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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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