Apart from a very brief intermediate stop in 1964 in Goldfinger
, it took James Bond 'till 1988/89 until he found the occasion to have a closer look at one of the USA’s most attractive holiday destinations. Florida, or rather the Florida Keys and Key West were the marvellous settings for Timothy Dalton’s second outing as 007 in Licence To Kill
(LTK). Since in LTK, unlike in Goldfinger, everything was really shot on the spot in southern Florida, for us Bond fans America’s Sunshine State is a superb location hunting ground.
On Easter Sunday 1513 the Spanish conqueror Juan Ponce de León first set foot upon the peninsula at the south-eastern most tip of the newly discovered continent. He named it Pascua Florida, which means in Spanish “Blooming Easter”. Hernando de Soto, another conquistador claimed the land for the Spanish Crown in 1539/40. The first European settlement in North America was St. Augustine (1565) in northern Florida. Spain handed over Florida to the United States of America in 1819 and in 1845 it became the 27th state of the USA. During the American Civil War (1861 - 65) Florida was on the side of the Confederates, but only minor skirmishes took place here. The building of the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral in the 1950’s contributed enormously to the state’s economic growth. Natural wonders like the Everglades and the opening of mega amusement parks like Disney World, Universal Studios or Sea World in the Seventies and Eighties in the environs of Orlando turned Florida into one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations, attracting more than 30 million visitors every year.