Although Miami was originally occupied by the Tequesta tribe, Spain claimed the area until the early 1800’s. The city of Miami was founded by Julia Tuttle, who owned the land to grow citrus trees, and became known as “the mother of Miami.” Today, Miami boasts over 300 high-rises, making it one of the largest skylines in the United States. Miami has appeared in many films and TV shows over the years, which makes a lot of its landmarks well known. Due to a natural underground aquifer, most of Miami’s mass transit system runs above ground or is elevated. West of Miami are the Everglades, a marshland, which allows alligators to sometimes come into the city. The Miami International Film Festival, Miami Fashion Week and the Calle Ocho Festival attract many people to the city each year. Miami is home to a diverse culture, which can be seen in the local cuisine. Floribbean cuisine has become widely known around Miami, as well as seafood and Cuban sandwiches and espresso. Due to the warmer climate, year-round outdoor activities are a part of life in Miami. Scuba diving, fishing, and boating are some of the most popular activities.
During World War II, Miami was a base for the United States’ defense against submarines coming from Germany. Today, Miami is the headquarters of the United States Southern Command, which oversees the Central and South American military operations. Miami has many national and international companies and has one of the largest groupings of international banks in the country. A few companies that have headquarters in the Miami area are Burger King, U.S. Century Bank, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International. The Port of Miami claims to be the “Cruise Capital of the World” due to its being one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. The tourism industry accounts for many of the jobs in Miami. Sports are also part of the Miami economy since the Orange Bowl is held every year in Miami. The city of Miami is one of the top host cities for the Super Bowl. With many international companies headquartered in the city, Miami International Airport is one of the busiest in the world and thus is also a large part of the Miami economy. All these factors help make Miami a leader in commerce, finance, and international trade.