Pinellas County, Florida
Pinellas County is a county located in the state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 916,542; the county is part of the Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. Clearwater is the county seat, St. Petersburg is the largest city. Prior to European exploration and settlement the Pinellas peninsula, like all of Tampa Bay, was inhabited by the Tocobaga Indians, who built a town and large temple mound overlooking the bay in what is now Safety Harbor; the modern site can be visited as part of the County's Philippe Park. During the early 16th century Spanish explorers discovered and began exploring Florida, including Tampa Bay. In 1528 Panfilo de Narvaez landed in Pinellas, 10 years Hernando de Soto is thought to have explored the Tampa Bay Area. By the early 18th century the Tocobaga had been annihilated, having fallen victim to European diseases from which they had no immunity, as well as European conflicts. Spanish explorers named the area Punta Piñal.
After trading hands multiple times between the British and the Spanish, Spain ceded Florida to the United States in 1821, in 1823 the U. S. Army established Fort Brooke. In 1834 much of west central Florida, including the Pinellas peninsula, was organized as Hillsborough County; the next year Odet Philippe became the first permanent, non-native resident of the peninsula when he established a homestead near the site of the Tocobaga village in Safety Harbor. It was Philippe who first introduced both citrus cigar-making to Florida. Around the same time, the United States Army began construction of Fort Harrison, named after William Henry Harrison, as a rest post for soldiers from nearby Fort Brooke during the Second Seminole War; the new fort was located on a bluff overlooking Clear Water Harbor, which became part of an early 20th-century residential development called Harbor Oaks. University of South Florida archaeologists excavated the site in 1977 after Alfred C. Wyllie discovered an underground ammunition bunker.
Clearwater would become the first organized community on the peninsula as well as the site of its first post office. The Armed Occupation Act, passed in 1842, encouraged further settlement of Pinellas, like all of Florida, by offering 160 acres to anyone who would bear arms and cultivate the land. Pioneer families like the Booths, the Coachmans, the Marstons, the McMullens established homesteads in the area in the years following, planting more citrus groves and raising cattle. During the American Civil War, many residents fought for the Confederate States of America. Brothers James and Daniel McMullen were members of the Confederate Cow Cavalry, driving Florida cattle to Georgia and the Carolinas to help sustain the war effort. John W. Marston served in the 9th Florida Regiment as a part of the Appomattox Campaign. Many other residents served in other capacities. Otherwise the peninsula had no significance during the war, the war passed the area by. Tarpon Springs became West Hillsborough's first incorporated city in 1887, in 1888 the Orange Belt Railway was extended into the southern portion of the peninsula.
Railroad owner Peter Demens named the town that grew near the railroad's terminus St. Petersburg in honor of his hometown; the town would incorporate in 1892. Other major towns in the county incorporated during this time were Clearwater and Largo. Construction of Fort De Soto, on Mullet Key facing the mouth of Tampa Bay, was begun in 1898 during the Spanish–American War to protect Tampa Bay from potential invading forces; the fort, a subpost of Fort Dade on adjacent Egmont Key, was equipped with artillery and mortar batteries. Into the early years of the 20th century, West Hillsborough had no paved roads, transportation posed a major challenge. A trip to the county seat, across the bay in Tampa, was an overnight affair and the automobiles that existed on the peninsula at that time would become bogged down in the muck after rainstorms. Angry at what was perceived as neglect by the county government, residents of Pinellas began a push to secede from Hillsborough, they succeeded, on January 1, 1912 Pinellas County came into being.
The peninsula, along with a small part of the mainland were incorporated into the new county. Aviation history was made in St. Petersburg on January 1, 1914 when Tony Jannus made the world's first scheduled commercial airline flight with the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line from St. Petersburg to Tampa; the popular open-air St. Petersburg concert venue Jannus Live memorializes the flight; the early 1920s saw the beginning of a land boom including Pinellas. During this period municipalities issued a large number of bonds to keep pace with the needed infrastructure, such as roads and bridges; the travel time to Tampa was cut in half—from 43 to 19 miles —by the opening of the Gandy Bridge in 1924, along the same route Jannus' airline used. It was the longest automobile toll bridge in the world at the time. Prohibition was unpopular in the area and the peninsula's countless inlets and islands became havens for rumrunners bringing in liquor from Cuba. Others distilled moonshine in the County's still plentiful woods.
