1. In 1819, Florida was officially transferred from Spain to the United States in a ceremony held in St. Augustine. This marked the end of Spanish rule in Florida and the beginning of American territorial rule.
2. In 1935, a hurricane struck the Florida Keys, causing widespread damage and devastation. The storm, later known as the Labor Day Hurricane, is one of the most intense hurricanes to ever hit the United States and resulted in over 400 deaths.
3. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy addressed a joint session of Congress and announced his plan to send a man to the moon by the end of the decade. This historic speech helped launch the Apollo program and cemented Florida's role as a center for space exploration.
4. In 1980, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay was struck by a cargo ship, causing a section of the bridge to collapse and several cars to fall into the water below. The accident resulted in 35 deaths and led to a major overhaul of bridge safety regulations.
5. In 2011, the first privately-funded spacecraft, SpaceX's Dragon capsule, successfully docked with the International Space Station. The launch took place from Cape Canaveral, Florida, cementing the state's continuing role as a hub for space exploration and commercial innovation.
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