History of Miami City
Miami is one of Florida’s – and the World’s – most popular vacation spot. Offering something for everyone, Miami attracts visitors looking for warm weather, inviting water, soft sand beaches, and sizzling nightlife. Miami is located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County. The 42nd largest city proper in the United States, with a population of 413,892, it is the principal, central, and most populous city of the Miami metropolitan area, and the most populous metropolis in the Southeastern United States.
Miami is a major center and a leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, the arts, and international trade.
Downtown Miami and South Florida are home to the largest concentration of international banks in the United States, and many large national and international companies.
The Civic Center is a major center for hospitals, research institutes, medical centers, and biotechnology industries. For more than two decades, the Port of Miami, known as the “Cruise Capital of the World,” has been the number one cruise passenger port in the world. It accommodates some of the world’s largest cruise ships and operations, and is the busiest port in both passenger traffic and cruise lines. The Miami area was inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous cultures. The Tequestas occupied the area for a thousand years before European encounter.
In 1566 the explorer, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, claimed it for Spain. A Spanish mission was constructed one year later in 1567. Spain and Great Britain alternatively “controlled” Florida, and Spain ceded it to the United States in 1821. In 1836, the US built Fort Dallas as part of its development of the Florida Territory and attempt to suppress and remove the Seminole. The Miami area subsequently became a site of fighting during the Second Seminole War.
During the early 20th century, northerners were attracted to the city, and Miami prospered during the 1920s with an increase in population and infrastructure. The collapse of the Florida land boom of the 1920s, the 1926 Miami Hurricane, and the Great Depression in the 1930s slowed development. When World War II began, Miami, well-situated on the southern coast of Florida, became a base for US defense against German submarines. The war brought an increase in Miami’s population; by 1940, 172,172 people lived in the city.
After Fidel Castro rose to power in Cuba in 1959, many wealthy Cubans sought refuge in Miami, further increasing the population. The city developed businesses and cultural amenities as part of the New South.
Geography & Climate in Miami City
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Miami and its suburbs are located on a broad plain between the Florida Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east, which also extends from Florida Bay north to Lake Okeechobee.
Miami has a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen climate classification Am) with hot and humid summers and short, warm winters, with a marked drier season in the winter. Its sea-level elevation, coastal location, position just above the Tropic of Cancer, and proximity to the Gulf Stream shapes its climate.
Miami is partitioned into many different sections, roughly into North, South, West and Downtown. The heart of the city is Downtown Miami and is technically on the eastern side of the city. This area includes Brickell, Virginia Key, Watson Island, and the Port of Miami. Downtown is South Florida’s central business district, and Florida’s largest and most influential central business district. Downtown has the largest concentration of international banks in the U.S. along Brickell Avenue.
The southern side of Miami includes Coral Way, The Roads and Coconut Grove. Coral Way is a historic residential neighborhood built in 1922 connecting Downtown with Coral Gables, and is home to many old homes and tree-lined streets. Coconut Grove was established in 1825 and is the location of Miami’s City Hall in Dinner Key, the Coconut Grove Playhouse, CocoWalk, many nightclubs, bars, restaurants and bohemian shops, and as such, is very popular with local college students. The western side of Miami includes Little Havana, West Flagler, and Flagami, and is home to many of the city’s traditionally immigrant neighborhoods.
Cultural Facts of the History of Miami City
In addition to such annual festivals like Calle Ocho Festival and Carnaval Miami, Miami is home to many entertainment venues, theaters, museums, parks and performing arts centers. The newest addition to the Miami arts scene is the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the second-largest performing arts center in the United States after the Lincoln Center in New York City, and is the home of the Florida Grand Opera.
Miami music is varied. Cubans brought the conga and rumba to Miami from their homelands instantly popularizing it in American culture. Dominicans brought bachata, and merengue, while Colombians brought vallenato and cumbia, and Brazilians brought samba. West Indians and Caribbean people have brought reggae, soca, kompa, zouk, calypso, and steel pan to the area as well.
The city attracts a large number of musicians, singers, actors, dancers, and orchestral players. Miami has numerous orchestras, symphonies and performing art conservatories. Some of these include the Florida Grand Opera, FIU School of Music, Frost School of Music, Miami City Ballet, Miami Conservatory, Miami Wind Symphony, New World School of the Arts, New World Symphony Orchestra, as well as the music, theater and art schools of the city’s many universities and schools.
Miami is also a major fashion center, home to models and some of the top modeling agencies in the world. Miami is also host to many fashion shows and events, including the annual Miami Fashion Week and the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Miami held in the Wynwood Art District.
The city is home to numerous museums as well, many of which are in Downtown. These include the Frost Art Museum, HistoryMiami, Miami Art Museum, Miami Children’s Museum, Miami Science Museum, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and the Miami-Dade Cultural Center, home of the Miami Main Library. Miami is also the home of the world’s largest art exhibition, dubbed the “Olympics of Art”, Art Basel Miami. The event is held annually in December, and attracts thousands of visitors from around the world.
The cuisine of Miami is a reflection of its diverse population, with a heavy influence especially from Caribbean cuisine and from Latin American cuisine. By combining the two with American cuisine, it has spawned a unique South Florida style of cooking known as Floribbean Cuisine. Floribbean cuisine is widely available throughout Miami and South Florida, and can be found in restaurant chains such as Pollo Tropical.
Cuban immigrants in the 1960s brought the Cuban sandwich, medianoche, Cuban espresso, and croquetas, all of which have grown in popularity to all Miamians, and have become symbols of the city’s varied cuisine. Today, these are part of the local culture, and can be found throughout the city in window cafés, particularly outside of supermarkets and restaurants. Restaurants such as Versailles restaurant in Little Havana is a landmark eatery of Miami. Located on the Atlantic Ocean, and with a long history as a seaport, Miami is also known for its seafood, with many seafood restaurants located along the Miami River, and in and around Biscayne Bay. Miami is also the home of restaurant chains such as Burger King, Tony Roma’s and Benihana.
Miami is a major center of commerce, finance, and boasts a strong international business community. According to the ranking of world cities undertaken by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network (GaWC) in 2010 and based on the level of presence of global corporate service organizations, Miami is considered a “Alpha minus world city”.
Miami is a major television production center, and the most important city in the U.S. for Spanish language media. Univisión, Telemundo and TeleFutura have their headquarters in Miami, along with their production studios. The Telemundo Television Studios produces much of the original programming for Telemundo, such as their telenovelas and talk shows.
Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami are among the nation’s busiest ports of entry, especially for cargo from South America and the Caribbean. The Port of Miami is the world’s busiest cruise port, and MIA is the busiest airport in Florida, and the largest gateway between the United States and Latin America. Additionally, the city has the largest concentration of international banks in the country, primarily along Brickell Avenue in Brickell, Miami’s financial district.
Whether You Are Visiting Miami Or Live In The City, Read Interesting Facts About The History of Miami City. More About Miami Economy, Geography, And Culture