- Why are there no fossils of dinosaurs in Florida?
- When did the first people arrive in Florida?
- When did Europeans first come to Florida?
- When were oranges first grown in Florida?
- Were any Revolutionary War battles fought in Florida?
- When did Florida become a U.S. territory?
- Did Florida originally have two capitals?
- Who was Florida's first governor?
- When was Tallahassee chosen as the capital of Florida?
- When did Florida become a state?
- How many states were admitted to the U.S. before Florida?
- Are the Seminole Indians the original Indian people of Florida?
- What side was Florida on during the Civil War?
- When did Florida secede from the Union?
- What was the largest battle fought in Florida during the Civil War?
- Was Florida's capital, Tallahassee, captured during the Civil War?
- From what Florida port did most U.S. troops embark for Cuba during the Spanish-American War?
- Which Florida hurricane caused the most fatalities?
- How many of Ernest Hemingway's books had a Florida setting?
- Did any enemy agents land in Florida during World War II?
- What Florida governor served the shortest term in office?
- What was the most devastating hurricane to hit Florida?
Q: Why are there no fossils of dinosaurs in Florida?
A: During the age of dinosaurs, the Florida peninsula was underwater and did not exist as a land mass. Therefore, no dinosaur remains were ever deposited in Florida.
Q: When did the first people arrive in Florida?
A: Archaeologists have found evidence of human activity in Florida that dates to at least 12,000 years ago. Visit our Paleoindian Period page.
Q: When did Europeans first come to Florida?
A: The first record of Europeans in Florida was the Juan Ponce de León expedition in 1513. For more, visit a Brief History of Florida.
Q: Were any Revolutionary War battles fought in Florida?
A: Yes. After Spain declared war on Great Britain in 1779, Spanish forces defeated the British in the Battle of Pensacola in 1781. In addition, there were several unsuccessful expeditions by Colonial militia and regulars that crossed from Georgia into British East Florida. The British forces defeated the Colonials in small battles at Thomas Creek (1777) and Alligator Bridge (1778), in what is now Nassau County, Florida.
Q: When did Florida become a U.S. territory?
A: In 1819, Florida was ceded to the United States in the Adams-Onis Treaty.The formal change of flags came in 1821, and Florida was formally organized as a U.S. Territory with a legislative council in 1822.
Q: Did Florida originally have two capitals?
A: Yes. During British occupation (1763-83), Florida was divided into two colonies, East Florida with a capital in St. Augustine, and West Florida with a capital in Pensacola. The two capitals were retained during the Second Spanish period (1783-1819) and into the American period from 1819 to 1824.
Q: Who was Florida's first governor?
A: William P. DuVal of Leon County was appointed by President James Monroe to be the first territorial governor of Florida in 1822. The year before, General Andrew Jackson was named by Monroe as Commissioner, with all the powers and authorities heretofore exercised by the Governors of East and West Florida.
Q: Are the Seminole Indians the original Indian people of Florida?
A: No. The Seminole and Miccosukee people are descendants of Creek Indians who migrated from Georgia and Alabama to Spanish Florida in the early to mid-1700s. The original Indian people of Florida including the Timucua, Calusa, Apalachee, and other Indian groups were either killed by disease or warfare, captured as slaves, or they left Florida with the Spaniards. Visit our Seminole History page for more information.
Q: What side was Florida on during the Civil War?
A: Florida sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War. However, there was a notable Unionist sentiment in some parts of the state, especially in Jacksonville.
Q: What was the largest battle fought in Florida during the Civil War?
A: The Battle of Olustee, which took place near Lake City on February 20, 1864, was the largest military engagement to occur in Florida during the war. The battle resulted in a Confederate victory. Confederate forces,however, failed to capitalize on their victory by not aggressively pursuing the retreating Union army.
Q: Was Florida's capital, Tallahassee, captured during the Civil War?
A: No. In fact, Tallahassee was the only Confederate state capital east of the Mississippi River that was not captured by Union forces. However,the Union Army did occupy Tallahassee on May 10, 1865, following the surrender of the major Confederate armies in the east.
Q: Which Florida hurricane caused the most fatalities?
A: The hurricane of September 16, 1928, brought death to nearly 2,000 people. Since many were migrant workers, the exact number was never determined.
Q: Did any enemy agents land in Florida during World War II?
A: On June 17, 1942, four German saboteurs paddled ashore at Ponte Vedra Beach on a rubber raft from a submarine. They were later captured with four other German agents.
Q: What Florida governor served the shortest term in office?
A: Wayne Mixson was governor for three days, from January 3 to January 6, 1987. He was serving the remainder of the term of Bob Graham, who had resigned as governor to become a United States Senator. Mixson had been lieutenant governor under Graham.
Q: What was the most devastating hurricane to hit Florida?
A: Hurricane Andrew, which devastated Homestead, Florida City, and the surrounding area in 1992, was Florida's most devastating hurricane and the costliest natural disaster in American history at that time.