Thursday, May 19, 2011

Florida History: Fort Lauderdale makes strides in the 1920s, hosts Pres-elect Harding

The year 1921 ( see above the name)

(Use search box at right to find more "Florida history")

By Jane Feehan

McCrory's - today with space fit for a "night club"
Fort Lauderdale, originally a one-mile square town, grew in the early 1920s thanks to post-World War I economic expansion. New neighborhoods sprang up: Rio Vista, Sailboat Bend (known then as Westside), Tarpon River, Croissant Park. The First National Bank opened, the first in the city to be backed by the Federal Reserve System.  A nine-hole golf course was carved out of a piece of land along Dixie Highway where the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport now sits.  And, in 1921, McCrory’s came to town (see photos), opening its doors at Andrews Boulevard near the New River.                                                             

Fort Lauderdale gained national headlines with the "unintended" visit of President-elect Warren G. Harding. On the way to Miami down the Intracoastal on a friend’s yacht, Harding and his crew were forced to stop when a dredge blocked transit. Some say it was a ploy to get Harding to visit Fort Lauderdale and play the new golf course. Whether it was will be left to speculation or apocryphal tales. But he did play the course twice - on his way to and from Miami.

By 1926 the boom halted but not before Fort Lauderdale took significant strides away from its outpost days of the early 1900s.

Gillis, Susan. Fort Lauderdale: The Venice of America. Charleston: Arcadia (2004).
Weidling, Philip J. , Burghard, August. Checkered Sunshine. Gainesville: University of Florida Press (1966).

Tags: Fort Lauderdale history, President Warren G. Harding, Florida history, Fort Lauderdale in the 1920s, Florida history Fort Lauderdale

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