As was the case in much of Florida, the Great Depression came early to Pinellas with the collapse of the real estate boom in 1926. Local economies came into severe difficulties, by 1930, St. Petersburg defaulted on its bonds. Only after World War II would significant growth
An artifact, or artefact, is something made or given shape by humans, such as a tool or a work of art an object of archaeological interest. In archaeology, the word has become a term of particular nuance and is defined as: an object recovered by archaeological endeavor, which may be a cultural artifact having cultural interest. However, modern archaeologists take care to distinguish material culture from ethnicity, more complex, as expressed by Carol Kramer in the dictum "pots are not people". Examples include stone tools, pottery vessels, metal objects such as weapons, items of personal adornment such as buttons and clothing. Bones that show signs of human modification are examples. Natural objects, such as fire cracked rocks from a hearth or plant material used for food, are classified by archeologists as ecofacts rather than as artifacts. Artifacts can come from any archaeological context or source such as: Buried along with a body From any feature such as a midden or other domestic setting Votive offerings Hoards, such as at wellsArtifacts are distinguished from the main body of the archaeological record such as stratigraphic features, which are non-portable remains of human activity, such as hearths, deposits, trenches or similar remains, from biofacts or ecofacts, which are objects of archaeological interest made by other organisms, such as seeds or animal bone.
Natural objects that humans have moved but not changed are called manuports. Examples include seashells moved inland, or rounded pebbles placed away from the water action that made them; these distinctions are blurred. For instance, a bone removed from an animal carcass is a biofact, but a bone carved into a useful implement is an artifact. There can be debate over early stone objects that could be either crude artifacts or occurring and happen to resemble early objects made by early humans or Homo sapiens, it can be difficult to distinguish the differences between actual man-made lithic artifacts and geofacts – occurring lithics that resemble man-made tools. It is possible to authenticate artifacts by examining the general characteristics attributed to man-made tools and local characteristics of the site. In ethnography and archaeology, a category of "ancestral artifact" has been proposed, defined as "any object of natural raw material made by a people following a lifestyle based on foraging and/or basic agriculture or pastoralism".
Artifact Collection at the Royal Military College of Canada Museum in Kingston, Ontario
The Muscogee known as the Mvskoke and the Muscogee Creek Confederacy, are a related group of indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodlands. Mvskoke is their autonym, their original homelands are in what now comprises southern Tennessee, all of Alabama, western Georgia and part of northern Florida. Most of the original population of the Muscogee people were forcibly relocated from their native lands in the 1830s during the Trail of Tears to Indian Territory; some Muscogee fled European encroachment in 1797 and 1804 to establish two small tribal territories that continue to exist today in Louisiana and Texas. Another small branch of the Muscogee Creek Confederacy managed to remain in Alabama and is now known as the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. A large population of Muscogee people moved into Florida between 1767 and 1821 and these people intermarried with local tribes to become the Seminole people, thereby establishing a separate identity from the Creek Confederacy. Muscogee people in these waves of migration into Florida were fleeing conflict and encroachment by European settlers.
The great majority of Seminoles were later forcibly relocated to Oklahoma, where they reside today, although the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida remain in Florida. The respective languages of all of these modern day branches and tribes, except one, are all related variants called Muscogee and Hitchiti-Mikasuki, all of which belong to the Eastern Muskogean branch of the Muscogean language family. All of these languages are, for the most part, mutually intelligible; the Yuchi people today are part of the Muscogee Nation but their Yuchi language is a linguistic isolate, unrelated to any other language. The ancestors of the Muscogee people were part of the Mississippian Ideological Interaction Sphere, who between AD 800 and AD 1600 built complex cities and surrounding networks of satellite towns centered around massive earthwork mounds, some of which had physical footprints larger than the Egyptian pyramids; some Mississippian city populations may have been larger than colonial European-American cities.
Muscogee Creeks are associated with multi-mound centers such as the Ocmulgee, Etowah Indian Mounds, Moundville sites. Mississippian societies were based on organized agriculture, transcontinental trade, copper metalwork, artisanship and religion. Early Spanish explorers encountered ancestors of the Muscogee when they visited Mississippian-culture chiefdoms in the Southeast in the mid-16th century; the Muscogee were the first Native Americans considered by the early United States government to be "civilized" under George Washington's civilization plan. In the 19th century, the Muscogee were known as one of the "Five Civilized Tribes", because they were said to have integrated numerous cultural and technological practices of their more recent European American neighbors. In fact, Muscogee confederated town networks were based on an 900-year-old history of complex and well-organized farming and town layouts. Influenced by Tenskwatawa's interpretations of the 1811 comet and the New Madrid earthquakes, the Upper Towns of the Muscogee, supported by the Shawnee leader Tecumseh resisted European-American encroachment.
