Florida's Comprehensive Historic Preservation Plan 2012–2016

A Brief Timeline of Florida History


(Items in orange indicate events in Florida's historic preservation history.)

10,000 B.C. - A.D. 700

10,000+ B.C. Hunting and gathering Paleoindians present in Florida, as at Warm Mineral Springs in Sarasota Co. and Page/Ladson Site in Jefferson Co.
9000 B.C. Glaciers began to melt and sea levels began to rise
7500 B.C. Early Archaic Period, people hunted and gathered but began to gather near wetlands
6000–5000 B.C. Human burials placed under water, as at Windover Site in Brevard Co., also evidence of manufacture of cordage and fabrics
5000 B.C. First semi-permanent settlements in Florida
5000–3000 B.C. Middle Archaic sites along St. Johns River, and along Hillsborough River north of Tampa, modern environments established
3000 B.C. Late Archaic, marked by shell middens on coasts and rivers
2000 B.C. First fired clay pottery
500 B.C. Mound building, as at Crystal River Indian Mounds in Citrus Co.
A.D. 700 Beginning of tribes and chiefdoms eventually met by the Spaniards: Timucuans, Apalachee, Calusa, Tequesta

1498 — 1599

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1498–1502 Europeans first saw Florida coast
1513 Juan Ponce de Leon landed north of Cape Canaveral and named Florida
1528 Panfilo de Narvaez visited Tampa and Tallahassee areas
1539 Hernando de Soto landed in Tampa Bay area and wintered in Tallahassee while on trek throughout the Southeast
1559 Tristan de Luna established a colony on the shores of Pensacola Bay, abandoned two years later
1562 Jean Ribault searched for a site for a French Huguenot colony near mouth of St.Johns River
1564 Laudonniere returned to mouth of St. Johns to establish a French colony and built Fort Caroline, where first recorded birth of a white child in North America took place
1565 Pedro Menendez established St. Augustine, the first permanent settlement by Europeans in North America
1570 First citrus groves in Florida planted in St. Augustine
1586 Sir Francis Drake sacked and burned St. Augustine
1590 Franciscan missionaries active near St. Augustine

1600 — 1699

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1603 Mission chain started along coast and across peninsula toward the Apalachee
1650 Missions extended to the Apalachicola River
1650 Fort Matanzas built
1672–1698 Castillo de San Marcos completed

1700 — 1799

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1702–1704 British raided Spanish settlements and destroy missions
1715 Spanish Plate Fleet wrecked off southeast Florida coast
1733 Spanish Plate Fleet wrecked off Florida Keys
1738–1740 Fort Mose established, first legally sanctioned free black community in what is now the United States
1740 British invaded Florida, native populations diminished
1763 Treaty of Paris ended French and Indian War, Spain cedeed Florida to Britain
1768 British sugar, citrus, rice, and indigo plantations established
1768 Turnbull Colony at New Smyrna established, but abandoned in 1777
1770s Creeks from Georgia and Alabama, later called Seminoles, entered Florida
1774 Naturalist William Bartram described archaeological sites like Mt. Royal
1776–81 Florida colonies remained loyal to Britain during the American Revolution
1783 Florida returned to Spain, in exchange for Bahamas and Gibraltar
1783–1821 Border disputes between Spain and United States

1800 — 1899

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1810 British occupied Pensacola, but were driven out by Andrew Jackson in 1813
1817–1818 First Seminole War
1821 United States acquired Florida from Spain by treaty
1824 Tallahassee established as territorial capital
1830s Steamboats brought settlers
1834–1837 Florida's first railroads began operation
1835–1842 Second Seminole War, first reservations established
1845 Florida admitted to the Union as a state
1856–1858 Third Seminole War ceased, ending Wars of Indian Removal east of the Mississippi River
1858 Florida Historical Society founded
1861–1865 Civil War, Florida was part of the Confederacy, Battle of Olustee fought in 1864
1860s–70s Jeffries Wyman determined archaeological shell heaps were made by humans
1880s Development of new industries: railroads, citrus, phosphate, timber, truck farming, and tourism
1887 Eatonville, oldest intact incorporated black community in the United States, established
1890s Clarence Moore excavated archaeological sites throughout Florida
1894–95 Freezes destroyed citrus crops, and citrus cultivation moves south
1896 Frank Cushing discovered Key Marco Site in Collier County
1898 Spanish-American War; Florida was major embarkation point

