Social History

The Longest Night: Part II

On New Year’s Eve, 1958,Havana witnessed a startling series of events that was to lead to the mass migration of 750,000 Cubans to the U.S. On December 1975, Tropic Magazine published the inside story of the night that changed Cuba -and Miami- forever. This is part two. Click here for part one.

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Emilio Milian: Cuban newsman’s car is bombed

Through the 1970s and into the ’80s, local law enforcement authorities were chasing bombers all over Miami. Just as one bomb was ripping apart a Little Havana cigar shop, another was going off at “Fidel friendly” magazine offices. The Mexican consulate was hit, as were “Castro compliant” shipping companies. During this wave of violence, Emilio […]

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Barbara Jane Mackle, kidnap victim buried alive

Kidnappers took Barbara Jane Mackle of Coral Gables from a Georgia motel room on December 17, 1968, buried her alive in a box on an isolated hillside and demanded a half-million-dollar ransom from her father, developer Robert Mackle. For 83 hours, the 20-year-old Emory University student remained underground until the ransom was paid and Mackle […]

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Brigade 2506

It started on April 17, 1961. The soldiers of Brigade 2506 were Cuban exiles fighting to rid their land of Communist domination. They had the political and military support, they thought, of the U.S. government. Fidel Castro’s days were numbered. The invasion ended in blood and confusion and the deepest despair a fighting force could […]

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9682487 The Miami Herald

The 1986 FBI Miami shootout

FBI agents and two suspected bank robbers exchanged at least 131 shots during the April 11, 1986 shootout on a residential South Dade street that left two agents and the two gunmen dead. Forty of the bullets were fired by Michael Lee Platt, a former U.S. Army Ranger, who carried a rapid-fire, .223-caliber Ruger Mini-14 […]

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Misc. Billboards Peter Andrew Bosch

Billboards

The battle of the billboards started in 1965 when Lady Bird Johnson championed a law aimed at banning billboards “to preserve (the) natural beauty” of the nation’s open roads. Not only did the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 not work — it hasn’t been cheap. Taxpayers paid about $214 million to billboard owners as compensation […]

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0560961248 Marvin Bloom

The saga of Veterans Village

The saga of Veteran’s Village began in February 1946 when a Miami American Legion Post tried to address the housing shortage for military families by re-opening World War II buildings on Miami Army air field, today Miami International Airport. For $20 a month, families got wooden huts, 16 feet by 16 feet,  with no running […]

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Book Mobile Steve Wever

Bookmobiles

The first bookmobile in Miami began in January of 1928. Since then, bookmobiles have been the bearers of books and carriers of culture for patrons in outlying areas. At the program’s peak in 1979, the county maintained about 20 bookmobiles that fanned out all over Dade County. People checked out 293,000 books from the mobile […]

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Seaboard Railroad Albert Coya

Seaboard Railroad

The rush during the late ’20s was so great that Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast tracks couldn’t handle all the business. So the Seaboard Air Line railroad reached down from North Florida, building stations along the way. On Jan. 8, 1927, a train called the Orange Blossom Special made its first journey into Hollywood and […]

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Paradise Lost –And Regained

Philip Wylie, the famous American author-philosopher came to Miami in 1929, when the town lay in the backwash of bust and the Depression, and rusting steel skeletons of unfinished buildings stood as monuments to community despair. He kept a home here until his death in 1971. And often, he wrote about his adopted city — […]

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