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A Brief History of Miami

In 6 Fascinating Facts

Named from the Calusa word meaning "Big Water," Miami sports a history richer than its white sandy beaches. And its allure continues to attract people from all around the world. Over 4 million people travel through Miami's ports each year, making it the largest cruise ship port in the world. Beautiful beaches, Gatsby'esque parties and an idyllic year-round climate are just a couple of the reasons we plan so many Bachelore(tte) parties here.

So layer on the sunscreen, because here are 6 historic facts about Miami you may not have known about.

1. A round for the feminists! Julia Tuttle, “The Mother of Miami,” is the first and only woman to have founded and planned a major U.S. city. A business woman by nature, Tuttle believed Miami had potential as a port city and so managed to convince a wealthy Henry Flagler to help her develop the city. How did she do it? By sending him perfect orange blossoms from her crop after a rough freeze in Northern Florida. Thanks Tuttle, we owe you one.

2. Oranges Forbidden. According to several sources, selling oranges on the sidewalks of Miami could mean facing a fine of $500 or jail for up to 30 days. Really? Yes really. If you're that passionate about selling oranges, you'll be needing a citrus license.

3. No swine please. While we're on the topic of strange Miami laws: pigs on the beaches of Miami happen to be illegal. Sorry pig owners. Proposed solution? Get a normal pet. 

4. Sandy Problems. Miami beach is man-made and because that sand gets moved due to oceanic currents, those white beaches are slowly being eroded. That means Miami's government is constantly figuring out how to replenish and nourish the beaches so that you can sunbathe in sand and not water. The cost? In 2011 the projected budget was around 16 million dollars. Who knew sand was so expensive.

5. That one time it snowed. On January 15, 1977 some strange white specks began to land on Miami soil. Miamians stared in fascination...what could it be? It was snow. That's right, it snowed one time in Miami. It's fair to say that the meteorologists here never announce weather in the single or triple digits. Miami is a Goldilocks city - just right. The good news for you and your party? Not packing a parka leaves a lot of room for swimsuits on swimsuits...and sunscreen of course. 

6. Lather it on! Speaking of sunscreen, the Copportone you packed for your party trip to Miami was invented by a man named Benjamin Green. Green was a local Miamian and WWII airman who created sunscreen to protect soldiers from the sun. Later, he became a pharmacist and in 1944 created what you should be using to protect yourself from those pesky UV rays. 

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