On May 27, 1965 The Miami Herald ran a banner headline on its front page: “Giant Land Deal Near Orlando Revealed.”
“A Miami law firm working with $5 million in cold cash has quietly engineered one of the biggest, most-talked-about Florida land deals in years. Twelve miles southwest of Orlando, the firm has bought 30,000 acres of strategically located land that could become the state’s largest industrial complex. Hottest current speculation says the purchasers will offer 3,000 acres to the Atomic Energy Commission for its new national accelerator laboratory, then develop the remaining 27,000 acres for related space age industry. Rumor also says the Ford Motor Co. plans to break into missile and space technology at the secret site. Ford officials in Detroit deny it. The McDonnell Aircraft Corp., builder of the Mercury and Gemini space capsules and a series of supersonic warplanes, is also mentioned as a possible buyer. McDonnell now has headquarters in St. Louis. There were some St. Louis men involved in the land negotiations. Still another possibility is Disneyland East, the longplanned amusement park that would be bigger and better than the original Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Walt Disney was at Cape Kennedy several weeks ago, but denied that he’s still considering Florida for his new venture. Bankers and real estate brokers have been trying for months to find out what’s in the works. If any outsiders know, they aren’t telling.” – Reporter Clarence Jones
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