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Posted on Fri, Sep. 13, 2002

Miami Chronology: 1920-1940


January 1 1920 The Herald adopts an Old English typeface for its masthead: formerly the title was a plain, light-face type.
January 3 1920 Miami Realty Board organized.
January 17 1920 Lincoln Apartments opens on Miami Beach, the first of Carl Fisher's hotels.
February 17 1920 County Causeway opens to traffic (now MacArthur Causeway)
February 18 1920 County Causeway dedicated.
March 14 1920 Miami Beach Community Church holds its first service.
July 30 1920 A white woman is attacked in her home. She identifies a Bahamian man, Henry Brooks, as the assailant. A white mob forms, and Brooks is sent to Jacksonville for his own safety, but tries to jump from the train and dies.
August 3 1920 Angry Bahamians assemble in Coconut Grove to protest the death of Henry Brooks, believing he was killed by police. The National Guard is called.
September 13 1920 Beth David, first synagogue in Miami, holds first service in former First Christian Church building.
October 6 1920 City of Miami renames all its streets based on a quadrant system.
January 1 1921 Miami Beach Aquarium opens near causeway. It would close in 1925.
January 2 1921 First regular steamship service to northern ports.
January 25 1921 Christian Hospital, First black hospital opens, gift of Mrs. Clarence Busch. It was started by Dr. W.B. Sawyer after Jackson refused to care for a black woman who was Mrs. Busch's maid. (Dunn says 1918 and spells it Bush)
January 28 1921 President Warren G. Harding visits Fort Lauderdale.
February 24 1921 First transcontinental flight in less than 24 hours lands in Jacksonville.
March 20 1921 First church in Miami Beach, Miami Beach Congregational (later Community) Church, is dedicated.
April 11 1921 First deep sea telephone cable service is inagurated from Key West to Havana.
May 24 1921 The Ku Klux Klan arrives in Miami, with a parade attended by hundreds. In July (1920?) they kidnap a Grove minister and release him only when he promises to return to the Bahamas.
June 21 1921 Bombing of a vacant house in Colored Town is blamed on Ku Klux Klan. (1923?)
June 21 1921 Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce is formed.
July 12 1921 Five bankers win election as Miami city commissioners under new charter approved in June. C.S. Coe chosen first city manager.
November 27 1921 George Merrick sells first lot in Coral Gables.
November 28 1921 "Doc" Dammers begins Sunday auctions of Coral Gables lots.
December 23 1921 The U.S.S. Constitution begins a visit to Miami.
January 13 1922 Mary Brickell dies.
February 16 1923 Miami Chamber of Commerce open's the city's first tourist bureau.
May 8 1923 Collier county created. (It had been part of Lee County, which previously had been part of Monroe.)
May 20 1923 Ku Klux Klan initiates 150 candidates in public meeting on Palm Island.
June 4 1923 Miami Metropolis becomes Miami Daily News - Metropolis after former Ohio gov. James Cox buys paper.
September 1 1923 Miami Times established by Henry E. S. Reeves.
September 4 1923 Miami Times begins publication.
December 1 1923 Miami's first skyscraper, the 8-story Professional Building, opened.
December 4 1923 First train from the midwest, Illinois Central's "Floridian", arrives.
February 20 1924 Sidney Poitier born, Miami.
March 15 1924 American Power and Light buys Miami Beach Electric and other utilities.
April 2 1924 Dr. James M. Jackson dies.
April 9 1924 Second Avenue Bridge over Miami River opened.
September 12 1924 Ashley gang robs Bank of Pompano.
November 1 1924 Ashley gang caught on a Sebastian bridge; all die in a shootout; sheriffs claim self-defense.
November 23 1924 Steamship service between Miami-New York inaugurated with arrival of "Apache".
December 4 1924 First day of land sales in Miami Shores.
January 4 1925 First edition of the Miami News (formerly Metropolis), and first Sunday paper.
January 12 1925 William K Vanderbilt starts Illustrated Daily Tab.
January 15 1925 First horse races at Miami Jockey Club, later to become Hialeah Race Track.
February 18 1925 Olympia Theater opens. (now Gusman)
March 18 1925 Thre Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach is destroyed in a fire.
April 8 1925 University of Miami receives charter from state.
April 27 1925 Coral Gables incorporated.
April 30 1925 First Trolley car in Coral Gables.
May 20 1925 Lots in Silver Crest subdivision at Coral Way and 27th Ave sell out in 10 minutes.
June 11 1925 Town of Deerfield is incorporated.
July 16 1925 A white Miami police officer claims he is shot in Colored Town; a black man is found dead. The officer and police chief Quigg are charged with murder and acquitted in 1928.
July 25 1925 Miami News Tower dedicated.
July 25 1925 Miami News publishes 504-page newspaper, largest ever.
