The Sunshine State Challenge

Mon May 18 - Wed June 30, 2021
Brief History of Florida

10,000+ B.C. - Hunting and gathering Paleoindians present in Florida

7500 B.C. - Early Archaic Period, people hunted and gathered but began to gather near wetlands

6000–5000 B.C. - Human burials placed under water, as at Windover Site in Brevard Co., also evidence of manufacture of cordage and fabrics

5000 B.C. - First semi-permanent settlements in Florida

5000–3000 B.C. - Middle Archaic sites along St. Johns River, and along Hillsborough River north of Tampa, modern environments established

2000 B.C.  - First fired clay pottery

500 B.C. - Mound building, as at Crystal River Indian Mounds in Citrus Co.

A.D. 700 - Beginning of tribes and chiefdoms eventually met by the Spaniards: Timucuans, Apalachee, Calusa, Tequesta

1498–1502 - Europeans first saw Florida coast

1513 - Juan Ponce de Leon landed north of Cape Canaveral and named Florida

1528 - Panfilo de Narvaez visited Tampa and Tallahassee areas

1539 - Hernando de Soto landed in Tampa Bay area and wintered in Tallahassee while on trek throughout the Southeast

1565 - Pedro Menendez established St. Augustine, the first permanent settlement by Europeans in North America

1570 - First citrus groves in Florida planted in St. Augustine

1586 - Sir Francis Drake sacked and burned St. Augustine

1702–1704 - British raided Spanish settlements and destroy missions

1740 = British invaded Florida, native populations diminished

1763 - Treaty of Paris ended French and Indian War, Spain ceded Florida to Britain

1770s - Creeks from Georgia and Alabama, later called Seminoles, entered Florida

1776–81 - Florida colonies remained loyal to Britain during the American Revolution (Damn it, Florida! We played ourselves!)

1783 - Florida returned to Spain, in exchange for Bahamas and Gibraltar

1783–1821 - Border disputes between Spain and United States

1810 - British occupied Pensacola, but were driven out by Andrew Jackson in 1813

1817–1818 - First Seminole War

1821 - United States acquired Florida from Spain by treaty

1824 - Tallahassee established as territorial capital

1835–1842 - Second Seminole War, first reservations established

1845 - Florida admitted to the Union as a state

1856–1858 - Third Seminole War ceased, ending Wars of Indian Removal east of the Mississippi River

1861–1865 - Civil War, Florida was part of the Confederacy, Battle of Olustee fought in 1864

1900s - Greek immigrants arrived and settled mostly in Tarpon Springs

1901 - Great Fire destroyed downtown Jacksonville

1905 - State University System created

1909 - Panama City (our home) becomes incorporated

1914 - Pensacola Naval Air Station established

1914 - First regularly scheduled commercial airline between two U.S. cities, St. Petersburg and Tampa, established (seems lazy in retrospect but alright)

1917–1918 - World War I, Florida was site for military training and shipbuilding

1918 - First international flight, Key West to Havana

1927 - First international air mail service, Pan American flights from Key West to Havana, Cuba

1935 - The Labor Day Hurricane becomes the strongest hurricane to ever hit the U.S.

1937 - Amelia Earhart took off from Miami on fatal round-the-world flight

1941-1945 - World War II, Florida again was a major site for military training and shipbuilding

1946 - Florida Park Service established

1950 - First American rocket launch from Cape Canaveral

1955 - Florida Turnpike authorized

1958 - Free World's first earth satellite, Explorer I, launched from Cape Canaveral

1961 - First American manned space travel, from Cape Canaveral

1969 - Apollo 11, launched from Kennedy Space Center, landed first men on the moon

1971 - Disney World opened

1981 - The first space shuttle, Columbia, launched from Kennedy Space Center

1987 - Archaeologists uncovered the first evidence of De Soto's 1539 winter encampment in Tallahassee.

1990 - Florida has the 4th largest state population in the United States.

1992 - Hurricane Andrew hits South Florida

2000 - Presidential election put world focus on Florida

2000 - Newnan's Lake Canoes (largest known collection of prehistoric canoes) discovered

2004 - Tampa Bay Lightning win the Stanley Cup

2004-05 - Major hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne, Dennis, Katrina, and Wilma) struck Florida

2010 - End of the Space Shuttle Program at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral

2018 - Hurricane Michael becomes the 2nd strongest hurricane to hit Florida (behind the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane) and does extensive damage to Panama City and the surrounding regions

2020 - The Sunshine State Challenge is launched and makes history!

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