YearMonthDayEvent Related
1914  The W.J. Brown Hotel opened on Miami Beach. It was the first hotel to open on the island. 
  Collins Avenue, the first paved road on Miami Beach, opened. It was the first road on the island suitable for automobiles.display
1915  J.N. and J.E. Lummus sold some of their oceanfront property to Miami Beach for $40,000. To be named Lummus Park, the land was dedicated as both a public park and beach. 
  Carl Fisher cleared Lincoln Road.display
January01The Miami Chamber of Commerce was founded.display
March26John Collins, the Lummus brothers, and Carl Fisher consolidated their efforts and successfully incorporated the Town of Miami Beach. At the time, the Beach had three hundred residents, but a mere thirty-three registered voters. They elected J.N. Lummus as the first mayor of Miami Beach. 
April24Father Theodore R. Gibson was born to parents who had immigrated to Miami from the Bahamas. By the early 1960s, he had become rector of the Christ Episcopal Church in Coconut Grove. He used his power in the church and the Coconut Grove community to become the most significant leader in Miami's civil rights movement. 
April30Broward County was created. It had previously been part of Dade County. 
December04The Miami Traction Company began service with "Battery Cars". At the same time, other operators began to spread across the city. Winslow Bus Lines served Hialeah and Northwest Miami, the Miami Transit Company - operated by Freeman & Sons - served the section of the city north and east of Flagler, and the Dunn Bus Company served the area south of Flagler into Coconut Grove. 
1916  The Lummus brothers offered free lots to anyone who promised to build homes on their land. 
  Miami residents voted on Ordinance 199, the "Color Line Ordinance." It did not pass, but through racism and intimidation, whites severely restricted the movements of blacks out of "colored town." 
1917  The status of Miami Beach was changed from town to city. 
  Lafe Allen made plans for a "perfect city" calling for 80-foot wide residential streets and 100 and 125-foot wide business thoroughfares. Today, the area's street layout is as the pioneer pictured it then with wide avenues named Fulford Boulevard (now known as NE 172nd Street) and Flagler Boulevard (now known as NE 19th Avenue). Then referred to as Fulford-by-the-Sea, today the area is North Miami Beach. 
  The Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Drainage District was created. The project's goal was to drain and reclaim a half million acres in Broward and northern Dade Counties.display
July15A group of whites bombed the Odd Fellows Hall, which was at the time the largest structure found in the city's black community. The guilty parties were never arrested. 
October The U.S. government purchased thirty-one acres of lowlands at Dinner Key in Coconut Grove. They immediately began filling in the marsh in order to create an instructional facility for the Navy.display
1918  The County Causeway was completed and the mainland and Miami Beach were connected at 5th Street. It was called the County Causeway until 1942 when the city renamed it the MacArthur Causeway.display
  The Tamiami Trail began to extend further west. In this year, forty-three miles were completed.display
  Christian Hospital opened at 1218 NW First Place. It was the first hospital that treated blacks in Miami. 
1920  The Miami Beach land boom began in roughly 1920. Over the next nine years, a host of millionaires built mansions along Collins Avenue's "Millionaire's Row." 
  Carl Fisher's Roman Pools and Casino open at 22nd Street and the Ocean.display
  Carl Fisher's Miami Beach Railway Company helped to link Miami and Miami Beach. A single line connecting downtown and south Miami Beach ran via the County Causeway. 
  5th Street, Alton Road, Collins Avenue, Washington Avenue, and Ocean Drive, the Miami Beach's main arteries, are all suitable for automobile traffic.display
  The construction of Star Island was begun by the Army Corps of Engineers.display
October06The City of Miami renamed all its streets based on the quadrant system. 
December31The Flamingo Hotel opened at 15th Street and the Bay on New Year's Eve.display
1921  James Bright and Glen Curtis platted the subdivision of Hialeah. They soon began selling their plots on the Miami Canal.display
March20The Miami Beach Congregational Church was dedicated. It was the island's first church, and was later renamed the Miami Beach Community Church.display
May24The Ku Klux Klan held a parade in honor of their arrival in Miami.display
July02The Ku Klux Klan kidnapped a black minister from Coconut Grove. They carried out the act in response to his message aimed at racial equality. He was released after promising to return to the Bahamas. 
November27The first lots were sold in Coral Gables. Conceptualized by George Edgar Merrick, the city began with the Merrick family grove and a Mediterranean architectural style. By 1926, the city covered 10,000 acres and had netted $150 million in sales with over $100 million spent on development.display
1922  The Bayshore Golf Course is completed.display
  The Miami Herald is the heaviest newspaper in the United States as a result of its extensive land advertisement section. 
  Lafe Allen's Fulford-by-the-Sea Company began selling lots. During the Florida land boom of the 1920's, lots were sometimes sold eight times before ever being recorded. 
1923  The Tamiami Trail encounters financial problems. Supporters of the project, calling themselves the "Tamiami Trail Blazers," drove a caravan of Fords, tractors, and wagons over the still incomplete Trail. 
