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Crazy Laws in Florida and Fun Facts– Part One
Crazy Laws in the State of Florida and Fun Facts – Part One
There are crazy, strange, bizarre laws in every state, but Florida has the MOST crazy laws of all the states I have researched to date. Can’t help but wonder if perhaps voters have elected the MOST crazy legislators.
Here are some of the craziest laws from the state of Florida. Part Two will follow with the craziest laws from the cities of Florida.
In the State of Florida:
• The state constitution allows for freedom of speech, trial by jury, and pregnant pigs to not be confined in cages.
How did unconfined pregnant pigs get lumped together with two of the basic rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution? ‘Tis a puzzlement.
• A special law prohibits an unmarried woman from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jail.
Why would any legislator with any mental capacity spend time drafting and enacting a crazy law like this? Wait! I think I have a clue. It’s the phrase: ‘any mental capacity.’
• If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.
Suppose you are a city parking attendant and you spot an elephant tied to a parking meter that shows a violation. Where will you put the parking ticket?
• It is illegal to sell your children.
If they misbehave, could we just rent them out for a spell?
• It is illegal to fish while driving across a bridge.
Probably because it is impossible to fish while driving across a bridge.
• Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown.
Sorry, guys, you will have to wear your favorite strapless gowns indoors.
• Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.
Now I can share my favorite porcupine joke: Question: How do you have sex with a porcupine? Answer: Very, very carefully!
• Florida deals with its prostitution problem by giving prostitutes spending money, a five-year banishment, and a bus ticket out of town.
Sounds like a plan. They just bus the ladies of the night to the next county.
• You may not fart in a public place after 6 P.M. on Thursdays.
I’m not going to even try to understand the reasoning behind that crazy law.
• It is considered an offense to shower naked.
Put your bathing suit on! Now!
• It is illegal to sing in a public place while attired in a swimsuit.
Take your bathing suit off! Now!
• Failure to tell your neighbor his house is on fire is illegal.
Go ahead, obey the law, and tell your neighbor. Now! After you dial 911!
• When having sex, only the missionary position is legal.
This law looks familiar. It must have been enacted by a District of Columbia legislator who moved to Florida.
Florida has enacted so many crazy laws that this is Part One with Florida state laws. Don’t miss Part Two with Florida city laws.
Fun Facts and Illustrious Information about Florida
• ‘Florida’ means ‘flowery’ in Spanish. In 1513, Explorer Juan Ponce de León referred to the peninsula as ‘La Florida’ because it was the Easter season, and abundant spring flowers covered the landscape.
He thought Florida was an island.
Note: Ponce de Leon's name became associated with the legend of the search for the Fountain of Youth twenty years after his death.
• Safety Harbor is the home of the historic Espiritu Santo Springs, a natural mineral spring. It was given this name in 1539 by the Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto.
Note: It was de Soto who was actively searching for the legendary Fountain of Youth.
• The first permanent European settlement was established in St. Augustine in 1565 by Spanish admiral, Pedro Menendez de Aviles who became Florida’s first governor.
De Aviles named the settlement ‘San Agustín’ because his ships bearing settlers, troops, and supplies had first sighted land in Florida on August 28, 1565, the feast day of St. Augustine.
• St. Augustine is the oldest city in the U.S.
• The first graded road built in Florida was Old Kings Road in 1763. It was named for King George of England.
• Dr. John Gorrie of Apalachicola, a port city on the west coast of Florida, invented mechanical refrigeration (a machine for making artificial ice) in 1851.
• New England Congregationalists founded Rollins College, the oldest college in Florida, in Winter Park in 1885.
• 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 approximately 700 million cigars a year at the industry's peak.
Note: Vicente Martinez Ybor was a prominent Spanish-born cigar manufacturer who moved his cigar-making business from Cuba to Key West and then to a scrubland northeast of Tampa in 1885.
• Orlando attracts more visitors than any other amusement park destination in the United States.
It is known as the Theme Park Capital of the World. 62 million people visited its attractions in 2014.
Some of the most popular attractions are Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios Resort, SeaWorld, Wet ‘n Wild, and Gatorland.
Speaking of gators, here's my favorite Florida joke:
A man walked into a Florida bar with his pet alligator and asked the bartender, “Do you serve lawyers here?"
