Miami History

Miami (cities, United States)

Miami (mīăm´ē, –ə). 1 City (1990 pop. 358,548), seat of Dade co., SE Fla., on Biscayne Bay at the mouth of the Miami River; inc. 1896. The region of Greater Miami encompasses all of Dade co., including Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Hialeah, and many smaller communities.

The second largest city in the state, a port of entry, and the transportation and business hub of S Fla., it is also a popular and famous resort of the E United States. Tourism remains a major industry, closely followed by manufacturing and commerce. Miami has an international airport and is the principal American port for cruise ships to the Caribbean. The city is also the processing and shipping hub of a large agricultural region and a center for rebuilding and repairing aircraft. Manufactures include clothing, transportation equipment, machinery, plastics, and electronic components. Other industries are printing and publishing, fishing, and shellfishing. Miami is the home to the National Hurricane Center (at Florida International Univ.) and the headquarters of the U.S. Armed Forces Southern Command, responsible for military operations in Central and South America.

Professional football's Miami Dolphins, baseball's Florida Marlins, and basketball's Miami Heat play in the city, and college football's annual Orange Bowl contest is held there. Professional hockey's Florida Panthers play in suburban Sunrise. Miami is the seat of a number of institutions of higher education, including Barry Univ., Florida International Univ., Florida Memorial College, Miami Dade College, and St. Thomas Univ. The Univ. of Miami is in nearby Coral Gables. The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, host to the Miami City Ballet and the Florida Grand Opera, is also there, and the nearby Pérez Art Museum Miami opened in 2013. A number of state parks, gardens, and major tourist attractions are in the area.

The first modern settlement was made in the 1870s near the site of Fort Dallas, built in 1836 during the Seminole War, but it was preceded by more ancient settlements, such as the Tequesta site unearthed in 1998. In the 1890s, Henry M. Flagler made Miami a railroad terminus, dredged the harbor, began a recreational center, and promoted tourism. Miami received its greatest impetus during the Florida land boom of the mid-1920s. Since 1959 the large influx of Cubans has created "Little Havana," an ethnic sector that has had sporadic racial unrest; by the 1990 census nearly 50% of the city population was Hispanic, predominantly of Cuban descent.

In Apr., 1980, the U.S. government agreed to allow 3,500 Cuban political refugees into the country; a national announcement by Cuban leader Fidel Castro that those wanting to leave Cuba should gather at Mariel, near Havana, resulted in the boatlift of more than 100,000 Cuban refugees to S Florida. The 1980s and early 1990s were marked by large suburban growth, spurred by the increase of high-technology industries in the Miami area. Metrorail, the city transit system, opened in 1984.

See J. Buchanan, Miami: A Chronological & Documentary History, 1513–1977 (1978); J. Didion, Miami (1987); T. D. Allman, Miami: City of the Future (1988, rev. ed., 2013).



2 City (1990 pop. 13,142), seat of Ottawa co., extreme NE Okla., in the foothills of the Ozarks and on the headwaters of Grand Lake, which provides both electric power and recreation. It is a trade, shipping, and marketing center for a tristate livestock and dairy region where lead and zinc are mined. Manufactures include apparel, metal and leather products, electronic materials, motor coaches, and fiberglass boats.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Miami Now! Immigration, Ethnicity, and Social Change
Guillermo J. Grenier; Alex Stepick III.
University Press of Florida, 1992
This Land Is Our Land: Immigrants and Power in Miami
Alex Stepick; Guillermo Grenier; Max Castro; Marvin Dunn.
University of California Press, 2003
La Lucha for Cuba: Religion and Politics on the Streets of Miami
Miguel A. De La Torre.
University of California Press, 2003
Shades of the Sunbelt: Essays on Ethnicity, Race, and the Urban South
Randall M. Miller; George E. Pozzetta.
Greenwood Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Ethnic Politics in Miami, 1960-1986"
The Primordial Challenge: Ethnicity in the Contemporary World
John F. Stack Jr.
Greenwood Press, 1986
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Immigration and the Politics of Ethnicity and Class in Metropolitan Miami," and Chap. 6 "Ethnic Bargaining and the Noncitizen: Cubans and Haitians in Miami"
The Cuban Americans
Miguel Gonzalez-Pando.
Greenwood Press, 1998
Black Miami in the Twentieth Century
Marvin Dunn.
University Press of Florida, 1997
Our Lady of the Exile: Diasporic Religion at a Cuban Catholic Shrine in Miami
Thomas A. Tweed.
Oxford University Press, 1997
The Miami Metropolitan Experiment
Edward Sofen.
Indiana University Press, 1963
Crucibles of Hazard: Mega-Cities and Disasters in Transition
James K. Mitchell.
United Nations University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "Environmental Hazards and Interest Group Coalitions: Metropolitan Miami after Hurricane Andrew"
A Community Approach to AIDS Intervention: Exploring the Miami Outreach Project for Injecting Drug Users and Other High Risk Groups
Dale D. Chitwood; James A. Inciardi; Duane C. McBride; Clyde B. McCoy; H. Virginia McCoy; Edward Trapido.
Greenwood Press, 1991
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