Some interesting Florida facts for kids include information on state symbols, facts about the capital and a bit of Florida history. State symbols include the flag, adopted in 1900, which is white with a red "X" running from corner to corner and the Great Seal of the State of Florida in the middle. The original state seal was adopted in 1868, and the current version was redesigned in 1985.
The state bird is the mockingbird. The zebra longwing is the state butterfly, and the Florida panther is the state animal. The manatee, found along the shallower shoreline waters, is the state marine mammal, while the dolphin is the state saltwater mammal. Florida even has its own state beverage: orange juice.
Tallahassee was designated Florida's first capital in 1824 but the state house wasn't completed until 1845. As the state's population grew, so did the Capitol grounds. After several renovations, a new building was erected in 1978. The old Capitol building was refurbished and is open to the public.
The earliest people reached Florida roughly 12,000 years ago. Juan Ponce de Leon, the first documented European explorer, arrived in 1513. Florida became a state in 1845.
Florida and its capital escaped major damage during the Civil War. The Union held most of the coastal areas, while the center of the state was held by the Confederates.