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ORLANDO HISTORY FLORIDA - HISTORY OF ORLANDO FL

Orlando Florida HistoryOrlando FL Florida History -The first ever inhabitants of Florida, reached Florida at least 12,000 years ago. At that time there was a huge and diverse animal population in the area, and many of those animals are still in Florida today. Records about life in Florida came when a Spanish explorer named Juan Ponce De Leon arrived in Florida in 1513. Other Europeans before this may have reached Florida, but there is no evidence of this. In the late 1500’s England was gaining more and more land across America, and because Spain also had a lot of land the English sent a sailor named Sir Francis Drake who destroyed Spanish settlements.

In 1586 Drake attacked settlements and did a lot of damage to the Spanish forts. He did not attack one of the native Indian forts because he thought that they could later help him. A lot of wars were fought to get land in Florida. Around this time European settlers planted the first citrus trees introducing a major economic activity to the area.

Orlando’s history dates back to 1838 and the height of these wars. The U.S. Army built Fort Gatlin south of the present day Orlando. This was to protect settlers from attacks by the Indians. By 1840 a small town had grown up and some years later Orlando was founded. No one is quite sure where the name Orlando came from and there is much folklore surrounding this with many stories being told.

In the early 1900’s there was a massive population increase in throughout Florida especially following World War I . At this time, Orlando too increased dramatically in size. During World War II several military bases were built in Florida and many of those who had trained in the state, came back after the war and settled down. Orlando increased in size and became a city of over 200,000 people and the major entertainment resort it is today. Walt Disney World is the city’s largest employer with almost 60,000 on the payroll. Universal Orlando is also one of the top 10 employers in the city of Orlando.