Miami history


Juneteenth commemorates the day emancipation reached enslaved people in the deepest parts of the South.

It wasn't until June 19, 1865, two months after the end of the Civil War and more than two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, that Union Gen. Gordon Granger and more than a thousand U.S. troops went into Galveston, Texas and shared the news of freedom with the 250,000 enslaved people in the state.

History Miami

At Bayfront Park in the City of Miami, a 10-foot tall bronze statue stands in honor of Julia Tuttle. She holds oranges in one hand and branches with tiny flowers in the other. 

Tuttle has long been recognized as the “Mother of Miami” — the only woman to found a major city in the United States. The original story, as told by local South Florida historians for decades, says it was her and her alone that founded the City of Miami.

Nadege Green

The home of Miami’s first black millionaire is now open to the public.

Dana A. Dorsey was what today would be considered a real estate mogul. He was also a civic leader philanthropist in Miami’s black community.

The Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida restored his 1920s era home and will use it as a museum to document Dorsey’s life and to host cultural events.

Timothy Barber, executive director of the Black Archives, spoke to WLRN’s Nadege Green about Dorsey's legacy.


A yellow wall divides Northwest 12th Ave along the east side of the Liberty Square housing projects.

The wall is no more than three feet tall at it's highest point and on the other side is a raised street making the wall only visible if you're in the housing projects.

Michal Kranz / WLRN

They call it "the fish that saved Biscayne."

In the 1970s, conservationists were pushing for federal legislation to protect a portion of Biscayne Bay that's home to rare coral reefs, sea turtles and wood storks. As part of their campaign, they took Pennsylvania Congressman John Saylor out on a fishing trip.

"He caught a sailfish... and after he went back to Washington, they took his sailfish and they smoked the fish," says park ranger Gary Bremen. "The story is that he served the smoked fish in committee while they discussed the bill creating Biscayne National Monument."

Instagram Dee Conchman

Derrick Prater is "Dee Conchman." Every day he sets up in various parts of Miami hawking his specialty: conch.


Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, 74, passed away Friday night in a Phoenix hospital, miles away from Miami, the city that cemented his glory. But very few can forget that momentous night in 1964, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, when the boxer then known as Cassius Clay made history by defeating reining heavyweight Sonny Liston. 

"I am the king of the world!", screamed the boxer that night after the fight, in what ended up being a prophetic statement at least in the world of professional boxing. 

Local Bar Tobacco Road Finds A New Home

Apr 23, 2015
Michael Scott Sheerin

Tobacco Road, known as the oldest bar in Miami, has secured a new home.

The iconic bar had its last call in October, and since then patrons have been waiting to hear where Tobacco Road would take up residence. 

The bar is expected to reopen in January 2016 at 69 Southwest Seventh Street.

A lot of the old pieces of Tobacco Road will become decorative memorabilia along the walls of the new location, like handbills, fliers from past events and photos. The bartop and the neon sign also made it out of the old place.

State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables wasn't always a hotel. 

It was built in 1926 by a young developer named George Merrick, who's known as the founder of Coral Gables. 

The hotel became a place to host glamorous fashion shows, galas, golf tournaments and water shows in what was then the largest pool in the world.

At a loud party on the 13th floor of the hotel, a gangster named Thomas "Fatty" Walsh was shot and killed by another gangster. That murder yielded a lot of ghost rumors over the years.

Miami Herald

In the 1980s, Miami was a crime capital. Dade County -- that’s what it was called then -- had the highest murder rate in the country, and nearly three quarters of all the cocaine and marijuana that made it into the U.S. passed through South Florida.

Elisa Rolle via Wikimedia Commons

Disgusted, embarrassed and vaguely threatened by their decrepit 90-year old courthouse on Flagler Street, Miami Dade commissioners have decided to ask the voters to pay for a new one.

Downtown workers have been seeing the nets and fence around the courthouse for at least 12 years, and they are in no doubt about the condition of the historic building. But those who have to work there know even better. Like Glenn Sheldon, whose office is on the 22nd floor.

Henry Stone had soul. Henry Stone had rhythm. Henry Stone had beats.

Henry Stone had an ear for what music people wanted to listen to, dance to and buy. He died August 7 in Miami. He was 93.

Stone came to Miami in the late 1940s, recording musicians and releasing their music, including that of a young Ray Charles. In the 1960s he founded TK Records.