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5 Fun Facts About July 8 In Florida History

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

1. On July 8, 1949, the Van Fleet Trail opened in Florida. The former rail bed was converted into a 29-mile trail for hiking, cycling, and horseback riding. It is now a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts in the state.

2. In 1961, Alan Shepard, the first American to travel into space, made an appearance in St. Petersburg, Florida on July 8th. He received a hero's welcome and was greeted by thousands of fans.

3. On July 8, 1983, a major wildfire broke out in Lighthouse Point, Florida. The blaze destroyed over 50 homes and caused millions of dollars in damage. It was one of the worst wildfires in the state's history.

4. The Florida Keys island chain was hit by a strong hurricane on July 8, 1919. The storm caused significant damage and flooding, and several people lost their lives as a result.

5. In 2010, the BP oil spill occurred on April 20th, but on July 8th, oil washed up on Florida beaches for the first time. This disaster caused significant damage to the Gulf Coast region, and it took years to clean up and restore the affected areas.
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