Florida teachers and administrators numbering 700 met here in Chautauqua Hall for a "teachers institute" called the Florida Chautauqua. The meeting was called to order by J.A. Graham, City Superintendent of Schools, Key West, at 12:30 p.m., on Thursday March 4, 1886. The major purpose of the gathering was a short but intensive training period mainly in subject matter fields, for many teachers were mere "grammar school grads." Here was the beginning of the Florida Education Association.
A separate black teachers' association was formed in 1890. On July 1, 1966 the black and white organizations merged. The name Florida Education Association was continued for this combined organization, and in 1975, the work "United" was added when FEA and Florida's American Federation of Teachers merged.
The Florida Education Association has become a symbol of the achievements of the past and an inspiration to those who will promote excellence for Florida's public schools, colleges, and universities in the future.