- Florida Park Service Environmental Protection employee showing Spanish Moss to visitors during tour at the Hernando de Soto State Archaeological Site - Tallahassee, Florida.
- State archaeologists, led by Calvin Jones, found pig bones, pottery, coins, Spanish chain mail and beads that identified the site where Hernando de Soto and his army spent the winter of 1539. To date, this is the only verified site for the entire DeSoto expedition. The State of Florida purchased the site in 1988.
- Hernando de Soto had landed with more than 600 men near Tampa Bay on May 30, 1539 and they went north in August, arriving at Apalachee (near Tallahassee) in October. Here they spent the winter. Since 12 priests accompanied the Spaniards, it is probable that the first Christmas service in the U.S. was celebrated here. They set out northward in March 1540 and spent the next two years, until his death, exploring the southeastern states.
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