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Florida History Timeline

  • (1513) Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon landed near (present day) St. Augustine, named it La Florida, and claimed it for Spain
  • (1539) Hernando de Soto explored central and northern Florida
  • (1565) Spanish established St. Augustine, first permanent European settlement
  • (1586) British seafarer, Sir Francis Drake, conquered and burned St. Augustine
  • (1763) Britain gained control in exchange for Havana, Cuba
  • (1781) Spanish captured Pensacola
  • (1783) Spanish troops repossessed Florida
  • (1785-1795) Spain relinquished St. Augustine and Pensacola to England
  • (1803) United States claimed West Florida and Pensacola as part of Louisiana Purchase
  • (1813) Andrew Jackson captured Pensacola
  • (1816) Cannon ball exploded in abandoned British fort, killed almost 300 freed and runaway slaves
  • (1818) General Jackson fought Seminole Indians
  • (1821) General Jackson established new U. S. territorial government
  • (1822) Unified government of Florida established; William Duval first Territorial Governor
  • (1830-1840) Population boomed, settlers arrived
  • (1834-1837) First railroads began operation; second Seminole War occurred, Major Francis Dade and two U S Army troops ambushed and massacred
  • (1837) General Zachary Taylor commanded forces against Seminoles at Lake Okeechobee
  • (1842) Second Seminole War ended with many Indians dead, the rest forced out of Florida
  • (1845) Florida became 27th state
  • (1851) Dr. John Gorrie patented ice making process
  • (1855-1858) Third Seminole War occurred
  • (1861-1865) Civil War began; Florida seceded from Union, joined Confederacy
  • (1868) Florida readmitted to Union
  • (1878) Tourism began at Silver Spring, Hullam Jones invented glass-bottom boat
  • (1881) Phosphate discovered in Peace River Valley
  • (1888) Yellow fever epidemic struck, 40% of Jacksonville population fled, over 400 died
  • (1894-1899) Frosts killed many citrus trees
  • (1898) Embarkation camps created at Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville due to Spanish-American War
  • (1914) First U.S. scheduled airline service flight from St. Petersburg to Tampa occurred
  • (1920) Hurricanes hit Florida, destroyed property, killing hundreds
  • (1926) Hurricane devastated Miami, killed 200
  • (1927) Sugar growing and milling began at Clewiston in Everglades
  • (1928) 1500 people drowned by water driven from Lake Okeechobee by hurricane
  • (1933) Guiseppi Zangara attempted to assassinate President-elect Roosevelt in Miami, Mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago killed
  • (1935) Storm struck Florida Keys, killed nearly 400
  • (1947) Everglades National Park dedicated by President Truman
  • (1950) Cape Canaveral became space and rocket center; frozen juice concentrate became major industry
  • (1954) 15.2 miles Sunshine Skyway bridge across lower Tampa Bay opened
  • (1954) U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation of public schools unconstitutional
  • (1958) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) began operations at Cape Canaveral; first satellite, Explorer 1, launched
  • (1959) Fidel Castro became Cuba leader; Cuban immigrants began arriving in Miami
  • (1961) Cape Canaveral launched first manned vessel into space
  • (1963) President Lyndon Johnson changed name of Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy and the installation to John F. Kennedy Space Center
  • (1964) Hurricane Cleo caused property damages of $115,320,000
  • (1968) Republicans held national convention in Miami Beach; statewide teacher walkout occurred
  • (1969) Apollo 11 launched, carried first men to moon
  • (1971) Apollo 14 landed on moon; Walt Disney World opened
  • (1972) Apollo 16 landed on moon; Tropical Storm Agnes caused heavy damage to Florida eastern seaboard
  • (1973) Miami Dolphins won Super Bowl; 25.5 million people visit Florida; "freedom flights" from Cuba ended
  • (1977) Severe cold devestated citrus and vegetable crops
  • (1980) 16 killed, 300 injured in race riots in Miami; Mariel boatlift brought 140,000 Cubans to Florida
  • (1983) Challenger launched, first American woman, Sally Ride, aboard; 38 overseas highway bridges from Key Largo to Key West opened
  • (1986) Worst space tragedy occurred when Challenger exploded killed all seven astronauts; Spanish galleon "Nuestra Senora de Atocha" found, gold and silver salvaged
  • (1988) Space shuttle flights resumed
  • (1990) Rivers in Panhandle flooded, caused evacuation of 2,000 home; Tampa awarded franchise in National Hockey League
  • (1991) Eastern Airlines goes out of business; Queen Elizabeth II visited Miami and Tampa; Miami awarded major league baseball franchise
  • (1992) Hurricane Andrew devastated Homestead and South Florida; 58 deaths occurred, 25,000 homes destroyed, 10,000 damaged, 80,000 in shelters
  • (1993) Janet Reno became first woman to serve as a U.S. Attorney General
  • (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
  • (2001) Racer Dale Earnhardt killed in accident at Daytona 500; anthrax bacteria found at offices of Florida magazine publishers
  • (2003) Space Shuttle Columbia destroyed upon reentry, all seven crewmembers 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; Orlando Seals won Atlantic Coast Hockey League President's Cup
  • (2004) Four hurricanes struck Florida causing extensive damage, killed at least 19
  • (2005) Florida struck twice by hurricanes; after long delay the Discovery space shuttle launched
  • (2005) Miami Heat won NBA finals; FBI arrested seven people in Miami who were planning to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower
  • (2007) Severe thunderstorms and tornado killed 19, caused major damages
  • (2010) Boat used for human smuggling capsized off Florida coast, 10 killed, unknown number missing
  • (2011) Space shuttle Atlantis final launch lifted from Cape Canaveral
  • (2012) Shooting death of unarmed black teenager sparked protests, demands for shooter to be arreste