1900 — 1949

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1900s Greek immigrants arrived and settled mostly in Tarpon Springs
1901 Great Fire destroyed downtown Jacksonville
1905 State University System created
1905–1912 Construction of Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad to Key West
1914 Pensacola Naval Air Station established
1914 First regularly scheduled commercial airline between two U.S. cities, St. Petersburg and Tampa, established
1917–1918 World War I, Florida was site for military training and shipbuilding
1918 First international flight, Key West to Havana
1924 Castillo de San Marcos was designated a National Memorial
1925-1926 Early 20th Century Florida Land Boom
1927 First international air mail service, Pan American flights from Key West to Havana, Cuba
1928 Devastating hurricane hit South Florida
1928 Tamiami Trail, from Miami to the Gulf Coast, officially opened
1930 Eastern Airlines started Miami to New York service
1935 Overseas Railroad converted to highway
1937 Amelia Earhart took off from Miami on fatal round-the-world flight
1941-1945 World War II, Florida again was a major site for military training and shipbuilding
1946 Florida Park Service established
1946 First State Archaeologist appointed
1947 Florida Anthropological Society founded

1950 — 1999

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1950 Florida has 20th largest state population
1950 First American rocket launch from Cape Canaveral
1952 First Florida Folk Festival held
1954-60 School desegregation and civil rights tensions
1955 Florida Turnpike authorized
1958 Free World's first earth satellite, Explorer I, launched from Cape Canaveral
1959-1961 First wave of Cuban immigrants
1961 Junior College System established
1961 First American manned space travel, from Cape Canaveral
1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
1965-1973 Second wave of Cuban immigrants
1966 National Historic Preservation Act passed
1966 First State Historic Preservation Officer appointed
1966 First Florida properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places
1967 The Florida Historic Resources Act passed
1967 State Archives officially established
1967 Florida Department of State given historic preservation responsibilities
1969 Apollo 11, launched from Kennedy Space Center, landed first men on the moon
1970 Florida Master Site File begun
1971 Museum of Florida History chartered
1971 Disney World opened
1973 Research and Conservation Laboratory for artifacts established
1977 Museum of Florida History opened in the R.A. Gray Building, Tallahassee
1978 Florida Trust for Historic Preservation founded
1978 Florida's first project under Federal Tax Credit Program completed
1979 Florida Archaeological Council founded
1979 Conservation and Recreation Lands FCT Fund (CARL) established
1979 Florida Folklife Program established
1980 First State Folklorist appointed
1980 Third wave of Cuban immigrants, the "Mariel Boatlift," brought 120,000 Cubans to Key West
1980s Rehabilitation of Art Deco hotels in Miami Beach began
1981 The first space shuttle, Columbia, launched from Kennedy Space Center
1980s-90s Political unrest in Central and South America and the Caribbean leads to major influx of immigrants to South Florida
1982 Five-year restoration of the Old Capitol to its 1902 appearance completed
1983 Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program started
1983 State Historic Preservation Grants-In-Aid Program started, evolves into nation's largest program in 1990s
1985 Florida Main Street Program established
1985 Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Growth Management Act requires local plans, including identification and preservation of historic resources
1985 Florida Folk Heritage Awards Program established
1986 Miami became Florida's first Certified Local Government
1986 Florida Historical Resources Act created Division of Historical Resources
1987 Florida Underwater Preserve program established
1987 Archaeologists uncovered the first evidence of De Soto's 1539 winter encampment in Tallahassee.
1990 Florida has the 4th largest state population in the United States.
1992 Hurricane Andrew hits South Florida
1992 Emanuel Point Shipwreck, from the 1559 Luna expedition, discovered
1993 Florida Heritage Education Program started
1993 First issue of Florida Heritage magazine published, renamed Florida History & the Arts in 2000
1994 Florida Historic Marker Program re-authorized and enhanced
1997 DeLand received Great American Main Street Award

2000 — Present

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2000 Presidential election put world focus on Florida
2000 Newnan's Lake Canoes (largest known collection of prehistoric canoes) discovered
2001 Florida Forever created
2004 Florida Public Archaeology Network created
2004-05 Major hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne, Dennis, Katrina, and Wilma) struck Florida
2006 Mission San Luis received Presidential Award
2007 History & the Arts ceased publication due to budget cuts
2007 Eight regional offices for Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) established
2007 Crash of the early 21st century Florida Land Boom, resulting in major state budget deficits and the cutting back of state and local preservation programs
2008 Elimination of DHR regional offices
2010 Florida State Folklorist position re-established after being eliminated in 2009
2010 Gulf Oil Spill further impacted state economy
2010 End of the Space Shuttle Program at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral
2011 Community Planning Act shifts many review responsibilities of state projects to local governments
2011 Miami Circle Park dedicated
2011 Ft. Pierce received Great American Main Street Award
2011 The Grove restoration began
2011 Launch of Viva Florida
2012 Frank Lloyd Wright designed Florida Southern College Historic District designated as a National Historic Landmark
2013 Commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of Ponce De Leon's arrival in Florida