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20 Facts About Jacksonville
The Floridian city of Jacksonville is centered on the St Johns River, just 25 miles (40 km) south of the Georgia border and roughly 340 miles (547 km) north of Miami.
A major military and civilian deep-water port facilitating two navy bases and the Port of Jacksonville, the city is also a tourist destination, especially for golfers.
I hope that you enjoy my 20 facts about Jacksonville, Florida and find them interesting.
1. Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida, both in terms of population and the size of the area it covers (over 840 square miles).
2. It is also the largest city in the continental USA in terms of the land area it covers. It is the 11th largest US city in terms of population size.
3. The population of the city is 821,784. The wider Greater Jacksonville Metropolitan Area has a population of 1,313,228.
4. The city is the county seat of Duval County.
5. Duval County and Duval Street are named after the first Territorial Governor of Florida, William Pope Duval.
6. The city of Jacksonville has the biggest urban park system in the USA with more than 80,000 acres set aside as parkland and community areas.
“Ponce de Leon was the first to explore Jacksonville in the year 1898. People mistakenly think it was the year 1513, but the truth is his watch was slow by a few hundred years.”— Jarod Kintz, I am Jacksonville
7. The Prudential Building (now called the Aetna Building) was the tallest office building in the South when it opened in 1955. It has 22 stories.
8. Until 1822, Jacksonville was called Cowford, because it was the place where cattle were transported over the St. John's River.
9. Before the arrival of Europeans, the Jacksonville area was inhabited by the Timucua tribe.
10. Jacksonville is named after General Andrew Jackson, who was the first military governor of Florida and the seventh president of the USA.
11. The Jacksonville Jazz Festival has been held every year since 1980 and is the is the second-largest jazz festival in the US. Artists such as Tony Bennett and Miles Davis have performed at the event in the past.
“The day Spenkelink was put to death a popular Jacksonville disc jockey aired a recording of sizzling bacon and dedicated it to the doomed man.”— Stephen G. Michaud, The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy
12. The Port of Jacksonville is the third largest seaport in Florida.
13. In 1901 a huge fire destroyed the city’s business district, causing 7 deaths and making 8,677 residents homeless. The event is known as "Great Fire of 1901" and is one of the worst disasters in Florida history.
14. The bestselling author, John Grisham is a frequent visitor to Jacksonville and the Old Sea Turtle Inn (renamed One Ocean Resort) and Pete’s Bar in NeptuneBeach feature in his book, The Brethren.
15. The historic Florida Theatre was the venue for Elvis Presley’s first ever indoor concert in 1957. Elvis played Jacksonville 8 times in total, his last appearance in 1977, just a few months before his death.
16. The Dames Point Bridge, which opened in 1989 at a cost of $117 million dollars, is the world’s largest concrete cable-supported bridge.
17. Jacksonville’s Friendship Fountain was the largest and tallest fountain in the world when it opened in 1965. Its three pumps are capable of pushing 17,000 US gallons (64,000 L) of water per minute up to ten stories in height.
18. The city’s climate is classified as humid subtropical. Winters are normally mild and summers hot and humid. During the summer months, it is common for thunderstorms to occur during the afternoon.
“Here in Jacksonville there’s a road called Commonwealth Blvd., and today as I was driving on it, I realized how socialist the name sounds.”— Jarod Kintz, This Book Has No Title
19. The 62-foot (19 m) tall Confederate statue located in Hemming Plaza is the oldest memorial in the city. It survived the Great Fire of 1901.
20. The Mug Race Sailing Regatta, which takes place annually, is the world’s longest river sailboat race. Founded in 1953, it runs 38 miles up the St. Johns River from Palatka to Jacksonville.
Have you been to Jacksonville, Florida?
© 2012 Paul Askew