[ LOOK TO SEE ]
• La Florida w/ timeline
Since the beginning of time, this most interesting corner of the world has attracted the attention of the most imaginative and inquisitive among us.
Land of Exploration and Discovery
1513 — Juan Ponce de Leon had first come to The New World with Christopher Columbus, the man who had discovered this New World and was beginning to explore the ways in which it could be exploited.
Ponce was a young sailor on Columbus’ second voyage that ended what he had discovered, (1492) and called
DE LEON first sights Florida and lands (comes ashore) near ST. AUGUSTINE (March 27, 1513).
Between April 2 and 8, in the vicinity of present day St. Augustine,
he names the land “Pascua Florida” because of the time of it’s discovery
“The Feast of Easter”
No Gold or Emeralds in Florida (Bahamas), but Ponce (a young adventurous sailor) was fascinated with the clear bubbling Springs he and his men had frequently come upon while hiking through the North Florida Jungle and Oak Hammocks.
1514 — Europeans’ First View of Florida — A Spanish map of (1502) depicts Florida.
Peter Martyr writes in of a land near the Bahamas with“Water of Eternal Youth.”
THE WITCHES WELL — Rainbow River, fed by a number of springs. Turning down one of the tiniest tribuaries, we leave the Rainbow River (escaped Tarzan Movie Monkeys, Egrets, Osprey, Otters, Turtles) and slowly paddle into the Jungle. Drifting into the pool (finding the source). Ancient, crystal blue, clear view to its bright white sand bottom more than 100 feet below. Cave Diving/Time Travel.
Lure of the Moon
• Jules Verne (1863):The Dreamer — “First Men In the Moon” (The Original Scientific Fiction)
• Carl Sagan (1983):The Voyager — “Nova” (PBS) / “Contact” (Scientific Novel) Not Quite Sci-Fi.
• VOYAGER — Carl Sagan at a depressingly low-key announcement/press conference
— Wolfie’s On the Beach, folding-table and chair conference room. [Frank Wolfe/Mob]
— four years since the United States had sent a man into space
— two years since the (1976) American Bi-Centennial Celebration, that was merely a short pause in what was a worsening depression, ever since NASA’s Apollo 17, the last of manned missions to the Moon. A serious slow down, for Florida, in what had been, since 1959, Florida’s Meteoric Rise.
“REAP THE WILD WIND”
“TARZAN & HIS MATE”
“MOON OVER MIAMI”
“WHERE THE BOYS ARE”
“MATINEE” (Cuban Missile Crisis)
“I DREAM OF JEANNIE” (Cuban Missile Crisis)
“THE RIGHT STUFF” (Cuban Missile Crisis)
“FLIPPER” (Cuban Missile Crisis)
“REAP THE WILD WIND”
“I DREAM OF JEANNIE” (Cocoa Beach / Astronaut)
“THE RIGHT STUFF” (The Original 7)
“FOR ALL MANKIND”
“REAP THE WILD WIND”
“Save Pluto” Solar System Exploration (Ongoing).
Neptune — Ocean King
THE POWER OF THE SUN
PEACE & QUIET
WAR & NOISE.
All of the planets, except for Earth, were named after Greek and Roman gods and godesses.
Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus and Mercury were given their names thousands of years ago.
The other planets were not discovered until much later, after telescopes were invented.
The tradition of naming the planets after Greek and Roman gods and goddesses was carried on for the other planets discovered as well.
“The Ground” (English/German)
SUN & MOON
• Mercury: Roman God of Travel. (St. Christopher/ Zephyrhills)
• Venus: Roman Goddess of Love & Beauty.
• Mars: Roman God of War.
• Jupiter: King of the Roman Gods
• Saturn: Roman God of Agriculture.
• Uranus: Ancient Greek King of the Gods.
• Neptune: Roman God of the Sea.
• Pluto?: Roman God of the Underworld.
(now classified as a dwarf planet)
NASA MOON GLOSSARY
“Brain Damage” (The Lunatic) — Pink Floyd
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond”
Contact Movie Intro
Florida from south, over Everglades, silent glide up the St. John’s, vering east, low through cypress tunnel, over glassy water, to a stop/hover over WAKULLAH Springs.
