|Spanish Explorer Ponce de Leon Lands on Florida’s Shore on State’s 500th Anniversary|
St. Augustine, Fla. (March 21, 2013) —Spanish Explorer Ponce de Leon will set foot on Florida’s shore 500 years to the day of his original discovery of La Florida.
What: St. Augustine, Fla. will mark the day that Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon came ashore in Florida to plant the flag for Spain 500 years ago. A full-fledged colorful re-enactment of the landing of Ponce de Leon and his crew will be heralded with cannon fire, musket drills, a commemorative mass and the unveiling of the U.S. Postal Service’s La Florida stamp recognizing Florida’s 500th anniversary.
When: April 3, 2013, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: St. Augustine, Florida’s bay front and historic downtown area.
Why: Florida’s Historic Coast – St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra – remains the only documented location for Juan Ponce de Leon’s 1513 voyage. The only surviving navigational fix from the journey was taken at noon on April 2, 1513, putting his fleet at a position of 30 degrees 8 minutes north latitude. That position is north of today’s St. Augustine and just south of Ponte Vedra Beach.
Additional event: Tuesday, April 2, a permanent addition to recognize the only navigational reading recorded of Ponce de Leon’s “Journey of Discovery” at a position of 30 degrees 8 minutes north latitude will be held at noon at the North Beach Access parking lot for Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve on AIA in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082. A 15-foot statue of Ponce de Leon, state historical marker and interpretive signage will be unveiled to the public.
To download photos of St. Augustine and historic reenactments click here.