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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Florida

HISTORY

Dinosaurs never stepped foot in Florida. The peninsula was submerged underwater until millions of years after they existed.

Florida was the first part of the continental United States to be visited by Europeans. Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León first sighted Florida on April 2, 1513, before setting foot on the land on Easter Sunday 1513, while purportedly searching for the Fountain of Youth in the New World.

17th century Spanish engraving (colored) of Juan Ponce de León

In de León's Spanish tongue, the Easter festival was known as “Pascua Florida”, meaning the Passover of Flowers after the many flowers decorating the church on that day.Thus the newly discovered land was named “Florida”.

De León also reported meeting an indigenous tribesman who spoke Spanish, so he may not have been the first European to arrive in Florida after all.

By the Adams–Onís Treaty, which was signed in Washington on February 22, 1819, Spain ceded East Florida and West Florida to the United States for five million US dollars. Three years later the United States merged East Florida and West Florida to create the Florida Territory.

CC BY-SA 2.5, Wikipedia Commons

Florida became the 27th state of the United States of America on March 3, 1845. It was admitted as a slave state, although initially its population grew slowly.

FUN FLORIDA FACTS

Florida is home to over 19 million people, living in 410 municipalities.

It is America’s flattest state. Florida's highest point, Britton Hill, is just 345ft above sea level, the lowest highpoint of any US state.

The summit of Britton Hill, the state of Florida's highest point at 345 feet. Photo by Skye Marthaler

Highway Patrol officers in Florida lose their bonuses if they are over 15 pounds overweight.

Executions are carried out in Florida by volunteer citizens who are payed $150.

In Florida, it is a misdemeanor of the second degree to intentionally feed a wild alligator.

The Florida panther is the state mammal of Florida, the mockingbird the state bird and the alligator is the state reptile, Orange juice the state beverage.

Florida is the only state in the USA where a jury can recommend a death sentence with a simple majority verdict.

Wherever you are in the state of Florida, you're never more than 60 miles from the nearest body of salt water.

Florida’s nickname is the “Sunshine State.”


The area code in Cape Canaveral, Florida is 321.

Stephen Foster's "Old Folks at Home" (known also as "Swanee River") is the official state song of Florida, designated in 1935. Because of the racial lyrics, "Old Folks at Home" was modified with approval from the Stephen Foster Memorial; after a lengthy debate, the modified song was kept as the official state song, while "Florida (Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky)" was added as the state anthem.

Agriculture is the second leading industry outside of tourism. In 2012, the total impact of the agriculture industry on Florida’s economy exceeded $100 billion. This accounts for 8 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.

Florida is the top tornado state and the top lightning-prone state.

The US city with the highest rate of lightning strikes per capita is Clearwater, Florida.

40% of the hurricanes that occur in the United States hit Florida.

By 2030, one out of every four Florida residents will be older than 65.

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