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5 Fun Facts About April 9 In Florida History

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

1. In 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the American Civil War. This date is often referred to as "Lee's surrender day" and is commemorated in Florida as well as other parts of the country.

2. In 1913, the city of Jacksonville experienced a devastating fire that destroyed over 2,000 buildings and left thousands homeless. The fire reportedly began at the LaVilla section of the city and quickly spread to other areas. Today, the event is seen as a turning point in the city's history, leading to significant improvements in fire safety and prevention.

3. In 1971, the state of Florida officially designated April 9 as Confederate Memorial Day, honoring those who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. This holiday is still observed in Florida as well as several other southern states, though the name and emphasis on the Confederate cause have been controversial in recent years.

4. In 1983, the U.S. space shuttle Challenger lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on its second mission. Unfortunately, the shuttle would later explode while in flight, killing all seven crew members and shocking the nation. The incident remains one of the most tragic and memorable moments in space exploration history.

5. In 2014, the University of Central Florida (UCF) men's basketball team completed an unprecedented season, finishing with a record of 31-4 and making it to the NCAA tournament's "Sweet 16" round. The team's success was seen as a major accomplishment for UCF athletics and helped raise the profile of the school on a national level.
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