The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Oddly Enough

February 10, 2014

Plant City, is the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World

plus other Florida trivia

1.Niceville is home to the famous Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival celebrated the third weekend in October.

2.The United States city with the highest rate of lightning strikes per capita is Clearwater.

3.Gatorade was named for the University of Florida Gators where the drink was first developed.

4.Young aviator Tony Jannus made history on January 1, 1914 when he flew the world's first scheduled passenger service airline flight from St. Petersburg's downtown yacht basin to Tampa.

5.Dr. John Gorrie of Apalachicola invented mechanical refrigeration in 1851.

6.Miami Beach pharmacist Benjamin Green invented the first suntan cream in 1944. He accomplished this development by cooking cocoa butter in a granite coffee pot on his wife's stove.

7.Neil Smith and his brother of Montverde developed the first Snapper riding lawn mower.

8.Key West has the highest average temperature in the United States.

9.The Saint John's River is one of the few rivers that flows north instead of south.

10.The largest lake in Florida is Lake Okeechobee.

11.May 20, 1970 Florida lawmakers passed and sent to the Governor a bill adopting the moonstone as the official state gem. Ironically, the moonstone is not found naturally in Florida...nor was it found on the moon.

12.In 1987 the Florida legislature designated the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) the official state reptile. Long an unofficial symbol of the state, the alligator originally symbolized Florida's extensive untamed wilderness and swamps.

13.Miami installed the first bank automated teller machine especially for rollerbladers.

14.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.

15.Plant City, the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, holds the Guinness record for the world's largest strawberry shortcake. The 827 square-foot, 6,000 pound cake was made on Feb. 19, 1999 in McCall Park.

16.The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a cable-stayed concrete bridge. Opened in 1987 the bridge coasts through the clouds at 190 feet above water. Its bright yellow support cables spread from the two center pillars. The structure gives drivers unobstructed view of the water during the 4.1 mile trip over Tampa Bay.

17.Nearly 80 percent of the states intake of sweet Atlantic white shrimp is harvested in Amelia Island waters. Two million pounds of shrimp are delivered to Fernandina docks annually.

18.A swamp such as the Fakahatchee Strand in the Everglades functions in three major ways. First, its vegetation serves as a filter to clean the water as it makes its slow journey southward. Secondly, it's a major habitat for wildlife and plant life. Finally, it actually prevents flooding by slowing down the flow of water after heavy rains.

19.DeFuniak Springs is home to one of the two naturally round lakes in the world.

20.The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens at Delray Beach is the only museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to the living culture of Japan.

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