||Saturday, April 1, 2000
||How Florida got it's name.
||On Easter Sunday, 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon and those with
him in three ships saw a small, unknown island. They sailed
northwest for three days and then west-northwest for two
days more. Again they saw land, but the coast was so long
that they knew this was not an island like the one glimpsed
five days before.
The lawyers who served the King of Spain thought possession
could by cinched by naming places discovered by the explorers;
thus, Ponce de Leon was faced with the problem of what to
call this land on which he yet had not set foot.
Writing a hundred years later, court historian Antonio de
Herrara told how Ponce de Leon solved the problem:
"Believing that land to be an island, they named it
Florida, because it appeared very delightful, having many
pleasant groves, and it was all level; and also because
they discovered it at Easter, which as has been said, the
Spaniards called Pasqua de Flores, or Florida."
The Spanish pronounced it Flor-EE-da. The English, coming
later, kept the name but changed the pronounciation to suit
their tongues, so Flor-EE-da became FLOR-i-da.