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Florida, US (Population: 18,089,888)
State Capitol: Tallahassee

Major Cities: Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Saint Petersburg, Hialeah, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines

State Nickname/Motto: Sunshine State - In God We Trust

Statehood Granted: March 3, 1845

History: The Seminole are American Indian people originally of Florida, who still live in the state and in Oklahoma. The Seminole nation formed in the 18th century and was composed of Indians from Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, most significantly the Creek Nation, as well as African Americans who escaped from slavery in South Carolina and Georgia. While roughly 3,000 Seminoles were brutally forced by the government west of the Mississippi River, approximately 300 to 500 Seminoles stayed and fought in and around the Everglades of Florida. In a series of wars against the Seminoles in Florida, about 1,500 U.S. soldiers died. The Seminoles never surrendered to the United States Government, hence, the Seminoles of Florida call themselves the "Unconquered People." The Florida Seminoles are the only American Indian tribe never to sign a formal peace treaty with the United States. Today, they have sovereignty over their tribal lands, and an economy based on tobacco, tourism and gambling.

Geography: Highest point: Britton Hill; 345 feet. The state’s borders are located mainly within the large peninsula situated between the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida. It extends to the northwest into a panhandle, extending along the northern Gulf of Mexico, bordered on the north by the states of Georgia and Alabama, and on the west, at the end of the panhandle, by Alabama. It is near the countries of the Caribbean, particularly the Bahamas and Cuba.

Ethnic Diversity: One Race (98.4%), White (76.8%), Black or African American 15.0%), American Indian and Alaska Native (0.3%), Asian (2.1%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.0%), Some other race 4.1%), Two or more races (1.6%), Hispanic or Latino (19.6%)*

Famous State People:
  • Wallace Amos (1936 - ) Founder of Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookie Corporation; born in Tallahassee.
  • Jacqueline Cochran (1910 - 1980) Pilot who organized women pilots during World War II; born in Pensacola.
  • Gloria Estefan (1957 - ) Cuban singer and songwriter; raised in Miami.
  • Steve "Lefty" Carlton (1944 - ) Baseball player, born in Miami.
  • Osceola (c. 1804 - 1838) Seminole Indian leader.
  • David Robinson (1965 - ) Basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs; born in Key West.
  • Fernando Bujones (1955 - ) Praised as one of the finest male ballet dancers of the 20th century; born in Miami.
  • Harry T. Moore (1905 - 1951) 1930-40's Civil Rights worker; born in Houston.
  • Burt Reynolds (1936 - ) Actor made famous in films like Hustle and Smokey and the Bandit; owns ranch in Jupiter.
  • Dwight Gooden (1964 - ) Baseball pitcher, born in Tampa.
  • Charles Ringling (1864 - 1926) and John Ringling (1866 - 1936) Co-founders of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
  • Sidney Poitier (1927 - ) First African-American actor to win an Oscar, which he won for the movie "Lilies of the Fields;" Born in Miami.
  • Jim Morrison (1943-1971) Famous rock singer and leader of The Doors; born in Melbourne.
  • A. Philip Randolph (1889 - 1979) Labor leader; born in Crescent City.
  • Janet Reno (1938 - ) First woman to be Attorney General of the United States of America; born in Miami.

  • Major Colleges/Universities: Florida International University, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, and University of South Florida

    State and National Parks: Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, Canaveral National Seashore, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, De Soto National Memorial, Dry Tortugas National Park, Everglades National Park, Fort Caroline National Memorial, Fort Matanzas National Monument, Gulf Islands National Seashore, and Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. Areas under the control of the USDA United States Forest Service include: Apalachicola National Forest, Choctawhatchee National Forest, Ocala National Forest, and Osceola National Forest.

    Misc: Tourism makes up the largest sector of the state economy. Warm weather and hundreds of miles of beaches attract about 60 million visitors to the state every year. Amusement parks, especially in the Orlando area, make up a significant portion of tourism; the huge Walt Disney World Resort consists of four theme parks and more than 20 hotels in Lake Buena Vista, and together with Universal Orlando Resort, Busch Gardens, SeaWorld, and other major parks drives state tourism. The Florida Keys and Daytona Beach (famous as a spring break site) are also tourism centers.

    *U.S. Census - 2005