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Miami Beach was almost wiped out after the Great Hurricane of 1926. State Archives of Florida

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: THE OG HURRICANE

Hurricane season is officially underway and every indication is that it will be a pretty active summer and fall in the tropics.

So today we want to tell you a little about the Great Hurricane of 1926. It almost wiped out Miami in its earliest days, and it serves as a reminder that the 305 can always bounce back.

A YOUNG CITY: Miami was incorporated in 1896 and was juuust beginning to develop into a real city in the early 20th century. The extension of the Florida East Coast Railway and the Tamiami Trail down to Miami helped draw developers down to our decades-old city. A bunch of land was bought up and there were more than 100,000 residents in the area. Then came the hurricane.

THE STORM: The “Great Hurricane” hit Miami on Sept. 17 and 18 in 1926 with the force of a Category 4 storm. The storm surge was so high at times that the water from the Atlantic Ocean extended across Miami Beach and Biscayne Bay onto the streets of Miami, according to the National Weather Service. And because residents were so unfamiliar with major storms, a bunch of people went out into the eye of the storm thinking the hurricane had completely passed. No bueno.

THE IMPACT: More than 6,000 people were injured and 372 people died in the storm. And more than 43,000 people were left homeless because of the hurricane. It caused more than $100 million in damage–  the equivalent of more than $150 billion in damages today. And just as Miami started recovering, the Great Depression hit. It wasn’t until families started settling here after World War II that the city truly bounced back.

THE LEGACY: The storm was a wake-up call for weather tracking efforts by the National Weather Service—the morning before the hurricane, there still hadn’t been any warnings issued in Miami. The hurricane also led to the creation of the state building code and stronger regulations for new homes. While Hurricane Andrew still caused plenty of devastation in 1992 and some businesses today are still  recovering from Hurricane Irma, the 1926 hurricane definitely provided a blueprint for how to rebuild after major storms.

Stay tuned for more semi-regular #FlashbackFriday pieces of Miami history. Are there other overlooked or lesser-known Miami history tidbits you want us to share? Hit reply and let us know.


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WHAT’S NEW IN THE 305

Paella problems. Alex Diaz de la Portilla was unsuccessful in his recent run for the county commission but the drama didn’t stop with that loss. He and City of Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo are being investigated based on allegations that Carollo used public money to buy thousands of dollars worth of paella that was used to cater three events, events that Diaz de la Portilla also happened to be at when he was a candidate (Carollo bought the food with taxpayer dollars).  Both men claim that they weren’t working together and deny any wrongdoing. But they haven’t denied that the paella was tasty 😉(Miami Herald)

Speaking of campaigns… State Rep. David Richardson is taking aim at fellow Democrat Donna Shalala, the newest big-money candidate running for U.S. Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat. Richardson’s campaign is focusing on his progressive record and using TV ads to attack Shalala’s previous opposition to universal healthcare and calling her a “phony Democrat.” Experts think the aggressive approach could backfire but Richardson argues that he’s only pointing out facts. We’ll keep our popcorn handy as this race goes on. (Miami Herald)

Major room for improvement. The Washington Post published an in-depth investigation into unsolved homicides in 50 major American cities and Miami is one of the worst cities at solving these crimes. Out of 744 homicides that were tracked across the county, from 2007 to 2017, 60 percent of them have gone unsolved. The Miami police department hasn’t responded to the report yet. (Washington Post, WLRN)

Eat your veggies, kids. Good news for parents and caretakers out there: During the summer, there are thousands of places around Miami-Dade County offering meals to kids who receive free or reduced lunch during the school year. If your child is younger than 18, they’re eligible for the USDA Summer Food Service Program. It’s offered at places like parks, summer camps and at summer school programs. The program offers healthy meals, but don’t worry, there’s still pizza on Fridays 🍕(Miami Herald)

#PursueHappiness Miami’s nightlife scene, and cocktail enthusiasts, are mourning the loss of beloved bartender John Lermayer. He was found dead in his apartment Wednesday night and tributes poured in on social media all day. Many of them shared photos of a neon sign from Sweet Liberty, the bar he co-founded. The sign reads: Pursue Happiness. (Miami New Times)

Your weekend longread. If you’re unfamiliar with the problematic-but-popular rapper XXXTentacion, this Miami New Times cover story is a fascinating deep dive into the artist’s personality, his criminal history, and near cult of personality he’s developed over the last few years. Perhaps most importantly, the story gives a voice to Geneva Ayala, the woman who accused the rapper of domestic abuse, who said she felt emboldened to speak out after seeing the impact of the #MeToo movement. (Miami New Times)

EVENTS

OUR PARTNER EVENTS

🍳 Tuesday, June 12: Learn Michael Schwartz’s kitchen tricks (Wynwood)

🌀 Tuesday, June 12: Take a deep dive into how climate change affects hurricanes (Allapattah)

🎶 Friday, June 15: Jam with “The New Schematics” (Wynwood)

🗣 Friday, June 15: Watch “Woodpeckers” and chat with one of the movie’s stars (Overtown)

📽 Saturday, June 16: Grab some brunch, meditate and watch a film on holistic health (Miami Beach)

🎥 Saturday, June 16: Catch a martial arts cult classic (Overtown)


Check out this event from our advertiser, Inspire305 powered by United Way of Miami-Dade.

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Be part of the celebration as we announce the Inspire305 Grand Innovator and Trailblazer Award winners Thursday, June 21 at CANVAS Miami. RSVP today.

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AROUND TOWN

TODAY
🎸Get down to that Miami sound with the Spam Allstars (North Beach)

💻 Try out Tribe on free co-working Friday (Overtown)

🕹 Go epic places without leaving Miami at this VR expo – through Saturday (Little River)

🎂 Celebrate a year of Las Rosas (Allapattah)

 

TOMORROW
🍻 Try all the cider at the Spillover’s second annual festival (Coconut Grove)

🧘 Do yoga and dance your heart out with Daybreaker (Wynwood)

🌙 Take a moonlit paddle on Biscayne Bay (Homestead)

🌼Take a trip to the ‘70s to celebrate the end of spring (Miami River)

 

SUNDAY
🗳 Get the Cliffs Notes on how government actually works (Coconut Grove)

🎵 Catch Monsieur Periné at the Bandshell (North Beach)

💃 Sip and salsa at Bousa Brewing (Little River)

📗 Journey into the Everglades with a new field guide (Coral Gables)

 

MONDAY
🍽 Dine like you’re vacationing on Cape Cod (Coral Gables)

🕺Party like it’s the ‘80s to support the All Day Foundation (Downtown)

📚Hear author Rachel Slade discuss her book on the El Faro tragedy (Coral Gables)

 

TUESDAY
🏘 Talk the future of real estate tech (Wynwood)

😂Enjoy an open mic and comedy night at a karaoke bar (Brickell)

👨Attend a mixer at Lil’ Greenhouse Grill focused on fatherhood (Overtown)

THAT’S ALL FOR THIS WEEK

And btw, if you saw that Las Rosas is celebrating its first anniversary and scratched your head, this New Times piece explains what’s up. While the bar’s been around since 2016, it’s celebrating a year with a new design. Cheers to that 🍻

– The New Tropic