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5 Fun Facts About March 13 In Florida History

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1. The first recorded battle in Florida history took place on March 13, 1526, when Spanish explorer and conqueror Panfilo de Narvaez landed with a group of nearly 600 soldiers on the shores of what is now Tampa Bay. They were met by an army of thousands of Native American warriors, who resisted their invasion.

2. On March 13, 1824, the Florida Territorial Council approved the establishment of a public school system in the territory. The first schools were established in St. Augustine, Pensacola, and Tallahassee, and were funded by public land sales.

3. America's first scheduled passenger airline service began on March 13, 1914, when Tony Jannus flew a Benoist XIV seaplane from St. Petersburg to Tampa. The flight took just 23 minutes and cost $5 per passenger, opening up a new era of air travel.

4. On March 13, 1997, eight people were killed and dozens injured when a gunman opened fire at the Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Among the victims were two girls, Paige Ann Herring and Stephanie Johnson, who had moved to Arkansas from Florida just months earlier.

5. In 2019, March 13 marked the opening day of the annual Miami Film Festival, which is one of the largest and most prestigious film festivals in the United States. The festival showcases the work of emerging and established filmmakers from around the world, and attracts thousands of visitors each year.
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