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5 Fun Facts About April 1 In Florida History

---Learn Every Day: FL Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history fl To: 618-270-4005---

1. April Fool's Day Turnover - In 1986, the town of Lawtey in Florida decided to play a prank on its newly elected all-women city council. They told them that they had to hold their council meetings in a bathroom because there were no other available rooms. The joke was taken in good humor, and it is now a tradition for the new council to attend a "bathroom meeting" on April 1.

2. Launch of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge - April 1, 1987, saw the official opening of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which spans the entrance to Tampa Bay. The bridge replaced an older one that had been struck by a freighter in 1980, killing 35 people. The new bridge was constructed using modern engineering techniques to withstand severe weather conditions.

3. Florida becomes a state - April 1, 1865, marked the day that Florida became a state in the USA. It was the 27th state to be admitted to the union and was the third state to secede from the Union during the Civil War. Florida's economy was largely agricultural at the time, and it relied heavily on the export of cotton and tobacco.

4. The invasion of Gopher Tortoise Day - In 2017, a group of activists declared April 1 as "Gopher Tortoise Day" in Florida. The aim was to raise awareness of the threatened status of the gopher tortoise, which is the only tortoise native to the state. The day involved activities such as lectures, educational tours, and the release of rehabilitated tortoises into the wild.

5. The Miami Open - The Miami Open is a prestigious tennis tournament that takes place in Key Biscayne, Florida, every year in March or April. It is one of the largest tournaments outside of the four Grand Slam events and attracts the world's top players. The tournament was first held in 1985 and has been won by players such as Andre Agassi, Venus Williams, and Novak Djokovic.
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