It is great to call Tampa Bay home but you might not know a few things about our homeland…
According to Mental Floss, these are some things you probably don’t know about Tampa:
- The name Tampa is believed to come from the Calusa phrase “Sticks of Fire.”
- Tampa is the lightning capital of the WORLD, which is how the local hockey team got its name.
- Babe Ruth hit his longest home run during an exhibition game in Tampa—it sailed 587 feet.
- During Prohibition, Tampa was one of the top sellers of illegal liquor in the country.
- In the 1980s, the city moved on to other hobbies. It was widely considered the death metal capital of the music world.
- Tampa’s number one export? Phosphate.
- It’s still known as the “Cigar City.” In 1929, the factory at Ybor City rolled about 500 million stogies!
- It can get hot in Florida, but the temperature in Tampa has never hit 100 degrees.
- In 1851, Tampa native John Gorrie invented the first mechanical refrigeration system—paving the way for air conditioning.
- The delicious Cuban sandwich? Not Cuban. It was likely invented in Tampa.
- Each year, “pirates” attack Tampa during the Gasparilla Pirate Festival.
- The world’s first scheduled passenger flight flew from St. Pete to Tampa in 1914.
- Tampa Bay may be Florida’s biggest port, but the waterway is surprisingly shallow—only 12 feet deep.
- When Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders were waiting to ship out for the Spanish-American War in 1898, they were stationed in Tampa.
- Tampa is home to the world’s longest continuous sidewalk, Bayshore Boulevard. It’s 4.5 miles long. Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base may be the second most important government building outside of the Pentagon. It’s home to U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. action in the Middle East.