History of Orlando

1776 America declares independence 1843 Aaron Jernigan is the first settler and the town is named Jernigan in his honor 1845 Florida becomes the 27th state 1850 Jernigan gets its first post office 1857 Jernigan is renamed to Orlando, although it’s debated where the name Orlando originated 1873 Joseph Bumby starts a successful hardware store 1875 Orlando is incorporated as a town 1876 The Orange County Reporter (now Orlando Sentinel) is founded 1883 The first bank is established 1883 Jacob Summerlin donates the land around Lake Eola under the condition that it be turned to a park 1885 Orlando is incorporated as a city 1886 Orlando Water Works provides public water 1889 Church Street Station is built 1892 Lake Eola officially becomes a park 1894 Phillip Phillips aka Dr. Phillips begins his citrus empire 1908The City Beautiful’ slogan is decided by public contest 1912 Lake Eola gets its first fountain 1923 Angebilt Hotel is opened 1923 Orlando Public Library opens 1923 Orlando Utility Commission is chartered 1923 First radio station broadcasts | WDBO 1925 T.G. Lee Dairy opens for business 1926 Orlando Municipal Auditorium (now Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre) opens 1928 Orlando Municipal Airport (now Orlando Executive Airport) opens 1936 The Orlando Stadium (now The Citrus Bowl) opens 1940 Pinecastle Army Air Field (later McCoy Air Force Base) opens 1946 Tupperware opens for business 1949 Gatorland opens 1954 First local TV station | WDBO-TV 1956 The Glenn L. Martin Company (now Lockheed Martin) establishes its first plant 1957 The Centennial Fountain is installed at Lake Eola 1958 The second City Hall is constructed 1960 Central Florida Museum (now Orlando Science Center) opens 1961 The city aquires Harry P. Leu Gardens 1962 Orlando Jetport (now Orlando International Airport) is opened on part of the McCoy Air Force Base 1963 Interstate 4 is complete from Tampa to Robinson Street downtown 1965 Walt Disney announces Walt Disney World, causing an economic surge 1966 Orlando Public Library building opens 1967 Valencia Junior College (now Valencia Community College) opens 1968 Florida Technological University (now University of Central Florida) opens 1969 Orlandoans watch Apollo 11 launch from Kennedy Space Center, headed for man’s first steps on the moon 1971 Interstate 4 is complete from Interstate 275 to Interstate 95 1971 The Citrus Center opens as Orlando’s first highrise 1971 Walt Disney World opens 1972 Tri-County Transit (now Lynx) is formed 1973 The Fashion Square Mall opens 1973 SeaWorld opens 1975 McCoy Air Force Base closes 1976 Orlando International Airport is given its current name 1977 Wet ‘n Wild opens 1980 The Downtown Historic District is designated as Orlando’s first historic distric 1980 Carl T Langford ends the longest term of any Orlando Mayor after 13 years 1982 EPCOT Center (now Epcot) opens 1982 The first ever Olive Garden Restaurant opens 1983 First phase of the Orange County Convention Center opens 1985 503 E Central, first Lake Eola high-rise, is completed 1986 The Florida Mall opens 1988 Suntrust Center is built (still the tallest in Orlando) 1988 Barnett Bank Center (now Bank of America Center) is completed 1989 The Orlando Arena (then original Amway Arena) opens 1989 MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios) opens 1989 Disney donates the Walt Disney Amphitheatre at Lake Eola 1989 The Orlando Magic plays its first NBA game 1990 Universal Studios opens 1991 New City Hall is completed 1991 Old City Hall is demolished and filmed for Lethal Weapon 3 1993 Universal City Walk opens 1994 The Presidential Ballroom opens on Church Street 1997 The new Orlando Science Center opens 1997 The new Orange County Courthouse is completed 1998 Disney’s Animal Kingdom opens 1999 Islands of Adventure opens 1999 CNL Center City Commons is completed 2001 The Waverly is completed as apartments 2002 The Mall at Millenia opens 2003 Buddy Dyer is elected Mayor 2006 Solaire at the Plaza is completed 2006 Premiere Trade Plaza Orlando is completed 2006 The Sanctuary Downtown Condo is completed 2007 101 Eola Condo is completed 2008 The VUE at Lake Eola is completed 2008 The Paramount on Lake Eola is completed 2008 Star Tower Condo is completed 2009 The Centennial Fountain is damaged by lighting 2009 55 West on the Esplanade is completed 2009 Dynetech Center aka the Aspire is completed 2010 The new Amway Arena opens 2011 The Centennial Fountain is restored 2012 uOwn Real Estate (now Mainframe Real Estate) opens its first office 2012 The original Amway Arena is imploded, leveling the land for Creative Village 2014 Phase 1 of Sunrail becomes operational 2014 Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts opens its first phase 2015 Orlando City Soccer Club plays its first Major League Soccer game 2016 uOwn Real Estate changes its name to Mainframe Real Estate 2016 Wet ‘n Wild closes