20 Feb:
Let’s Colonise Florida

Departing from Puerto Rico with grand plans to establish a new colony, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León set out on his ill-fated second expedition to Florida on February 15th, 1521. 

Ponce de León’s reputation as a conquistador preceded him, with tales of his brutal conquests in Hispaniola preceding his quest for new lands. Despite being ousted from power by his rival Diego Columbus, Ponce de León received a charter from King Ferdinand to explore and govern distant territories.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal why de León named his ‘discovery’ “Florida”; explain why the ‘tree of death’ played a pivotal part in his downfall; and discover where those ‘Fountain of Youth’ rumours came from… 

Further Reading: 

‘Juan Ponce de León: Meet the Spanish explorer who discovered Florida’ (10 Tampa Bay, 2019):