I came to Pensacola in August 2004. The weather was nice and warm, but a bit humid. I arrived just in time to experience Hurricane Ivan on 16 September 2004. The following year brought Hurricane Dennis on 10 July 2005 and then Hurricane Katrina on 29 August 2005.
In November 2004 just after Thanksgiving I began working for Best Software, Inc. (formerly known as CPA Software). Sometime later Best Software became Sage Software, Inc. and then again in Jan 2006 the company was acquired by CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business.
Now that I have lived here for a couple of years, I have gotten used to the "hurricane season", and I have begun to enjoy my surroundings.^ TOP
is a sea port on Pensacola Bay, which connects to the Gulf of Mexico. A
large United States Navy airbase, the first in the United States, is
located southwest of Pensacola (near the community of Warrington) and is
home to the Blue Angels flight demonstration team and the National
Museum of Naval Aviation.
Pensacola is nicknamed "The City of Five Flags" due to the five flags that have flown over it during its history: the flags of Spain (Castile), France, Great Britain, the Confederate States of America, and the United States. Other nicknames include "World's Whitest Beaches" (due to the white sand prevalent along beaches in the Florida panhandle), "Cradle of Naval Aviation" (the National Museum of Naval Aviation is located at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, home of the legendary Blue Angels), "Western Gate to the Sunshine State," "America's First Settlement," "Emerald Coast," "Redneck Riviera," and "Red Snapper Capital of the World."
Pensacola, Florida has had an impressive history, being the first European settlement in the continental United States. Pensacola has been under the possession of the Spanish, French, British, United States, Confederate States, and has remained a part of the United States since the end of the American Civil War.
Although Pensacola is the oldest European settlement in mainland America (1559), its location has caused great turmoil, with many buildings destroyed by wars, and by numerous major hurricanes. The location, south of the original British colonies, and as the dividing line between French Louisiana and Spanish Florida, along the Perdido River, has caused Pensacola to change ownership several times. Pensacola was Spanish, then French, then Spanish, then British, then Spanish again, before becoming American, then Confederate, and then the current U.S. city.
Early exploration of Pensacola Bay (called Polonza or Ochuse) spanned decades, with Ponce de LeÃƒÂ³n (1513), PÃƒÂ¡nfilo de NarvÃƒÂ¡ez (1528), and Hernando de Soto (1539) plus others charting the area.
Due to prior exploration, the first settlement of Pensacola was large, landing on August 15, 1559, and led by Don TristÃƒÂ¡n de Luna y Arellano with over 1,400 people on 11 ships from Vera Cruz, Mexico. However, weeks later, the colony was decimated by a hurricane on September 19, 1559, which killed hundreds, sank 5 ships, grounded a caravel, and ruined supplies. The 1,000 survivors divided to relocate/resupply the settlement, but due to famine and attacks, the effort was abandoned in 1561. About 240 people sailed to Santa Elena (near South Carolina), but another storm hit there, so they sailed to Cuba and scattered. The remaining 50 at Pensacola were taken back to Mexico, and the Viceroy's advisors concluded northwest Florida was too dangerous to settle, for 135 years.
The Spanish later built 3 presidios in Pensacola:
â€¢ Presidio Santa Maria de Galve (1698-1719): the presidio included fort San Carlos de Austria (east of present Fort Barrancas) and a village with church; in 1719, the area was captured by the French, but in 1722, after a hurricane, the settlement was burned before return to Spanish control;
â€¢ Presidio Isla de Santa Rosa (1722-1752): this next presidio was on Santa Rosa Island near the site of present Fort Pickens, but hurricanes battered the island in 1741 and 1752, and the settlement was moved to the mainland; another hurricane in 1762 destroyed the remnants on the island.
â€¢ Presidio San Miguel de Panzacola (1754-1763): the final presidio was about five miles east of the first presidio, over in the present-day historic district, now known as Seville Square, in downtown Pensacola, named from the "Panzacola" tribe.
From 1763, the British went back to the mainland area of fort San Carlos de Barrancas, building the Royal Navy Redoubt, and Pensacola became the capital of the 14th British colony, West Florida. After Spain joined the American Revolution late, in 1779, the Spanish captured East Florida and West Florida, regaining Pensacola from (1781-1819). In an 1819 Transcontinental Treaty (Adams-Onis), Spain renounced its claims to West Florida and ceded East Florida to the U.S. (US$5 million). In 1821, with Andrew Jackson as provisional governor, Pensacola became part of the United States.
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