The early exploration of Florida started when Ponce de León and Christopher Columbus started another exploration to the Americas. Ponce de León found a close island called Borinquen. When he was there he found large amounts of gold.
He left , but he came back again in 1508 because the king wanted him to go back, but explore and colonize the land. He named the island Puerto Rico. He was the governor for two years, but the king wanted Columbus’ son to be the governor. Ponce de León was hurt because of this, so he sailed north heading to Florida. He wanted to find new lands and treasure, but he also heard of this object called the Magical Fountain of Youth. It would make old people and young people young forever. In March 1513, his ships finally got to Florida.
He landed by St. Augustine. The Calusa Indians were in Florida for a very long time.
The Calusas were descendants of the Paleo Indians when they were living in Southwest Florida more than 12,000 years ago. The Indians lived in a forest that was filled with bears, woolly mammoths, sloths, saber toothed tigers, and tortuous. When they were gathering fruit and berries off of trees and bushes they found a river that had loads of fish. This gave them time because they didn’t have to hunt or look for food.They soon created their own government because of the river.They are also called “Shell People” because from the 1500’s to the 1800’s they used sea shells to build the foundations of their house.
Since they were living by the river and they had boats they learned how to sail. They fought against Europeans and other Indian tribes if they tried to take their land away. They sailed with canoes which were made from hollowed out logs. They used to travel to Cuba. They were also known to sail up and down the west coast taking the goods from the shipwrecks. On March 3, 1845 Florida became a state. It was officially declared a state by congress, it also became the 27th state in the U.S.
When it joined the U.S. it was a slave state. Florida got its name when Ponce de Leon saw Florida. He named it “La Florida”.
He named it that because it was Easter so he thought of a abundant flowers. The first governor of Florida was William Dunn Moseley. One famous historical event was the Great Depression that happened in Florida. When the Mediterranean fruit fly invaded Florida it deeply affected the citrus industry. Soon troops set up roadblocks to search if anyone had illegal citrus fruit.
Florida’s citrus industry cut about sixty percent.