• Miami Vice

    Miami Vice ran on NBC from 1984-1989, and was one of the highest-rated television programs of the decade. The show's plot followed two Miami police detectives working undercover, Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas), in their attempts to fight the city's seedy underbelly. The original idea to set a police show in Miami belonged to Anthony Yerkovich. He saw Miami's tropical, multicultural feel and the pervasive drug trade as a backdrop for a high-wattage police show. Many episodes were filmed in South Beach, which, at the time, was blighted by poverty and crime. Miami Vice took our buildings, our skies, our pastels, our population, -- even our crime -- and made them something cool and chic.

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Miami Vice

Miami Vice ran on NBC from 1984-1989, and was one of the highest-rated television programs of the decade. The show’s plot followed two Miami police detectives working undercover, Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson, in this 1984 photo by Miami Herald photographer Donna Natale Planas) and Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas), in their attempts to fight the […]

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Filming in Miami

The movie industry’s infatuation with South Florida’s exotic tropical landscapes and year-round sun started in the 1940’s with classics like Moon Over Miami and Key Largo. In the ’60s, Florida’s fun-in-the- sun image brought in movies like Where the Boys Are. During this time, the the Jackie Gleason Show was filmed in Miami Beach until […]

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Miami drug wars

The deadly 1979 shootout at Dadeland Mall in broad daylight between Colombian traffickers– quickly dubbed ”the Cocaine Cowboys” by a police officer on the scene — heralded the beginning of South Florida’s bloody and violent drug wars in which drug dealers competed for Miami’s wholesale markets. The mob-style execution and growing violence in the streets […]

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Art Deco

With roots in Europe as far back as the 1880s, Art Deco rejected the ornate excesses of Victorian architecture. It had burst on the American scene after the 1925 Exposition International Des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris. The style arrived in South Florida at a time when Miami Beach was a blank slate […]

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Crandon Park Zoo

From the late 1940s until August 1980, Crandon Park Zoo on Key Biscayne was the place to see bears, tigers, monkeys, reptiles and birds just a few steps from the beach. The zoo, located in the 900-acre Crandon Park, opened in 1948 and was the county’s first. It blossomed from the misfortune of a traveling […]

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Coconut Grove

From Seminole War battleground to Bahamian pioneer outpost to groovy hippie haven, Coconut Grove has had several incarnations. Originally spelled Cocoanut Grove – its residents decided to drop the “a” after its incorporation as a city in 1919- the village has attracted sailors, academics, artists, explorers, drop-outs and scientists. It was the place where northern […]

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Cuban Rafter Crisis

In the early ’90’s, Cuban rafters began to cast off in alarming numbers. On July 13, 1994, Cuban government boats sank a commandeered tugboat that left at least 39 people dead. The next month, outraged Cuban citizens watched the government retake a hijacked ferry in Havana Bay to thwart another escape attempt. Rioting erupted. People […]

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Hialeah Park Race Track

The Hialeah Park Race Track, which opened Jan. 25, 1925, and was closed for two years during World War II, was the site of many racing firsts. It was the first track in this country to feature a turf course and the first major track at which a female jockey, Diane Crump in 1969, was […]

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Miami River

Five miles long, the Miami River has gone from a crystal clear wild river to gritty urban sprawl. Its early settlers, the Tequestas, shared the river’s banks and pools with panthers and alligators. In the first half of the 20th century the Miami River Rapids area was dredged and dynamited to build the Miami Canal, […]

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