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Fort Lauderdale

History of Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a popular tourist spot in southern Florida near the Atlantic Ocean coastline. The city is named after forts that were constructed by the United States during the Second Seminole War and the commander who oversaw the construction, Major William Lauderdale.

Ft Lauderdale grew in an area that was originally the home of the Tequesta Indians. By the 1830’s, the settlement housed 70 settlers. However, the city was not incorporated until 1911, and was made the Broward County Seat in 1915. During World War II, Fort Lauderdale became a large military base. After the war ended, the Broward County region had a population boom, but after 1970 the population began spreading to neighboring suburbs.


The city of Fort Lauderdale consists of a varied population primarily consisting of Caucasian, African-American and Hispanic families. About 22 percent of the residents were born outside of the U.S., the majority from Latin America. About seven percent of the city’s population is of Haitian descent. The city’s residents include 75 percent English speakers, nine percent Spanish speakers and 7.5 percent Haitian Creole speakers. Fort Lauderdale also has a higher than average percentage of LGBT residents, with a higher percentage of gay men than lesbians.

Known for

Fort Lauderdale is known for being a popular LGBT vacation spot as well as temperatures that stay above 65 degrees Fahrenheit year round. It also attracts college students during spring break and is a stop for many Florida cruise ships.

Besides its tourist attractions, Fort Lauderdale is known as a place to find a good yacht manufacturer or repair your boat, and is the host for an International Boat Show which is the largest boat show in the world. The Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, a large flea market and the International Swimming Hall of Fame attract residents and vacationers.

Fort Lauderdale facts

Fort Lauderdale is nicknamed the “Venice of America” due to its numerous beaches and waterways. Although known for citrus fruit, citrus is not native to Fort Lauderdale or Florida. The area now called Fort Lauderdale was the location of three different forts called Fort Lauderdale. In 1977, snow fell in Fort Lauderdale which was the only time in recorded history. Fort Lauderdale was once the home of the spring break craze starting in 1961; however the city has been discouraging college students from coming there for spring break since the 1980’s. The reason students traveled there in droves was because of the movie “Where the Boys Are.”

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