In 1986, the Miami Herald asked four experts to list the most important events and influential people in Dade County's history.
Here are some of their choices:
HENRY FLAGLER, brought the Florida East Coast Railway to Miami in 1896.
JULIA TUTTLE, who gave half her landholdings to bring the first railroad here.
CARL FISHER, who promoted the building of the Dixie Highway to Miami, and hired Steve Hannagan to publicize Miami Beach.
GEORGE MERRICK, built Coral Gables and set high building standards.
Miami Daily News, March 26, 1942.
CHARLES H. CRANDON, father of Dade County's system of parks and playgrounds.
JOHN PENNEKAMP, who conceived Dade's metropolitan form of government and fathered the Everglades National Park.
DAVID FAIRCHILD, who popularized tropical plants and horticulture that have made the county a more attractive place to live.
MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS, fighter for Florida's wilderness, wildlife and fresh water.
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE BROWARD, governor who initiated drainage of the Everglades.
GLENN CURTISS, developer and promoter of the area's aviation potential, including donating land for the first municipal airport.
EVEREST GEORGE SEWELL, three-time mayor who promoted aviation and the seaport.
Four of the Miami's founders at the site of the Royal Palm Hotel in 1931. L. to R. J. E. Lummus, John Sewell, T. L. Townley, and Everest George Sewell.
Important events in Dade County's history:
Miami News, Jan. 2, 1959.
FIDEL CASTRO'S conquest of Cuba on Jan. 1, 1959, which sent a half-million of his countrymen to Miami.
THE 1947 FLOOD, which brought about the $500 million project that opened vast reaches of the Everglades to human use.
EXTENSION of the Florida East Coast Railway to Miami on April 15, 1896.
CONSTRUCTION of the Dixie Highway, opened to Miami in October 1915, as our city's first link for automobiles with the rest of the country.
THE BOOM, 1921-1926. These exciting, turbulent years transformed a sleepy Southern town into a full-fledged city.
THE 1926 HURRICANE. This legendary killer hurricane helped defuse the boom and ushered in Miami's own Great Depression.
Sept. 18, 1926.
ESTABLISHMENT of Miami International Airport on Dec. 11, 1945, which has made our city the air gateway of the Americas.
ENACTMENT of a 1977 Florida law permitting foreign banks to open offices in the state, making Miami a center of international finance.
START of the University of Miami medical school in 1951, the beginning of our city's role as a global medical center.
CREATION of metropolitan government in 1957, enabling the Dade County Commission to provide urban services to the increasingly populous unincorporated area.
OPENING of the Bay View House (later Peacock Inn), 1884. The Miami area's first hotel initiated winter tourism as a way of life and spurred the development of Coconut Grove, the area's first real community.
ARRIVAL OF THE RAILROAD, April 1896. When the first train chugged into Miami, the frontier period ended and the future city of Miami was born.
COLLINS BRIDGE, 1913. Opened the way for the development of Miami Beach.
Miami Daily Metropolis, June 13, 1913.
WORLD WAR II, 1941-1945. Miami emerged as a major training and defense center. The war set the stage for the postwar population explosion as returning GIs made Miami home.
MARIEL BOATLIFT of 1980.
April 29, 1980.