Governor Scott Celebrates 500th Anniversary of the First European Exploration of Florida

Governor Rick Scott today made the following statement regarding the 500th anniversary of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León’s arrival on the land he named “La Florida” in 1513.

Governor Scott said, “This week marks an historic anniversary for Florida and the entire United States of America. Ponce de León, during the week of April 2, 1513, became the first documented European to arrive anywhere in the current United States of America.

“This special anniversary is an opportunity to share Florida’s unique story and reflect on the people, places and events that made Florida the dynamic state it is today.

“In addition to our work in creating a more business friendly climate, Florida’s rich history and culture have supported tourism, which is among the many reasons that we’ve created nearly 300,000 private-sector jobs and our unemployment rate has dropped to 7.7 percent. The policies we are implementing are working and we encourage more people to come to Florida to contribute to the overall economic vitality of our state.

“Florida’s history is unlike anywhere else in the world, and I hope Floridians will go to to learn how to be a part of the Viva Florida 500 celebrates and commemorate our long and storied history.”

View the proclamation signed by Governor Scott naming April 1-7, 2013 as “Viva Florida 500 Week,”


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