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3 Fun Facts in Local History

May was a busy month in Central Florida history, and the milestones encompass a variety of industries and interests. Some were historical and others were quirky. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting things that have happened here in the month of May.

3 Fun Facts in Local History

May was a busy month in Central Florida history, and the milestones encompass a variety of industries and interests. Some were historical and others were quirky. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting things that have happened here in the month of May.

The First American in Space

Astronaut Alan B. Shepard is a man of many accomplishments, the biggest being that he was the first American in space. Shepard launched from Cape Canaveral on May 5, 1961 inside the Freedom 7, a spacecraft in the Mercury program. He flew 116 miles above the Earth’s surface on his suborbital flight. It was reported that his seatbelt was strapped tightly, so he was unable to experience weightlessness during his journey, and that his view of Earth was in black and white due to a filter that was left on the periscope window. Shepard’s spacecraft landed in the Atlantic Ocean nearly 300 miles off the coast of Florida just 15 minutes after the launch. This flight was the first step in reaching one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind.

A Local Comedian is Born

Daniel Tosh is a famous comedian, writer, producer and host who was raised in Titusville. Born May 29, 1975, Tosh is well-known for his controversial comedy. But before anyone knew his name, he studied at the University of Central Florida. After graduating with a marketing degree in 1996, Tosh started performing at comedy clubs and eventually got his big break on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2001. However, it was his Comedy Central show Tosh.0, which debuted in 2009, that really made his career take off. Last year, Tosh returned to campus for a show at CFE Arena, and he is vocal on social media about his support for UCF football. The school even honored him with the Michelle Akers Award in 2011 for the recognition he brings to the UCF community.

The Winter Park Sinkhole Formed

Sinkholes engulf anything that sits above them in an instant, completely unexpectedly. On May 9, 1981 a sinkhole near Denning Drive and Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park drew national attention for swallowing a three-bedroom home, a portion of a municipal swimming pool and five Porsches from a nearby car dealership. At 350 feet wide and 75 feet deep, the Winter Park sinkhole caused over $4 million worth of damages by the time it was stabilized. Now the area where the sinkhole formed all those years ago is a pond called Lake Rose, which was named for Rose “Mimi” Williams, the women whose home was destroyed.

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