Stumper Detail

Date: Saturday, April 1, 2000 
Question/Topic: How Florida got it's name. 
Answer/Pointer: 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. 
Librarian: SLF 

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