Miami is the most densely populated city in the US and behind this attraction which it shows to the people, are the business opportunities, its leadership in finance, the favorable environment for the artists, its being centre of culture, media and entertainment and its ability to do the international trade. Though the city is in a well developed state but in the past it has seen many ups and downs but always stood strong and came out of all the storms which tried to blow the city’s spirit.
- 1 The Very Beginning
- 2 Spanish Colonies In The Beginning
- 3 Non-Spanish Colonies In The Beginning
- 4 When Miami Tasted Development First Time
- 5 Miami’s Fast Pace Development And Natural Calamity
- 6 During The World War II
- 7 Social Riots
- 8 More People Coming To Miami
- 9 Revenue Generating Drug Business In 1980
- 10 The Time Of Name And Fame
- 11 Ethnic Tention
- 12 Hurricane Andrew Effect And Later
- 13 The Future Is Bright
Here are few important incidents from the past to put a light on the history of Miami.
The Very BeginningThe first Native American colonies are confirmed to have lived in the Miami area almost about ten thousand years ago. There were hard wood and pine trees spread in the area and the wild animals like beers and deer were living there. The first people took the shelter at the banks of river Miami though the main villages were located on the northern part of the banks of the river Miami. The early habitants were interested in making tools and arms from the shells. These early Native American settlers were called the ‘Tequestas’ and they used to depend on river Miami for food .After the advent of the Europeans they started hunting, fishing, collecting roots to satisfy their hunger they had not started the agriculture. Tequesta natives were given the honor of making the Miami circle. Check out – billlentis.com/things-to-do-in-miami-fl.
Spanish Colonies In The BeginningJuan Ponce de León was the first European to come to Biscayne Bay in 1513 and see the surroundings of Miami. He mentioned Miami as ‘Chequescha’ in his diary which became the first registered name of Miami. Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and his men’s landing got registered as the first landing in 1566.Thay had come there for the missing son of Avile who an year before , was in a shipwreck. Father Fransisco Villiareal came with some Spanish soldiers, at estuary of reviver Miami to build a Jesuit mission which could not happen. The Tequestas were targeted to convert them to Christians and these attempts failed and most of the people from the tribe got struck with small pox and other illness and does. Jesuits found more cooperative people outside Florida in 1570. Later the numbers were decreased fast by the battles with other tribes and the due to the reduced population the Creek Indians easily conquered them. Tequesta’s sent many chiefs to Havan, Cuba to ask for shelter in 1711.Cubans sent two ships to assist but a large number of Indian dies as they got struck by the ailments. In 1743 another group of missionaries was sent to Biscayne Bay. The built a fort and church there and they had planned to stay their permanently in order to make food available for the soldiers and American Indians but the idea did not work.
Non-Spanish Colonies In The BeginningSamuel Touchett was granted with a land which was twenty thousand acres, located in Miami vicinity, from the British Government in 1776.One condition to make this grant permanent was at least one white settler should live on every hundred acre of the granted land. Samuel Touchett’s wish was to grow plants on all over the land but as he was not financially well to do to accomplish this task he could not make it.
The first group of white immigrants came to Miami in the 1800s. Pedro Fornells came to Key Biscayne to meet the condition of the grant but he also went back with his family to St. Augustine in half a year. He left a janitor there before leaving. In 1803 he came to visit the place and found noticed that there were few people living as tenants illegally across Biscayne Bay from the Island.
In 1825 Marshall Water Smith went to Cape Florida settlement which was situated on mainland and conferred with the illegal tenants who wanted to capture the land permanently. Masses from Key and Bahamas came to South Florida in search of the treasure which they could get from the shipwreck which happened due to Great Florida Reef. Some of these accepted the Spanish land offers along Miami River. The Seminole Indians also arrived at the almost the same time. Cape Florida Lighthouse was built near Key Biscayne, in 1825, to alert the ships passing by of the dangerous reefs.
Richard Fitzpatrick bought a land on Miami River in 1830 and tried to make it lively by plantation over the land. He planted tropical fruits, bananas, sugar cane and corn over there. The area was badly affected by the second Seminole War. This is recorded as the most devastating war in the history records of America. This incident affected the population of Miami area very badly.
The Cape Florida Lighthouse was burnt was the Seminoles in 1836 and it was not repaired till ten years after the incident. William English who was Richard Fitzpatrick‘s nephew, after the Seminole second war came to an end, started plantation in Miami.
He sold plots of lands after mapping the Village OF Miami on the bank of Miami River. In 1844 Miami was considered as a county seat. The Thirds Seminole war also was very much harmful one and one of its bad effects was that the settlement in Florida got effected and because slower than before on Southeast Florida. Only few families got settled in Miami in 1890s.
