From the time the first humans reached the Florida peninsula more than 12,000 years ago through today's complex and diverse state, this timeline narrative sets Florida's fascinating history against the backdrop of world events. Learn how early native peoples, European exploration, wars, and transformative economic, social, cultural, and technological changes have shaped and continue to shape the "Sunshine State."
Rick Baker is a businessman and lawyer who from 2001 to 2010 served as mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida's fourth largest city. He led an unprecedented renaissance in the city and was named America's 2008 mayor/public official of the year by Governing Magazine. He is currently running for mayor of St. Petersburg again.