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FLORIDA HISTORY TIMELINE : THE FLORIDA BOOM AND BUST,1919-1929

By the turn of the century, Florida's population and per capita wealth were increasing rapidly; the potential of the "Sunshine State" appeared endless. By the end of World War I, land developers had descended on this virtual gold mine. With more Americans owning automobiles, it became commonplace to vacation in Florida. Many visitors stayed on, and exotic projects sprang up in southern Florida. Some people moved onto land made from drained swamps. Others bought canal-crossed tracts through what had been dry land. The real estate developments quickly attracted buyers, and land in Florida was sold and resold. Profits and prices for many developers reached inflated levels.

Florida's economic bubble burst in 1926, when money and credit ran out, and banks and investors abruptly stopped trusting the "paper" millionaires. Severe hurricanes swept through the state in the 1926 and 1928, further damaging Florida's economy.

By the time the Great Depression began in the rest of the nation in 1929, Floridians had already become accustomed to economic hardship.

In 1929 the Mediterranean fruit fly invaded the state, and the citrus industry suffered. A quarantine was established, and troops set up roadblocks and checkpoints to search vehicles for any contraband citrus fruit. Florida's citrus production was cut by about sixty percent.

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Text from: A Short History of Florida
Used with the permission of Florida's Division of Historical Resources

 
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