The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – January 2021: Florida

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The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – January 2021: Florida

1bhabeck
Jan 1, 2021, 1:59am

Each month, we will visit a different state in the United States of America for the Monthly Reading Challenge in the Mystery & Suspense Extra! Group. This month, we stay in the southeastern US and visit - Florida.

The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – January 2021: Florida


History

Florida is a US state in the southeastern region of the country. Florida is the 3rd most populous US state with approximately 21 million people as of 2019, the 8th in terms of density and the 22nd largest by area at 65,758 square miles (170,312 sq km). Its capital is Tallahassee and the largest city is Jacksonville. The Miami metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 6.2 million people in 2019, is the most populous urban area in Florida and the 7th most populous metropolitan area in the United States. Florida's $1.0 trillion economy is the 4th largest of any US state – if it were a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world.

Florida was the first region of the continental US to be visited and settled by Europeans. The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon. Ponce de Leon landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513. He named it La Florida in recognition of the verdant landscape and because it was the Easter season which the Spanish called Pascua Florida (Festival of Flowers). Spain established several settlements in Florida – mostly short-lived – until the founding of St. Augustine in 1565, creating what would become one of the oldest, continuously-occupied European settlements in the continental US. The Spanish maintained strategic control over the region by converting the local tribes to Christianity. They also encouraged slaves from the Thirteen Colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism.

In 1763, Spain traded Florida to Great Britain for control of Havana, Cuba which had been captured during the Seven Years' War. The trade was part of the 1763 Treaty of Paris. Spain was granted Louisiana from France due to their loss of Florida. Spain regained Florida after Britain's defeat in the Revolutionary War and the subsequent Treaty of Versailles in 1783. Following years of repeated border skirmishes and incursions by the US government as well as US citizens crossing into the region to take up residency, Spain finally ceded the region to the US in 1821.

By the early 1800s, Indian removal was a significant issue throughout the southeastern U.S. and also in Florida. In 1830, the U.S. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act and as settlement increased, pressure grew on the U.S. government to remove the Indians from Florida. Seminoles offered sanctuary to blacks, and these became known as the Black Seminoles, and clashes between whites and Indians grew with the influx of new settlers. In 1832, the Treaty of Payne's Landing promised to the Seminoles lands west of the Mississippi River if they agreed to leave Florida. Many Seminole left at this time. Some Seminoles remained, and the U.S. Army arrived in Florida, leading to the Second Seminole War (1835–1842). Following the war, approximately 3,000 Seminole and 800 Black Seminole were removed to Indian Territory. A few hundred Seminole remained in Florida in the Everglades. As European settlers continued to encroach on Seminole lands, the United States intervened to move the remaining Seminoles to the West. The Third Seminole War (1855–58) resulted in the forced removal of most of the remaining Seminoles, although hundreds of Seminole Indians remained in the Everglades.

On March 3, 1845, only one day before the end of President John Tyler's term in office, Florida became the 27th state, admitted as a slave state and no longer a sanctuary for runaway slaves. Initially its population grew slowly.

On January 10, 1861, nearly all delegates in the Florida Legislature approved an ordinance of secession, declaring Florida to be "a sovereign and independent nation." The ordinance declared Florida's secession from the Union, allowing it to become one of the founding members of the Confederate States.

Following the American Civil War, Florida's congressional representation was restored on June 25, 1868, albeit forcefully after Radical Reconstruction and the installation of unelected government officials under the final authority of federal military commanders. After the Reconstruction period ended in 1876, white Democrats regained power in the state legislature. In 1885, they created a new constitution, followed by statutes through 1889 that disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites. Forty thousand blacks, roughly one-fifth of their 1900 population levels in Florida, left the state in the Great Migration. They left due to lynchings and racial violence, and for better opportunities in the North and the West. Disfranchisement for most African Americans in the state persisted until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s gained federal legislation in 1965 to enforce protection of their constitutional suffrage.

