• Miami Drug Wars

    The deadly 1979 shootout at Dadeland Mall in broad daylight between Colombian traffickers-- quickly dubbed ''the Cocaine Cowboys'' by a police officer on the scene -- heralded the beginning of South Florida's bloody and violent drug wars in which drug dealers competed for Miami's wholesale markets. The mob-style execution and growing violence in the streets of Miami was linked to the nascent Medellin Cartel consolidating its control of the drug business. Smuggling rings grew to corporate size in the 1980's. A 1982 seizure of $100 million worth of cocaine from a Miami International Airport hangar permanently altered U.S. law enforcement's approach towards the drug trade.

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Miami drug wars

The deadly 1979 shootout at Dadeland Mall in broad daylight between Colombian traffickers– quickly dubbed ”the Cocaine Cowboys” by a police officer on the scene — heralded the beginning of South Florida’s bloody and violent drug wars in which drug dealers competed for Miami’s wholesale markets. The mob-style execution and growing violence in the streets […]

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Art Deco

With roots in Europe as far back as the 1880s, Art Deco rejected the ornate excesses of Victorian architecture. It had burst on the American scene after the 1925 Exposition International Des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris. The style arrived in South Florida at a time when Miami Beach was a blank slate […]

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Crandon Park Zoo

From the late 1940s until August 1980, Crandon Park Zoo on Key Biscayne was the place to see bears, tigers, monkeys, reptiles and birds just a few steps from the beach. The zoo, located in the 900-acre Crandon Park, opened in 1948 and was the county’s first. It blossomed from the misfortune of a traveling […]

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Coconut Grove

From Seminole War battleground to Bahamian pioneer outpost to groovy hippie haven, Coconut Grove has had several incarnations. Originally spelled Cocoanut Grove – its residents decided to drop the “a” after its incorporation as a city in 1919- the village has attracted sailors, academics, artists, explorers, drop-outs and scientists. It was the place where northern […]

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Cuban Rafter Crisis

In the early ’90’s, Cuban rafters began to cast off in alarming numbers. On July 13, 1994, Cuban government boats sank a commandeered tugboat that left at least 39 people dead. The next month, outraged Cuban citizens watched the government retake a hijacked ferry in Havana Bay to thwart another escape attempt. Rioting erupted. People […]

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Hialeah Park Race Track

The Hialeah Park Race Track, which opened Jan. 25, 1925, and was closed for two years during World War II, was the site of many racing firsts. It was the first track in this country to feature a turf course and the first major track at which a female jockey, Diane Crump in 1969, was […]

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Miami River

Five miles long, the Miami River has gone from a crystal clear wild river to gritty urban sprawl. Its early settlers, the Tequestas, shared the river’s banks and pools with panthers and alligators. In the first half of the 20th century the Miami River Rapids area was dredged and dynamited to build the Miami Canal, […]

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Little Havana

La Pequeña Habana ‘Little Havana” got its name from the hundreds of thousands of Cubans who fled their homeland between the late 1950s and early 1970s and settled in what originally was a lower-middle-class Southern and Jewish neighborhood. By the early 1970s, the Cubans had changed the landscape. The aroma of just-brewed cafecito was everywhere. […]

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Lemon City

Lemon City is an ancient neighborhood by Miami standards. Named after the unusually sweet lemon trees that grew in the area, Lemon City was the home to one of the county’s oldest schools, the Lemon City School, and first library, the Lemon City Library. One of its early markets, Rockmoor Grocery, would go on to […]

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