  Barron Collier pledged millions to the Tamiami Trail project. In exchange for this, Collier County was created in southwestern Florida. 
June29A group of whites threw bombs into several unoccupied black homes. Those responsible were never apprehended. 
1924  The LaGorce Golf Course is completed. Fisher names it after his friend, Rockwell LaGorce.display
January10The Nautilus Hotel opened for business on the present site of the Mount Sinai Hospital.display
1925  The Kelly Air Mail Act of 1925 made possible the growth of commercial aviation in Miami and South Florida. 
  The Floridian Hotel was built.display
February18The Olympia Theater opened. It was the first building in Miami to be air conditioned. The theater hosted a variety of acts, but its specialty was the vaudeville show. It drew large crowds through the 1950s, but later faced demolition until being purchased by Maurice Gusman in 1971.display
April27Coral Gables was incorporated. 
June11The town of Deerfield was incorporated. 
September05Greater Miami was created. Residents had voted three days earlier to annex Coconut Grove, Silver Bluff, Allapattah, Lemon City, Buena Vista, and Little River. 
November16The town of Davie was incorporated. 
1926  The Florida Legislature refused to provide Coral Gables' founder George Merrick with a university. In turn, he established the University of Miami, the largest private university in the South. Bowman Ashe was appointed the university's first president.display
  Solid tire buses went into use on both sides of Biscanyne Bay after Florida Power and Light acquired Carl Fisher's causeway trolley line - the Miami Beach Railway Company - and contracted with the City of Miami for trolley and bus service on the mainland. 
  Elmer A. Ward arrived in Miami. Upon arrival, he opened the Economy Drug Store at 1101 NW Third Avenue. Years later, he fought for civil rights in Miami as the leader of the city's chapter of CORE (the Congress on Racial Equality). 
January The Roney Plaza Hotel was completed and opened for business.display
January The Biltmore Hotel was completed after ten months of construction for a cost of $10 million.display
February05The town of Miami Shores was incorporated. The area had formerly been called Arch Creek, and was later renamed North Miami. Another town called Miami Shores was incorporated in 1930. 
February28Venetian Way (now called the Venetian Causeway) opened to traffic. It was built over what had been the route for the Collins Bridge.display
March02Larkins was incorporated as the town of South Miami. Soon after, John Opsahl constructed the town's first concrete block building on Sunset Drive. 
May The first Coral Gables rapid transit cars operated from downtown Miami to Ponce de Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables via Coral Way.display
July04The Ku Klux Klan opened their headquarters in downtown Miami. The building stood at SW Fourth Street and Eighth Avenue. It was destroyed in the hurricane of September 1926. 
September18A devastating hurricane hit Miami in the early morning of September 18. Storm forecasting had improved in 1926, but was nowhere near as accurate as it is today. South Florida residents had little warning about the storm, which killed more than one hundred people and caused millions of dollars in damage.display
November11Biscayne Boulevard was extended to Thirteenth Street. 
1927  The Million Dollar Pier is completed at the southern tip of Miami Beach.display
  The Kennel Club opens at the southern tip of Miami Beach.display
February11Biscayne Boulevard was extended to Twenty-ninth Street. 
June01The town of South Miami adopted a new charter and changed its name to the City of South Miami. 
June06The town of Miami Shores changed its name to North Miami. 
July28The Greater Miami Airport Association was created. 
October28Pan American World Airways is born on this day with the flight of a Fokker tri-motor F-7 from Key West to Havana. By 1935, the airline was connecting Miami and thirty-two other Central and South American countries.display
1928  A motorcade of 500 cars journeyed from Ft. Myers to Miami to celebrate the completion of the Tamiami Trail and the first paved connection of Florida's two coasts.display
  The continued construction of the Tamiami Trail, aimed at providing settlers with easier access to lands further and further inland, hastened the collapse of the frontier Seminole economy, threatening the Florida Indians with assimilation and extinction. 
January04The first nonstop flight from Miami to New York took place. 
January16The first scheduled passender flight from south Florida to Cuba took place. It was a Pan American Airways flight from Key West to Havana. 
September15Pan American Airways established its base of operations in Miami. It had previously been in Key West. 
1929  Temple Beth Jacob becomes first Jewish congregation to erect a synagogue in Miami Beach at 311 Washington Street. In 1936, the congregation constructs a larger building at 301 Washington, designed by noted Art Deco hotel architect Henry Hohauser. This building now houses the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. Both temple buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 
  The city of Miami Beach acquires Flamingo Park and dedicates it as a public facility. 
  Father John E. Culmer arrived in Miami from Tampa to lead Saint Agnes Episcopal Church in Colored Town. Years later, he became one of the most notable leaders in the city's civil rights movement. 
  The North Bay Causeway opened. It linked Miami Beach with the mainland at what is today Seventy-ninth Street. The intersection at Seventy-ninth and Biscayne Boulevard subsequently gained importance, and as Miami emerged from the Great Depression and later World War II, it and its outlying areas experienced a period of intense development. Many of the buildings near this intersection built in the 1950s and 1960s were designed along classic Modernist lines. 