Historically, Florida's economy has been based primarily upon agricultural products such as cattle, sugar cane, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and strawberries. Economic prosperity in the 1920s stimulated tourism to Florida and related development of hotels and resort communities. Combined with its sudden elevation in profile was the Florida land boom of the 1920s, which brought a brief period of intense land development. Devastating hurricanes in 1926 and 1928, followed by the Great Depression, brought that period to a halt. Florida's economy did not fully recover until the military buildup for World War II. In the 20th century, tourism, industry, construction, international banking, biomedical and life sciences, healthcare research, simulation training, aerospace and defense, and commercial space travel have contributed to the state's economic development.

Geography



Much of Florida is on a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean and the Straits of Florida. Spanning two time zones, it extends to the northwest into a panhandle, extending along the northern Gulf of Mexico. It is bordered on the north by Georgia and Alabama, and on the west, at the end of the panhandle, by Alabama. It is the only state that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Florida also is the southernmost of the 48 contiguous states, Hawaii being the only one of the fifty states reaching farther south. Florida is west of The Bahamas and 90 miles (140 km) north of Cuba. Florida is one of the largest states east of the Mississippi River, and only Alaska and Michigan are larger in water area.

Much of Central and North Florida, typically 25 mi (40 km) or more away from the coastline, have rolling hills with elevations ranging from 100 to 250 ft (30 to 76 m). The highest point in peninsular Florida (east and south of the Suwannee River), Sugarloaf Mountain, is a 312-foot (95 m) peak in Lake County. On average, Florida is the flattest state in the United States.

The climate of Florida is tempered somewhat by the fact that no part of the state is distant from the ocean. North of Lake Okeechobee, the prevalent climate is humid subtropical, while areas south of the lake (including the Florida Keys) have a true tropical climate. With an average daily temperature of 70.7 °F (21.5 °C), it is the warmest state in the U.S.

Fun Facts

The choice of "Swanee River (Old Folks at Home)," a minstrel song written by Stephen Foster in 1851, makes sense when you consider that the retirement industry is the state's second-biggest economic driver, and that by 2030, one out of every four Florida residents will be older than 65. The state officially adopted revised lyrics to "Swanee River" in 2008, replacing its original, racist ones.

Ybor City was once known as the Cigar Capital of the World with nearly 12,000 tabaqueros (cigar-makers) employed in 200 factories. Ybor City produced an estimated 700 million cigars a year at the industry’s peak.

Florida has also been hit by more than twice as many hurricanes as the next closest hurricane-prone state, which is Texas. Of the 292 hurricanes that have hit the U.S. since 1851, a staggering 120 have made some sort of landfall in Florida.

When first completed in 1989 the Dame Point Bridge became the longest cable-stayed span in the United States, the longest concrete span of its type in the Western Hemisphere, and the third longest cable-stayed bridge in the world.


Florida has more toll roads and bridges than any other state.

The Florida Everglades are the only place on the planet where crocodiles and alligators live together.


Florida is the largest producer of watermelons in the country. It also produces the most tomatoes, strawberries and sugar.

Made mostly of Florida pine, The Belleview Biltmore Resort and Spa, northwest of Tampa Bay is said to be the world’s largest occupied wooden structure at 820,000 square feet.


In terms of area, Jacksonville, Florida is the largest city in the United States.

Annual attendance at Disney World is about 17 million people. That’s over 45,000 people per day on AVERAGE. Busy days will see over 100,000.


Florida has the longest coastline (1,197 statute miles) in the contiguous United States, with 825 miles of accessible beaches to enjoy. It’s the only state that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Wherever you are in Florida, you're never more than 60 miles from the nearest body of salt water.

It’s claimed that the first sunblock was invented in Miami Beach, in 1944, by pharmacist Benjamin Green. Called Red Vet Pet (it was a red gel) it was used to protect American GIs from the sun in World War II. He later added cocoa butter to develop what eventually became suntan lotion.

