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Culture

7 Interesting Facts About Miami’s History You (Probably) Didn’t Know Already

Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz

7 Interesting Facts About Miami’s History You (Probably) Didn’t Know Already

We all love our Magic City, but how well do we know it?

They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Miami kind of was! Lemme tell you about this and seven other awesome facts about the 305 you probably didn’t already know!

1. Miami is the only major American city to have been planned and found by a woman

Known as the “Mother of Miami,” Julia Tuttle was the businesswoman who owned the property on which Miami was built on. She convinced railroad magnate Henry Flagler to extend the railroad down to the Miami river territory by supplying him with the land for a hotel and a railroad station for free.  On Apr 22, 1896, the Florida railroad arrived in the area and three months later on Jul 28 residents voted to incorporate a new city: Miami.

2.  Miami’s nickname “Magic City” is not all due to its amazing weather…

Miami’s beautiful sunsets, calm breezes and delightfully warm waters sure are magical but they’re not entirely the reason why they call Miami the “Magic City.” In fact, it’s got more to do with the city’s spectacular growth. In the early years of the city, while it was still only a village, construction was so fast and so prominent it made Miami skip the status of “town” and directly reach the status of “city.” So while Rome wasn’t built on a day, as they say, the city of Miami sort of sprang up overnight!

3. One of the first sunscreens was created in Miami

In the 1940s, a man called Benjamin Green worked diligently in the kitchen of his Coconut Grove residence to create a lotion for WWII soldiers stationed in the South Pacific. This red petroleum gel of his would eventually evolve into the now-famous sun lotion, Coppertone.

4. It has only snowed once in Miami!

And that was on Jan 19, 1977. Snow began to fall early in the morning between 8 am and 9:30 am, while flurries were reported all the way down to Homestead and temperatures fell down to the 30s! Can you imagine Miami covered in a freezing blanket of white? Cause we just can’t!

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5. There was a time when Biscayne Boulevard was right at the seafront

Miami’s first “high rise,” the McAllister Hotel was built back in the early 20th century. It used to lay at the corner of 12th street (now Flagler Street) and the boulevard, right on the oceanfront before it was torn down. That boulevard is actually Biscayne Boulevard! In the 1920s, city officials filled the land around the McAllister hotel to make way for Bayfront Park and the boulevard with gorgeous rows of palm trees we all know and love.

6. We’ve got the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world

An astounding 30 blocks of Miami Beach pastel-colored hotels and shops make up the largest Art Deco architecture collection in the whole wide world!

7. Miami’s home to one of the oldest buildings in the Western World

Popularly known as the Ancient Spanish Monastery, the Church of St. Bernard of Clairvaux in North Miami Beach is actually a Spanish monastery built back in 1141. The Monastery of Bernard de Clairvaux went through some serious travel until it arrived on Miami shores in 1964 where it has remained ever since!

Feature image: Unsplash

See also: 7 Surreal Places You Won’t Believe Are In Miami