Florida Living History, Inc. Prepares for Florida’s 500th Anniversary

To prepare for Florida’s 500th anniversary in 2013, Florida Living History, Inc. (FLH), will offer its annual heritage Event – “This Other World”: Ponce de León and the Founding of Florida! Presented by FLH’s member group – La Compañía de Juan Ponce de León / The Company of Juan Ponce de León (c. 1513 – 1521) – in partnership with the Florida Humanities Council, this living-history Event and lecture series will take place on Saturday, March 31st, from 10AM to 4PM, at the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum, in St. Augustine, FL, the oldest, continually occupied European settlement and port in the continental United States.

The Event will commemorate the landing of Don Juan Ponce de León’s “First Fleet,” which carried passengers and crew – white, black, Native American; male and female; soldier and sailor; slave and free – who became the first documented Europeans and Africans to set foot on what is now the continental United States, landing on the east coast of Florida on April 3rd, 1513. This heritage Event will feature interpretations and demonstrations of:

    • the history of Ponce, his company, and his world;
    • the crossbow in the early 16th-century Spanish Caribbean and Florida;
    • the espingarda, America’s oldest firearm;
    • rodeleros – Spain’s sword-and-shield troops;
    • early 16th-century cartography and navigation;
    • historical foodways;
    • “period” children’s activities.

In addition, this Florida Living History, Inc. heritage Event will feature the second, annual “This Other World”: Ponce de León and the Founding of Florida lectures on Don Juan Ponce de León and his world. The lectures will take place in the auditorium of the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum.”This Other World”: Ponce de León and the Founding of Florida 2012 Lecture Series 11AM

– Juan Ponce de León and the Search for Laborers and Land Dr. Susan R. Parker, Executive Director, The St. Augustine Historical Society 1PM

– Finding Ponce: Myth, History, and the Quest for the Fountain of Youth Dr. J. Michael Francis, Professor and Chair, Department of History, University of North Florida 2:30PM

– Ponce de León and the Implications of Discovery Dr. John F. Diviney, Jr., Coordinator for the Spanish and Latin American Program, Flagler College Mr. Eric Johnson, the Director of Mission Nombre de Dios and Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, will serve as lecture moderator. Admission to Florida Living History, Inc.’s “This Other World”: Ponce de León and the Founding of Florida annual, heritage Event is free of charge to the public.

Ample, free parking is available onsite. For the third year in a row, FLH’s annual commemoration of Juan Ponce de León’s 1513 exploratory expedition has been chosen to be part of the Florida Department of State/Division of Cultural Affairs’ Florida Heritage Month, the state’s annual, month-long tribute to Florida’s rich, cultural heritage.

This 2012 heritage Event is sponsored by the 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational Florida Living History, Inc. and the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum, in partnership with:

  • The St. Augustine Historical Society;
  • The Florida Humanities Council
  • Viva Florida 500;
  • and others.
  • Support for this Event has been provided, in part, by the Florida Humanities Council, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the generosity of NTE Energy, LLC.

    For more information on La Compañía de Juan Ponce de León, please contact us at or phone us, toll-free, at 1-877-FLA-HIST (1-877-352-4478)! We know the myth; it’s time to share the history. – Dr. J. Michael Francis Florida Living History, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational organization dedicated to the support of living history activities, events, and portrayals related to the history of colonial Florida.


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