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Karl Whitman, age ll, of Chattanooga, Tenn., for his question:


Key West, Fla., is the southernmost city in the continental United States. It occupies a coral island about 100 miles southwest of Florida's mainland.

The Florida Keys make up the southernmost part of the nation. These small islands curve southwestward for about 150 miles from Miami. Key Largo is the largest island.

The city of Key West is a resort and also has a U.S. naval air station. Before the U.S. took possession of Florida in the early 1800s, pirates and fishermen lived there. Many persons from the Florida mainland and the Bahamas went to Key West after 1823 and made fortunes salvaging ships wrecked on the coral reefs.

In 1912 a railroad, built on trestles over the water, connected Key West to the mainland. Part of the railroad north of Key West was destroyed by a hurricane in 1935. An overseas highway replaced the railroad in 1938.



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