants and night life. St Pete is an active fun loving city, come visit and bask in the new Sunshine City.
Rev B has nearly been published multiple times and has received letters of rejection from Highlights, Jet Magazine, Dear Abby and The New Yorker. While accepting full responsibility for all grammatical errors he makes no claims of being an author. Please enjoy the entries found here and use the search function if you're looking for something more specific.