Florida has 175 state parks, 37 state forests, 12 national parks, preserves, seashores or monuments, three national forests, and one national scenic trail. The Florida Everglades, containing 1.5 million acres of sawgrass, marshes, mangrove forests, hardwood hammocks and wetlands, is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. (Florida also has more than 1,200 golf courses, more than any other U.S. state).

Cape Canaveral has been the world’s launchpad for manned space flight, including the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and space shuttle missions. NASA’s first communication satellite – Echo 1 – was launched from Cape Canaveral on Aug. 12, 1960.


Notable Residents
Famous Florida natives include: Tom Petty (musician), Sidney Poitier (actor), Debbie Harry (singer), Ariana Grande (singer), Faye Dunaway (actress), Wesley Snipes (actor), Bob Ross (art instructor), Carl Hiaasen (author), Zora Neale Hurston (author), Janet Reno (US Attorney General) and astronaut John Young.

In honor of FLORIDA, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Senior," "Water," "Orange," or "Sun/Sunshine" in the title OR has a cover that is more than 50% Orange OR has an orange or other fruit on the cover;

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in space OR has a major character who is considered a senior (60+ years old) OR the story takes place in the Southern region of the United States;

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in FLORIDA.


Happy Reading ❤

2bhabeck
Jan 1, 2021, 2:00am

Brenda's January 2021 Americana Challenge - Florida
0 of 3 Complete


In honor of FLORIDA, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Senior," "Water," "Orange," or "Sun/Sunshine" in the title OR has a cover that is more than 50% Orange OR has an orange or other fruit on the cover;

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in space OR has a major character who is considered a senior (60+ years old) OR the story takes place in the Southern region of the United States;

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in FLORIDA.

3Carol420
Edited: Jan 5, 2021, 3:06pm


2/3
📌 - ★
Carol Goes Home

I was born in St. Petersburg, FL... but grew up and spent the first 32 years of my life in this little town...Plant City...the "Winter Strawberry Capital of The World." >2 bhabeck: I see I was not listed in the "notable residents":)

📌1. A Mystery/Suspense book with "Senior," "Water," "Orange," or "Sun/Sunshine" in the title OR has a cover that is more than 50% Orange OR has an orange or other fruit on the cover.
Hidden Secrets - Cait London - 3★


📌2. A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in space OR has a major character who is considered a senior (60+ years old) OR the story takes place in the Southern region of the United States;
Norwegian By Night - Derek Miller - 4.5- ★

3. A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in FLORIDA.
Don't Look - Alexandra Ivy - ★ (A & I)

4Carol420
Edited: Jan 1, 2021, 8:42am

This message has been deleted by its author.

5Sergeirocks
Edited: Jan 15, 2021, 2:26pm

Saving my position in the queue... 🙂

The Thursday Murder Club - Richard Osman 4.5★s (Set in a retirement village - take your pick of seniors! 😉)
Evil Under the Sun - Agatha Christie 4★s ('Sun' in the title)
Vanishing Point - Danielle Ramsay 4★s (Author's initials in FLORIDA)

6bhabeck
Jan 1, 2021, 11:23am

>3 Carol420: LOL...I actually considered putting you in but couldn’t remember if you were born in Florida or just spent your childhood/early adulthood there 🤣🤣

7gaylebutz
Jan 2, 2021, 9:08pm

I’m going to read Magic City by James W. Hall. It takes place in the southern region of the U. S. - Florida.