July 26 1925 William Jennings Bryan dies.
September 2 1925 Miami voters vote to annex Coconut Grove, Silver Bluff, Allapattah, Lemon City, Buena Vista, and Little River.
September 3 1925 400 acres of Miami Shores lots go on sale: a near-riot occurs as customers throw over $33 million at salesmen.
September 5 1925 Annexation of suburbs creates Greater Miami.
September 18 1925 James Deering dies aboard steamship City of Paris.
October 20 1925 Lots on new islands created by construction of Venetian Way go up for sale.
November 1 1925 Work begins on Dade County Courthouse.
November 16 1925 Town of Davie incorporated.
November 25 1925 Hollywood and Floranada are incorporated. (Floranada - comb. of Fla and Canada - incorporated new development of Oakland Park)
January 10 1926 Danish barkentine "Prins Valdemar" goes aground in Miami Harbor.
January 15 1926 Biltmore Hotel opens.
February 4 1926 Cornerstone laid for University of Miami.
February 5 1926 Arch creek incorporates as Town of Miami Shores (became North Miami in 1927).
February 6 1926 Roney Plaza Hotel opens on Miami Beach.
February 6 1926 Mizner's Boca Raton Hotel opens.
February 22 1926 First and only race at wooden track at Fulford-by-the-Sea (North Miami Beach)
February 26 1926 Rumrunner Duncan "Red" Shannon killed by Coast Guard in front of Flamingo Hotel.
February 28 1926 Venetian Way (now Venetian Causeway) opens to traffic. It is built over route of old Collins bridge.
February 29 1926 Prins Valdemar is moved from harbor shipping lane, opening port blocked over a month. It would become an aquarium, now buried under AA Arena.
March 3 1926 The International Greyhound Racing Association is formed in Miami.
April 1 1926 Florida Airways Corporation becomes nation's 2nd airmail carrier, flying between Miami and Atlanta. Company would lost airmail contract by end of year after collapse of boom.
April 29 1926 Carrie Meek born in Tallahassee.
July 4 1926 The Klan opens a headquarters building downtown (SW 4th St. and 8th Ave). It would be destroyed by hurricane in September.
July 16 1926 First underwater photos in natural colors taken, Florida.
August 13 1926 Fidel Castro born. (1927?)
September 2 1926 Dredging begins in Miami Harbor.
September 18 1926 A hurricane slams into South Florida, lasting 8 hours, killing 100 in Dade and about half that in Broward.
October 15 1926 University of Miami opens.
October 25 1926 UM Hurricanes play first football game, defeating Rollins 7-0.
November 11 1926 Biscayne Boulevard dedicated to 13th st.
January 3 1927 Grove Theater movie house opens, boasting largest Wurlitzer organ in the U.S. (now Coconut Grove Playhouse)
January 8 1927 First train arrives at Opa-Locka station. First "Orange Blossom Special" Seaboard train stops in Broward. (same train?)
February 4 1927 Evelyn Nesbit opens supper club in Miami ("Girl on Velvet Swing" had been married to Harry K Thaw who killed her lover)
February 5 1927 Charles Deering dies at his home in Cutler.
February 11 1927 Biscayne Boulevard extension to 29th St. opens.
March 27 1927 Hollywood's Joe Young incorporates Tropical Dredging and Construction Co. to build a channel and turning basin for a port.
March 29 1927 First automobile to exceed 200 m.p.h., H.O. Seagrave, Daytona Beach.
June 6 1927 Town of Miami Shores changes name to North Miami.
July 7 1927 Broward chief deputy sheriff Bill Hicks arrested for murder of Reese Barber, found in Dania Cut-off Canal two years earlier. Hicks would be sentenced to life but verdict reversed.
July 28 1927 Greater Miami Airport Association formed.
August 7 1927 Rumrunner James Alderman kills two Coast Guardsmen and a Secret Service agent in Government Cut.
October 19 1927 Pan Am's first mail flight from Miami to Havana, first scheduled international flight by an American airline.
October 28 1927 First air passenger international station opened, Key West; first air mail flight from Key West to Havana on Pan American Airways.
January 4 1928 First nonstop Miami-New York flight.
January 16 1928 First scheduled passenger flight from Key West to Havana on PAA (Pan Am).
February 1 1928 Miami city commission creates an Aviation Department, under A.H. Hermance.
February 10 1928 Miami Beach developer John Collins dies.
March 1 1928 Three Miami police officers are indicted in the beating death of a black man who had been arrested for 'insulting a white woman'; Chief Quigg would later be indicted, all acquitted; Quigg would be dismissed.
April 22 1928 Present Miami High dedicated.
April 25 1928 Tamiami Trail opens.
May 1 1928 Pitcairn Airlines, a mail carrier, is founded. It would become Eastern Airlines.
