10 more awesome and interesting Florida quick facts

I haven’t had as much time to post about Florida since I’ve been spending more time on issues of mental health. I love posting cool stuff about Florida though, so, since it was incredibly popular the first time (see my previous post here) I decided to list 10 more interesting and awesome facts about Florida!

  1. Florida has a state flower. It is, of course, the beautiful orange blossom.
How I miss the smell of orange groves!
Pinterest

2. The first Christian marriage recorded in what would become the United States took place in 1565 in St. Augustine. It was between a free black woman named Luisa de Abrego and a Spanish man named Miguel Rodriguez. You can read more about this story on La Florida.

LaFlorida.org

3. Florida was admitted as a state in 1845, before the U.S. Civil War was fought. Thus, it was admitted as a slave state. This officially ended Florida’s reputation for being a safe haven for runaway slaves, as well as many years of relative peaceful coexistence between the Spanish and the Native Americans.

Image result for florida statehood
usf.edu

4. Florida did however become a safe haven for people fleeing Cuba and its communist regime under Fidel Castro in the mid-1900s. Most were received at the Freedom Tower, which earned the nickname “Ellis Island of the South.” You can read more about the Freedom Tower on the website for Miami Dade College.

Freedom Flights Cuban refugees crowd into a processing area at the Freedom Tower in 1967
Freedom Tower

5. Florida has a state tortoise. Unfortunately, the gopher tortoise is listed as endangered, mostly due loss of habitat and dangers of urbanization.

Image result for gopher tortoise florida
Central Florida Zoo

6. University of Central Florida has the largest enrollment of any university in the United States with 64,000 students.

pegasus logo in ucf student union with students walking and standing around

7. Florida’s state gem is the lovely and beautiful moonstone. See photos and read all kinds of cool facts and uses for moonstone at Jewelry Jealousy.

Related image
Jewelry Jealousy

8. And then there is the much debated topic of Florida moonshine. Is it legal? Is it not? Yes and no, read about that here or here. There’s also a rather interesting write-up about federal moonshine laws in the US at Clawhammar SupplyLastly, local NBC affiliate WESH.com has a nice photo archive slideshow of historical moonshine photos.

Image result for moonshine florida blueberry
Yalaha Bootlegging Co.

9. Florida leads the country in powerboat sales. In Florida it’s a $2 billion industry. Yeeooowzzza! Just don’t drink your moonshine and then drive your powerboat. Bad idea.

boat deep ocean idyllic leisure
Photo by Josh Sorenson on Pexels.com

10. Aside from oranges and other citrus fruit, Florida is the largest producer of sweet corn and green beans for the US. It is also becoming well-known for its strawberry production.

 

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