When Miami Tasted Development First TimeIn 1891, Cleveland’s rich woman Julia Tuttle, happed to buy a huge citrus planted 640 acres area in Miami vicinity. Her husband named Frederick Tuttle died in 1886 and post that as her children’s health was fragile she moved to south Florida. This lady has a very important role in the history as she tried to convince the railroad star Henry Flagler to extent his rail line Florida East Coast Railway to southward but he refused at that time.
During the winter of 1894 Florida was hit horribly by the weather and the citrus plants in the northern part of Florida got ruined .Once again on Feb 7th, 1895 another weather attack took place and the remaining part of the plantation also got ruined but the citrus plantation owned by Julia Tuttle was not affected by the weather at all. Only the citrus from Julia’s plantation was there everywhere in the market. She again tried to communicate with Henry Flagler in to try to get the railroad extension don in that area. She wanted him to visit ate area himself and decide. She made one more attempt and tried sending the flowers to him so that he understands that first did affect the area. Flagler somehow got convinced by the idea this time that Miami was a place all set for the development and he decided to continue the railroad to Miami and also to build a hotel over there. Flagler wrote a letter to Tuttle on April 22, 1895 to remind her about her promise of land in exchange of extending the railroad and making the hotel. The condition to develop the city was that Tuttle had to give a big land of one hundred acres if she wanted Flagler to develop the city.
The official announcement of the railroad was made on July 28, 1895. The railroad work started from the end of September that year. The workers for the project having different abilities and qualifications made a move to the city soon and the work took a quick seed. It was April 7, 1896 when the railroad reached Miami. An unplanned train arrived Miami on 13th April and the first properly planned trained could arrive Miami on 15th April. Initially there was only freight service provided and later after a week the passenger service also started.
A historic meeting took place on 28th July, 1896 in order to make Miami a city. As the appropriate number of voters were there at the time of meeting, all of decided to make a government with the name the City OF Miami. The person got the honour of becoming the mayor was John Reilly.
Miami’s Fast Pace Development And Natural CalamityMiami saw a very fast development till the World War 2nd. In 1913, Miami Beach was developed. Miami’s population got multiplies during 1920 to 1923.Froming the grater Miami city the areas of lemon city, Allapattah and Coconut grove were seized .In 1926 the disastrous Miami Hurricane hardly hit Miami’s life. As a result many people had to lose their homes and also make the move from the places they were establishes at. This incident killed the confidence of the well established people whose assets were wiped out and the city went through a state of depression due to no work for a huge number of people.
During The World War IIDuring the time of World War II, most of the cities on Florida were badly affected but Miami was still fine with a little effect. Hence the Military made a move to Miami and made use of its assets for their purpose. Military had their schools, communication and supply options available in the vicinity. The hotels were converted to barracks, the theatres were converted to the classrooms and golf courses and local beaches became the training centres. Hence instead of building any new spaces the assets and amusement places of Miami vicinity were converted as per the requirement. They could manage to train over five and fifty thousand officers and other men in South Florida. After the end of the war many people came back to Miami and this is how the population was increased and became almost five hundred thousand till 1950.
Social RiotsThe civil Right Movements took place in 1950s and 1960s and Miami did not had any active participation in the movement but we cannot say it was unaffected by the changes as there was always sufficient population of black Caribbean and African Americans.
In December 1979, a historical event of killing a motorcyclist by the police occurred. One of the police officers claimed that they were chasing Arthur McDuffie and at the end the fell from the vehicle and died but later it was found that when police reached McDuffie, he was injured but not dead. The police men removed his helmet and bet him on his head continuously till he was dead and then put him helmet back on his head. This incident became a very provoking incident as the rider was black and he was killed by the while policemen. The calamitous riots went for three days and 8 white people and 10 African American people were died during this time. Over 850 people were arrested and the property worth around one hundred million dollars was damaged.
More People Coming To MiamiIn 1980s, 150,000 Cuban came to Miami. This is called Mariel Boatlift and this was the largest civilian transport in the history. This Cuban refugee group was made of most of the very poor people and also many people who got released from prisons and also from the mental institutions. During this time most of the Non Hispanic Whites left the place and till the end of 1990, there were only 10% non Hispanic While population which was 90% in 1960.
The numbers of immigrants kept increasing in Miami from other countries like Haiti. The population grew in the area by the time and hence it is also called as ‘Little Heiti’. In 1985, Xavier Suarez became the first Cuban mayor in the city. Many people who came from Asia, Africa and Europe came to this place and still living.
Revenue Generating Drug Business In 1980Miami started earning millions of dollars though drugs as it became the main transshipment centre in America for the cocaine which was brought from Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. It attracted the businesses like luxury hotels, nightclubs and exotic cars and hence many other businesses and jobs along with this automatically flourishes in Miami. The city was touching the heights of fame and money and also the corruption and violence also was making its space along with the growth.