Southwest of Tallahassee, extending to the Gulf of Mexico
Apalachee Bay —
Apalachicola National Forest —
San Marcos de Apalache (historic site) —
St. Marks Wildlife Refuge —
St. Marks River —
Spring Creek —
St. Marks —
Wakulla Beach —
Ochlocknee Bay —
Alligator Point —
Lighthouse Point —
Shell Point —
Live Oak Island —
Billion Years Ago
Disconnected from the Continental Mass, what will become Florida is at the north end of a string of active Ocean Island VOLCANOES. [Cuba/ Caribbean/ West Indies/ Bahamas/ Florida …]
1/2 Billion Years Later, the volcanoes have been extinguised and buried by sand, silt, and clay.
Hundreds of Millions years of erosion flatten the land and it is swallowed by the sea.’
The (volcanic rock, geologic) foundation of Florida had been laid.
Molten Rock, Cooled, and Hardened into IGNEOUS GRANITE RHYOLITE and TUFF.
1. a fragmental rock consisting of the smaller kinds of volcanic detritus, as ash or cinder, usually more or less stratified.
Evidence of this volcanic beginning is still evident in the jagged hill country of Southern Cuba, Hispanola, and other mountainous areas of the Caribbean. Geologists found the foundation after drilling 13,000 feet into the ground.
With the water came life, and evolution.
THE CRETACEOUS ERA
120 Million Years Ago, when Florida was still underwater, Dinosaurs ruled the earth, and for millions of years, Cretaceous remains (shells, sand, limestone) settled on the ocean floor until is became 18,000 feet thick and rose above the level of the sea.
Florida was submerged throughout the Cretaceous Era, and the oldest fossils found have been those belonging to aquatic creatures. (From the Black Lagoon).
THE OLDEST FOSSIL, a Turtle, whose skeleton was found in 1955, (ironically) by an oil company drilling near Lake Okeechobee. 9000 feet down. [Drilling in the Everglades today]
Other Cretaceous finds included Ancient Whales, Ancestors of today’s Manatee, and a shark-like mammal, later named Zeuglodon. ( http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Zeuglodon )
Zeuglodon (“yoked tooth”) was the name used by Richard Owens after it was learned that the creature was a mammal, not a reptile as believed when first found, and named “Basilosaurus.” (“saurus”/reptile).
Basilosaurus “King Lizard” — first thought to be a reptile, more of an ancient Alligator, than a cat or bird of prey.
10,000-8,000 B.C. — Earliest Humans, Mastodons, Giant Armadillos
found in North Florida and South Georgia
8000 B.C.-1500 A.D. — Tribes from the Caribbean and Mexico join migrants from the north to settle, fish, trade and worship the sun.
The Florida Caverns —
Wakulla Springs —
The first people move into Florida. Referred to today as PaleoIndians, they moved into the peninsula in search of new food sources. These sources included mastodons, giant armadillos, horses, and saber-toothed tigers. At that time, the end of the last ice Age, Florida was twice the size it is today.
The PaleoIndian culture evolved into the Archaic culture. They established the first permanent settlements, primarily on the coast, and were dependent upon shellfish and plant gathering.
On the East Coast, between The St. John’s River and the coast … the ocean for food, but needing the fresh water that flowed in the interior.
The Woodland culture emerges. It included year-round settlements, reliance on hunting deer and birds, and the first farmers.
Emergence of the powerful Mississippian culture, ruled by religious-political leaders called chiefdoms. Involved intensive agriculture (especially corn), large earthen mounds, and continent-wide trade connections.
WORLDATLAS /Early Map
— “Moon Over Miami”
Lust for Gold
•Atocha — Riding the Gulfstream North (Havana/Key West/St. Augustine)
• Sunk in a Storm (Hurricane) 1640s
• Mel Fisher Meeting at 1960s concrete block hotel Cape Canaveral (1978)
On the road in an old Chevy Impala … riding low in the back … trunk loaded with silver bars.
(before he found the gold) … looking for funding.
Preying on EVERY MAN’s wanderlust. Dangling bait, telling ancient stories of TREASURE & GOLD.
On the road like The Highwaymen.
1516-1561 Florida is explored by Spaniards, including:
Ponce de Leon,
Panfilo de Navarez
Don de Luna Y Arellano.
Hernando de Soto lands in Florida on May 30, 1539, with nearly 600 men near Tampa Bay. De Luna establishes a colony on the shores of Pensacola Bay in 1559. This settlement is abandoned two years later and antedates by six years the founding of St. Augustine, which becomes known as the first attempt at permanent colonization in Florida. Fray Luis Cancer de Barbastro, a Dominican priest is killed by Indians near Tampa Bay in 1548. He is the first known churchman to die for his faith in this country.