Internal divisions with the Lower Towns led to the Red Stick War. Begun as a civil war within Muscogee factions, it enmeshed the Northern Creek Bands in the War of 1812 against the United States while the Southern Creeks remained US allies. General Andrew Jackson seized the opportunity to use the rebellion as an excuse to make war against all Muscogee people once the northern Creek rebellion had been put down with the aid of the Southern Creeks; the result was a weakening of the Muscogee Creek Confederacy and the forced cession of Muscogee lands to the US. During the 1830s Indian Removal, most of the Muscogee Confederacy were forcibly relocated to Indian Territory; the Muscogee Nation, Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Kialegee Tribal Town, Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, all based in Oklahoma, are federally recognized tribes, as are the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas. Seminole people today are part of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.
At least 12,000 years ago, Native Americans or Paleo-Indians lived in what is today the Southern United States. Paleo-Indians in the Southeast were hunter-gatherers who pursued a wide range of animals, including the megafauna, which became extinct following the end of the Pleistocene age. During the time known as the Woodland period, from 1000 BC to 1000 AD, locals developed pottery and small-scale horticulture of the Eastern Agricultural Complex; the Mississippian culture arose as the cultivation of maize from Mesoamerica led to population growth. Increased population density gave rise to regional chiefdoms. Stratified societies developed, with hereditary religious and political elites, flourished in what is now the Midwestern and Southeastern United States from 800 to 1500 AD; the early historic Muscogee were descendants of the mound builders of the Mississippian culture along the Tennessee River in modern Tennessee and Alabama. They may have been related to the Tama of central Georgia. Oral traditions passed down by the ancestors of the Creeks have alleged that their nation migrated eastward from places West of the Mississippi River settling on the east bank of the Ocmulgee River.
It was here that they waged war with other bands of Native American Indians, as the Savannas, Wapoos, Yamafees, Icofans
In military organizations, an artillery battery is a unit of artillery, rocket artillery, multiple rocket launchers, surface to surface missiles, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles etc. so grouped to facilitate better battlefield communication and command and control, as well as to provide dispersion for its constituent gunnery crews and their systems. The term is used in a naval context to describe groups of guns on warships. Artillery battery origins from a Grand Duchy of Lithuania bajoras and artillery expert Kazimieras Simonavičius' book Artis Magnae Artilleriae published in 1650, which contains a large chapter on caliber, construction and properties of rockets, including multistage rockets, batteries of rockets, rockets with delta wing stabilizers; the term "battery" referred to a cluster of cannon in action as a group, either in a temporary field position during a battle or at the siege of a fortress or a city. Such batteries could be a mixture of howitzer, or mortar types. A siege could involve many batteries at different sites around the besieged place.
The term came to be used for a group of cannon in a fixed fortification, for coastal or frontier defence. During the 18th century "battery" began to be used as an organizational term for a permanent unit of artillery in peace and war, although horse artillery sometimes used "troop" and fixed position artillery "company", they were organised with between six and 12 ordnance pieces including cannon and howitzers. By the late 19th century "battery" had become standard replacing company or troop. In the 20th century the term was used for the company level sub-unit of an artillery branch including field, air-defence, anti-tank and position. Artillery operated target acquisition emerged during the First World War and were grouped into batteries and have subsequently expanded to include the complete intelligence, target acquisition and reconnaissance spectrum. 20th-century firing batteries have been equipped with mortars, howitzers and missiles. During the Napoleonic Wars some armies started grouping their batteries into larger administrative and field units.
Groups of batteries combined for field combat employment called Grand Batteries by Napoleon. Administratively batteries were grouped in battalions, regiments or squadrons and these developed into tactical organisations; these were further grouped into regiments "group" or brigades, that may be wholly composed of artillery units or combined arms in composition. To further concentrate fire of individual batteries, from World War I they were grouped into "artillery divisions" in a few armies. Coastal artillery sometimes had different organizational terms based on shore defence sector areas. Batteries have sub-divisions, which vary across armies and periods but translate into the English "platoon" or "troop" with individual ordnance systems called a "section" or "sub-section", where a section comprises two artillery pieces; the rank of a battery commander has varied, but is a lieutenant, captain, or major. The number of guns, mortars or launchers in an organizational battery has varied, with the calibre of guns being an important consideration.
