Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is a city located in St. Johns County, Florida, in the region known as Florida's First Coast. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 11,592. It is the county seat of St. Johns County.
St. Augustine is the oldest continually occupied European settlement in the continental United States, only San Juan, Puerto Rico predates the city as the oldest settlement within the territory of the United States. It was founded by the Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés on August 28, 1565, the feast day of St. Augustine, and consequently named by him San Agustín. This was 21 years before the English settlement at Roanoke Island in Virginia Colony and 42 years before the successful settlements of Santa Fe (Spanish) and Jamestown (English).
In 1586 St. Augustine was attacked and burned by Sir Francis Drake. In 1668 it was plundered by pirates and most of the inhabitants killed. In 1702 and 1740 it was attacked by British forces from their new colonies in the Carolinas and Georgia.
In 1763, the Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War and gave Florida and St. Augustine to the British, something the British were unable to do by force. St. Augustine came under British rule and served as a Loyalist (pro-British) colony during the American Revolutionary War. A second Treaty of Paris in 1783 gave the American colonies north of Florida their independence, and returned Florida to Spain, a reward for Spanish assistance to the Americans in their war against England.
Florida was under Spanish control again from 1784 to 1821. During this time, Spain was being invaded by Napoleon and was struggling to retain its colonies. Florida no longer held its past importance to Spain. The expanding United States, however, regarded Florida as vital to its interests. In 1821, the Adams-Onís Treaty peaceably turned the Spanish colonies in Florida and, with them, St. Augustine, to the United States.
Florida was a territorial possession of the United States until 1845 when it became a state. In 1861, the American Civil War began and Florida seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy. However, Union troops loyal to the United States Government quickly occupied St. Augustine and remained in control of the city throughout the four-year long war. In 1865, Florida rejoined the United States.
Spanish Colonial era buildings still existing in the city include the fortress Castillo de San Marcos. The fortress successfully repelled the British attacks of the 18th century, was occupied by Union troops during the American Civil War, and later served as a prison for the Native American leader Cochise. It is now the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.
In the late 19th century the railroad came to town, and led by industrialist Henry Flagler, St. Augustine became a winter resort for the very wealthy of the US north-east. A number of mansions and palatial grand hotels of this era still exist, some converted to other use such as housing parts of Flagler College and museums. Flagler went on to develop much more of Florida's east coast, including his Florida East Coast Railway which eventually reached Key West in 1912.
The city is a popular tourism attraction, for the rich architectural heritage of Spanish Colonial as well as elite 19th century architecture. In 1938 the theme park Marineland opened just south of St. Augustine, becoming one of Florida's first themed parks and setting the stage for the development of this industry in the following decades.
St. Augustine is located at 29°53'39" North, 81°18'48" West (29.894264, -81.313208)1.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 11,592 people, 4,963 households, and 2,600 families residing in the city. The population density is 534.7/km² (1,384.6/mi²). There are 5,642 housing units at an average density of 260.3/km² (673.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 81.21% White, 15.07% African American, 0.41% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. 3.11% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 4,963 households out of which 18.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.4% are married couples living together, 12.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 47.6% are non-families. 36.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 14.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.11 and the average family size is 2.76.
In the city the population is spread out with 16.1% under the age of 18, 15.3% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 19.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 42 years. For every 100 females there are 84.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 81.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $32,358, and the median income for a family is $41,892. Males have a median income of $27,099 versus $25,121 for females. The per capita income for the city is $21,225. 15.8% of the population and 9.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 25.8% of those under the age of 18 and 10.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
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