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Entry from June 15, 2012
Sunshine State (Florida nickname)

Florida has officially been called the “Sunshine State” since 1970. Unofficially, Florida had been called the “Sunshine State” since at least May 1906.

L. Bradford Prince (1840-1922) the New York-born governor of New Mexico Territory from 1889 to 1893, said in November 1890 that a Boston publishing house had asked him about a nickname:

“I had to answer that New Mexico was not yet possessed of a ‘pet name,’ nor could one be adopted except by common consent; but I ventured to suggest that as it had been called ‘the land of perpetual sunshine,’ no more appropriate name could be found than ‘The Sunshine State.’ And so, for wider circulation, that may elicit comment and show how fully this meets the general thought. I repeat the suggestion here, for no part of the union, by its climate and cloudless sky, is so fully entitled to this name of ‘The Sunshine State.’”

South Dakota would also be called the “Sunshine State” in the 1890s, California used the name “Sunshine State” by at least 1920, and Queensland (Australia) has been called the ‘Sunshine State” since at least 1936.

A Florida nickname in the 1800s was “Fly-Up-the-Creek.”


Wikipedia: Sunshine State
Sunshine State may refer to:
. The nickname of the Australian state of Queensland
. The nickname of the U.S. state of Florida; it also has been used for New Mexico, California, and South Dakota
. Sunshine State (film), a 2002 film set in Florida
. Florida’s Turnpike, originally known as the Sunshine State Parkway
. Sunshine State, a webcomic by Graham Nolan.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Sunshine State n.  (a) U.S. any of several states (see quots.); (b) Austral. Queensland.
1893 L. Wagner Significance of Names 36 New Mexico is The Sunshine State.
1918 S. S. Visher Geogr. S. Dakota 60 South Dakota is known as ‘the Sunshine State’, not because it surpasses in this respect..states..in the southwest, but because of the contrast between South Dakota and the Eastern States and northern European countries from whence most of the persons not born in South Dakota came.
1920 Monthly Weather Rev. (U.S. Weather Bureau) Mar. 154/2 In this ‘Sunshine State’ [sc. California] we have ‘Sunkist Orange’.
1947 Time 17 Mar. 42/2 Employees..are happier in The Sunshine State [sc. Florida] where living is so pleasant and healthful.
1962 ‘C. Rohan’ Delinquents 128 ‘If you ask me, all Brisbane’s full of coppers and all of them bastards,’ she said, expressing in one concise sentence the full theory of central government of the sunshine state.

50states.com
Florida
“Sunshine State” was adopted as the State Nickname by the 1970 Legislature. Previously, official sanction for this nickname could be inferred from the law requiring use of Sunshine State on motor vehicle licenses.”
. source: Florida Handbook, 1997-1998, by Allen Morris.

Wikipedia: L. Bradford Prince
LeBaron Bradford Prince (July 3, 1840 – December 22, 1922) was the 14th Governor of New Mexico Territory from 1889 to 1893.

Biography
Prince was born on July 3, 1840 in Flushing, Queens, New York. He was a delegate to Republican National Convention from New York in 1868. From 1870 to 1874, he was a member of New York State Assembly. From 1876 to 1877, he was a member of New York State Senate 1st District. He became Justice of New Mexico Territorial Supreme Court in 1878. He held that position till 1882. He was candidate for Delegate to U.S. Congress from New Mexico Territory in 1884. He was Governor of New Mexico Territory from 1889 to 1893. He was member of New Mexico Territorial Council in 1909 and delegate to New Mexico state constitutional convention in 1911. He died on December 22, 1922 in Queens, New York.

19 November 1890, Santa Fe (NM) Daily New Mexican, pg. 1, col. 3:
“The Sunshine State.”
Some months ago, a Boston publishing house, preparing a geographical work, after asking information of Gov. Prince on various poitns connected with New Mexico, inquired as to its “pet name,” as, in treating of each state, they had placed in the pictorial headings these familiar names, as “Granite State,” “Bay State,” “Empire State,” etc.

In his recent annual report the governor refers to this fact and says:

“I had to answer that New Mexico was not yet possessed of a ‘pet name,’ nor could one be adopted except by common consent; but I ventured to suggest that as it had been called ‘the land of perpetual sunshine,’ no more appropriate name could be found than ‘The Sunshine State.’ And so, for wider circulation, that may elicit comment and show how fully this meets the general thought. I repeat the suggestion here, for no part of the union, by its climate and cloudless sky, is so fully entitled to this name of ‘The Sunshine State.’”

Google Books
The Pioneers of ‘49:
A history of the excursion of the Society of California pioneers of New England, from Boston to the leading cities of the golden state, April 10-May 17, 1890

By Nicholas Ball
Boston, MA: Lee and Shepard
1891
Pg. 20:
Governor L. Bradford Prince—and a princely fellow he was—invited us to visit his palace, whose fame antedates that of Plymouth Rock by a century. He told usthat he came from Brooklyn, has been here eleven years, and prefers Santa Fe to any other place in the Union. He has named New Mexico the “Sunshine State,” as they have almost perpetual sunshine, except when excursionists come along, when, as on that day, the sky is apt to be cloudy.