In the 19th century four to 12 guns was usual as the optimum number to maneuver into the gun line. By the late 19th century the mountain artillery battery was divided into a gun line and an ammunition line; the gun line consisted of 12 ammunition mules. During the American Civil War, artillery batteries consisted of six field pieces for the Union Army and four for the Confederate States Army, although this varied. Batteries were divided into sections of two guns apiece, each section under the command of a lieutenant; the full battery was commanded by a captain. As the war progressed, individual batteries were grouped into battalions under a major or colonel of artillery. In the 20th century it varied between four and 12 for field artillery, or two pieces for heavy pieces. Other types of artillery such as anti-tank or anti-aircraft have sometimes been larger; some batteries have been "dual-equipped" with two different types of gun or mortar, taking whichever was more appropriate when they deployed for operations.
From the late 19th century field artillery batteries started to become more complex organisations. First they needed the capability to carry adequate ammunition each gun could only carry about 40 rounds in its limber so additional wagons were added to the battery about two per gun; the introduction on indirect fire in the early 20th century necessitated two other groups, firstly observers who deployed some distance forward of the gun line, secondly a small staff on the gun position to undertake the calculations to convert the orders from the observers into data that could be set on the gun sights. This in turn led to the need for signalers, which further increased as the need to concentrate the fire of dispersed batteries emerged and the introduction fire control staff at artillery headquarters above the batteries. Fixed artillery refers to guns or howitzers on mounts that were either anchored in one spot, or on carriages intended to be moved only for the purposes of aiming, not for tactical repositioning.
Historical versions closely resembled naval cannon of their day, "garrison carriages," like naval carriages, were short and had four small wheels meant for rolling on
René Goulaine de Laudonnière
Rene Goulaine de Laudonnière was a French Huguenot explorer and the founder of the French colony of Fort Caroline in what is now Jacksonville, Florida. Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, a Huguenot, sent Jean Ribault and Laudonnière to explore potential sites in Florida suitable for settlement by the French Protestants. Laudonnière was a Huguenot merchant mariner from Poitou, France, his birthdate and family origins are unknown. One school of historians attaches him to a branch of the Goulaine family seated at Laudonnière, near Nantes. A competing claim insists. No contemporary records have been published to substantiate either theory. In 1562, Laudonnière was appointed second in command of the Huguenot expedition to Florida under Jean Ribault. Leaving in February 1562, the expedition returned home in July after establishing the small settlement of Charlesfort in present-day South Carolina. After the French Wars of Religion broke out between French Catholics and Huguenots, Ribault fled France and sought refuge in England.
Meanwhile, the Huguenots planned another expedition to Florida and Laudonnière was placed in command in Ribault's absence. In 1564 Laudonniere received 50,000 crowns from Charles IX and returned to Florida with three ships and 300 Huguenot colonists. Laudonnière arrived at the mouth of the May River on 22 June 1564, he sailed up the river where he founded Fort Caroline, which they named for King Charles, in what is now Jacksonville. He made contact with the Saturiwa, a Timucua chiefdom who were friendly to the colonists and showed them a shrine they had built around a monument left behind by Ribault; when some of the men complained about the manual labor, Laudonnière sent them back to France. The colony had to get food from the Timucua. Colonists complained and a small group seized a ship and sailed to the Gulf of Mexico to become pirates. Deserters from the colony angered the Timucua. Colonists had to rely on acorns and roots and rebelled. On 3 August 1565 Laudonnière bought food and a ship from passing privateer John Hawkins so he could ship the colonists back to France.
While he was waiting for a favorable wind, Jean Ribault arrived with 600 more settlers and soldiers on September 10. Ribault informed Laudonnière that he had been relieved of his authority, but offered him an informal co-regency over the colony; this arrangement was unacceptable to Laudonnière. Events interrupted Laudonnière's departure when a Spanish fleet commanded by Adelantado Pedro Menéndez de Avilés appeared. Spain based her long-standing claim to Florida on the voyage of discovery of Juan Ponce de León in 1513, as well as four other expeditions of exploration. Menéndez, one of the foremost naval officers of his day, had been sent out by King Philip II of Spain with a fleet and 800 Spanish settlers with specific instructions to remove the French Protestants from Florida. Menéndez's fleet attempted to grapple and board Ribault's ships just off the mouth of the St. Johns River, but sea conditions denied success to both combatants; the Spanish admiral sailed 40 miles south to the next deep inlet on the Atlantic Florida coast.
