This Day in History: April 2, 1513
Ponce de León
A 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).
[Source: Who Discovered Florida?]