The Conch Republic: A Nation That Is Also a State
People want something with a little history and whimsy when they vacation. This trend has led to a significant increase in people booking Key West vacations to experience something different.
February 3, 2014 (Newswire.com) - Quick, where can you go to a bar that has dead people actually in the bar? Not just the building but in the bar itself? Where can you find a celebration, featuring performers from all around the world who gather nightly to watch the sunset? How can you travel to another nation without ever leaving the United States? The answer to all of those questions, as well as many others equally odd, is Key West, Florida.
The history of Key West is older than that of the United States and is certainly filled with some of the most colorful stories to be found. It is one of the only cities in the United States to have been both the richest in the country and to also declare bankruptcy. It was home to both pirates and the fleet authorized by the Navy to chase pirates. It was a Union city in a Confederate State during the Civil War. On April 23, 1982, Key West, Florida seceded from the Unites States and declared itself a sovereign nation: the Conch Republic.
In recent history, a literal roadblock by the Federal government at the top of the Florida Keys designed to curtail drug trafficking, severely crippled tourism for a number of years. After several appeals fell on deaf ears, Key West, a city that always had a whimsical streak, successfully seceded, separating from the United States and renamed the island the Conch Republic. Following the separation from the US, they immediately surrendered and the island government requested one billion dollars in federal rebuilding aid. Of course, the tropical paradise never saw the money, but the point was made and the roadblock was lifted.