Spanish troops disembarked on 28 August 1565 near the Timucua Indian village of Seloy and hastily threw up some field fortifications, anticipating a French attack. Ribault set sail southward on 10 September 1565, taking most of the soldiers with him to attack the newly established Spanish earthworks-and-palm-log camp at St Augustine, he left Laudonnière with 100 men but only 20 soldiers. During a hurricane, Ménendez had sent Spanish troops marching 40 miles north overland to attack Fort Caroline on 20 September, they overwhelmed the defended Huguenot garrison and killed most of the male colonists, about 140. Laudonnière and 40-50 others managed to escape, he made his way to the river's mouth. He set sail in the younger Ribault's company but headed home on a lone vessel, unexpectedly landing in Wales. Meanwhile, Jean Ribault's fleet ran into the same hurricane that had bedeviled the Spanish approach to Fort Caroline; the storm drove the French squadron many miles south toward present-day Daytona Beach, destroying all the warships.
Ribault and hundreds of other survivors washed ashore, began to walk north along the beach. At Matanzas Inlet, a Spanish patrol encountered the remnants of the French force, took them prisoner. Following the king of Spain's express edict, all heretics were taken behind a sand dune and put to the sword; the few confessing Catholics and the young musicians were spared their lives. Ribault was executed, along with about 350 of his men. By mid-October 1565, the military power of France on the Florida coast had been obliterated, in accord with the wishes of Philip II of Spain. Traveling overland via Bristol and London, Laudonnière reached Paris in December 1565. After reporting to the royal Court at Moulins, Laudonnière faded from the historical picture. Several years he emerged as a merchant mariner in 1572 at La Rochelle, he evaded the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of Huguenots, died at St. Germain-en-Laye in 1574, his memoirs, L'histoire notable de la Floride, contenant les trois voyages faits en icelles par des capitaines et pilotes français, were published in 1586.
"Laudonnière, René de". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1892
Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle 13 miles from the border with Alabama, the county seat of Escambia County, in the U. S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 51,923, down from 56,255 at the 2000 census. Pensacola is the principal city of the Pensacola metropolitan area, which had an estimated 461,227 residents in 2012. Pensacola is a sea port on Pensacola Bay, protected by the barrier island of Santa Rosa and connects to the Gulf of Mexico. A large United States Naval Air Station, the first in the United States, is located southwest of Pensacola near Warrington; the main campus of the University of West Florida is situated north of the city center. The area was inhabited by Muskogean language peoples; the Pensacola people lived there at the time of European contact, Creek people visited and traded from present-day southern Alabama. Spanish explorer Tristán de Luna founded a short-lived settlement in 1559. In 1698 the Spanish established a presidio in the area, from which the modern city developed.
The area changed hands several times. During Florida's British rule, fortifications were strengthened, it is nicknamed "The City of Five Flags", due to the five governments that have ruled it during its history: the flags of Spain, Great Britain, the United States of America, the Confederate States of America. Other nicknames include "World's Whitest Beaches", "Cradle of Naval Aviation", "Western Gate to the Sunshine State", "America's First Settlement", "Emerald Coast", "Red Snapper Capital of the World", "P-Cola"; the original inhabitants of the Pensacola Bay area were Native American peoples. At the time of European contact, a Muskogean-speaking tribe known to the Spanish as the Pensacola lived in the region; this name was not recorded until 1677, but the tribe appears to be the source of the name "Pensacola" for the bay and thence the city. Creek people Muskogean-speaking, came from present-day southern Alabama to trade, so the peoples were part of a broader regional and continental network of relations.
