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Countdown to Florida's 500th Anniversary

    The 500 day countdown is ticking toward Florida's 500th anniversary. It will culminate in a commemoration that will last throughout the year 2013. Governor Rick Scott initiated the campaign in Miami with leaders from Florida and Spain.

Governor Scott sees the anniversary celebration as a means of spurring new opportunities for businesses while also serving as an educational tool. He helped kick off the VIVA Florida 500 campaign at a business roundtable hosted by the Spain Florida Foundation.

The year long celebration will showcase Florida's Spanish heritage. Scott said many people don't realize the Spanish flag flew over Florida longer than the American flag has. Florida didn't become an American state until 1845.

The Florida Department of State is in charge of the commemoration with help from organizations and businesses. Facebook and Twitter users can follow VIVA Florida 500 for planning updates and historic facts.