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5 Fun Facts About April 8 In Florida History

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1. On April 8, 1952, the city of Miami became the first city in Florida to install parking meters. This was part of a plan to improve traffic flow and generate revenue for the city. Today, parking meters can be found in cities and towns throughout the state.

2. On April 8, 1993, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge was reopened after being closed for over a year following a tragic accident. In May 1980, a freighter collided with the bridge, causing a section to collapse and resulting in the deaths of 35 people. The new bridge, which is now a landmark on Florida's Gulf Coast, features a memorial to those who lost their lives.

3. April 8, 2004, marked the opening of the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers Stadium in Tampa. The $168.5 million facility, which is now known as Raymond James Stadium, seats over 65,000 people and is home to the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the University of South Florida Bulls football team.

4. On April 8, 1926, the first episode of the long-running Florida-based radio program "Amos 'n' Andy" aired on WMAF in Miami. The show, which featured white actors portraying African American characters, was wildly popular and was eventually syndicated in over 50 cities nationwide.

5. April 8, 1861, is the date that Florida officially seceded from the United States and joined the Confederacy at the outbreak of the Civil War. This decision led to the state's involvement in several major battles, including the Battle of Olustee, the largest Civil War battle fought in Florida. Today, several monuments and memorials throughout the state commemorate this period of Florida's history.
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