Sunday, June 07, 2015

The way we were...Feb. 1962 - Dade County welcomes its one-millionth resident

LIFE Magazine, Aug. 17, 1962. 


Feb. 1, 1962: The Miami - Dade Chamber of Commerce selects Minas Edward Nicolaides as Dade County's official one-millionth resident after he wins an essay writing contest.

Nicolaides, and more than 100 other people who had moved to Dade between September 1961 and February 1962 submitted essays to the Chamber on why they chose to move to Dade County.

Miami News, Feb. 1, 1962.

Nicolaides, who earned $9,000 a year as an electronics engineer, received more than $5,000 in prizes, including fishing rods, golf clubs, a silver service, a stay at a hotel, a blimp ride, water-skiing lessons and "tickets for nearly everything in South Florida," according to LIFE Magazine.

But four months later Nicolaides was gone.

He'd had enough of South Florida.

"His whereabouts is a mystery. But it could be (horrors!) California," the Miami News reported. (He'd actually moved to Arizona.)

Miami News, June 12, 1962.

Minas Edward
When he was selected as Dade's millionth resident, his wife told the Miami News, "He has an overwhelming desire to live here that amounts to an would take a stick of dynamite to get him out."

But in an August 17, 1962 LIFE Magazine article, Nicolaides talked about Dade's County's shortcomings: "There wasn't a park for miles and only a couple of public beaches, and they were dirty."

He also told LIFE that South Florida's cockroaches were so big "they fight back if you corner them. I told my neighbors if they heard me screaming it meant cockroaches were after me and they should try to save themselves."

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