The Time Of Name And FameAs a result the city could manage to attract the visits of few big personalities during 1980s and 1990s like Pope John Paul Second in November 1987 who addressed a mass of one hundred and fifty thousand people in Tamiami Park. Later Queen Elizabeth second and three United States presidents also visited the city later and a street in Little Havana was also named after one of presidents, Ronald Reagan.
Ethnic TentionEthnic tensions arouse in the city when Nelson Mandela came in 1989.He was a leader of African Americans. On ABC’s news’s Nightline show he gave a statement in which for the anti-apartheid support he praised Cuban leader Fidel Castro. This raised some tension and as a result he did not receive the official greeting and no high ranked official came to greet him. This caused a furious reaction in the African American community and people started boycott of Miami’s tourist and convention facilities and the higher authorities finally arranged official greeting for Mandela in order to establish peace. The efforts to resolve the issue did not work for few months and there was huge loss to the city’s economy.
Hurricane Andrew Effect And LaterIn 1993 Miami –Dade area alone saw damage worth $20 billion when it got hit by Hurricane Andrew. (It is considered as the most destructive Hurricane who hit Florida). In 1996, Miami was referred as the 4th poorest city of Florida by 1996 as in 1980s and 1990s many financial scandals took place including Mayor’s Office and City Commission. All this highlighted the negative image of Miami. Miami got a smaller budget allocated which was $68 Million lesser and municipal bond got a junk rating by Wall Street and the state appointed an oversight board there and Miami was the first city of Florida where it happened. In 1997 only the city voters opposed a resolution to merge the city with Dade County. These financial problems kept occurring in Miami and till the foreigner called many Diaz was chosen as the mayor of Miami 2001.
The Liberty city area saw many fights happening in Miami as many fights used to happen there between Anthony ‘Little Bo’ and the Jon Does, which was the gangster group. Hence drug battles were happening at big levels in the city in 1998. When the leader of the gang Curtis Silwa got detained, Fail started taking the advantage of the opportunity by trying taking full command of the gang and become the leader and gave birth to the enmity.
Another immigration battle occurred in Miami due the Elián González incident. Elián González was a six year old child who was rescued off the Mimi’s coast from waters. This issue involved the Cuban and U.S, governments, Elian Gonzaleze’s father Juan Gonzalez, his relatives staying in Miami and the American Cuban community. On April 22, 2000 federal agents seized Elian and Cuban American community criticized it. The mayor of Miami Dade county at that time, Alex Penelas also vowed that it would also would not out any efforts in order to assist the Bill Clinton authorities and also the federal authorities in their efforts of returning the six year boy to Cuba. Protestors in huge numbers appeared in the emerged in the streets in Little Havana for angry demonstration. A ten block area was jammed in Little Havana by the rioters .after sometime many business men also closed their businesses and came for a boycott against the city for one day as they wanted to attempt the tourism industry. Employees of cruise lines, airlines, hotels, car rental companies and many big retailers also made their participation in boycott. Finally the six year boy Elian Gonzalez with his father returned to Cuba on June 28, 2000.
The Free Trade Area Of The Americans negotiation was also a controversial one which occurred in 2003. While increasing the intellectual property right this was a proposed in order to reduce the trade barriers among all countries of America, excluding Cuba. So during the Meeting in 2003 the Free Trade Area had to face huge oppose by the anti globalization protests and anti-corporatization protests.
The Future Is BrightHence we see the history of Miami has given it a multi cultural effect and now a days this has become the headquarter for many financial institutions and multinational companies. The international banks also have concentrated in the city largely. Though the city gets ranked among the poorest cities but this attracts the famous and rich people in America. Having many bright opportunities in the history the city had to see many tensions also along with the natural calamities like Hurricane Andrew and also the weather attacks which affected the plantation. The policies of the past mayors also kept affecting the cities spirit and also sometimes it affected the people’s emotions enough to even arouse the riots. As the population was a mix of many communities this was always on a fire bed and burnt into flames many times. Though the communal forces worked to destroy the piece but it is also seen that people have also come front sometimes just to save the humanity like in case of Elián González. People came together for a good cause in this case.
Now days the city has lots of opportunities and once it has grown itself completely for the outsiders. Even now it has all the possibilities to for the Nightclubs as the youth here will be able to make it successful. The beaches of Miami can generate good revenue if hotels can be developed to allure the visitors. Due the availability of water, the water sports of any kind are able to generate good revenue for the city.
The city is densely populated the population is able to fulfill the need of any business by providing all kinds of people to work without always paying high amount of money.
Hence the city just needs to repeat the history once when the hotel industry, car industry, night clubs etc were got well developed in Miami and due to that other businesses and jobs also were flourishing.