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The Miami News, in a 1938 Fourth of July roundup, reveals the holiday was celebrated much as it is today in Broward County and Key West, but perhaps with a bit more fanfare, more inclusiveness.
Thousands of pleasure seekers thronged to Broward beaches during the Fourth of July holiday period. Many Lake Okeechobee residents motored here for the holiday … Hollywood joined Fort Lauderdale in staging Independence Day celebration which began with a parade in the morning of war veterans and their auxiliaries, patriotic orders, Boy Scouts and other organizations. The feature of the afternoon was a baseball contest between Pahokee and Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale won by a score of 6 to 1. A fireworks exhibition at Davis field, a water sports show at the municipal casino at the beach and a dance at Trianon Gardens sponsored by the Lions Club were highlights of the night program.
In Key West, U.S. and Cuban military units marched, along with numerous groups ...celebrating the holiday and the completion of the Overseas Highway.