Viva Florida 500
In 2013, Florida reached a significant milestone - the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de León's arrival on Florida's east coast. What makes this anniversary so unique is that Ponce de León's convoy of explorers was the first group of Europeans to document such a landing and give a name to Florida—La Florida. Visit Orlando joins in on the celebration of the Viva Florida 500, which highlights 500 years of historic people, places and events in present-day Florida since the arrival of Juan Ponce de León in 1513. Find Orlando events and facts, both fun and cultural, which feature the Viva 500 flair.
Did you know?
- Waldemar Serrano- first Hispanic appointed as Chaplin of the Orange County Sheriff’s Deptartment(1984)
- Anthony Suarez- Appointed by President Clinton to the Presidential Delegation (1999). First Hispanic elected to represent the Orlando area in the Florida Legislature. Held House of Representative Seat 35 (Democrat)
- Jose I. Fernandez Jr.- 1st Hispanic Orlando City Clerk
- Feliciano Ramirez- 1st Hispanic mayor of a central Florida town (Mascotte)
- John Quinone- 1st Freshman Florida Legislator to be named chair of a committee in the House Legislature
- Bertica Cabrera Morris- 1st Hispanic woman to chair the Valencia Board
- Darren Sotto- Central Florida’s 1st Hispanic State Senator
- Carlos Giraldo- first Hispanic to head the Rotary Club of the Central Florida District
- Raoul Martinez- first Hispanic weeknight news anchor in the Orlando area
- Joseph S. Sanchez- was appointed US Marshall for East Florida prior to Statehood (1841)
- Mary I. Johnson- first Hispanic to serve on Orlando’s City Council
Find more information on Viva Florida
Viva Florida Events
Orange County Library
Throughout 2013, the Library will share a series of special programs, celebrations, exhibits, performances and more to mark the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de León's landing on Florida's east coast. Community members are cordially invited to commemorate Florida's rich heritage and diverse cultural history.