Florida Timeline History

Timucua Indians at a column erected by the French in 1562

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arrow 1513: Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon landed near present day: St. Augustine, named it La Florida, and claimed it for Spain

arrow 1539: Hernando de Soto explored central and northern Florida

arrow 1565: Spanish established St. Augustine, first permanent European settlement

arrow 1586: British seafarer, Sir Francis Drake, conquered and burned St. Augustine

arrow 1763: Britain gained control in exchange for Havana, Cuba

arrow 1781: Spanish captured Pensacola

arrow 1783: Spanish troops repossessed Florida

arrow 1785-1795: Spain relinquished St. Augustine and Pensacola to England

arrow 1803: United States claimed West Florida and Pensacola as part of Louisiana Purchase

arrow 1813: Andrew Jackson captured Pensacola from the British

arrow 1816: Cannon ball exploded in abandoned British fort, killed almost 300 freed and runaway slaves

arrow 1818: General Jackson fought with Seminole Indians

arrow 1821: General Jackson established new U. S. territorial government

arrow 1822: Unified government of Florida established; William Duval first Territorial Governor

arrow 1830-1840: Population boomed, settlers arrived

arrow 1834-1837: First railroads began operation; second Seminole War occurred, Major Francis Dade and two U S Army troops ambushed and massacred

arrow 1837: General Zachary Taylor commanded forces against Seminoles at Lake Okeechobee

arrow 1842: Second Seminole War ended with many Indians dead, the rest forced out of Florida

arrow 1845: Florida became 27th state

arrow 1851: Dr. John Gorrie patented process making ice artificially

arrow 1855-1858: Third Seminole War occurred

arrow 1861-1865: Civil War began; Florida seceded from Union, joined Confederacy

arrow 1868: Florida readmitted to Union

arrow 1878: Tourism began at Silver Spring, Hullam Jones invented glass-bottom boat

arrow 1881: Phosphate discovered in Peace River Valley

arrow 1888: Yellow fever epidemic struck, 40% of Jacksonville population fled, over 400 died

arrow 1894-1899: On-going frosts killed many citrus trees

arrow 1898: Embarkation camps created at Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville due to Spanish-American War

arrow 1914: First U.S. scheduled airline service flight from St. Petersburg to Tampa occurred

arrow 1920: Hurricanes hit Florida, destroyed property, killing hundreds

arrow 1926: Hurricane devastated Miami, killed nearly 200

arrow 1927: Sugar growing and milling began at Clewiston in Everglades

arrow 1928: 1500 people drowned by water driven from Lake Okeechobee by hurricane

arrow 1933: Guiseppi Zangara attempted to assassinate President-elect Roosevelt in Miami, Mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago killed

arrow 1935: Storm struck Florida Keys, killed nearly 400

arrow 1947: Everglades National Park dedicated by President Truman

arrow 1950: Cape Canaveral became space and rocket center; frozen juice concentrate became major industry

arrow 1954: 15.2 miles Sunshine Skyway bridge across lower Tampa Bay opened

arrow 1954: U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation of public schools unconstitutional

arrow 1958: National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA: began operations at Cape Canaveral; first satellite, Explorer 1, launched

arrow 1959: Fidel Castro became Cuba leader; Cuban immigrants began arriving in Miami

arrow 1961: Cape Canaveral launched first manned vessel into space

arrow 1963: President Lyndon Johnson changed name of Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy and the installation to John F. Kennedy Space Center

arrow 1964: Hurricane Cleo caused property damages of $115,320,000

arrow 1968: Republicans held national convention in Miami Beach; statewide teacher walkout occurred

arrow 1969: Apollo 11 launched, carried first men to moon

arrow 1971: Apollo 14 landed on moon; Walt Disney World opened

arrow 1972: Apollo 16 landed on moon; Tropical Storm Agnes caused heavy damage to Florida eastern seaboard

arrow 1973: Miami Dolphins won Super Bowl; 25.5 million people visit Florida; "freedom flights" from Cuba ended

arrow 1977: Severe cold devestated citrus and vegetable crops

arrow 1980: 16 killed, 300 injured in race riots in Miami; Mariel boatlift brought 140,000 Cubans to Florida

arrow 1983: Challenger launched, first American woman, Sally Ride, aboard; 38 overseas highway bridges from Key Largo to Key West opened

arrow 1986: Worst space tragedy occurred when Challenger exploded killed all seven astronauts; Spanish galleon "Nuestra Senora de Atocha" found, gold and silver salvaged

arrow 1988: Space shuttle flights resumed

arrow 1990: Rivers in Panhandle flooded, caused evacuation of 2,000 home; Tampa awarded franchise in National Hockey League

arrow 1991: Eastern Airlines goes out of business; Queen Elizabeth II visited Miami and Tampa; Miami awarded major league baseball franchise

arrow 1992: Hurricane Andrew devastated Homestead and South Florida; 58 deaths occurred, 25,000 homes destroyed, 10,000 damaged, 80,000 in shelters

arrow 1993: Janet Reno became first woman to serve as a U.S. Attorney General

arrow 2000: Six-year old Elian Gonzalez taken from relatives' home by federal officers; reunited with his father and returned to Cuba; Florida Supreme Court ordered recount of presidential election ballots, George Bush declared winner

arrow 2001: Racer Dale Earnhardt killed in accident at Daytona 500; anthrax bacteria found at offices of Florida magazine publishers

arrow 2003: Space Shuttle Columbia destroyed upon reentry, all seven crewmember killed; Tampa Bay Buccaneers won Super Bowl; plane hijacked in Cuba landed in Key West; boiler on cruise ship exploded, killed four, injured 21; Marlins won World Series

arrow 2004: Four hurricanes struck Florida causing extensive damage, killed at least 19

arrow 2005: Florida struck twice by hurricanes; after long delay the Discovery space shuttle launched

arrow 2005: Miami Heat won NBA finals; FBI arrested seven people in Miami who were planning to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower

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