May 13, 2013
What was the original name of the first hotel in the Miami area?
(Miami’s first hotel. Credit Ralph Munroe Collection, HistoryMiami, 153D)
Having immigrated from England, Charles and Isabella Peacock could be found residing at Fort Dallas on the north side of the Miami River in the early 1880s. Ralph Munroe, who would soon make Coconut Grove his permanent home, had much to do with convincing the couple to open a hotel to accommodate winter guests. Originally, the Peacocks selected the Lemon City area (Little Haiti today) as a suitable site, but in 1884, Munroe persuaded them to locate south of the Miami River and was, as well, instrumental in procuring building materials for the house that arose on bay front property, situated in what is now Coconut Grove's Peacock Park. When completed, the residence, Munroe admitted, gave "little evidence of architectural beauty," later to be known as The Peacock Inn, had a long and profitable career, thanks to the congenial hospitality of the couple who ran it. In time, several larger buildings were added. Having been so influential in the undertaking, Ralph Munroe became the Peacock's number one guest and others among his northern friends soon joined him for South Florida's sheltering winters. By all accounts, Charles Peacock was a very able cook and Munroe glowingly characterized Isabella Peacock as "mother, nurse, teacher, friend and helper” to the growing community.
May 07, 2013
How soon after being sentenced to death for the assassination of Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was Giuseppe Zangara executed?
(Zangara, 1933. Credit HistoryMiami, 1997-402-2)
On February 15th, 1933, amid a crowd assembled at Bayfront Park to hear Franklin D. Roosevelt speak, Giuseppe Zangara augmented his five foot frame by standing on his toes atop a metal chair, with the intention of assassinating the President-Elect. Using a .32 caliber revolver, Zangara got off five shots, although, after the first discharge, quick witted bystanders grabbed his arm and forced it upwards, almost certainly saving Roosevelt's life. Zangara continued to fire, however, wounding five people, including Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak. Hustled off to jail, Zangara was judged sane by a special commission, in spite of the fact his hatred for kings, presidents and other political leaders was based, not on anarchist antipathy for political authority, but on his chronic abdominal pain which he believed such authorities engendered. Originally sentenced to 80 years in prison, Zangara was subsequently arraigned on charges of murder, after Mayor Cermak died of his wound. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death by Circuit Court Judge Uly O. Thompson.
Answer: Less than two weeks.
May 06, 2013
What was the first racially integrated institution of higher learning in Florida?
(Registration for Classes, 1970. Credit HistoryMiami, 1989-011-10188)
When it first opened this institution was originally on the site of a former agricultural school. Many of the classes were housed in wooden structures associated with the locale's earlier usage, including (as humorously recalled) ex-chicken coops, still designated "Laying House No. 1" and "Laying House No. 2." In 1962 it moved to a group of converted World War II barracks with the first permanent building completed in 1963. It was during this time that the institution took the step of fully integrating the institution. Originally planned to serve 3,000 students, its enrollment exceeded 50,000 by the mid-1990s.
Answer: Miami-Dade College
May 31, 2012
What well known phrase came out of the need to know if alcohol was good or not?
(Confiscated liquor in Miami jail yard. March 18, 1922. Credit: Matlack Collection, HistoryMiami, 131-12)
In 1919 the United States ratified a constitutional amendment creating Prohibition, which made it illegal to sell, manufacture, or transport alcohol. Many South Floridians, along with other citizens around the nation, did not follow this law. Liquor smugglers, known as rumrunners, smuggled liquor into the city from all around the Caribbean. As bootleggers and rumrunners became rich selling illegal alcohol some increased their profits by watering down their product. One rumrunner, however, did not dilute his liquor, leading to a popular phrase demonstrating its trustworthiness.
May 24, 2012
What was the name of the Native American group Brother Francisco Villareal ministered at a mission in South Florida?
(Landing of Menendez at the Miami River, by Ken Hughs. Credit: HistoryMiami, 1985-223-1)
In 1567 Spanish colonizer Pedro Menendez de Aviles sent a Jesuit Brother, Francisco Villareal, to South Florida to set up a mission near the mouth of the Miami River. The Spanish soon established a relationship with the Native Americans living in the area.
A. The Tequesta
May 17, 2012
What was the first Catholic women’s college in Florida?
(_______________. January 23, 1955. Credit: Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami, 1989-011-1294)
In 1938 Mother Gerald Barry, believing it was important for women to go to college, saw the need for a Catholic women’s college in the southern United States. So, she began a college in Miami Shores. The school she founded became the first Catholic women’s college south of Washington, D. C.
A. Barry College
May 10, 2012
What current neighborhood used to be called Lemon City?
(Lemon City Public Library. July 11, 1954. Credit: Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami, 1989-011-09544)
In 1874 Bill Mettair moved to Dade County, and settled in what became known as Mettair’s Bight. The area soon grew into a small community, with various families and single men moving into the area. One former squatter turned homesteader sold some of his land to Eugene C. Harrington, who subdivided it and started a town. By 1895 the “city” had quite a few businesses surrounding three main streets. This area became known as Lemon City, and was one of the first communities to be settled in Dade County.
A. Little Haiti
May 03, 2012
What is the official name of Domino Park?
(People playing dominos in Domino Park – SW 15th Ave. January 5, 1995. Credit: Miami Herald Collection, HistoryMiami, MH-55141-3)
Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, the Riverside and Shenandoah neighborhoods of Miami have changed into what we now call Little Havana. This area is a mecca for Cuban culture in South Florida. One popular location in the neighborhood is Domino Park, where residents and visitors alike flock to both play and observe the game of dominos.
A. Maximo Gomez Park
April 26, 2012
Whose mausoleum was raided when slot machines were found in it?
(Slot machines at ________________ family mausoleum. July 1961. Credit: Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami, 1989-011-6111)
Since Miami’s founding in 1896, people have been setting up illegal gambling operations throughout the city. Illegal casino operators often had to find unique places to hide their gambling machines. On July 18, 1961, four slot machines were found in the empty mausoleum of a prominent Miami family. Investigators at the time did not know who had placed them there, but the slot machines were quickly taken into police custody.
Today gambling has become legal in the Seminole and Miccosukee casinos, as well as at some dog and horse tracks. A recent debate about expanding casinos occurred when Genting Group purchased the Miami Herald building with plans to build a large resort casino on its site. In 2012 the Florida legislature voted to change gambling laws for this purpose, and the proposal was turned down. Today the future of gambling in South Florida is still unknown.
A. The Brickell's
April 19, 2012
Where in Miami did Fisher and Curtiss open a flying school in 1916?
(Curtiss Aviation School Field. 1916. Credit: HistoryMiami, x-1539-1)
When World War I began in 1914, it ushered in a new era of warfare weapons. One such weapon was the airplane; it could be used for offensive and defensive maneuvers, as well as surveillance. Aviator Glenn Curtiss saw a need to train pilots for the United States’ eventual entrance into the war. He teamed up with Miami Beach developer Carl Fisher and opened a school in 1916; however, the school did not remain open for long, among other reasons because the nearby residents were not happy about the constant disturbances.
A. Miami Beach