Miami is Florida's second largest city and the largest metropolitan area in the state. Known as the Magic City, it was originally settled by the Tequesta Indians thousands of years ago. Sparsely populated until the 1890s, a local landowner named Julia Tuttle persuaded Standard Oil founder Henry Flagler to extend his railroad to Miami and build a resort. Miami was incorporated on July 28, 1896.
The city grew rapidly in its first 30 years until a hurricane and the Great Depression ended the real estate boom. Post World War II Miami prospered mainly on tourism. The 1960s brought an influx of Cuban immigrants. Subsequent waves of immigrants from the Caribbean, South America and Europe have changed the cultural, political and business climate of the city.
Due to its diversity Miami has emerged as a major center of international trade and finance. Many multinational companies have based their Latin American headquarters in the city. A gleaming row of skyscrapers lines Brickell Avenue, the heart of the city's financial district and home to many foreign banks and financial service firms.
The Port of Miami is one of the largest cruise ship ports in the world as well as a major cargo container port in the US. While tourism plays an important role in the economy it is international commerce that truly makes Miami the Crossroads of the Americas.