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Florida was named by Juan Ponce
de León. Ponce de León was a Spanish conquistador who accompanied
Christopher Columbus on his second trip to the Americas.
After having spent time in various holdings in the New World,
he set sail with three ships in 1513. The exact reason why
is disputed, but a common tale is that he was seeking the
Fountain of Youth. Landing somewhere in Northeast Florida,
he claimed the lands of "La Florida" (flowery)
He landed in Florida on April 2nd, 1513, during the celebration
of Pascua Florida (the Easter season). That may be the reason
for the name, or simply a reference to the vegetation he
found upon his arrival. Regardless, the name has been passed
down since then and his hunt for the Fountain of Youth became
While he is commonly credited with being the first European
to set foot in Florida, there is some dispute of this as
apparently he was met by at least one native that spoke