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History and Miami Women, Who Defined The City.

history miami women

TEQUESTA TRIBE

Mayaimi woman from the Tequesta Native American tribe can be considered the first Miami woman. Tequestas lived on Biscayne Bay and received their name from the Miami (“big water”) river. Their central town was located at the mouth of the Miami River and is now an archaeological site in Downtown Miami known as The Miami Circle.

FOUNDER OF MIAMI

Miami is the only major American city founded by a woman. Julia Tuttle , known as “the mother of Miami,” was the driving force behind the incorporation of the city of Miami in 1896. She died leaving a large amount of debt, partly the result of her altruistic land grants to Henry Flagler. #TheFatherofMiami For that reason, her name was mostly forgotten until it was placed on a causeway for Interstate 195 over Biscayne Bay.

FLORIDA’S FIRST LADY

Mayaimi woman from the Tequesta Native American tribe can be considered the first Miami woman. Tequestas lived on Biscayne Bay and received their name from the Miami (“big water”) river. Their central town was located at the mouth of the Miami River and is now an archaeological site in Downtown Miami known as The Miami Circle.

FIRST STATE OFFICIAL

Mary Athalie Range was the first woman to head a state agency in Florida. As Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs and a civil rights activist, she fought for the better quality of schools and education in Liberty City, led efforts to improve garbage removal in poor, predominantly black neighborhoods, initiated the integration of Miami’s police force, which resulted in hiring of Miami’s first black motorcycle officer.

CUBAN POLITICAL ACTIVIST

Polita Grau, was Cuba’s first lady and a political activist. She opposed Machado, Batista, and Castro regimes. Grau became a political prisoner in Cuba for 14 years and was sent into exile to Miami on 4 different occasions.

She played a very important role in organizing Operation Pedro Pan. Largely unpublicized for fear of being viewed as political propaganda, this underground operation eventually became the largest recorded exodus of unaccompanied youth in the Western hemisphere. She died in Miami in 2000, and the city designated a portion of NW 59th Avenue as Ramon and Polita Grau Asina Avenue in honor of her and her brother’s work.