How It All Began...
In the year of 1513, a man by the name of Ponce de León traveled the world in search of the fountain of youth. Although it was just a fable that this fountain of youth existed, something great came out of its telling.
On Easter Sunday in 1513, this Ponce de León landed on the peninsula now known as Florida. His arrival landed him near the site of St. Augustine. He may have called the land on which he landed Florida, which in Spanish means flowery, because there were so many flowers there. However, the name Easter in Spanish means "flowery feast." Whatever the reason for his naming the land Florida, his discovery began the history of "FL" as we know it.
Ponce de León may not have been the first explorer to find this land, but he is acknowledged as the first to claim it, and he claimed it for Spain.
Many have thought that Florida was one of the original 13 colonies because it is on the eastern side of the U.S. However, it was not until after 1819 that Florida became part of the United States.
Between 1513 and 1819, Florida changed hands from Spain to England, and then Spain again after that. The United States bought Florida from Spain in 1819, but Florida didn't actually become a recognized state until 1849. It was the 27th state accepted in the Union.
From 1861-1868, Florida removed itself from the union during the Civil War. After 1868, Florida rejoined the United States of America, and so it has remained until the present year of 2011.