Someone has an anniversary today. But don't panic. It isn't you.
Actually, it's all of us.
Today marks Florida's 500th anniversary. On April 3, 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León landed near present-day St. Augustine. He dubbed the spot La Florida, meaning "the land of flowers."
To commemorate the occasion, this week a bunch of bigwigs are in St. Augustine, which is recognized as America's oldest city. The group includes Florida politicians and Spanish dignitaries.
On Tuesday, Governor Rick Scott and members of his cabinet saluted the sunrise with cannon fire at the fort Castillo de San Marcos. Scott later toured the Colonial Quarter with a group of local fourth-graders and held his monthly cabinet meeting at the historic Hotel Ponce de León.
Here's video of Tuesday's events, courtesy of the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, and the Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau. Look for cameos by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and other notables.
The anniversary celebration continues today, with scheduled events including:
- A re-enactment of Ponce de Leon's landing on the bayfront, complete with cannon fire, musket drills, commemorative wreath will be placed at the Ponce de Leon statue in downtown St. Augustine.
- A special mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine.
- The unveiling of the 2013 "La Florida (Forever)" postage stamp.
- And more.
How well do you know the Sunshine State? Try your hand at Ticket Sarasota's Florida history quiz.