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As many people understand, birthday’s are important.
On May 3, 176 years ago, Florida became the 27th territory to join statehood in the United States.
Oddly enough, Florida lays claim to the oldest city in the country, yet didn’t become a state until 1845, almost 60 years after Delaware became the first territory to become a state.
While much has happened since the Sunshine became a state, below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the coolest and most outrageous facts about Florida.
- According to the United States Census Bureau, Florida boasts a population count of over 21 million and continues to grow exponentially.
- The Florida Lottery was enacted in 1986 and generates billions of dollars every year, making Florida one of the largest lottery revenue states in the country. To win the standard six-ball lotto, a player must hit the exact combination of numbers on their ticket. Good luck because there are 13,983,816 possible combinations en route to the millions.
- Florida is the only place on earth where crocodiles and alligators can coexist. Just be careful when you step out into the Florida Everglades that you don’t fall in the path of one of these prehistoric reptiles.
- Florida is the only state that has two rivers that share the same name. While they are completely separate and do not connect, the Withlacoochee River (South) lies only in Florida, and the Withlacoochee River (North) shares territory with north Florida and southern Georgia. The two rivers have nothing in common aside from the name.
- No matter where you are in Florida, the nearest beach is no more than 60 miles away. The Sunshine State is home to 1,350 miles of oceanic coastline, the most in the continental U.S., according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
- It’s the self-proclaimed fishing capital of the world. Visit Florida, the states’ official tourism marketing agency, believes the over 900 world records across 7,700 lakes, 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline, and 10,550 miles of rivers allows Florida to claim that title.
- The Sunshine State comes in at number seven in the U.S., with over 25 lighthouses across the state. The Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse is even hailed as the most powerful light in the world, with a range of 28 nautical miles.
- (321) area code in Brevard County has been in service for over 20 years and pays homage to the Kennedy Space Center launch countdown sequence. The space coast area code is a reminder of the critical moments before launch.
- Gatorade was first developed at the University of Florida and named accordingly with the mascot of the school.
And while there is so much more to Florida than what we’ve highlighted, this serves as our present on this special day.
Happy 176th Birthday Florida!
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Melissa’s career in writing started more than 20 years ago. Today, she lives in South Florida with her husband and two boys.