1564 — Rene oulaine de Laudonniere of France builds a fort which he names Caroline for Charles IX, on the St. John’s River, which is known to the French as the River of May.
1565 — Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain enters a harbor which he calls San Augustin on August 28; he captures Fort Caroline which becomes San Mateo, a Spanish outpost. He also massacres the shipwrecked French forces of Admiral Jean Ribault on Anastasia Island. San Augustin will become known as St. Augustine, and will be settled continuously after Menendez leaves part of his troops there before his foray on Fort Caroline.
1566 — Intensive and continuing efforts are begun by Jesuit priest to convert the Indians of the area to the Christian faith. The mission system in Florida begins soon after the establishment of St. Augustine – nearly 200 years before the first mission in upper California is built.
1567- 1568 — Dominique de urgues of France launches an expedition to avenge the dead of Fort Caroline and Anastasia Island. He captures San Mateo, hangs the Spanish, and returns to France.
1575 — The Franciscan friars begin their missionary work in Florida.
1586 — Sir Francis Drake, a British seafarer conquers and burns St. Augustine.
The British Are Coming
1600 — Throughout the 17th century, although impeded by sporadic Indian outbreaks, Spanish colonization spreads in Florida. By the 1680s, San Marcos de Apalache (St. Marks of today) is a fort and a settlement of consequence. Pensacola is permanently resettled in 1698.
1700s — Don’t Forget the French
1702-1704 — The British raid Spanish settlements including a 52-day siege of St. Augustine. The town is captured but the fort is not. Governor James Moore of Carolina invades middle Florida forcing the Spaniards and Christianized Indians to abandon the Apalachee missions. Within a few years, the mission era of Florida comes to an end.
1719 — The French capture Pensacola; however, as a result of an alliance with Spain, in order to stave off English conquests, it is soon returned to the Spanish. The French also occupy the Gulf Coast west of Pensacola.
1740 — The British General James Oglethorpe invades Florida from Georgia, seizing outlying forts. He lays siege to St. Augustine for 27 days until a lack of fresh water and provisions, plus the July sun and hordes of insects, cause him to turn away. He does free the 1500 soldiers and townspeople crowded in the Castillo de San Marcos
1763 — Spain ransoms Havana from the British with Florida. The British find St. Augustine to be a city with about 342 dwellings, Pensacola to have grown slightly beyond the original settlement, and the fort and town of San Marcos de Apalache at the head of the Gulf. The remainder is wilderness and efforts are made by the British to attract investors and settlers.
1781 — The Spanish capture Pensacola from the British.
1783 — The British return Florida to Spain. Numerous people, many of whom have fled the American Colonies during the Revolution, leave Florida for the Bahamas and the West Indies. Florida’s first newspaper, The East Florida Gazette, is published at St. Augustine by Williams Charles Wells. He rushes out an “extra” to proclaim the British defeat in the Revolutionary War.
1785-1821 — Numerous Spanish-American border disputes occur. Encouraged by the Americans, a republic is proclaimed in northeastern Florida in 1812 by “patriots” who run up their own flag over Fernandina.
1800s — America/Andrew Jackson/Seminole Wars
1813 — Andrew Jackson captures Pensacola which has been used as a base of Gulf operations by the British against the Americans.
1816 — A red-hot cannon ball explodes the magazine of an abandoned British fort on the Apalachicola River, occupied by free and runaway Negro slaves and kills nearly 300. This is a result of Americans seeking to stop Spanish forays upon boats supplying American troops and settlers in Spanish territory.
1817-1819 — Gregor MacGregor, a Scotch soldier of fortune, captures Fernandina, menaces St. Augustine, and leaves his lieutenants to resist an attack by the Spanish and volunteer American forces on Amelia Island. MacGregor is replaced by Luis Aury, who declares himself a Mexican, annexes Amelia Island to Mexico, and flies the Mexican flag. American forces evict him in December 1817, without bloodshed, and hold the area until yellow fever causes their withdrawal in 1819.
1818 — During the first Seminole War, Andrew Jackson campaigns against the Indians and outlaws Negroes from Pensacola to the Suwannee. He also executes two British citizens whom he accuses of inciting the Indians of the region against the United States.
