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In the late 19th century, reports described the area as a promising wilderness.
The Great Freeze of 1894–95 hastened Miami's growth, as the crops of the Miami area were the only ones in Florida that survived.
When World War II began, Miami, well-situated on the southern coast of Florida, became a base for US defense against German submarines.
Racial and cultural tensions were sometimes sparked, but the city developed in the latter half of the 20th century as a major international, financial, and cultural center.
Whatever their role in the city's growth, their community's growth was limited to a small space.
When landlords began to rent homes to African-Americans in neighborhoods close to Avenue J (what would later become NW Fifth Avenue), a gang of white men with torches visited the renting families and warned them to move or be bombed.
An Indian village of hundreds of people dating to 500–600 B. A Spanish mission was constructed one year later in 1567.
Spain and Great Britain successively controlled Florida, and Spain ceded it to the United States in 1821.