Tallahassee, Florida’s state capital, is named after a Muskogean Indian word that is frequently translated as “old fields.” A tiny southern town until World War II whose population lived within one mile of The Sunshine State’s legislative headquarters, the city burgeoned in the 1970s with the construction of a new state government complex that included a 23-story Capitol building. Today, this once small city’s reputation reaches far beyond its state borders as it houses the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, the world’s largest and highest-powered magnet research laboratory.
As the regional hub for trade and agriculture in the Florida Panhandle, Tallahassee’s manufacturing and technological industries are growing rapidly. General Dynamics Land Systems, a military applications manufacturing facility, and the Municipal Code Corporation, a publisher of municipal and county legal references, are among its largest employers. The city’s Leon County School District serves 33,000 students in 48 school and program sites that include preschool, elementary, middle and high schools as well as special district-wide program centers for specific populations. Offering a high-quality education, Florida graded 79 percent of the district’s schools either “A” or “B” with an overall district rating of “A” in 2008-09. Tallahassee’s well-known colleges and universities include Florida State University and Florida A&M University.
Among its many attractions, Tallahassee’s Alfred B. Maclay Gardens are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to a botanic garden, the site offers visitors recreational amenities like bicycling, canoeing, fishing and hiking. The city’s Mary Brogan Museum of Arts and Science stimulates interest in math, science and visual arts thought interactive exhibits that both teach and entertain. Those who appreciate community-wide events no doubt enjoy the fun of both the Downtown GetDown, a block party that offers concerts, food, and dancing for all ages and the Winter Festival, a three-week celebration from November to December that includes a jingle bell 3K race and a holiday parade.
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