Florida is a state with a lot of history, but not many know just how much there really is.
Earlier this year, Only In Your State released a list of seven things that Florida did before any other state in the country.
Read below to find out what they are:
1. Open a Burger King restaurant
According to the website, two Florida cities actually lay claim to the first Burger King restaurant: Jacksonville and Miami.
The Jacksonville location opened in 1953 under the name “Insta-Burger King,” though it struggled financially and was eventually bought by two Miami-based entrepreneurs who shortened it down to just “Burger King.”
The official chain we know today opened its first location in Miami the following year.
2. Create a city with the most canals worldwide
Only In Your State explains that Florida’s very own Cape Coral has the greatest number of miles of canal than any other city on the globe.
City officials say that swamps in the area were drained as part of a master-planned community by dredging around 400 miles of stormwater canals, which still serve as the city’s stormwater management system.
3. Open a Red Lobster
Serving as the second restaurant on this list (it won’t be the last), the first Red Lobster reportedly opened in Lakeland back in 1968.
Initially a local eatery, it was eventually purchased by General Mills. Nowadays, the seafood chain boasts over 700 restaurants across the U.S. and Canada.
4. Invent a type of sunscreen
A Swiss student named Franz Greiter originally invented a substance called “Glacier Cream,” which was aimed at protecting mountain climbers from the sun.
However, Benjamin Green — a Miami pharmacist and airman — is credited with creating a greasy substance in the 1940s dubbed “red vet pet,” or red veterinary petroleum, according to The New York Times.
The barrier cream was used to protect soldiers from harmful ultraviolet rays during World War II.
5. Create the Cuban sandwich
Despite its name, the Cuban sandwich — consisting of pressed bread, ham, pork, melted cheese, pickles and mustard — was invented in 1986 by a Cuban-Spanish-Italian immigrant in Ybor City, Tampa, according to Only In Your State.
6. Open an Outback Steakhouse
This Australian-themed steakhouse is the last restaurant on this lists, with its first location stemming back to 1986.
The restaurant was located off of Henderson Boulevard in Tampa after a couple of friends worked together to provide a casual experience with quality food and service.
7. Invent Gatorade
Based on its name, this one may not come as a surprise, but this sports drink brand has its roots at the University of Florida.
Scientists at a UF lab created the drink after realizing that the university’s football players were losing a vast amount of weight as a result of sweating so much, according to the university’s website.
To address this problem, the researchers decided to invent a drink that would provide water, salt, sugar and electrolytes to the players.
However, players hated the way that the first batch tasted, so the researchers added lemon juice for flavor — and voila, Gatorade was born.
Do you know any other “firsts” that happened here in Florida? If so, leave a comment down below to let us know!
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