2.Saint Augustine is the oldest European settlement in North America.
3.The name Punta Gorda, which means, "fat point" when translated from Spanish. The moniker was given to the city because a broad part of the land in Punta Gorda juts into Charlotte Harbor. The harbor itself is somewhat unique, as it is the point where the Peace River meets the ocean.
4.Orlando attracts more visitors than any other amusement park destination in the United States.
5.New England Congregationalists who sought to bring their style of liberal arts education to the state founded Rollins College, the oldest college in Florida, in Winter Park in 1885.
6.Cape Canaveral is America's launch pad for space flights.
7.Florida is not the southernmost state in the United States. Hawaii is farther south.
8.A museum in Sanibel owns 2 million shells and claims to be the world's only museum devoted solely to mollusks.
9.The Benwood, on French Reef in the Florida Keys, is known as one of the most dived shipwrecks in the world.
10.Safety Harbor is the home of the historic Espiritu Santo Springs. Given this name in 1539 by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. He was searching for the legendary Fountain of Youth. The natural springs have attracted attention worldwide for their curative powers.
11.Niceville is home to the famous Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival celebrated the third weekend in October. 12.The United States city with the highest rate of lightning strikes per capita is Clearwater.
13.Gatorade was named for the University of Florida Gators where the drink was first developed.
14.Young aviator Tony Jannus made history on January 1, 1914 when he flew the world's first scheduled passenger service airline flight from St. Petersburg's downtown yacht basin to Tampa.
15.Dr. John Gorrie of Apalachicola invented mechanical refrigeration in 1851.
16.Miami Beach pharmacist Benjamin Green invented the first suntan cream in 1944. He accomplished this development by cooking cocoa butter in a granite coffee pot on his wife's stove.
17.Neil Smith and his brother of Montverde developed the first Snapper riding lawn mower.
18.Key West has the highest average temperature in the United States.
19.The Saint John's River is one of the few rivers that flows north instead of south.
20.The largest lake in Florida is Lake Okeechobee.
21.May 20, 1970 Florida lawmakers passed and sent to the Governor a bill adopting the moonstone as the official state gem. Ironically, the moonstone is not found naturally in Florida...nor was it found on the moon.
22.In 1987 the Florida legislature designated the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) the official state reptile. Long an unofficial symbol of the state, the alligator originally symbolized Florida's extensive untamed wilderness and swamps.
23.Miami installed the first bank automated teller machine especially for rollerbladers.
24.Ybor City was once known as the Cigar Capital of the World with nearly 12,000 tabaqueros (cigar-makers) employed in 200 factories. Ybor City produced an estimated 700 million cigars a year at the industry's peak.
25.Plant City, the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, holds the Guinness record for the world's largest strawberry shortcake. The 827 square-foot, 6,000 pound cake was made on Feb. 19, 1999 in McCall Park.
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