Today is the Conch Republic’s 35th Birthday

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Knowing your history sometimes can pay off in public relations.

Although 35 years have passed, the mock “secession” — and resulting founding of Key West’s “Conch Republic” — remains a classic example of turning a potential disaster into an opportunity.

When the U.S. Border Patrol established a surprise roadblock on U.S. Highway 1 at the entrance to the Florida Keys, trapping tourists as well as drug runners and alien smugglers, Keys tourism and government officials went ballistic.

Key West had … Read the rest