March 3: Florida Becomes the 27th State

On this day in 1845, as James Polk was enjoying his last full day as President, Florida became the 27th state. Florida had been a US territory since 1821. Explore these resources from FCIT to learn more about the early days of Florida as a part of the United States.

Florida Statehood Banner

Share this banner on social media to commemorate Florida statehood.

27-Star Flag

A 27th star was added to the United States flag for the new state of Florida. The 27-star flag was used for less than one year because Texas was admitted as a state December 29, 1845.

1845 Map of Florida

This 1845 map of Florida is just one of many historic Florida maps available on the Exploring Florida Maps website.

Interactive Timeline

Explore three centuries of Florida history using the interactive timeline in the free Castillo de San Marcos iBook from our Hispanic Heritage iBook series.

Early Florida County Maps

Visit our collection of historic county maps to examine how Florida counties have changed from the earliest territorial days, through statehood, to the present.

"Florida Then and Now" PDFs

Explore Florida history in bite-sized bits! Over 70 two-page PDFs of Florida history topics written at the upper elementary reading level are available for download from our Florida Then and Now collection.

Florida Photos

Over 9,000 Florida photos are available from our ClipPix ETC website.

Early Florida in 3D

Stereoviews were popular entertainment by the end of the nineteenth century. Photographers captured 3-D images of far-off places like exotic Florida. Find a pair of red/blue 3-D glasses and enjoy over 1,000 stereoviews of Florida.

Just for Fun

Do you notice anything unusual about the original Florida seal as shown on this flag? For a closer look, check out this earlier flag and this postcard.

Florida Statehood Medallion

This gold medallion, created by FCIT, commemorates the Sunshine State’s 1845 admission to the US. You can also find versions of this image in silver and bronze on the Exploring Florida Maps website.

Kirk Munroe’s Florida in the 1800s

Kirk Munroe (1850-1930) was an author and adventurer. At a time when many authors writing about Florida had never even visited the Sunshine State, Munroe had settled in Florida by the 1880s. A member of the Florida Audubon Society, Munroe’s knowledge of the Florida environment allowed him to include rich descriptions in his books and stories.

Harriet Beecher Stowe's Florida

In Palmetto Leaves, Harriet Beecher Stowe describes life in Florida in the 1800’s. Enjoy these vignettes from her book. Each title includes the audio file and a PDF of the text.

American Naturalist: Rambles in Florida

In this four-part article from 1869, Robert Stearns describes nineteenth century Fernandina, Cedar Key, Tampa, and Pinellas. Each of the four sections is available as an audio recording and a PDF. Reading level: 11.3 Word count: 11,507

Thirty Months at the Dry Tortugas

A mere 16 years after becoming a state, Florida seceded from the Union. For a unique description of this period in Florida history, listen to Emily Holder’s journal of life at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. Also available as a PDF on the Lit2Go website. Reading level: 10.8 Word count: 3,740

The Seminole Wars

A brief introduction to the First and Second Seminole Wars from St. Augustine Under Three Flags: Tourist Guide and History. A PDF of the passage is also available. Reading level: 11.0 Word count: 6,550

Waiting at Live Oak

This humorous poem from 1879 describes the inconvenience of waiting seven hours for a train. Also available as a PDF. Note: Many Lit2Go passages also have accompanying student activity sheets. Reading level: 4.0 Word count: 129