Back when the Web was new

Barry Friedman

Editor & Publisher

Lonnie Brown, a longtime colleague from my days at The Ledger and a faithful supporter of LkldNow, brought me a memory-filled keepsake last month. It was the cover page of The Ledger’s feature section dated Oct. 15, 1995. I was features editor at the time and I had written that day’s cover story on the Life section.

The article was about this newfangled thing that most of our readers hadn’t heard of yet. It was called The Internet.

The cover illustration showed just how primitive websites were at the time. Exhibit One was the first web page I ever worked on: the home page for The Ledger.

The World Wide Web was still new then, and websites were largely text-based. True to form, this page was mostly text, except for two images: the newspaper logo and a small photo.

City Unveils Concepts for Munn Park; Vote for Your Favorite

Conceptual renderings show a large central grassy lawn surrounded by areas for recreational activities and a shaded events stage

2023 MLK Festivities Will Span a Week

Highlights include the annual parade, a jazz festival, free admission to the Florida Children’s Museum and a day of service

Resurfacing Scheduled for 31 Lakeland Streets

Residents will be notified at least two days before paving starts via information hung on house doors

Girl Who Loved Christmas Succumbs to Cancer

Santa and a ‘magical’ horse visited Mackenzie Orth at home last month, thanks to friends and neighbors

Art Installation Will Celebrate Lake Morton Area and City’s Cultural Organizations

The piece has a picnic theme and includes a neighborhood map and signs pointing toward arts groups.

Four-way Stops Will Replace Traffic Signals at 7 Downtown Intersections

The move will improve traffic flow and focus driver attention more on pedestrians, city officials say.


Culver’s breaks ground at Florida Ave. and Christina Blvd. for its third Lakeland restaurant | The Ledger

Black Lives Matter Restoration Polk seeks federal investigation of LPD beating incident | The Ledger

Orlando Magic’s idled Jonathan Isaac may return to the court in tonight’s Lakeland Magic Game | Bay News 9

Former SEU executive vice president pleads guilty to defrauding the university | Department of Justice news release

Coyote sightings increase as mating season approaches | News Channel 8

New state appeals court starts operating in Lakeland amid search for larger quarters | The Ledger

Polk deputies target I-4 speeding, issuing 5,297 citations last year | News Channel 8

Both U.S. House electees representing Lakeland – Franklin and Lee – support McCarthy for Speaker | The Ledger

Implosion phase of McIntosh Power Plant demolition starts Jan. 14 | Construction & Demolition Recycling

MLK Leadership Forum | Friday | 2-5 p.m. | Lake Crago Park
Business leaders will discuss diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and talent recruitment/retention. Panelists include representatives of the city of Lakeland, Lakeland Economic Development Council, Lockheed Martin, and Polk State College. The event, which kicks off Dream Mega Fest Lakeland, is free and open to the public.

Outdoor Story Time | Saturday | 10 a.m. | Bonnet Springs
Stories aimed at kids ages 4 to 8 are followed by nature activities the second Saturday of each month in the Outdoor Classroom near the tree house at the park. This month’s Nature Narrator is April Mucci, founder of LakelandMom. She will read “Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution” by Pat Miller.

Day of Caring Children’s Festival | Saturday |10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Florida Children’s Museum
Free admission for all at the museum’s new location at Bonnet Springs Park. Live performances, arts and crafts, photo booth and more. The event is part of Lakeland’s weeklong Dream Mega Fest observance.

A ribbon-cutting Friday evening marked the grand opening of COhatch Lakeland, a new coworking and office space at 211 E. Main St., across from Munn Park. The three-story building includes meeting rooms, private offices and event spaces. It’s the first of four Florida locations the Ohio-based company currently plans for west central Florida. | Photo by Craig Mozhdehi

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Barry Friedman

Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.