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The land was settled in 1838, at the time known as "Anderson."
Today, Fort Walton Beach is known for its beaches, as a fishing destination, for its resorts, summer holiday venues, and Air Force base.
People Born in Fort Walton Beach
Fort Walton Beach in People's Lives
Hunter S. Thompson: I was transferred to the Eglin Air Force Base here from Belleville, Illinois, in 1956, at the age of 19. While serving at the base, I also took evening classes at Florida State University. Additionally, I landed my first writing job, as a sports editor for The Command Courier, by lying about my previous work experience. I often covered the Eglin Eagles, a football team of the air force base, and thus reported on future football stars Bart Starr, Zeke Bratkowski, and Max McGee. In 1957, I earned a place writing my own sports column in The Playground News, a local paper. However, just as my other sports writing job had not been earned completely legitimately, neither was this one - I had to give a fake name and keep my writing a secret, as the Air Force did not allow pilots to hold civilian jobs. However, in 1958, I was asked to leave the Air Force, at the age of 21. I was officially given an honorable discharge, and my commanding officer stated that "although talented, this airman will not be guided by policy." I was called a "rebel" and was said to have a "superior attitude" in an official Eglin report. I moved to Williamsport, Pennsylvania to accept a job as a sports editor at a newspaper.