September 6 1928 Dade County courthouse opens.
September 15 1928 Pan Am moves its base from Key West to Miami
September 16 1928 A hurricane hits Palm Beach, kills up to 2000 people south of Lake Okeechobee.
November 18 1928 Mickey Mouse first appears on screen.
December 1 1928 First landing of a Pitcairn Airlines flight in Miami; later Eastern Airlines.
January 9 1929 36th St. Airport (now MIA) and Pan Am terminal open. Charles Lindbergh pilots the first regular mail and passenger flight to San Juan via Havana, Port-au-Prince, and Santo Domingo.
February 4 1929 Charles Lindbergh flies first airmail flight to Panama from Miami.
February 27 1929 Heavyweight championship between Jack Sharkey and Young Stribling held in Flamingo Park, Miami Beach
May 1 1929 Fort Lauderdale airport is dedicated as Merle Fogg Field in honor of aviator who built first airport in Broward; he died May 1 1928 in a plane crash.
May 14 1929 First air mail service to South America inaugurated at Miami.
May 22 1929 Fort Lauderdale founder Frank Stranahan commits suicide in the New River.
August 8 1929 First cargo ship arrives at new port between Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale (would be named Port Everglades the next year).
August 17 1929 Rum runner James Alderman is hung in Fort Lauderdale for the 1927 murders of 2 Coast Guardsmen and a Secret Service Agent.
September 19 1929 Hurricane hits Key Largo.
October 28 1929 First child born in an airplane, Miami.
November 1 1929 First edition of Miami Beach Tropics, a weekly newspaper by publisher of Coral Gables' Riviera Times. It would become the Florida Sun in 1948 and Miami Beach Sun later.
November 14 1929 Sears tower on Biscayne Boulevard opens for business.
January 4 1930 Don Shula born.
January 13 1930 Miami Civic Center opens on Biscayne Boulevard (Later Mayfair Art Theater.)
March 20 1930 First diesel engine speed record, C.L. Cummings, at Daytona Beach. (80 mph).
March 20 1930 Police raid Al Capone's home on Palm Island and charge occupants with possession of alcohol.
April 3 1930 Lawton Chiles born. (Florida governor 1991-98)
May 23 1930 City passes vagrancy ordinance aimed at Al Capone.
May 28 1930 Al Capone throws a party at his Palm Island home, inviting 'leading business and professional men" from the Miami area. No alcohol is served.
June 11 1930 Bank of Bay Biscayne, Miami's first bank, closes.
July 23 1930 Aviation pioneer and Opa-Locka, Hialeah and Miami Springs founder Glenn Curtiss dies.
January 1 1931 Eastern Airlines begins Miami-New York service.
February 1 1931 Pan Am acquires Navy seaplane training base in Dinner Key.
August 5 1931 Miami defaults on bond interest payments.
August 18 1931 Chapman field, a former World War I airfield, is reopened.
October 17 1931 Miami (Palm Island) resident Al Capone is convicted of tax evasion.
January 2 1932 Miami Shores incorporated.
January 14 1932 The first "totalisator" to record race track bets and odds is used for the first time at Hialeah Race Track.
October 23 1932 Graf Zeppelin visits Miami.
December 10 1932 University of Miami placed in receivership.
January 2 1933 Palm Festival football game, between UM and Manhattan College, held at Moore Park.
February 15 1933 Assassination attempt on FDR in Bayfront park; mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago dies a few days later. Giuseppe Zangara is arrested.
February 23 1933 Miamians hold benefit at Biltmore Hotel for Cuban refugees in Miami.
March 20 1933 Giuseppe Zangara executed at Raiford for Bayfront Park murder of Chicago mayor Cermak.
August 8 1933 The country's first federal savings & loan association: First Federal Savings and Loan Assn. of Miami receives its charter.
August 13 1933 Cuban government of Gerardo Machado is overthrown. Chalk's flies Machado to safety in Miami.
August 17 1933 A Miami Herald editorial concludes: "Miami's gates will ever remain open to Cubans."
September 4 1933 Provisional government of Cuba overthrown, Ramon Grau San Martin becomes president.
November 8 1933 Esther Rolle born in Pompano Beach. (or 1920)
March 6 1934 Eleanor Roosevelt flies to the Caribbean from Dinner Key, returning March 16.
March 25 1934 Pan Am terminal at Dinner Key opens, now Miami City Hall.
May 29 1934 U.S. repeals Platt Amendment, ending US influence on Cuban government.
May 31 1934 Cuba/U.S. sign treaty guaranteeing perpetual lease on Guantanamo Naval base.
September 8 1934 Hallandale voters approve establishment of a dog track with pari-mutuel betting.
September 14 1934 The Herald publishes the first of a series of columns on living conditions in Overtown, prompted by Rev. John Culmer.
