Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon discovered Florida on Easter Sunday, Apr. 2, 1513 and originally named it "Pascua Florida". The Spanish phrase means "flowering Easter".
The explorer claimed the newly found territory for the Spanish. Searching for the Fountain of Youth, he later referred to the area believed to be an island as La Florida since it was discovered at Easter.
Eight years later, he returned to establish a Spanish colony. Native Americans already present in Florida fought him. He died in Cuba as a result of his battle wounds. In 1565, the Spanish did colonize an area known as St. Augustine. It is the oldest city in the United States.