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5 Fun Facts About July 5 In Florida History

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

1. Hurricane season: July 5 marks the beginning of hurricane season in Florida, which usually lasts until November. In the past, many destructive hurricanes have hit Florida during this time, wreaking havoc and causing widespread damage.

2. Ponce de Leon's landing: On July 5, 1513, the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed on the east coast of Florida, near present-day St. Augustine. He named the land "La Florida" (meaning "the flowery land") and claimed it for Spain.

3. Statehood: On July 5, 1845, Florida officially became the 27th state in the United States. This followed a long process of territorial development and political wrangling, as the region transitioned from being a Spanish colony to a U.S. territory and eventually a state.

4. The Great Train Robbery: On July 5, 1923, the "Great Train Robbery" occurred in central Florida, near the town of Wildwood. A group of robbers, including one who had previously worked for the railroad, boarded a train and stole over $200,000 in cash and bonds. The case was eventually solved and several of the robbers were arrested.

5. NASA launches: Several important space missions have been launched by NASA from Florida on July 5, including the Viking 1 Mars probe in 1975 and the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft in 1996, which was the first spacecraft to orbit and land on an asteroid. Florida's proximity to the equator and its favorable weather conditions make it a popular location for space launches.
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