Miami International Airport

On September 15, 1928, Capt. Edwin Musick took off from a dirt runway with 340 pounds of mail and two passengers bound for Key West. It was the first recorded flight from what would become Miami International Airport. Pan American Airways shifted its operations from Key West to Miami and purchased 116 acres of swampland on the south side of Northwest 36th Street near Le Jeune Road. Soon, the dusty field had two runways, two hangars and a then-modern terminal (without air conditioning, of course) that cost $50,000. Flights loaded with mail and a few passengers began taking off and landing in young Miami. Airplanes were known as flying boats. Those were the days when Miami International Airport was the “36th Street airport” and then “Pan Am Field.” During the war, the airport was taken over by armed forces. The military built shacks west of Le Jeune close to the Palmetto Expressway. By the late 1950s, the complex had stretched to 20th Street. Today Miami International Airport covers 3,230 acres west of downtown Miami between Northwest 36th Street, Le Jeune Road, the Palmetto Expressway and State Road 836 and is one of the busiest airports in the world.

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