8Carol420
Edited: Jan 15, 2021, 11:44am


2/3
📌 - ★
Carol Goes Home

I was born in St. Petersburg, FL... but grew up and spent the first 32 years of my life in this little town...Plant City...the "Winter Strawberry Capital of The World." >2 bhabeck: I see I was not listed in the "notable residents":)

📌1. A Mystery/Suspense book with "Senior," "Water," "Orange," or "Sun/Sunshine" in the title OR has a cover that is more than 50% Orange OR has an orange or other fruit on the cover.
Hidden Secrets - Cait London - 3★


📌2. A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in space OR has a major character who is considered a senior (60+ years old) OR the story takes place in the Southern region of the United States;
Norwegian By Night - Derek Miller - 4.5- ★

3. A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in FLORIDA.
Don't Look - Alexandra Ivy - ★ (A & I)

9Olivermagnus
Edited: Jan 30, 2021, 7:01pm



I used to live in Tarpon Springs, home of sponge divers in America. Our football mascot was a sponge diver in full gear and the team was called The Spongers.

Lynda and Oliver's January 2021 Americana Challenge - Florida

3
of 3 Complete

In honor of FLORIDA, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

🐬 A Mystery/Suspense book with "Senior," "Water," "Orange," or "Sun/Sunshine" in the title OR has a cover that is more than 50% Orange OR has an orange or other fruit on the cover;
When the Lion Feeds - Wilbur Smith - 3.5 Stars - 1/11/21


🐬 A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in space OR has a major character who is considered a senior (60+ years old) OR the story takes place in the Southern region of the United States;
The Last Move - Mary Burton - 4 Stars - 1/17/21 - set in Texas

🐬 A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in FLORIDA.
The Girl With No Name - Lisa Regan - 4.5 Stars - LR

10Carol420
Jan 6, 2021, 8:41am

>9 Olivermagnus: My Grandfather took me to Tarpon Springs with him often as he had a good friend that owned a restaurant there, Louis Pappas. He took 9 year old me to lunch at his friend's restaurant and told me that I could have anything I wanted. I ordered a "hamburger"...which wasn't even on the menu...but his friend said that that was okay. They ground the biggest steak on the menu to make it. It was huge, but I didn't have any idea what anything else on the menu even was:)

11Sergeirocks
Jan 6, 2021, 6:58pm

12Olivermagnus
Jan 7, 2021, 7:11pm

>10 Carol420: - I love Greek food but probably didn't when I was nine.

13Carol420
Jan 8, 2021, 7:49am

>12 Olivermagnus: I love Greek food also and I might have liked it then if I had known what it was. We were never allowed to turn food away without at least trying it...you know about all the hungry children in China...but I couldn't even pronounce this stuff.

14gaylebutz
Edited: Jan 15, 2021, 7:12pm

Done - Magic City by James W. Hall - 3.5 ★
It takes place in the southern region of the U. S. - Florida.

15bhabeck
Jan 9, 2021, 5:43pm

>14 gaylebutz: congrats!

16Carol420
Jan 10, 2021, 6:47am

>14 gaylebutz:



Congrats, Gayle. Nice work.

17jguidry
Jan 10, 2021, 9:43pm

Jaret Finds Clues in Florida
(1/3 completed)

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Senior," "Water," "Orange," or "Sun/Sunshine" in the title OR has a cover that is more than 50% Orange OR has an orange or other fruit on the cover;

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in space OR has a major character who is considered a senior (60+ years old) OR the story takes place in the Southern region of the United States;
Miss Dimple Suspects by Mignon F. Ballard 3 stars 1/6/2021 victim and suspect are both seniors; set in Georgia

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in FLORIDA.

18gaylebutz
Jan 15, 2021, 7:12pm

Done - The Guest List by Lucy Foley - 4 ★
The author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in FLORIDA - L, F

This is the first time I've completed 2 books for this challenge. Whoo Hooo!!

19bhabeck
Jan 15, 2021, 10:13pm

>18 gaylebutz: YEA! Well Done!

20Carol420
Edited: Jan 16, 2021, 8:22am

>18 gaylebutz:


Good work...Gayle!

21Sergeirocks
Jan 17, 2021, 11:49am

>18 gaylebutz: 👍👏😀

22Olivermagnus
Jan 30, 2021, 7:02pm

It's been forever since I got them all!

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