Tallahassee is the capital of the State of Florida, USA, and the county seat of Leon County. Tallahassee became the capital of Florida in 1824. In 2006, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 159,012, while the Tallahassee metropolitan area is estimated at 336,501 (2006).
Tallahassee is the home of Florida State University, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee Community College and branches of Barry University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Flagler College. The Florida State University College of Engineering is a joint project of Florida State University and Florida A&M University. Two technical schools are located in Tallahassee: Lively Technical Center and Keiser College - Tallahassee.
Tallahassee is a regional center for trade and agriculture, and is served by Tallahassee Regional Airport. With one of the fastest growing manufacturing and high tech economies in Florida, its major private employers include a General Dynamics Land Systems manufacturing facility (military and combat applications), the headquarters of Talla-Tech (a communications manufacturing firm owned by Tadiran Communications, Ltd., in Israel) and the manufacturing headquarters for Danfoss Turbocor (a manufacturer of oil-free high efficiency compressors). It is also home for the Figg Engineering Group, a bridge engineering firm founded by Eugene Figg. The Municipal Code Corporation develops and publishes ordinances for cities and counties all across the United States. Homes and Land LLC, one of the nation's largest publishers of real estate listings and guides, is a privately held business based in Tallahassee. The Rose Printing Company is a book printer. As the capital of the fourth-largest state in the US, Tallahassee is home to a number of national law firms, lobbying organizations, trade associations and professional associations, including the Florida Bar, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries of Florida and Florida Tax Watch.
The expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez encountered the Apalachees, although it did not reach the site of Tallahassee. Hernando de Soto and his expedition occupied the Apalachee town of Anhaica in the winter of 1538-1539. Based on archaeological excavations, this site is now known to be located about one-half mile east of the present Florida State Capitol. The DeSoto encampment is believed to be the first place Christmas was celebrated in the continental United States.
During the 1600s, several Spanish missions were established in the territory of the Apalachee to procure food and labor for the colony at St. Augustine. The largest of these, Mission San Luis de Apalachee, has been partially reconstructed by the state of Florida.
From 1821 through 1845, the rough-hewn frontier capital gradually grew into a town during Florida's territorial period. The Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American Revolution, returned for a grand tour of the United States in 1824. The US Congress voted to give him $200,000 (the same amount he had given the colonies in 1778), US citizenship, and a plot of land that currently makes up a portion of Tallahassee. In 1845, a Greek revival masonry structure was erected as the Capitol building in time for statehood. Now known as the "old Capitol," it stands in front of the Capitol high rise building, which was constructed in the 1970s.
During the American Civil War, Tallahassee was the only Confederate state capital east of the Mississippi not captured by Union forces. A small engagement, the Battle of Natural Bridge, was fought south of the city on March 6, 1865.
Following the Civil War, much of Florida's industry moved to the south and east, a trend that continues today. The end of slavery hindered the cotton and tobacco trade, and the state's major industries shifted to citrus, lumber, naval stores, cattle ranching and tourism. The post-Civil War period was also when many former plantations in the Tallahassee area were purchased by wealthy northerners for use as winter hunting preserves. In 1899 the city reached −2 °F (−19 °C) (the only sub-zero Fahrenheit reading in Florida to this day) during the Great Blizzard of 1899.
Until World War II, Tallahassee remained a small southern town, with virtually the entire population living within a mile of the Capitol. The main economic drivers were the universities and state government, where politicians met to discuss spending money on grand public improvement projects to accommodate growth in places such as Miami and Tampa Bay, hundreds of miles away from the capital. By the 1960s, there was a movement to transfer the capital to Orlando, closer geographically to the growing population centers of the state. That motion was defeated, however, and the 1970s saw a long-term commitment by the state to the capital city with construction of the new capitol complex and preservation of the old Florida State Capitol building.
Tallahassee is located at (30.451800, -84.272770). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 98.2 square miles (254.5 km²), of which, 95.7 square miles (247.9 km²) of it is land and 2.5 square miles (6.6 km²) of it (2.59%) is water.
Tallahassee is noted for its hilly terrain, and the state capitol is located on one of the highest hills in the city. The elevation varies from near sea level to just over 200 feet. The flora and fauna are more typical of those found in the mid-south and low country regions of South Carolina and North Carolina. Although some palm trees grow in the city, they are the more cold-hardy varieties like the state tree, the Sabal Palmetto. Pines, magnolias and a variety of oaks are the dominant trees. Of the latter, the Southern Live Oak is perhaps the most emblematic of the city.
Tallahassee has a hot and humid subtropical climate, with long summers and mild to chilly, short winters. Summers in Tallahassee are hotter than in the Florida peninsula, and it is one of the few cities in the state to occasionally record temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 °C). The summer weather is characterized by brief intense showers and thunderstorms that form along the afternoon sea breeze from the Gulf of Mexico. The average summertime high temperature is 92 °F(32 °C). Conversely, the city is much cooler in the winter. In December and January, the average high temperature is 64 °F(18 °C) and the average low is 42 °F(6 °C). On occasion, temperatures fall into the 20s and 10s at night, and temperatures in the single digits have been recorded. Tallahassee recorded the state's lowest temperature of -2 °F (-20 °C), on February 13, 1899. Over the last 100 years, the city has also recorded several snowfalls; the heaviest was 2.8 inches on February 13, 1958. Historically, the city usually records at least observed flurries every three to four years, but on average, measurable amounts of snow (1" or more) occur only every 16 years. The natural snow line (regular yearly snow falls) ends to the north at Macon, Georgia. In addition, the city averages 34 nights where the temperature falls below freezing (http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/online/ccd/min32temp.html).
