Florida Facts and Trivia
By Jennifer Jordan
Like all states and regions, Florida is rich with information, little unique tidbits that make it stand out from other areas. From having the only professional football team to ever maintain a perfect season to being the birthplace of Gatorade, Florida is filled with tiny grains of trivia, tiny grains sure to fill your shoes and get in that cookie you accidentally dropped on the beach. Refusing to let the peninsula be the only thing that makes this country stand out the following are some fun and historical Florida facts.
The oldest European settlement in North America is Saint Augustine, Florida. Founded in 1565, St. Augustine was also the first appearance of Florida oranges as Spaniards began cultivating them in 1579. For those who want a true sense of history, and a sense of pulp (fact not fiction), St Augustine is the place to visit.
There is a museum in Sanibel that is devoted entirely to mollusks. It is a specialized natural history museum with over two million shells. Sanibel is located in Lee County and, with many more shells than people, possesses a population just over 6000 residents.
Sun tan lotion was invented in Florida by a pharmacist named Benjamin Green who lived in Miami Beach. In 1944, he made this concoction by cooking cocoa butter in a granite coffee pot. This became known as Coppertone Suntan Cream.
Key West has the highest average temperature in all of the US with a medium of 77.8 degrees. The average low is just 74 degrees, making Key West an ideal place for lovers of heat and seekers of sun.
Known for beaches that draw in rollerblades like months to flames, the city of Miami installed the first ATM machines so that roller-bladers would be able to cash in on their errands, exercising and getting money all at the same time.
Key Largo is the self-anointed Dive Capitol of the world. Tourists come from all around for scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing. Located in the island in the upper Florida Keys, Key Largo is 33 miles long.
Orange juice was made the official beverage of Florida in 1967. While Florida is the largest exporter of orange juice in the US, the largest in the world is Brazil.
Florida officially came into being on March 3, 1845, making it the 27th state of the US. With an outstretched arm reaching into the ocean, the state of Florida possesses 663 miles of beach.
Teddy Roosevelt, prior to his presidency, stayed at the Tampa Bay Hotel, an inn that served as the headquarters for the US military during the Spanish-American War. In 1898, over 30,000 troops were stationed in this area.
Florida was originally two colonies while under British power. From 1763 – 1783, there was East Florida, with a capital of St. Augustine, and West Florida, with a capital of Pensacola. Florida kept these two capitals until 1824.