National Geographic : 1963 Dec
wJ year-round state. For more and more people the simple fact of air conditioning is making it so. Florida ranks fifth in the Nation-after Texas, New York, California, and Illinois-in total number of dwell ings with air conditioning. Indoor weather control has not only made homes livable through the hottest sum mer months, but has induced northern industries to move plants and even their headquarters here. Key West Reacts to Cuban Crisis These changes, though massive in the aggregate, have been gradual. Now and then-as when I saw the incred ible havoc wrought on the Keys in 1960 b\ Hurricane Ionna-they have been dramatic. None was more so than the swift change brought about by the Cuban crisis of October, 1962. President Kennedy, in his nationwide television ad dress of October 22, told of the offensive missile and bomber bases being built by the Soviet Union in Cuba, 90 miles from Florida. The President announced a quar antine and made it clear the United States was prepared to take military action. When I arrived in Key West four days after the Pres ident's speech, the quiet, relaxed town I had left in the spring seemed an armed camp. Rolls of barbed wire shut off the main bathing beach. Ground-to-air missiles stood Adventurous seeker of health and wealth, Spanish grandee Ponce de Leon discovered Florida 450 years ago. It was, he believed, an enchanted island rich in gold and possessed of a magic spring whose waters restored youth. The explorer found neither fountain nor riches, but millions who follow in his footsteps revel in Florida's true gold -its sunshine. 1)e Leon's wildernesses have been transformed into gardens: millions of orange trees yield riches far beyond his dream. The Spaniard, who undoubtedly saw pelicans (center) and flamingos like those at Busch (;ardens in Tamp;a, could scarcely have envi sioned the bathing beauty on Miami Beach or the scuba divers in Silver Springs. Nor could he have imagined the campus of the University of Miami (above) or the mechanical hands employed in the Nuclear Reactor Building's "Hot Cave" at the University of Florida, ;ainesville (opposite). 859 KODACHROME5BY WINFIELD PARKS N.GS .