Although several hurricanes have brushed Tallahassee with their outer rain and wind bands, in recent years only Hurricane Kate, in 1985, has struck Tallahassee directly. The Big Bend area of North Florida sees several tornadoes each year during the season, but none have hit Tallahassee in living memory. In extreme heavy rains, some low-lying parts of Tallahassee may flood, notably the Franklin Boulevard area adjacent to the downtown and the Killearn Lakes subdivision(which is not within the city limits proper) on the north side.
Driving times from Tallahassee to Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina or Virginia are shorter than the driving time from Tallahassee to Key West.
|Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures|
|Rec High °F (°C)||75 (23.8)||77 (25)||86 (30)||90 (32.2)||95 (35)||99 (37.2)||100 (37.7)||99 (37.2)||95 (35)||93 (33.8)||84 (28.8)||79 (26.1)|
|Norm High °F (°C)||61 (16.1)||63 (17.2)||66 (18.8)||75 (23.8)||82 (27.7)||86 (30)||87 (30.5)||86 (30)||79 (26.1)|
As of the 2000 census, there were 150,624 people, 63,217 households, and 29,459 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,573.8 people per square mile (607.6/km²). There were 68,417 housing units at an average density of 714.8/sq mi (276.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.42% White, 34.24% African American, 0.25% Native American, 2.40% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.97% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.19% of the population. Non-Hispanic whites were 57.79% of the population.
There were 63,217 households, 21.8% of which had children under 18 living in them. 30.1% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband, and 53.4% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the city, the population was spread out with 17.4% under the age of 18, 29.7% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 16.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $30,571, and the median income for a family was $49,359. Males had a median income of $32,428 versus $27,838 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,981. About 12.6% of families and 24.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.6% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.
Educationally, Leon County is the highest educated county in Florida with 49.9% of the population with either a Bachelor's, Master's, professional or doctorate degree. The Florida average is 22.4% and the national average is 24.4%.
Tallahassee has traditionally been a Democratic city. It has voted Democratic throughout its history with a high voter-turnout. As of April 2007 there were 85,343 Democrats and 42,230 Republicans in Leon County. Other affiliations accounted for 22,284 voters.
|Tallahassee Elected Government|
|Mayor Pro-Tem||Debbie Lightsey||Democratic|
|Tallahassee Appointed Officials|
|City Manager||Anita Thompson||unknown|
|City Attorney||James R. English||unknown|
|City Auditor||Sam McCall||unknown|
|City Treasurer||Gary Herndon||unknown|
|Leon County Voting On Consolidation|
|1968||10,381 (41.32%)||14,740 (58.68%)|
|1973||11,056 (46.23%)||12,859 (53.77%)|
|1976||20,336 (45.01%)||24,855 (54.99%)|
|1992||37,062 (39.8%)||56,070 (60.2%)|
The first plan for the Capitol Center was the 1947 Taylor Plan, which consolidated several of the government buildings in one downtown area. In 1974, the Capitol Center Planning Commission for the City of Tallahassee, Fla. responded to the growth of its urban center with a conceptual plan for the expansion of its Capitol Center. Hisham Ashkouri, working for The Architects' Collaborative, led the urban planning and design effort. Estimating growth and related development for approximately the next 25 years, the program projected the need for 213,677 m² (2.3 million feet²) of new government facilities in the city core, with 3,500 dwelling units, 0.4 km² (100 acres) of new public open space, retail and private office space, and other ancillary spaces. Community participation was an integral part of the design review, welcoming Tallahassee residents to provide input as well as citizens’ groups and government agencies, resulting in the creation of six separate Design Alternatives. The best elements of these various designs were combined to develop the final conceptual design, which was then incorporated into the existing Capitol area and adjacent areas.
Also see Leon County for more details.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Secret Service and Drug Enforcement Agency have offices in Tallahassee. The US Attorney's Office for North Florida is based in Tallahassee.
Located nearby are:
Tallahassee has been represented well in popular culture through the years in television programs, popular music, film, and the news. It has been referenced by Bing Crosby, and in Stephen King's The Green Mile and the hit television series Lost on ABC. Freddy Cannon recorded the hit single "Tallahassee Lassie". The lyrics to Aerosmith's song "Last Child" read: "Take me back to a south Tallahassee/Down cross the bridge to my sweet sassafrassy."
In the early 1980s the movie Something Wild (1986 film) was filmed in Tallahassee and used many FSU students as extras.
In November 2007, the HBO movie Recount was filmed for five days in downtown Tallahassee. The movie featured Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern, Tom Wilkinson, Dennis Leary, Bob Balaban, John Hurt, and Ed Begley, Jr. It recreated the 36-day controversy over Florida's disputed 2000 presidential election vote. Two of the five days of shooting were inside and directly in front of the Florida Supreme Court Building, where major aspects of the 2000 controversy were decided. Many Tallahasses residents served as extras, and the Rickards High School band was featured in one street scene. The film had its broadcast premiere on May 25, 2008.
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