Florida, The Sunshine State

Florida, The Sunshine State

by Sandra Merville Hart

Florida’s nickname is The Sunshine State. Thousands flock to beaches along Florida’s Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico coast.

The southern part of the state below Lake Okeechobee has a true tropical climate though most of Florida enjoys a humid subtropical climate.

The Florida Keys are surrounded by water. Temperatures there rarely fall before 60 degrees Fahrenheit even in winter. No wonder so many people want to travel there.

Florida’s early history

Juan Ponce de Leon landed in Florida in 1513. He named the place La Florida, which means “Flowery Easter” or “Flowering Easter” after the “Feast of the Flowers” Easter celebration in Spain.

Spain established a new colony in 1565. San Agustin, now called Saint Augustine, was the first permanent settlement in the United States.

Some Seminoles hide

Bands of Creek Indians migrated to Florida in the 1700s. Florida’s Native Americans, including Yuchis, Creek, and Yamasses, became known as Seminole in the 1770s.

Conflicts with settlers led to three Seminole Wars. In 1858, over 3,000 Seminoles were moved west of the Mississippi River, but 200-300 hid in Florida swamps. The number residing on Florida reservations is now over 2,000. Seminole in Oklahoma and Florida received $12,347,500 for land taken in 1800s.

dolphin-906182_960_720Florida becomes a state

Florida became the twenty-seventh state on March 3, 1845. The capital is Tallahassee.

Disney World

The world’s largest recreational resort is Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney World, roughly the size of San Francisco, California) opened in 1971. Every year around 46,000,000 people visit the amusement park.

rocket-launch-67723_960_720Kennedy Space Center

Visit Kennedy Space Center, a space attraction and working spaceflight facility, while in Florida. A variety of activities available includes lunch with an astronaut.

Other fun facts about Florida

The Florida Keys has never reported frost on the ground.

Benjamin Green, an airman and pharmacist in World War II, developed sunscreen for himself and fellow soldiers. He went on to create The Coppertone Corporation.

In God We Trust” is Florida’s state motto.

Florida’s state saltwater mammal is the dolphin.

Everglades National Park is the third largest park in the continental United States.



“Florida,” History.com, 2016/06/25  http://www.history.com/topics/us-states/florida.

“Florida,” State Symbols USA, 2016/06/25  http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/states/united-states/florida.

“General Information,” NASA, 2016/06/25 https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/information.aspx.

Gutman, Bill. The Look-It-Up Book of the 50 States, Random House, 2002.

“Seminole History,” Florida Department of State, 2016/06/25 http://dos.myflorida.com/florida-facts/florida-history/seminole-history/.



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