Andrew’s Destruction of Homestead Air Force Base

August 17th, 2016

On Aug. 24, 1992, Homestead Air Force Base was obliterated. Like much of the surrounding communities, Homestead AFB was ravaged by the full fury of Hurricane Andrew, leaving the military base in complete ruin.

By the time base personnel and aircraft had been evacuated, Hurricane Andrew had grown to a category five storm. A small squad of mission-essential commanders and support personnel weathered the storm in the alert facility on base.

Once the storm passed, military personnel organized one of the largest clean up and salvage operations in military history. A reconstitution team rode out the storm at an off-base location, then returned to base and started initial clean up and security tasking. On Friday, Aug. 28 1992, Homestead Air Force Base partially re-opened.

Although the air traffic control tower was destroyed by the hurricane, a mobile control tower was set up and the base began receiving relief supplies for both the base and the surrounding communities. Members of the 482nd Fighter Wing also helped the community by distributing food and supplies.

The 482nd had to temporarily relocate their F-16A and B model aircraft to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, which housed the aircraft and essential personnel until April 1993. Then in April 1993, the 482nd relocated to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, for one year.

All the while, Homestead AFB was on the Base Closure and Realignment Commission’s initial base closings list. Regional closure hearings were held in Orlando, Florida, in May 1993. When the listing was finalized and sent to President Clinton, Homestead the Air Force Base was no longer slated for complete closure. In March of 1994, the base reopened as an Air Force Reserve facility and was renamed Homestead Air Reserve Base.

Today, Homestead Air Reserve Base continues to be an important part of modern wars and humanitarian missions, supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and Haitian earthquake relief also known as Unified Response. The base is also home to an air show which draws over 400,000 people a year, and serves as a host to several tenant units. Customs and Border Protection, Coast Guard, Florida Air National Guard, and Special Operations Command South all have a contingent of personnel operating on base.

Cruising back in Time: The History of South Florida’s ports

July 27th, 2016

Norway ship at the Port of Miami. Photo courtesy of Floridamemory.com. During the height of the cruise season millions of passengers will board luxury liners. How did South Florida’s cruise industry begin? Embark on a high-seas adventure featuring the history of two of the world’s largest and busiest sea ports, PortMiami and Port Everglades, and get a sneak peak at the largest cruise ship coming to Port Everglades Read More...

Exploring Cape Canaveral

June 29th, 2016

On July 11th 2011, the Space Shuttle Atlantis touched down in Cape Canaveral from its last mission, ending the era of the 30-year Space Shuttle program. The retirement of the shuttle in 2011 left the United States without the ability to send astronauts into orbit for the first time since the early 1980s, leading some to wonder whether America was abandoning its leadership in space travel Read More...

Welcome Aboard the Houseboat

June 1st, 2016

Houseboat communities have a long history in Florida. These laid-back waterfront neighborhoods attracted free spirits looking for a seafaring lifestyle that wouldn’t break the bank. Floating homes gained mainstream success due to 1960s crime genre films like Lady in Cement starring Frank Sinatra and the popular detective TV series Surfside 6 Read More...

A Walk Down Memory Lane: South Beach in the 70s

May 17th, 2016

For most of its history, Miami Beach was the hottest vacation destination in the world. That was until the 1970s, when the city fell out of fashion with tourists. The growing popularity of air travel, which beckoned tourists to exotic locations, and the opening of Disney World in 1971, siphoned tourism away from the Beach Read More...

Legacy of the Nautilus: From Hotel to Hospital

April 27th, 2016

Photo courtesy of floridamemory.com   Although not the most famous of real-estate developer Carl Fisher's original Miami Beach hotels (that distinction would  go to the 1912 Flamingo Hotel), the Nautilus Hotel was undoubtedly the most illustrious. Built in the early 1920s, Fisher employed renowned architects Leonard Schultze and Fullerton Weaver to design the one million dollar Mediterranean-style resort Read More...

Florida’s First Television Station

April 1st, 2016

  [caption id="attachment_3226" align="aligncenter" width="306"] Capitol Theater Downtown Maimi. Photo Courtesy of www.floridamemory.com[/caption] In 1925, Mitchell Wolfson and Sidney Meyer founded the Wolfson-Meyer Theatre Company. One year later, they opened the Capitol Theater, an innovative auditorium in the heart downtown Miami Read More...

Developers Unveil Proposals for Miami Dade College’s Downtown Site

March 16th, 2016

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1f00RFkR7M Miami Dade College is currently seeking one lucky developer to enter into a partnership for the 2.6 acre parcel located next to the Freedom Tower. Formerly the location of the Alcazar Hotel, the space is currently being used as a parking lot for the Wolfson Campus Read More...

White Weddings in South Florida

February 11th, 2016

Coral Castle Often associated with the engineering triumphs of Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Egypt, Coral Castle was built by a reclusive eccentric named Edward Leedskalnin, who excavated gigantic quarried stones to construct his mysterious castle. Originally located in the tiny town of Florida City in the 1920's, the site was later moved to its current location in Homestead, Florida Read More...

Pablo Escobar’s Hidden Treasure

February 1st, 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuerYh-60So&feature=youtu.be On January 19, 2016, the pink water-front mansion on Miami Beach once owned by the 1980s Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was demolished. Built in 1948, the 6,500 square foot, the four-bedroom mansion would have been quite unassuming for the "King of Cocaine" who at the pinnacle of his career was one of the richest men in the world Read More...