At least, that's how long the western world has known about Florida, when Juan Ponce de Leon claimed and named it for Spain back in 1513. (Archeologists have determined that the area around Florida had been inhabited by Paleo-Indians going back 14,000 years.) When Ponce de Leon came upon Florida, it was Easter week and the Spanish term for that is "Pascua Florida" or "flowery Easter". Flowers were also blooming then and it was fittingly regarded as, "la Florida" ever since. And the rest is history - we now have the land of sunshine, seniors, and sinkholes. And let's not forget citrus. Florida's a land that fills the imagination with low taxes and high fun in the sun. It has a schizophrenic personality that manifests itself in politics, demographics, and geography. Such a unique state deserves a big party on its quincentennial - Happy 500th la Florida!