1819 — American Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and Spanish Minister Luis de Onis reach an agreement finally ratified by both nations in 1821, by which Spain gives the United States title to East and West Florida. The United States relinquishes its claims to Texas, and Spain assigns its rights in the Pacific Northwest to the U.S., leaving ownership of the Oregon Territory to be settled among the United States, Russia, and Great Britain. The United States pays about $4.1 million to Americans in Florida holding claims against Spain.
1821 — Andrew Jackson receives the Floridas from Spanish authorities at Pensacola on July 17. He leaves Florida in October and resigns as U.S. Commissioner and Governor of the territories of East and West Florida in November from his home in Tennessee.
1822 — The unified government of Florida is established on March 30,1822, when President James Monroe the Congressional Act providing for a Governor and a Legislative Council of 13 citizens. William P. Duval from Kentucky, a Virginian by birth, becomes the first Territorial Governor.
1824 — On March 4, Governor Duval proclaims the site of present day Tallahassee to be the seat of the new territory. The Legislative Council meets there in November in a log house erected in the vicinity of today’s capitol.
1825 — The Marquis de Lafayette is granted $200,000 and a township of land anywhere in the unsold public domain in recognition by Congress of his Revolutionary War services. He accepts a township adjacent to Tallahassee in the Territory of Florida. Lafayette never comes to his land, but initiates its settlement in 1831 by a short-lived colony of about 60 Norman peasants who attempt to cultivate vineyards, olive groves, and mulberry trees for feeding silk worms.
1834-1837 — Florida’s first railroads begin operation. The Tallahassee-St. Marks is the first to be incorporated on April 10,1834; however, the b St. Joseph-Lake Wimico line is the first to be in service on April 14, 1836.
1835-1837 With the beginning of the Second Seminole War, Major Francis L Dade and two companies of U.S. Army troops are ambushed and massacred. In 1837 the Indian leader Osceola is imprisoned after entering an American camp under a flag of truce.
1837-1840 — General Zachary Taylor, future president of the United States, commands forces against the Seminoles. His battle on the eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee on Christmas Day in 1837 is considered the last organized encounter with the Seminoles
1838 — A convention held at St. Joseph drafts a Constitution in anticipation of early statehood.
1842 — The Second Seminole War ends with 3,824 Indians and Negroes relocated to Arkansas. The cost of the war to the Federal government, beyond the expense of the regular army, is placed at $20 million. While 1,500 soldiers are wounded or contract disease, no estimate of civilian casualties is made.
1845 — On March 3, the last day of his administration, President John Tyler signs into law the act granting statehood to Florida’s 57,921 inhabitants. William D. Moseley, a Jefferson County planter and a North Carolinian who had lived in Florida only six years, becomes the state’s first governor. David Levy Yulee, a native of St. Thomas in the West Indies and of a Portuguese Jewish family, is elected the first representative to Congress. However, before going to Washington, he is selected by the General Assembly as Florida’s first U.S. Senator, which with the exception of a four-week interruption, he continues to be until secession.
1851 — Dr. John Gorrie of Apalachicola patents the process of making ice artificially, a process he had developed in 1845 to cool the rooms of his feverish patients. He dies in 1855 with little recognition; however, today his statue stands in the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
1855 — The General Assembly passes the first Internal Improvement Act which uses swamp and other land ceded by the Federal movement to the state to furnish incentives for a statewide railroad and canal transportation system.1855-1858 — The Third Seminole War takes place.
1860 — The Legislature, meeting after Abraham Lincoln’s election as president, passes an Act for a Constitutional Convention to meet in Tallahassee and appropriates $100,000 for outfitting state troops. The Florida Railroad, the first cross state line, links Fernandina on the East Coast with Cedar Key on the West.
1861 — Florida withdraws from the Union on January 10. State troops occupy Chattahoochee Arsenal, Fort Clinch on Amelia Island, Fort Marion at St. Augustine, and Fort Barrancas at Pensacola. Federal authorities hold Fort Taylor at Key WestFort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas, and Fort Pickens at Pensacola.