The best-known Pensacola culture site in terms of archeology is the Bottle Creek site, a large site located 59 miles west of Pensacola north of Mobile, Alabama. This site has at least 18 large earthwork mounds, its main occupation was from 1250 AD to 1550. It was a gateway to their society; this site would have had easy access by a dugout canoe, the main mode of transportation used by the Pensacola. The area's written recorded history begins in the 16th century, with documentation by Spanish explorers who were the first Europeans to reach the area; the expeditions of Pánfilo de Narváez in 1528 and Hernando de Soto in 1539 both visited Pensacola Bay, the latter of which documented the name "Bay of Ochuse". In the age of sailing ships Pensacola was the busiest port on the Gulf of Mexico, having the deepest harbor on the Gulf. In 1559, Tristán de Luna y Arellano landed with some 1,500 people on 11 ships from Mexico; the expedition was to establish an outpost called Santa María de Ochuse by Luna, as a base for Spanish efforts to colonize Santa Elena But the colony was decimated by a hurricane on September 19, 1559, which killed an unknown number of sailors and colonists, sank six ships, grounded a seventh, ruined supplies.
The survivors struggled to survive, most moving inland to what is now central Alabama for several months in 1560 before returning to the coast. Some of the survivors sailed to Santa Elena, but another storm struck there. Survivors made their way to Cuba and returned to Pensacola, where the remaining fifty at Pensacola were taken back to Veracruz; the Viceroy's advisers concluded that northwest Florida was too dangerous to settle. They ignored it for 137 years. In the late 17th century, the French began exploring the lower Mississippi River with the intention of colonizing the region as part of La Louisiane or New France in North America. Fearful that Spanish territory would be threatened, the Spanish founded a new settlement in western Florida. In 1698 they established a fortified town near what is now Fort Barrancas, laying the foundation for permanent European-dominated settlement of the modern city of Pensacola; the Spanish built three presidios in Pensacola: Presidio Santa Maria de Galve: the presidio included fort San Carlos de Austria and a village with church.
The garrison was moved to the mainland. During the early years of settlement, a tri-racial creole society developed; as a fortified trading post, the Spanish had men stationed here. Some married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos; the Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issu
Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, the 8th-most densely populated of the U. S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States; the Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital. Florida's $1.0 trillion economy is the fourth largest in the United States. If it were a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world, the 58th most populous as of 2018. In 2017, Florida's per capita personal income was ranking 26th in the nation; the unemployment rate in September 2018 was 3.5% and ranked as the 18th in the United States. Florida exports nearly $55 billion in goods made in the 8th highest among all states.
The Miami Metropolitan Area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. This is more than twice the number of the next metro area, the Tampa Bay Area, which has a GDP of $145.3 billion. Florida is home to 51 of the world's billionaires with most of them residing in South Florida; the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida upon landing there in the Easter season, known in Spanish as Pascua Florida. Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845, it was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, racial segregation after the American Civil War. Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues; the state's economy relies on tourism and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century.
Florida is renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, as a popular destination for retirees. Florida is the flattest state in the United States. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the U. S. state of Florida. Florida's close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of daily life. Florida is a reflection of multiple inheritance. Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, continues to attract celebrities and athletes, it is internationally known for golf, auto racing, water sports. Several beaches in Florida have emerald-colored coastal waters. About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States 1,350 miles, not including the contribution of the many barrier islands. Florida has a total of 4,510 islands; this is the second-highest number of islands of any state of the United States.
It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is characterized by sedimentary soil. Florida has the lowest high point of any U. S. state. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south; the American alligator, American crocodile, American flamingo, Roseate spoonbill, Florida panther, bottlenose dolphin, manatee can be found in Everglades National Park in the southern part of the state. Along with Hawaii, Florida is one of only two states that has a tropical climate, is the only continental state with either a tropical climate or a coral reef; the Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world. By the 16th century, the earliest time for which there is a historical record, major Native American groups included the Apalachee of the Florida Panhandle, the Timucua of northern and central Florida, the Ais of the central Atlantic coast, the Tocobaga of the Tampa Bay area, the Calusa of southwest Florida and the Tequesta of the southeastern coast.
Florida was the first region of the continental United States to be visited and settled by Europeans. The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. Ponce de León spotted and landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513, he named the region Florida. The story that he was searching for the Fountain of Youth is mythical and only appeared long after his death. In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto skirted the coast of Florida, searching for a deep harbor to land, he described seeing a thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as 70 feet, with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult. The Spanish introduced Christianity, horses, the Castilian language, more to Florida. Spain established several settlements with varying degrees of success. In 1559, Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a settlement at present-day Pensacola, making it the first attempted settlement in Florida, but it was abandoned by 1561.
In 1565, the settlement of St. Augustine was established under the leadership of admiral and