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5 Fun Facts About February 19 In Florida History

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

1. In 1913, the Florida Legislature created the Florida Everglades drainage district, which was tasked with constructing a system of canals to drain water from the region to make it more suitable for agriculture and development.

2. In 1942, during World War II, a German submarine sank the American tanker SS Gulfamerica off the coast of Florida, marking the first attack on American soil since the start of the war.

3. In 1965, Revolutionary leader and Cuban president Fidel Castro visited Miami, Florida, for the first time since coming to power in 1959. The visit was part of a regional tour that also included visits to Jamaica and Barbados.

4. In 1999, the Florida State Board of Education approved a plan to establish a new public university in northwest Florida. The institution, which became known as Florida Gulf Coast University, opened its doors to students in 1997.

5. In 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that placed new restrictions on voting, including requiring voters to present a valid ID when casting their ballots and limiting the use of drop boxes for submitting mail-in ballots. The law has drawn criticism from voting rights advocates who argue that it will disproportionately affect minority and low-income voters.
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