Aviation in Miami: The First 100 Years

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 SECURITY - Early Threats From the Sky

Miami’s airlines, air fields and people have been historic players in the development of national security threats posed by air travel over the past 70 years. Three news-making events in the 1930s served as ominous symbols of this involvement.

The Graf Zeppelin in Miami with swastikas visible on its port rudder. October 23, 1933. HistoryMiami. 2002-255-91.

In 1931 and 1933, Miami’s air sites played host to German advances in air power in the form of visits from the Dornier DO X and the Graf Zeppelin. These events predicted Miami’s strategic importance for air travel and transport during World War II. Learn more

Then, in August of 1933, a Pan American World Airways flight from Havana to Miami provided the means for a risky escape for Cuban minister Orestes Ferrara after the overthrow of Cuban president Gerardo Machado, foreshadowing Miami’s future role as a frequent destination for or origin of a long rash of politically motivated airplane hijackings from the late 1950s to the 1980s.

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