904 Day: Facts, places, events that really put Jacksonville on the map

Today is your day, greater Jacksonville! 9⃣0⃣4⃣

Jacksonville downtown from the Sky4 drone (Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sept. 4 in Jacksonville is known as 904 Day, a day named after our area code (904, of course) that really makes you want to scream “DUUUVAL!”

RELATED: Get out into the city, support a local business to celebrate 904 Day on Monday

Area code 904 is the telephone area code in use for most of the First Coast (northeast) region of the state of Florida, including all of the metropolitan area of Jacksonville. It includes all of Duval County, St. Johns County, Nassau County, and Baker County, and almost all of Clay County.

(Heads up, though, Jacksonville is having to expand soon. With numbers using the longstanding 904 area code expected to run out in 2024, the Florida Public Service Commission announced the additional 324 area code for communities such as Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach and Orange Park. Does that mean we get TWO days? March 24, here we come!)

To celebrate, I thought we would list a few fun facts that have really put us on the map.

Friendship Fountain: When it opened in the 1960s; the Friendship Fountain was the world’s largest and tallest fountain when it opened! For decades, Friendship Fountain has been an iconic spot in Jacksonville. It’s a city landmark on Jacksonville’s Southbank.

Lynyrd Skynyrd: Jacksonville is the birthplace of Southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd. News4Jax has profiled the group extensively, including producing an hour-long special, “The Legacy of Lynyrd Skynyrd.”

Naval Station Mayport: Naval Air Station Jacksonville is the largest Naval base in the Southeast region and the third-largest in the United States. The station was commissioned in December 1942.

Great Fire of 1901: Much of Jacksonville’s urban core was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1901. In 1901, the fire spread across downtown and burned 2,368 buildings and 466 acres. It was the largest metropolitan fire in the South. It left more than 8,600 people homeless. Three years later, the area was rebuilt. The number of new structures surpassed the number of buildings lost. (Read more about the “Great Fire” here)

Snow in Jacksonville? Get out of town! It feels as if it will never snow in Duval County again, but it happened... and we have pictures to prove it. On Dec. 23, 1989, those who lived here sledded down the Dames Point Bridge, had snowball fights and even made snowmen. It hasn’t snowed in more than 30 years. (GALLERY: Locals share snow photos 30+ years after a white Christmas in Jacksonville)

Andrew Jackson: Jacksonville was named for General Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of Florida who, incidentally, never visited Jacksonville.

Duval Street: The street, like the county, was named for William Pope Duval, the first Territorial Governor of Florida.

Jacksonville’s Florida Theatre is behind one of Elvis’ most iconic looks: There were reports of fans rushing toward Elvis during a concert in Jacksonville in 1955. They tried to rip off pieces of his clothes. Elvis Presley’s famous lip curl started in Jacksonville. Here’s why.

Jacksonville’s oldest resident: Planted in 1822 (or so the story says), Treaty Oak, located on the Southbank of Downtown has a circumference of 25 feet and reaches more than 70 feet into the sky. This is Jacksonville’s oldest resident.

Navy’s Blue Angels: As many locals know, the Navy’s Blue Angels formed right here in the River City in 1946. The team has wowed crowds for generations, and united people in the spectacle of their world-famous air show. Click here to read more.

*If you have made it to the end of this article, I will let you in on a little secret... TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!🎂 I get to celebrate the city and my birth. Pretty cool, right? I want to believe that Jacksonville just wouldn’t be the same without me. *wink* The other fun fact? I share my birthday with Beyonce. She turns 42 today! Feel free to email me if you want at CLuter@wjxt.com.

Related: A look back: The toll Jacksonville’s toll system had on the city’s history

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About the Author:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a communication degree.