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5 Fun Facts About July 12 In Florida History

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

1. On July 12, 1898, the first U.S. troops arrived in Tampa in preparation for the Spanish-American War. Thousands of soldiers passed through Tampa’s port during the war.

2. Florida’s first interstate highway, the Florida Turnpike, officially opened on July 12, 1957. The 47-mile stretch of highway connected Miami to Homestead.

3. In 1986, NASA launched the space shuttle Challenger for the last time on July 12th. The shuttle completed a nine-day mission before returning to earth.

4. On July 12, 1960, Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance executive, died after being beaten by white Miami police officers. The officers were acquitted, sparking three days of riots in Liberty City.

5. The Florida State Seminoles football team held its first practice of the season on July 12, 2012. The Seminoles went on to win the ACC championship and the Orange Bowl that year.
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