Every year on January 25th the nation celebrates Florida becoming the 27th state on March 3, 1845. And as of last year, the state legislature established that April 2 is Florida State Day, or “Pascua Florida Day.”
Yes, we know none of the numbers quite line up, but that’s part of the ongoing charm of living in the Sunshine State.
The very first people to inhabit the peninsula we now call Florida were an ancient native tribe called the Calusas. And we really mean ancient. There is evidence that the tribe lived in the Southern part of Florida going all the way back to Jesus’ time. Some archeologists believe they may have lived here even sooner.
The heyday of the Calusa tribe came to a tragic end when Spanish conquistadors showed up on the banks of the Gulf of Mexico. On a journey to find the fabled Fountain of Youth, Ponce de León and his men landed at what became St. Augustine on April 2, 1513. He found the ‘island’ beautiful and christened the land “full of flowers” (Florida). He was especially excited as he had made landfall during the Pascua or Easter feast and claimed the land for the Queen of Spain.
Unfortunately, the Spaniards brought with them European diseases the native Calusa people had never been exposed to before. Many died while Leon searched for the lost fountain. He departed to get more supplies and returned in 1521 to establish a Spanish colony on the land. He was attacked by natives and retreated to Cuba, fatally wounded.
It would be nearly 45 years before the Spanish were finally able to establish a stronghold in St. Augustine.
While the Spanish were attempting to make their mark, French explorers had journeyed into what we now call Canada and worked their way down, building forts in what would soon be known as Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana, all the way down to Louisiana.
In 1587, the Plymouth Company, serving Great Britain, started a settlement in present-day Virginia. It failed, but they were not deterred, founding a new community on the ashes of the old.
Eventually, tensions in their native countries spilled into the ‘New World' and the Seven Years War took shape in the Americas as the French and Indian War. The British took control of Cuba and the Philippines from the Spanish and the First Treaty of Paris granted the UK ownership of Florida in 1763. Twenty years later, the Spanish got it back only to ‘surrender’ it to the new United States in 1819 to pay off their debts.
When Florida became the 27th state it had several distinctions. While there have never been any dinosaur skeletons found in the state, the Everglades is the one place on earth where both crocodiles and alligators live together.
We have the longest coastline of any other state. In fact, stand at any point in the state and you are no more than 60 miles to the ocean. We have more golf courses than any other state – more than 1300, and 175 state parks, trails and historic sites.
Our biggest periods of growth were immediately following wars – carpetbaggers after the Civil War helped and hindered reconstruction. The population boomed after the Great War to 1.2 million and then doubled after World War II to more than 2.4 million residents.
That’s nothing compared to today. As of 2021, nearly 22 million people live in Florida – and it jumps by at least another million people this time of year thanks to the snowbirds.
They come for our temperate subtropical weather – where else can you all but guarantee mid-70’s to low 80’s temperatures year-round? Of course, that weather is also popular to the insect world.
According to the University of Florida, there are approximately 12,500 different species of insects within the Sunshine State with more invasive species finding us every year. From ants to cockroaches, ticks to termites, and so much more – bugs are a big potential problem.
Luckily, Good News Pest Solutions has answers. Our Go Green Perimeter Plus program takes care of the most prevalent creepy crawlies you’ll encounter in Florida. We also offer enhanced protection against termites for a slightly higher monthly fee.
Enjoy National Florida Day in a home that’s pest-free! For all the details on our environmentally and family safe pest solutions, just give us a call!
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