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Study Guide About Florida: Fun Historical Facts

written by: Atlanta Page • edited by: Noreen Gunnell • updated: 1/16/2013

Do you know anything about the history of the state of Florida? Its origins are actually pretty interesting! Learn some fun and interesting facts on this U.S. state.

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    What Can You Expect from This Study Guide?

    I've created this study guide to help you learn the historical facts about Florida in a way that is fun and memorable. With the idea of bringing as many facts together in one place, you will be able to get a better understanding of Florida's history as if you are looking back through time. Let's look at the state of Florida.

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    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.

    391px-1891 Poor's Georgia Southern and Florida Railroad 1891 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.

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    Where Is This Place Called Florida, and What Is It Like?

    The state of Florida fills the entire low level peninsula in the southeastern U.S. Thus, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the peninsula extends 460 miles.

    Florida has the longest ocean coastline of any state in the union. It boasts the southernmost city in the entire United States, which is 450px-Destin Beach Florida 100 1107-2 Key West.

    Its mild temperatures during winter are very appealing to the elderly. Many from all over the U.S. live out the winter months, or their golden years, in this warm climate. Although summers are hot, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico provide relaxation and enjoyment for vacationers and locals alike.

    Outdoor sports are a big part of Florida's heritage. Fishing has gained high recognition there. The Everglades, the largest wetland system in the U.S., provides miles of rich waters filled with wildlife such as alligators, birds, and all types of fish. This area was home to Native Americans, and later on, early settlers. Over time, these groups have steadily left the area to fishermen and tourists.

    In 1906, the Everglades were drained to provide more land during one of the biggest land booms. Since then, their value has begun to be understood. Thus, flooding has begun to reestablish the glades.

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    What Are Some Important Fun Facts About Florida?

    • The Capital is Tallahassee.
    • Florida is a middle-sized state. Twenty one states are larger than FL.
    • St. Augustine is considered the oldest city in the U.S. It was founded in 1565, thus holding the title by default since the state of Florida was not actually considered a state until nearly three centuries later.
    • Farming is a big part of Florida's economy. Fruit such as oranges and grapefruit, as well as vegetables such as tomatoes, celery, beans, and potatoes are grown there.
    • Many types of factory jobs exist, most of which have something to do with freezing and canning the produce and vegetables grown in Florida.
    • Frozen orange juice is one of Florida's leading products.
    • Florida can boast the first regular airline service in the world. It was established between St. Petersburg and Tampa in 1914.
    • NASA is stationed there. Many have watched numerous space-related flights take off and land, thus bringing further fame to the state. It is located on the eastern coast at Cape Canaveral.
    • Florida is covered on all sides by salt water, except the northern land connection.

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    How Diverse Are the People of Florida?

    Because of the close proximity to Cuba, Florida has often been involved with that nation. This has resulted in a diverse culture of people in Florida. Many people from Cuba have taken up residence in Florida, bringing with them their Spanish language and culture.

    During the latter part of the 19th century, Cubans, who were part of the rebellion against Spain, took refuge in Florida and received aid from the state. Florida enthusiastically supported, and profited financially from, the Spanish American war of 1898.

    The Cuban revolution of 1958-59 called on Florida yet again, as refugees fled Cuba and asked for sanctuary in Florida.

    Osceola The original Indian cultures of the Calusa, Timucua of Tampa Bay, Tequesta of Biscayne Bay, and the Apalachee of Tampa Bay have all contributed their cultures to the area as well. The only exception is the Tocobaga tribe of Tampa Bay, which became extinct.

    Then of course, many people have immigrated to Florida from other places all over the world, thus contributing to the vast diversity of this great land we call the United States of America.

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    Thank You for Using This Study Guide!

    Historical facts about Florida are fascinating and can be fun to learn! If you are doing a project on it, chances are that you live there, so enjoy the sunshine state! I hope this study guide helps you get a good grade, and make a great project or report. Most importantly I hope you learned more about the state of Florida. Feel free to bookmark this page to refer to again and again, but remember to reference this page in your project.

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    Authors knowledge of Florida

    Exploring Florida:

    The Golden Book Encyclopedia-Copyright-1959 by Golden Press


    Picture 1 of 2 page 1: Wikimedia Commons-Public Domain-

    Picture 2 of 2 page 1: Wikimedia Commons-Public Domain- User, Weatherman http://commons.wikimedia.or/wiki/File:Destin_Beach_Florida_100_1107.jpg

    Picture page 2: Wikimedia Commons-Public Domain-User, Kwertii

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