October 30 1934 Bookmaker Leon Bornstein shot and killed.
December 12 1934 Hollywood Kennel Club opens in Hallandale.
December 25 1934 Bob Martinez, Florida governor 1987-91, born.
December 25 1934 Bookmaker George "Skeets" Downs shot in Everglades.
January 1 1935 First Orange Bowl Classic football game played; Bucknell beats Miami 26-0. Also: First Orange Bowl parade.
January 5 1935 Confederate veteran Walter Smith dies at 90 in Broward. As an egret plume hunter living in Flamingo in 1905, he killed game warden Guy Bradley.
January 16 1935 Federal agents kill Fred and "Ma' Barker near Ocklamaha.
February 19 1935 Editor and staff of Miami Tribune threatened with contempt of court for their anti-corruption campaign.
March 7 1935 Sir Malcolm Campbell sets world auto speed record at Daytona Beach; 330 mph.
July 19 1935 Reuben Stacy is accused of attempting to rape a white woman, is lynched on Davie Boulevard.
August 14 1935 Miami Mayor Fossey and two others indicted on charges of obtaining property under false pretenses.
September 2 1935 Labor Day Hurricane kills 408 in Florida Keys and destroys Overseas railroad.
December 1 1935 The Herald publishes a 184-page "Silver Jubilee" edition, celebrating its 25th anniversary.
January 16 1936 First photo-finish camera installed at Hialeah race track.
February 11 1936 Burt Reynolds born.
March 23 1936 President F.D. Roosevelt takes a fishing trip from Fort Lauderdale on a navy destroyer from Port Everglades.
October 15 1936 Liberty Square, one of the first federally funded public housing complexes in the country, is dedicated. Families would move in the next year.
November 4 1936 Mayor Louis Snedigar of Miami Beach signs an ordinance requiring tourism and service workers to carry permits within the city limits.
November 9 1936 Bob Graham born, Coral Gables.
June 1 1937 Amelia Earhart takes off from Miami Municipal Airport in Hialeah on fatal flight.
October 15 1937 Miami Herald purchased by Knights.
December 1 1937 The Miami Tribune ceases publication. It had been bought from Moses Annenberg by Knights.
December 10 1937 Roddey Burdine stadium inaugurated (later would be renamed Orange Bowl) as UM loses to Georgia 26-0)
January 2 1938 First patients admitted to Broward General Hospital.
January 12 1938 FP&L president Bryan Hanks places an ad in the Herald and News stating "I won't pay a bribe" to city commissioners.
January 17 1938 A grand jury is empaneled to investigate Miami city administration (dubbed 'Termite commission or administration').
January 24 1938 Miami Mayor Robert Williams, two city commissioners and two city employees indicted on soliciting bribes from Florida Power and Light.
March 18 1938 William Singer opens first Royal Castle hamburger stand in Miami. It would become the country's third-largest fast food chain by 1969.
March 23 1938 Fairchild Tropical Gardens dedicated.
March 29 1938 Overseas Highway completed to Key West
May 10 1938 Miami city clerk Frank Kelly certifies a petition for a recall of the mayor and commissioners and is fired by the commission.
May 28 1938 5-yr-old James Baily "Skeegie" Cash Jr is kidnapped from his Princeton home. J. Edgar Hoover would come to Miami to lead investigation.
July 21 1938 Janet Reno born in Miami.
November 18 1938 Miami city officials acquitted in trial (Mayor Williams and two commissioners in FPL bribery case)
February 1 1939 Gulfstream Park opens.
March 1 1939 Mayor Williams and two commissioners removed from office in Miami's first recall election. In May, the commission would make former mayor Everett Sewell mayor.
May 2 1939 Despite warnings from KKK, blacks vote in Miami election.
May 10 1939 State legislature passes bill barring black voters from primaries.
June 4 1939 Cruise ship St. Louis, with 900 Jewish refugees aboard, is turned away from Miami Beach by the Coast Guard.
June 12 1939 Town of Hillsboro Beach incorporated.
July 15 1939 Miami Beach pioneer Carl Fisher dies.
July 18 1939 Dion diMucci born.
November 7 1939 A Miami referendum turns down a proposal to end sales of raw milk, prompted by the Herald's campaign for pasteurization after Eleanor Shutts Stevens contracted undulant fever from milk at a restaurant.
December 19 1939 A British cruiser chases a German merchant ship, Arauca, into Port Everglades. It stays there until end of March when all German ships are ordered seized.
February 14 1940 First porpose born in captivity, Marineland.
April 2 1940 Longtime Miami mayor E.G. Sewell dies.
December 20 1940 Duke and Dutchess of Windsor visit Miami, stay in Biltmore, review RAF at UM.

Last Updated on 9/13/2002

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