Midwinter Crowd at Miami Beach


Winter tourism became a major factor in the development of Miami and south Florida from the 1920s onward. Development, particularly of hotels, grew apace, with the increasing popularity of this tourism and retirement haven, and much helped by the spread of commercial aviation. By 1940 Miami had about two million vacationers a year. President Harry S Truman was there for the dedication of the Everglades National Park in 1947. Some of the new hotels, such as the 1948 Sherry Frontenac, had fine Art Deco details. This photograph, taken on December 1, 1948, shows people gathered on the beach in Miami, part of the new wave of tourists who descended on the Miami shoreline in the wake of World War II. In the background of the photograph can be seen the Roney Plaza Hotel, a Miami landmark that opened in 1926. It described itself as “one of Miami's most beautiful and fashionable hotels. Both tea-time and the evening find happy throngs dancing to seductive music in the romantic setting of palms and Florida’s soft breezes.”

Last updated: October 22, 2014