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Florida Guide > Days Out

Fascinating Canaveral.

It was the invading Spaniards who gave it the name of Canareal which later evolved into Canaveral. Canareal means a place where cane is being grown.

Very literal as most place names are. In fact it makes a pleasant diversion to research place names and with the advent of the interney this is dead easy.

Moving swiftly on, we come to the forties when interest in space was growing exponentially and the government of that time were looking for the ideal launch place.

Canaveral was not too densley populated and the weather was fairly consistant. Even more important was the fact that the Atlantic was adjascent for safer launches and there were also several small islands for tracking purposes.

The land was already in country ownership as there had been a naval base here and then the Government purchased more land from The State of Florida.

The first rocket launch took place almost 60 years ago was named Bumper. This was to be the first of very many and a lot of us have been priveleged to have witnessed a launch while on vacation.

After the death of President Kennedy, President Johnson declared that the Cape would be known as Cape Kenndy to honour the late President.

In 1961 he made his famous speech where he pledged the country to its determination to achieve dominance of the space race and N. A. S. A. then built Complex 39 which could cope with all the space exploration they had planned.

This was in 1963. The local people were not at all pleased with the re naming and it caused a furore of emotion.

And so it was that 10 years later the jubilant locals saw the original (and 400 year) name restored by Florida legislature.

And therefore Canaveral in now known worldwide and will never be forgotten by the many tourists who have had an enjoyable day here.

I do hope that this little potted history will enhance your enjoyment of Cape Canaveral and you find a day in your busy schedule to visit.

Most famiies all enjoy a visit to the Space Center but if you think mum or small children will not have a good time, then why not drop them off at near by Cocoa Beach. That way everyone is happy!

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 31 December 2011
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