Florida Photographs

Andrew Jackson Space Shuttle Sir Francis Drake Hurricane Andrew Ponce De Leon Sally Ride Zachary Taylor

Florida Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Gainesville Alachua 352
Macclenny Baker 904
Panama City Bay 850
Starke Bradford 904
Palm Bay Brevard 321
Melbourne Brevard 321
Hollywood Broward 954
Pompano Beach Broward 954
Fort Lauderdale Broward 954
Blountstown Calhoun 850
Port Charlotte Charlotte 941
Inverness Citrus 352
Orange Park Clay 904
Naples Collier 239
Lake City Columbia 386
Arcadia DeSoto 863
Old Town Dixie 352
Jacksonville Duval 904
Pensacola Escambia 850
Palm Coast Flagler 386
Carrabelle Franklin 850
Quincy Gadsden 850
Trenton Gilchrist 352
Moore Haven Glades 863
Wewahitchka Gulf 850
Jasper Hamilton 386
Wauchula Hardee 863
Labelle Hendry 863
Spring Hill Hernando 352
Sebring Highlands 863
Tampa Hillsborough 813
Bonifay Holmes 850
Vero Beach Indian River 772
Marianna Jackson 850
Monticello Jefferson 850
Mayo Lafayette 386
Clermont Lake 352
Fort Myers Lee 239
Cape Coral Lee 239
Tallahassee Leon 850
Williston Levy 352
Bristol Liberty 850
Madison Madison 850
Bradenton Manatee 941
Ocala Marion 352
Stuart Martin 772
Miami Beach Miami-Dade 305
Hialeah Miami-Dade 305
Miami Miami-Dade 305
Homestead Miami-Dade 305
Key West Monroe 305
Fernandina Beach Nassau 904
Fort Walton Beach Okaloosa 850
Okeechobee Okeechobee 863
Orlando Orange 407
Kissimmee Osceola 407
Boca Raton Palm Beach 561
Lake Worth Palm Beach 561
Delray Beach Palm Beach 561
West Palm Beach Palm Beach 561
Boynton Beach Palm Beach 561
New Port Richey Pasco 727
Clearwater Pinellas 727
Largo Pinellas 727
Saint Petersburg Pinellas 727
Lakeland Polk 863
Palatka Putnam 386
Saint Augustine Saint Johns 904
Port Saint Lucie Saint Lucie 772
Milton Santa Rosa 850
Sarasota Sarasota 941
Sanford Seminole 407
The Villages Sumter 352
Live Oak Suwannee 386
Perry Taylor 850
Lake Butler Union 386
Daytona Beach Volusia 386
Crawfordville Wakulla 850
Defuniak Springs Walton 850
Chipley Washington 850

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.