|Nickname||The Sunshine State|
|Governor||Rick Scott, R|
|Senator||Bill Nelson, D |
|Senator||Marco Rubio, R |
|Ratification of Constitution/or statehood||March 3, 1845 (27th)|
|Motto: "In God We Trust"|
Florida is a state located in the southeastern United States. It is bound by Georgia and Alabama to the north, the Gulf of Mexico to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Straits of Florida to the south. Originally a colony of Spain, it was purchased by the U.S. in 1819 and in 1845 became the 27th state to join the Union. The capital of Florida is Tallahassee, and the main metropolitan areas are Jacksonville, Miami, St. Petersburg and Orlando. Florida's nickname is the "Sunshine State", and its state tree is the sabal palm. Florida has grown very rapidly, pulling in retirees from the cold, giving it the 3rd largest population of the 50 states.
Florida was first settled by Europeans in 1513, when Spaniard Juan Ponce de Leon landed near where St. Augustine stands today. de Leon originally spotted Florida on Easter Sunday, so he named it Pascua Florida, which means "Flowery Easter" in Spanish.
For some time, Spain and France ran competing colonies in Florida, with the Spanish eventually expelling the French. John Quincy Adams, serving as the Secretary of State for President James Monroe, negotiated the Adams–Onís Treaty with the Spanish in 1819, purchasing the territory of Florida from Spain.
Florida seceded from the Union in 1861 and joined the Confederate States of America; there was little military action in the remote state.
A large sector of Florida's economy is based on the cultivation of citrus fruit. As of 2006, Florida produced 67 percent of the United States' total citrus fruit. This breaks down to 74 percent of oranges grown in the US, 58 percent of tangerines and 54 percent of grapefruit. The orange blossom is Florida's state flower, the orange is the state fruit and orange juice is the official state beverage.
Tourism is also a primary driver of the economy, with over 76 million tourists visiting and generating 57 billion dollars in revenue per year. Particularly popular attractions include the Everglades, Walt Disney World, and Miami's South Beach district.
NASA's presence in Cape Canaveral makes Florida a very good environment for the aerospace industry. Florida is the 4th largest employer of workers in the aerospace industry, with over 23,000 employed.
Republican Senator Mel Martinez astonished Floridians by suddenly resigning in August 2009. Governor Charlie Crist appointed George LeMieux, who was Crist's campaign manager in 2006 and served as deputy attorney general of Florida when Crist was attorney general. LeMieux is regarded as one of the shrewdest political strategists in the state and, like Crist, is a moderate Republican. Crist then decided to run for the seat.
Crist was elected governor in 2006, running as a fiscal conservative and a moderate on social issues. His style is folksy and he searches for bipartisanship. His handling of the great hurricanes of 2005-6 was widely praised. He appointed one moderate and two conservatives to the state supreme court. His support for John McCain helped carry the state primary and played a role in giving the 2008 GOP nomination to McCain. He cut property taxes and cut the state budget, but annoyed some conservatives by his enthusiastic support for the Obama administration's stimulus bill in spring 2009. Polls show a strong base of support from conservatives and moderates and some liberals. However, Crist was defeated in the Republican Senate Primary in 2010; his rival in the GOP primary was state House Speaker Marco Rubio, a Cuban American.
Florida is a swing state in presidential elections.
- Sen. Bill Nelson (D)
- Sen. Marco Rubio (R)
- Rep. Jeff Miller [R, FL-1]
- Rep. Steve Southerland [R, FL-2]
- Rep. Corrine Brown [D, FL-3]
- Rep. Ander Crenshaw [R, FL-4]
- Rep. Rich Nugent [R, FL-5]
- Rep. Clifford Stearns [R, FL-6]
- Rep. John Mica [R, FL-7]
- Rep. Dan Webster [R, FL-8]
- Rep. Gus Bilirakis [R, FL-9]
- Rep. C. W. Young [R, FL-10]
- Rep. Kathy Castor [D, FL-11]
- Rep. Dennis Ross [R, FL-12]
- Rep. Vern Buchanan [R, FL-13]
- Rep. Connie Mack [R, FL-14]
- Rep. Bill Posey [R, FL-15]
- Rep. Thomas Rooney [R, FL-16]
- Rep. Frederica Wilson [D, FL-17]
- Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R, FL-18]
- Rep. Ted Deutch [D, FL-19]
- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D, FL-20]
- Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart [R, FL-21]
- Rep. Allen West [R, FL-22]
- Rep. Alcee Hastings [D, FL-23]
- Rep. Sandy Adams [R, FL-24]
- Rep. David Rivera [R, FL-25]
- Governor Rick Scott (R)
- Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll (R)
- Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater (R)
- Attorney General Pam Bondi (R)
- Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R)
- Florida state name origin
- Acquisition of Florida
- Florida state fruit: orange