1861-1865 — Florida furnishes salt beef, and bacon to the armies of the Confederacy. The voting population of Florida is 14,374 in 1860 which gives greater significance to the fact that more than 16,000 Floridians serve in the Civil War 15,000 in the Confederate army and 1,290 in the Union forces. Of those in the Confederate armies, 6,700 serve for the entire war or until disabled or killed. Florida troops are represented in all principal battles and more than 1,000 are killed in action. At least 5,000 Florida soldiers are dead by the spring of 1865.
1864 — The Confederates defeat the Union army at Olustee and save the interior supply lines from Florida. This confines the Union troops, to the coast.
1865 — Home Guards and Cadets from the West Florida Seminary save Tallahassee from capture by turning back invading Federal troops at the Battle of Natural Bridge. The war ends with Tallahassee as the only Confederate state capital east of Mississippi to escape being captured. Federal troops do occupy Tallahassee on May 10 and the American flag once more flies over the Capitol on May 20. A Constitutional Convention convenes on October 25. It annuls the Ordinance of Secession and decrees the end of slavery; however, the right to vote is restricted to “free” white male persons of 21 years old or older.
1868 — A faction-torn Convention submits a new Constitution which the voters approve in May. It grants equal suffrage to all races. Civil government is resumed with an end to military rule on July 4.
1876 — Florida’s electoral votes, cast amid charges of fraud, give the winning margin for the U.S. Presidency to Rutherford B. Hayes. Democrats regain control of state offices and put an end to the carpetbag rule as Federal troops are withdrawn in 1877.
1881 — Hamilton Disston, Philadelphia saw industrialist, buys four million acres of the Everglades at 25 cents an acre to free the Internal Improvement Fund of debt and open the way fdevelopment of much of peninsular Florida.
1884 — The first train of the new Plant System, created from short-lines in south Florida by Henry B. Plant, rumbles into Tampa to produce the agricultural and industrial awakening of the West Coast.
1885 — A Constitutional Convention of 56 days broaden people’s share in their government. Cabinet posts are made electives, as are those of justice of the Supreme Court and all county offices except county commissioner. A State Board of Education is created and the establishment of normal schools is authorized.
1886 — Requiring a railroad adequate to serve a great hotel he has built at St. Augustine, Henry M. Flagler buys the first transportation link in the chain of railroad and hotel properties he builds down the East Coast to Key West.
1888 — The first commercial shipment of phosphate is made from the Peace River Valley, where the mineral had been discovered in 1881.
1889 — A yellow fever epidemic results in the creation of the State Board of Health.
1890 — The National Convention of Farmers’ Alliance, a predecessor of the Populist Party, is held in Ocala. Their radical demands include the abolition of national banks, unlimited coinage of silver, a graduated income tax and the direct election of senators.
1894-1899 — Repeated frosts kill much citrus and send the industry southward.
1898 — The Spanish-American War creates embarkation camps at Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville with thousands of soldiers and others who visit the state returning afterwards either as tourists or residents.
1901 — A primary election law is enacted to displace the convention system of nominating candidates for public office.
1905 — The Buckman Act consolidates state institutions of higher learning into three: The University of Florida at Gainesville, Florida State College for Women at Tallahassee and the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes at Tallahassee. The Legislature also creates the Everglades Drainage District of 7500 square miles to reclaim water-burdened land for agriculture and cattle raising. An automobile registration law is enacted with 296 registering the first two years.
1911 — The first night flight in aviation history is made by Lincoln Beachey over Tampa.
1913 — Governor Trammell sponsors the first corrupt practices law to reduce the legal cost of seeking public office. The law allows the expenditure of $4000 by candidates for the U.S. Senate and for governor $3500 for cabinet positions.
1914 — The world’s first scheduled airline service with pilot Antony Jannus begins service from St. Petersburg to Tampa on January 1.
1915 — The first legal steps are taken toward establishment of a state constructed and maintained system of highways a governmental function left previously to local agencies but requiring emergency measures because of rapid development of automobile and tourist traffic.
1917-1918 — Florida is the scene of training for World War I fighting men particularly aviators as weather permits year-round activity.
1922 — WDAE Tampa is licensed by the U.S. Department of Commerce on May 15 1922 to the Tampa Publishing Company and goes on the air as Florida’s first licensed broadcast radio station.
1924-1925 With a large influx of visitors many of whom remain as residents a huge land boom occurs. Inestimable sums are spent by public and private agencies for internal improvements as scores of new cities are established.
1925 — The Miami Herald has the largest advertising lineage of any newspaper in the United States 42.5 million lines in contrast to 33.3 million by its nearest competitor.