November14A Sears Roebuck store opened in downtown Miami at the corner of the County Causeway (later renamed the MacArthur Causeway) and the newly redesigned Biscayne Boulevard. The building was designed by the Chicago firm of Nimmons, Carr, & Wright, and is today remembered as the first Art Deco building in the city. The facade has been incorported into the design of the Performing Arts Center, due to open in 2006. 
1930  Miami Beach's Art Deco boom began as a host of developers began to build in that style. 
  The population of Miami Beach reaches 6,500. 
  The Boulevard Shops on Biscayne Boulevard were built. One block away from Miami's first Art Deco building - the Sears Roebuck store - this group of upscale retail shops was another fine example of this type of architectural design. They were designed by Robert Law Weed. 
January13The Miami Civic Center opened on Biscayne Boulevard. It was later renamed the Mayfair Art Theater. 
1931  An extreme dry spell in South Florida lowered water tables, threatening the municipal wells of Miami and other coastal cities with seawater intrusion. 
  The City of South Miami Chamber of Commerce was established. 
  Colonel Henry L. Doherty purchased the Miami-Biltmore, the Roney Plaza, and the Key Largo Angler's Club. In doing so, he formed the Florida Year Round Club. This move aimed to counteract the negative impacts of the Great Depression and establish Miami and Miami Beach as year-round tourist destinations. 
1933January01Miami hosted its first Orange Bowl, even though it was not referred to as such. The University of Miami and Manhattan College played in "The First Annual New Year's Day Football Classic," which was held at Moore Park.display
February15President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited Miami, and was greated by 18,000 Miamians at the Bayfront Park bandshell. 
March04Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office as President of the United States. Shortly thereafter, 16,000 Miamians received direct financial assistance from one of his "alphabet soup agencies" - the Federal Emergency Relief Agency (FERA). The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) also went to work in Miami in the months that followed. 
August13The government of Gerardo Machado was overthrown in Cuba. The ousted leader was subsequently flown to Miami for safety.display
August17The Miami Herald wrote that, "Miami's gates will always remain open to Cubans." This came four days after the violence that resulted in the fall of Machado and the departure of a number of Cubans for South Florida. 
1934  The Everglades National Park was created. Congress authorized 2,164,480 acres to be acquired for the park through public and private donations. Some of the largest landowners in the Everglades sought a minimun price for their land. The price of $5.00 per acre was chosen.display
1935  Coral Gables' high speed transit service ended. It had lasted nine years, but damage from a storm in 1935 was so extensive that it was permanently shut down. Thereafter, Coral Gables switched to an all bus system. 
  The Public Works Administration (PWA) began operating in Miami. As a result, buildings such as the Miami Beach post office, the Miami Shores golf club, the Coral Gables fire station, a hospital building, and others were constructed by thousands of unemployed workers. 
  The Miami area began to emerge from the Great Depression. The recovery in South Florida preceded that which occurred in other cities. By the mid-1930s, a string of new hotels built in the Art Deco style began to rise from the ruin caused by not only the Depression, but the hurricane of 1926. 
September02A Labor Day hurricane hit the Florida Keys, killing 408 people. Damage to the railroad connecting Miami and the Keys was so severe that service between the two points on Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway ended.display
1936December20Parrot Jungle Island opened. Started by Franz Scherr and originally located on Red Road, one hundred visitors paid twenty-five cents admission to see twenty-five birds and the flora and fauna of his park on this first day. Today, Parrot Jungle is home to over one thousand birds and has moved to a site along the MacArthur Causeway between Miami and Miami Beach. The original grounds on Red Road remain, and the park has renamed as Pinecrest Gardens. 
1937  Voters rejected a ballot to unify all transit services in Miami except its jitneys. 
June01Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan departed from Miami beginning their 29,000-mile journey around the world. With 7,000 miles remaining, they disappeared over the Pacific on July 2. 
1938March23Fairchild Tropical Garden was dedicated. In 1935, Colonel Robert M. Montgomery and his wife Nell Foster Montgomery had purchased eighty acres and founded a public botanical garden, setting the stage for the establishment of the tropical garden that still exists today. 
March29The Overseas Highway to Key West was completed.display
1939  The Clevelander Hotel opened at 10th and Ocean Drive. 
  Voters approved a second ballot - two years after the first - that unified the City of Miami's transit system. 
  The City of Miami discontinued using its streetcars over the course of two years. The city granted an exclusive franchise to the Miami Transit Company.display
May The Ku Klux Klan organized a rally of more than 2,000 persons in opposition to black voter participation. On election day that year, nearly 1,000 blacks went to the polls. It was the first time that the city's black residents banded together as a major voting bloc in a city election. 
May10Florida's state legislature passed a bill barring blacks from voting in primaries. 
June12The town of Hillsboro Beach was incorporated. 
Return to top
University of Miami Libraries       Department of History         University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida