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Florida

CONTENTS
Facts and Figures
Ponce de León named the region for the many flowers he saw here. Florida is a Spanish word that means full of flowers.
Famous Floridians
Famous Floridians
Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach
is located at the mouth of the Halifax River, on the Atlantic Ocean, in Volutsia County, Florida. The city is well-known for having one of the longest stretches of uninterrupted public beach in the country, as well as for being the host of the Daytona 500, one of the premier events in stock car racing.
Official Symbols of Florida
Official Symbols of Florida
In recognition of the fact that the Apollo 11 mission, which landed the first men on the Moon was launched from Florida, as were all other U.S. manned missions, the Florida Legislature named Moonstone as the official state GEM in 1970. Ironically, the moonstone is not found naturally in Florida, nor on the Moon for that matter.
Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale
is known as the "Venice of America" because of its expansive and intricate canal system.
Fort Caroline
Fort Caroline
was established by the French on the site of present-day Jacksonville in 1564, in an attempt to gain a share of the riches offered by the New World. Unfortunately, the Spanish, who then had a monopoly on trade in the New World, did not like the competition and destroyed the settlement barely a year after its establishment.
Gainesville
Gainesville
is the seat of Alachua County. It is home to the main campus of the University of Florida, whose football team was responsible for the invention of Gatorade.
Thomas LeRoy Collins
Thomas LeRoy Collins
was the first Florida Governor to be elected to two consecutive terms. During his tenure he created Florida's system of community colleges and oversaw establishment of three new State Universities. He was known nationally for his open-minded attitude towards integration.
Jacksonville
Jacksonville
is the most populous city in Florida, as well as the largest city in land area in the contiguous United States. In the early 1900's the city was known as the "Winter Film Capital of the World," with more than 30 silent film studios located here.
Henry Morrison Flagler
Henry Morrison Flagler
visited Florida in 1878 and 1883, and became convinced him that the state could become a tourist mecca, provided its hotel and transportation facilities were improved, and by the time of his death in 1913 he had developed the east coast from St. Augustine to Miami, and had built a rail line all the way to Key West.
Miami
Miami
the seat of Dade County, is the second-largest city in Florida. Founded as little more than a village in 1842, it grew into the city it is today thanks largely to a local resident who convinced railroad magnate Henry Flagler to extend his rail network into the area in 1896.
The Everglades
The Everglades
are one of the largest and most interesting swamp areas in the world. They cover over 2,700 square miles in the southern part of Florida, stretching south from Lake Okeechobee and merging into saltwater marshes and mangrove swamps near the Bay of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
Ocala
Ocala
is home to one of the major Thoroughbred breeding centers of the world, with over 600 internationally recognized horse farms. To date two Ocala-bred horses have won the Kentucky Derby, including Affirmed, winner of the Triple Crown in 1978.
Lake Okeechobee
Lake Okeechobee
is the fourth largest lake completely within the United States, and the largest in the Southern United States. Covering about 730 square miles of south-central Florida, it has an average depth of only nine feet.
Orlando
Orlando
is Florida's largest inland city, and is part of the third largest metropolitan area in the state. It is best known for being home to the Walt Disney World complex, and is the second-largest city in the country for number of hotel rooms.
Saint Augustine
Saint Augustine
was founded in 1565, making it the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States.
Tallahassee
Tallahassee
has been the capital of Florida since 1824. During the Civil War, Tallahassee was the only Confederate capital east of the Mississippi River to not be captured by Union troops.
West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach
was founded by Henry Flagler in 1894 as a community to house servants working in the neighboring community of Palm Beach. Today it is now a popular tourist destination.
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