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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Who Discovered Florida?

When you think of Florida, more than likely images of walking sandy beaches, basking in the sun, swimming with the dolphins, sailing off into the sunset come instantly to mind. The tropical climate and scenery of the "Sunshine State" have long attracted an enormous amount of visitors and residents to its southern shores. It was on this day in history 1513 when one special visitor set foot onto Florida's shore: The culture of North America changed forever.

This Day in History: April 2, 1513

 Ponce de León
 Soldier, a Governor, an Explorer, a Conquistador, and the Discoverer of Florida!
Ponce de León had sailed with Christopher Columbus on that great Explorer's second voyage. As a result, Spain appointed Juan Ponce de León to be Governor of San Juan Bautista, known today as Puerto Rico. According to legend, "The Fountain of Youth" has forever attached itself to the legacy of Ponce de León. While it is true Ponce de León heard stories of such youthful waters, it was gold and the conquest of new lands that were foremost in his mind.
Upon landing on Florida's East Coast near present-day St. Augustine, Juan Ponce de León named the new land "Pascua Florida", which translates to "Feast of Flowers".
A later voyage in 1521 proved unsuccessful for Spanish colonization because of the hostility encountered from the Native Americans. Successful colonization of the Florida peninsula finally began at St. Augustine in 1565. In 1819, the territory passed into US control under the terms of the Florida Purchase Treaty between Spain and the United States. The Territory of Florida was an organized incorporated territory of the US that existed from March 20, 1822 until March 3, 1845, when it was admitted to the Union as the 27th state of the United States of America. 

Who actually discovered Florida and who is credited with the discovery of Florida may not be the same person(s).

"Official credit for finding Florida goes to Juan Ponce de Leon because his voyage in 1513 was made under official Spanish auspices, recorded and recognized." 
[Source: Who Discovered Florida?]