Grover and Holt: Publisher and Editor of the Animated Magazine 1927-1949
The Animated Magazine was a fascinating event that put Rollins on the national radar just as much as the Conference plan of teaching that Hamilton Holt implemented. There is no question that Hamilton Holt was a talented showman. He and Grover hatched the concept in a few days and were able to produce its first "edition" in February 1927. The speakers came from all walks of life and had connections to Holt or Grover. Most were well known at the time but their names don't mean much to us today. Of course, there were the famous authors, such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, or social activists like Mary McLeod Bethune who received an honorary degree during Holt's last commencement before retirement over the objections of the board of trustees. Irving Bacheller was a well known author who was responsible for bringing Holt to Rollins, and there was Jessie Rittenhouse, one of the founders of the American Poetry Association. Opie Read was a humorist who was often recruited as the closer because Holt wanted his audience to leave with a smile on their faces.
Once the Animated Magazine became well known and drew large crowds, the editorial content changed, and celebrities of all kinds became presenters, movie stars, military commanders, politicians, and the draw of the presenters seemed to bring ever larger crowds to Winter Park. Most of the seats were free, and the reserved section seats went for a dollar. Eventually, the city collected a tax on it. After Holt died and Grover retired, it continued on a smaller scale and then capitulated to the power of Television in 1969.
Mary Seymour wrote an inspired account of the Animated Magazine. Please, check it out.
Or watch what Thaddeus Seymour had to say about the Animated Magazine:
Ed Gfeller 2016
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