In 1513, Spaniard Juan Ponce de León discovered and named Florida while seeking the "Fountain of Youth". The name was chosen in honor of Pascua Florida, a pre-Easter holiday also known as “the feast of flowers” the land was covered in flowers so the name was appropriate. Ponce de León claimed it for Spain, but because of Indian attacks he never established a colony. Over 150 years later, the first permanent European settlement was established in St. Augustine. Florida became part of the U.S. territory in the early 19th century and was admitted to the union as the twenty-seventh state in the U.S. on March 3, 1845. In the 20th century, Cape Canaveral (John F. Kennedy Space Center) was established and Florida became part of the Space Age. Walt Disney World was built and opened in 1971. Florida has been and still is one of the fastest growing states in the country.

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