Sometimes this week Ponce de Leon landed in Florida in 1513.
About the same time of the year 15 years later in 1528, the Narvaez expedition lands in Florida looking for gold. There were four survivors that showed up in Mexico City 8 years later.
Both expeditions were met by fierce resistance from the Natives. Probably because they weren't the first Spaniards to land in Florida. Florida shows up on maps as early as 1510 and there were Spanish fisherman who were here before Ponce de Leon.
Florida wasn't just the present state of Florida that Spain claimed. They actually claimed all of North America. The present boundaries of the State of Florida were narrowed down by 1813. The city of Mobile, Alabama was the last part that was taken away from Spanish Florida.
Spain had Florida for 288 years. Not counting the 20 years that Britain had control.
For the United States to have Florida for as many years as Spain, we will have to wait for the year 2109.
Spain didn't have so much control Florida; they just occupied a few settlements. The city of St. Augustine, Pensacola, Mobile, some inland communities and military outposts, and the mission chain.
Florida under Spain was never economically independent. Florida was divided by the British into West and East Florida. They were the 14th and 15th colonies of Britain that didn't rebel during the American Independence war.
St. Francis Barracks in the St. Augustine started out as a mission, but by the time of the British period in Florida, became a military barracks. It was continued as a military facility when Spain regained Florida in 1783. Today it is headquarters of the Florida National Guard, and the oldest active military installation in the United States, and still uses a building built by the Spanish priests.