17 April 1891, Santa Fe (NM) Daily New Mexican, pg. 1, col. 4:
ADVERTISING NEW MEXICO.
What the Press and People in Various Sections Have to Say of the “Sunshine State.”

OCLC WorldCat record
The sunshine state : some information about South Dakota regarding location, climate, healthfulness, soil, rivers, lakes, artesian wells, farm products, stockraising, manufacturing, and other matters of interest and value to homeseekers and investors
Author: J C McManima; State Land Company (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
Publisher: Sioux Falls, S.D. : State Land Co., Inc., [ca. 1892]
Edition/Format:  Book : English

Google Books
March 1897, Texas School Journal, “State Names” by Thos. D. Dawkins, pg. 105:
Florida: “The Land of Flowers.” The Everglade State. “Fly-up-the-Creeks.”
(...)
New Mexico: The Sunshine State. The Land of Sunshine and Silver.

Chronicling America
9 May 1906, The Florida Agriculturist (DeLand, FL), pg. 295, col. 3:
This year the State president of Florida finds it possible to attend this annual meeting—to present our claims as a genuine Sunshine State.

30 April 1907, Tampa (FL) Morning Tribune, pg. 4, col. 2:
Florida is almost a terra incognita as far as its mineral resources are concerned. The discoveries that have so far been made in this direction have been the result of accident, or at best, of imperfectly directed effort. What wealth yet remains hidden beneath the soil of our glorious sunshine state will never be disclosed and developed until we have a thorough and intelligent geological survey.—Bartow Courier-Informant.

10 January 1911, Macon (GA) Daily Telegraph, pg. 1, col. 3:
FLORIDA HOLDS HER
FIFTH IN TWO YEARS
Voters of Sunshine State to Decide Today Upon Successor to Senator Taliaferro.

OCLC WorldCat record
Ho! to the sunshine state, a home-seekers’ guide to New Mexico ...
Author: New Mexico. Bureau of Immigration.
Publisher: [Albuquerque, N.M.] 1912.
Edition/Format:  Book : English : 13th ed. Rev. to January 1, 1912

OCLC WorldCat record
The sunshine state; a history of South Dakota,
Author: Frank L Ransom
Publisher: Mitchell, S.D., Educator school supply Co. [©1912]
Edition/Format:  Book : English

Google Books
January 1912, The Florida East Coast Homeseeker, pg. 22, col. 1:
Probably nowhere else in the world can the charm of simplicity be more clearly emphasized in the home, its furnishings and its surroundings than within the borders of what has now become generally known as the “Sunshine State.”

OCLC WorldCat record
New Mexico, the land of opportunity. Official data on the resources and industries of New Mexico--the Sunshine state.
Author: New Mexico. Board of Exposition Managers.
Publisher: Albuquerque, N.M., Press of the Albuquerque Morning Journal [©1915]
Edition/Format:  Book : State or province government publication : English

OCLC WorldCat record
To Florida ; the sunshine state : the rich man’s playground and the poor man’s paradise
Author: Tavares & Gulf R.R.
Publisher: [S.l. : s.n., 1915?]
Edition/Format:  Book : English

Google Books
What about Florida?
By Lucius Henry Cammack
Chicago, IL: Laird & Lee
1916
Pg. 87:
There is something planted and something harvested every month in the year in the Sunshine State.

Google Booka
June 1918, Golfers Magazine (Chicago, IL), “The Florida Golf Season” by H. B. Martin, pg. 15, col. 1:
When referring to Florida golf one naturally thinks of Belleair and Palm Beach, as these two winter resorts get the cream of the winter tourists who come to the sunshine state.

OCLC WorldCat record
Queensland, the sunshine state : land of productive wealth and scenic charm
Author: C B O’Reilly; Provincial Press Association of South Australia.
Publisher: Adelaide : [C.B. O’Reilly], 1936.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Touring Florida, “The sunshine state.” The travel director’s reference book.
Publisher: [Asheville, N.C. Southland tourist Pub. Co.] 1938-9.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Tallahassee, sunshine state capital
Author: Dorothy Dodd
Publisher: Chicago, Ill. : Pure Oil Co., 1952.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise
Florida’s Turnpike: Providing Transportation Alternatives for 55 Years!
Construction began in the mid-1950s on Florida’s Turnpike and was completed in 1957 when the Sunshine State’s landscape was mainly rural and drivers needed to cover long distances. Today, most motorists along Florida’s Turnpike are short-distance commuters. Prior to Florida’s Turnpike, most motorists traveling through Central Florida used U.S. 27. Now, Florida’s Turnpike handles the bulk of traffic from Orlando to Florida’s major east coast cities.

Take a look at the following milestones noting Florida’s Turnpike’s auspicious beginnings:

1. 1957 - The original 110-mile stretch of roadway from the Golden Glades in Miami to Fort Pierce, known as the Sunshine State Parkway, opens under the direction of the now-defunct Florida State Turnpike Authority.
2. 1964 - The second section of the Sunshine State Parkway from Fort Pierce to Wildwood was completed.
3. 1974 - The final section opened with the addition of the 47-mile Homestead Extension of Florida’s Turnpike from Miami to Homestead.

Posted by Barry Popik
Florida (Sunshine State Dictionary) • Friday, June 15, 2012 • Permalink