1926 — A hurricane devastates the Miami area taking nearly 200 lives. A constitutional amendment broadens the power of the Legislature to appropriate money for schools.
1927 — The State Board of Public Welfare is created. Large-scale growing and milling of sugar begins in the Everglades at Clewiston.
1928 — Water driven from Lake Okeechobee by a hurricane causes the drowning of some 1500 persons.
1929 — First commercial airline flights between Key West and Havana become forerunners of Latin-American operations of Pan American World Airways from Miami.
1933 — In an attempt to assassinate President-elect Roosevelt in Bayfront Park in Miami, Guiseppi Zangara fatally wounds Mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago. Zangara is put to death in Raiford Prison’s electric chair. The sale of beer is legalized. The first New Deal agency in Florida the Civilian Conservation Corps begins operation.
1934 — A constitutional amendment exempts homesteads from taxation up to $5000 valuation except for payment of bonds previously issued.
1935 — A storm sweeps a mid-section of the Florida Keys and kills nearly 400 persons including some 200 veterans of World War 1.
1937 — The Poll Tax is abolished as a prerequisite to voting.
1939 — The Highway Patrol to be financed from the sale of driver licenses is established.
1940 — The ad valorem tax for state purposes is abolished.
1941-1945 Florida expands with World War II industry as it becomes a training ground for tens of thousands of men and women of the armed forces at camps like Camp Blanding and Camp Gordon Johnston and as it forges vessels and tools for the conflict. Tourist hotels and restaurants at Miami Beach, Daytona Beach, St. Petersburg and other resort centers afford quick means for accommodating numerous trainees.
1942 — A constitutional amendment pledges proceeds of two cents of gasoline tax for 50 years to retirement of county road and bridge bonds.
1943 — A cigarette tax is levied to replace war-lost revenue from horse and dog racing.
1945 — A cigarette tax is reenacted and increased from three cents to four and taxes on beer and other alcoholic beverages are raised to finance a multimillion dollar improvement program at state institutions and to provide more money for schools. A state advertising program of $500,000 a year is instituted.
1947 — The Legislature enacts the Minimum Foundation Program to assure educational opportunity for children in elementary schools of all counties ant to encourage teachers to improve their qualifications by offering better pay for better training. The Florida State College for Women changes into co-educational Florida State University and the University of Florida is opened to female students.
1949 — The Legislature bans livestock from highways enacts an omnibus citrus law designed to raise marketing standards for fresh and canned fruit and overhauls election laws. In a special revenue-raising session it also enacts a three percent retail sales tax.
1950 Frozen concentrate of citrus juices becomes a major industry. Florida ranks 12th in the nation in production of beef cattle. Federal census count 2,771,305 Floridians.
1953 — The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes becomes Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.
1954 — The first Republican since 1885 is elected to Congress. Six Republicans are elected to the State House of Representatives. The Sunshine Skyway stretching 15.2 miles across Lower Tampa Bay is opened to toll traffic.
1955 — The Legislature authorizes a state-long turnpike. Lawmakers are deadlocked for months in special session over reapportionment of the State Senate.
1956 — LeRoy Collins achieves two political “firsts.” Elected in 1954 to complete the term of the late Governor McCarty Collins is the first chief executive reelected to a successive term. Collins also is the first candidate for governor to win a first- primary victory, defeating five opponents for the Democratic nomination.
1957 — The Legislature authorizes statewide educational television. Funds are appropriated for the University of South Florida and for the expansion of a network of community colleges.
1958 — A second major federal agency the National Aeronautics and Space Administration begins operations at Cape Canaveral. From here the United States launches its first earth satellite Explorer 1.
1960 The Federal census ranks Florida 10th in the nation with a population of 4,951,560.
1961 — There is a successful launch of astronauts from Cape Canaveral: Navy Commander Alan Shepard on May 5 and Air Force Capt. Virgil Grissom on July 21 for suborbital flights down the Atlantic Missile Range. The Cape is selected as the launching site for a manned lunar landing program. The Census Bureau ranks Florida ninth in population.
1962 — The Space Age spreads out from Cape Canaveral’s launching base, and influences the state in many ways higher education and industry being among the most important.