"Good. A beer for me and a lawyer for my alligator."
• The Bailey-Matthews Shell museum in Sanibel contains more than 2 million shells and claims to be the world's only museum devoted solely to mollusks.
Note: Actor Raymond Burr (remember him?) was instrumental in raising funds to build the museum.
• Florida is not the southernmost state in the United States. Hawaii is farther south.
• The Royal Poinciana tree grows in Florida and blooms in the winter – an indication of Florida’s subtropical climate.
• Clearwater holds the record for most consecutive days of sunshine in a single year with 361 days.
• With an average daily temperature of 70.7 F, Florida is the warmest state in the country.
• Greater Miami is the only metropolitan area in the United States whose borders encompass two national parks. You can hike through Everglades National Park, or ride on glass-bottom boats across Biscayne National Park.
Everglades National Park is visited on average by one million tourists each year.
• The Benwood on French Reef off Key Largo in the Florida Keys is known as one of the most popular shipwrecks in the world for divers to visit.
• Niceville is home to the famous Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival celebrated the third weekend in October. The festival is named after mullet, a fish found in abundance locally, and not the haircut.
• Gatorade, formulated in 1965, was named for the University of Florida Gators where the beverage was first developed.
• Eugene Schueller, founder of L’Oreal (cosmetics), invented sunscreen in 1936. But Miami Beach pharmacist Benjamin Green invented the first suntan cream in 1944. He accomplished this by cooking cocoa butter in a granite coffee pot on his kitchen stove.
• Central Florida is known as the lightning capital of the United States, as it experiences more lightning strikes than anywhere else in the country.
• The St. Johns River is an unusual river – it flows from south to north. Its source is in a swamp east of the Everglades and west of Vero Beach.
• 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.
• 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.
Note: Plant City's original name was ‘Ichepucksassa’ also known as ‘Idasukshed’ for the Indian village that once occupied the territory. Its name caused so much confusion that the city was renamed Cork, and finally, Plant City.
• The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a cable-stayed concrete bridge. Opened in 1987, the bridge reaches 190 feet above the water. Its bright yellow support cables spread from the two center pillars. The structure gives drivers an unobstructed view of the water during the 4.1 mile trip over Tampa Bay.
Note: Automobile manufacturers continually use this magnificent bridge as a background for auto commercials.
• Ft. Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America because the city has 165 miles of local waterways.
• Nearly 80% of the state’s intake of sweet Atlantic white shrimp is harvested in Amelia Island waters. Two million pounds of shrimp are delivered to Fernandina docks annually.
• The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens at Delray Beach is the only museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to Japanese culture.
• The city of Hypoluxo's name comes from the Seminole name for Lake Worth – “water all 'round -- no get out.”
• The famous Sponge docks are in Tarpon Springs. There are a number of traditional Greek restaurants there, too.
• The Miami suburb known as Hialeah is the Seminole name for ‘pretty prairie.’
• Marathon is home to Crane Point Hammock, a 63.5 acre land tract that is one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in the Keys. It was once was the site of an entire Indian village, and contains evidence of pre-Colombian and prehistoric Bahamian artifacts.
• Lake Okeechobee is over 730 square miles in size. It got its name from two Indian words: ‘okee’ meaning big and ‘chobee’ meaning water.
Note: The Lake is the second largest freshwater lake contained within the U.S. The largest is Lake Michigan.
• Titusville, known as Space City, USA, is located on the west shore of the Indian River directly across from the John F. Kennedy Space Center. The Warbird Air Show each March draws about 50,000 visitors.
• Florida is the only state that has 2 rivers both with the same name. There is a Withlacoochee in north central Florida (Madison County) and a Withlacoochee in central Florida. They have nothing in common except the name.
• Key West is an island located at the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys. Tourists constantly photograph the concrete buoy monument marking the southernmost point of the U.S.
Note: Printed on the monument is the phrase: ’90 miles to Cuba.’ Cuba is actually 94 statute miles from Key West.
• Amelia Island is a 13 mile-long island in the northeast corner of Florida. Eight flags have flown over this island: French, Spanish, British, Patriot, Green Cross, Mexican, Confederate, and United States.
Favorite Florida one-liner: “My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty and that’s the law.” – Jerry Seinfeld
© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2015. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."