The Florida Portal


Florida is a state located in the Southeastern region of the United States. Florida is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Bahamas and Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida and Cuba; it is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Spanning 65,758 square miles (170,310 km2), Florida ranks 22nd in area among the 50 states, and with a population of over 21 million, is the third-most populous. The state capital is Tallahassee and the most populous city is Jacksonville. The Miami metropolitan area, with a population of almost 6.2 million, is the most populous urban area in Florida and the ninth-most populous in the United States; other urban conurbations with over one million people are Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Jacksonville.

Various Native American groups have inhabited Florida for at least 14,000 years. In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León became the first known European to make landfall, calling the region La Florida ([la floˈɾiða] for its lush greenery and the Easter season (Pascua Florida in Spanish). Florida subsequently became the first area in the continental U.S. to be permanently settled by Europeans, with the Spanish colony of St. Augustine, founded in 1565, being the oldest continuously inhabited city. Florida was repeatedly contested by Spain and Great Britain, before being ceded to the U.S. in 1819; it was admitted as the 27th state on March 3, 1845. Florida was the principal location of the Seminole Wars (1816–1858), the longest and most extensive of the Indian Wars in U.S. history. The state seceded from the Union on January 10, 1861, becoming one of the seven original Confederate States. After the Civil War, Florida was restored to the Union on June 25, 1868.

Since the mid-20th century, Florida has experienced rapid demographic and economic growth. Its economy, with a gross state product (GSP) of $1.0 trillion, is the fourth-largest of any U.S. state and the 16th-largest in the world; the main sectors are tourism, hospitality, agriculture, real estate, and transportation. Florida is world-renowned for its beach resorts, amusement parks, warm and sunny climate, and nautical recreation; attractions such as Walt Disney World, the Kennedy Space Center, and Miami Beach draw tens of millions of visitors annually. Florida is a popular destination for retirees, seasonal vacationers, and both domestic and international migrants; it hosts nine out of the ten fastest-growing communities in the U.S. The state's close proximity to the ocean has shaped its culture, identity, and daily life; its colonial history and successive waves of migration are reflected in African, European, Indigenous, Latino, and Asian influences. Florida has attracted or inspired writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, and continues to attract celebrities and athletes, particularly in golf, tennis, auto racing, and water sports. Florida is also heavily noted for being a battleground state in American presidential elections, notably those in 2000, 2016, and 2020. (Full article...)

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Cathedral of Saint Mary
Cathedral of Saint Mary

The Archdiocese of Miami (Latin: Archidioecesis Miamiensis, Spanish: Arquidiócesis de Miami, Haitian Creole: Achidyosèz Miami) is a particular church of the Catholic Church in the United States of America. Its ecclesiastical territory consists of Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties in the U.S. state of Florida. The archdiocese is the metropolitan see for the Ecclesiastical Province of Miami, which covers Florida. The archbishop is Thomas Wenski. As archbishop, he also serves as pastor of the Cathedral of Saint Mary, the mother church of the archdiocese. Also serving are 258 priests, 133 permanent deacons, 41 religious brothers and 204 religious sisters who are members of various religious institutes. These priests, deacons and persons religious serve a Catholic population in South Florida of 475,774 in 109 parishes and missions.

Because of the vast number of immigrants, Mass is offered in at least a dozen languages in parishes throughout the archdiocese. Educational institutions consist of two schools for the disabled, 60 elementary/middle schools, 13 high schools, two universities, and two seminaries. Radio, print, and television media outlets owned and operated by the archdiocese supplement teaching, communication, and ministries. (Full article...)
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Florida has tons of entertainment opportunities because Walt Disney World and Universal Studios are there — Kevin Richardson (musician)

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Mays in June 2009, shortly before his death
Mays in June 2009, shortly before his death

William Darrell Mays Jr. (July 20, 1958 – June 28, 2009) was an American television direct-response advertisement salesperson. Throughout his career, he promoted a wide variety of products, including OxiClean, Orange Glo, Kaboom, and Zorbeez. His promotions aired mostly on the Home Shopping Network through his company, Mays Promotions, Inc., although they aired on various other syndicated networks.

Mays and his business partner, Anthony Sullivan, were also featured on PitchMen, a Discovery Channel television series that documented their work. His distinctive beard, attire, loud voice, and impassioned sales pitches made him a recognized television presence in the United States and Canada. (Full article...)

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Current events

September 30, 2022 – 2022 Atlantic hurricane season
Hurricane Ian makes its fourth landfall in South Carolina, after devastating portions of Florida and Cuba. (National Hurricane Center)
September 29, 2022 – 2022 Atlantic hurricane season
A section of the Sanibel Causeway in Florida, United States, collapses following damage from Ian, blocking access to the islands of Sanibel and Captiva. (Tampa Bay Times) (WTVJ-TV)
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announces that the state has launched efforts to rescue people stranded from their homes by flooding from Ian. Additionally, President Joe Biden declares Ian a major disaster. (Politico)
September 28, 2022 – 2022 Atlantic hurricane season
Hurricane Ian makes landfall near Englewood, Florida, United States, as a high-end Category 4 hurricane. (CNBC) (WXII-TV)

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The Seven Mile Bridge, as seen from the Ohio Keys
Credit: Averette

The Seven Mile Bridge, in the Florida Keys, runs over a channel between the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Strait, connecting Knight's Key (the location of the city of Marathon, Florida) in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. Among the longest bridges in existence when it was built, it is one of the many bridges on US 1 in the Keys, where the road is called the Overseas Highway.

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Sources

  1. ^ "Cuba's most famous food isn't even from Cuba — or Miami". Matador Network.
  2. ^ "Viva La Cuban Sandwich!". Farmers’ Almanac. March 20, 2015.
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