1963 — President Lyndon Johnson changes the name Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy and renames the installation the John F. Kennedy Space Center in honor of the late president. The Constitution is amended to authorize sale of state bonds to construct buildings at universities, colleges and vocational schools. Voters also approve issuance of bonds to purchase land for conservation purposes. Election of governor and Cabinet is shifted to off-year from Presidential election.
1964 — First classes are held at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, and the University of West Florida is the name given to the institution established at Pensacola. Hurricane Cleo causes property damage estimated at $115,320,000 but no life is lost.
1965 — The Board of Regents composed of nine members with ultimate nine-year terms, takes over policy-making for the state’s institutions of higher learning from the Board of Control. The first U.S. launch of two-man spacecraft with Majors Edward H. White and James McDivitt orbits the earth 62 times.
1966 — The $700 million Walt Disney World, to be built in the Orlando area is announced. Claude R. Kirk, Jr. is elected the 36th governor of Florida. Kirk is the first Republican governor since Reconstruction. GOP nominees also win three of Florida’s 12 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Voters approve early-start Legislature with Senate and House organizing on the Tuesday following the November general elections. Previously the Legislature organized in April.
1967 — Repeated efforts by the Legislature to devise an acceptable plan of apportionment ends when a three-judge Federal court draws the boundaries of Senate and House districts and orders new elections. Republicans capture 20 of 48 Senate seats and 39 of 119 House seats.
1968 — The Legislature submits and voters ratify three amendments which combine to give the state an almost new Constitution. The Republicans hold their national convention at Miami Beach the first national gathering of a major political party ever convened in Florida. The first Republican ever elected by popular ballot is sent to the U.S. Senate. There is a statewide teacher walkout.
1969 — With the office reestablished by the revised Constitution the first lieutenant governor since 1889 is appointed. The Legislature reorganizes state government so that over 170 separate agencies become 22 operating departments. On July 16 Apollo 11 lifts off from Cape Kennedy to carry the first men to the moon.
1970 Democrat Reubin Askew is elected Florida’s 37th governor, defeating incumbent Republican Governor Claude Kirk in his bid for a second term. His running-mate Secretary of State Tom Adams, becomes the state’s second lieutenant governor under the revised Constitution of 1968.
1971 — Apollo 14 plagued with many troubling incidents, touches down on the Moon 108 hours after blast-off from the Kennedy Space Center. Capt. Alan B. Shepard is in command. President Richard M. Nixon orders a halt to the Cross Florida Barge Canal after $50 million has been spent on the 107-mile structure. Amtrak begins operation of service into Orlando. Apollo 15 astronauts explore the Moon for three days in a record-breaking flight of 12 days originating from Kennedy Space Center. Walt Disney World opens October 1st. Estimated cost of the facility is between $500 and $600 million.
1972 — Apollo 16, despite a guidance malfunction, lands on the Moon for three days of exploration and returns to Earth without further incident. Tropical storm Agnes roars out of the south Atlantic to cause heavy damage along the eastern seaboard northward from Miami. Paula Hawkins becomes the first woman elected to the Florida Public Service Commission.
1973 — Despite fuel shortages in the latter part of the year, Florida sets an all-time record for influx of visitors, when 25.5 million people visit the Sunshine State. After seven and one-half years and nearly 260,000 refugees, the “freedom flights” from Cuba come to an end on April 7th. The airlifts, bringing refugees into Miami at the rate of 48,000 a year, help transform the ethnic makeup of Dade County by adding at least 100,000 Cubans to the 150,000 already there.
1974 — Reubin Askew becomes the first Governor to be elected to successive four- year terms. The Legislature creates an ethics commission to oversee public officers and employees. It also enacts legislation for collective bargaining by public employees.
1975 — The state jobless rate hits a 25-year high in January at 8.3 percent and eventually unemployment reaches 9.3 percent. Governor Askew appoints Joseph W. Hatchett to the Supreme Court, the first black justice in the court’s history.
1976 — Former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter tops Alabama Governor George C. Wallace and 10 other Democrats in Florida’s Presidential Preference Primary, giving Carter’s campaign impetus which leads to his party’s nomination for president. In the same primary, Florida Republicans prefer President Gerald R. Ford over former California Governor Ronald Reagan. Carter garners 51.93 percent of Florida’s general election vote.
1977 — Severe cold devastates citrus and vegetable plants. This causes President Carter to proclaim 34 counties disaster areas. The U.S. Corps of Engineers recommends against resumption of construction on Cross Florida Barge Canal.