History of Tampa, Florida

History of Tampa, Florida

There is some dispute as to the origin and meaning of the name "Tampa". It is believed to mean "sticks of fire" in the language of the Calusa, a Native American tribe that once lived in the area. Other historians claim the name refers to "the place to gather sticks". "Sticks of fire" may also relate to the high concentration of lightning strikes that Tampa Bay receives every year during the hot and wet summer months. Toponymist George R. Stewart writes that the name was the result of a miscommunication between the Spanish and the Indians, the Indian word being "itimpi", meaning simply "near it". [Stewart, pg. 231.]

Whatever its origins, the name first appears in the "Memoir" of Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda (1575), who had spent 17 years as a Calusa captive. He calls it "Tanpa" and describes it as an important Calusa town. While "Tanpa" is the apparent basis for the modern name "Tampa", archaeologist Jerald Milanich places the Calusa village of Tanpa at the mouth of Charlotte Harbor, the original "Bay of Tanpa". A later Spanish expedition failed to notice Charlotte Harbor while sailing north along the west coast of Florida and assumed that today's Tampa Bay was the bay that they had sought. Thus, the name was accidentally transferred north.Milanich, Jerald T. 1995. "Florida Indians and the Invasion from Europe". University Press of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-1360-7 p. 40]

European Exploration and Early History

panish Expeditions

Whatever its origins, the name first appears in the "Memoir" of Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda (1575), who had spent 17 years as a Calusa captive. He calls it "Tanpa" and describes it as an important Calusa town. While "Tanpa" is the apparent basis for the modern name "Tampa", archaeologist Jerald Milanich places the Calusa village of Tanpa at the mouth of Charlotte Harbor, the original "Bay of Tanpa". A later Spanish expedition failed to notice Charlotte Harbor while sailing north along the west coast of Florida and assumed that today's Tampa Bay was the bay that they had sought. Thus, the name was accidentally transferred north.

In April of 1528, the ill-fated Narváez Expedition landed near Tampa with the intention of starting a colony. After being told by the natives of better riches to the north, they abandoned their camp after only a week. A dozen years later, a surviving member of the expedition named Juan Ortiz was rescued by Hernando de Soto's expedition. [ [http://fcit.usf.edu/FLORIDA/docs/d/desoto.htm "Floripedia" "De Soto, Hernando"] - URL retrieved January 30, 2007]

A peace treaty was conducted with the local Tocobaga Indians and a short-lived Spanish outpost was established, but this was abandoned when it became clear that there was no gold in the area, and that the local Indians were not interested in converting to Catholicism and were too skilled as warriors to easily conquer.

The Tampa area would be effectively ignored by its colonial owners for the next 200+ years.

English Rule

Great Britain acquired Florida in 1763 as part of the treaty which ended the French and Indian War (Seven Years War). The bay was renamed Hillsborough Bay, after Lord Hillsborough, Secretary of State for the Colonies, whose name still adorns Tampa's largest river and home county. Britain was more concerned with the strategically important Atlantic coast of Florida (especially St. Augustine) than the mostly empty Gulf coast, and the Tampa area was by and large disregarded again.

With the native population having died from disease long before and the Seminoles still living to the north, the only (seasonal) residents of the Tampa Bay area were Cuban fishermen. These visitors stayed in temporary settlements along the shore, catching a large haul of fish from the teeming waters of the bay to take back and sell. [ [http://www.webcoast.com/pinellas.htm About Tampa Bay - Pinellas County History] ]

Florida Becomes a US Territory

Spain regained control of Florida in 1783 as part of the Treaty of Paris at the end of the American Revolution. Once again, the Tampa area was not a vital concern to its European owner.

In 1821, the United States purchased Florida from Spain (see Adams-Onís Treaty), mainly to end frontier Indians raids and to stem the tide of escaped slaves fleeing into Florida from neighboring states. In fact, one of the first U.S. actions in its new territory was a raid which destroyed Angola, a village built by escaped slaves on the eastern shore of Tampa Bay. [ [http://www.sptimes.com/2005/02/07/Tampabay/Excavators_seeking_fr.shtml Excavators seeking freedom pioneers - St. Pete Times] ] [ [http://www.lookingforangola.com/Interview_Canter_Brown_Jr.asp Looking for Angola] ]

The Birth of a Pioneer Town

The Treaty of Moultrie Creek (1823) created a large Indian reservation in the interior of the peninsular Florida. As part of efforts to establish control over the vast swampy wilderness, the U.S. government built a series of forts and trading posts throughout the new territory.

"Cantonment Brooke" was established in 1823 by Colonels George Mercer Brooke and James Gadsden at the mouth of the Hillsborough River on Tampa Bay, just about where today's Tampa Convention Center sits in Downtown Tampa. The site was marked by a huge hickory tree set atop an ancient Indian mound most likely built by the Tocobaga culture centuries before. Colonel Brooke, the outpost's first commander, directed his troops to clear the area for the construction of a wooden log fort and support buildings, but ordered that several ancient live oak trees inside the encampment be spared to provide shade and cheer. [^ Brown, Cantor. Tampa Before the Civil War. University of Tampa Press. 1-879852-64-0] In 1824, the post was officially christened Fort Brooke. A few settlers established homesteads near the palisade, but growth was very slow due to difficult pioneer conditions and the constant threat of attack from the Seminole Indian population, some of whom lived nearby in an uneasy truce. In December 1835, troops led by Major Francis L. Dade were ambushed by on their way from Fort Brooke to Fort King (near present-day Ocala) in a rout that was dubbed the Dade Massacre. The Second Seminole War had begun.

During the war, Fort Brooke first served as a refuge for frightened settlers, then as a vital military depot and staging area. After almost seven long years of vicious fighting, the war was over and the Seminoles were forced away from the Tampa region. The tiny village of Tampa soon began to grow up.

1850= 974
1870= 796
1880= 720
1890= 5532
1900= 15839
1910= 37782
1920= 51608
1930= 101161
1940= 108391
1950= 124681
1960= 274970
1970= 277714
1980= 271523
1990= 280015
2000= 303447
estimate= 334550
estyear= 2006


A strong hurricane in late September 1848 almost washed away the budding growth. Every building in Tampa was either damaged or destroyed, including most of Fort Brooke. Much of the population stayed to rebuild, and some desperate lobbying in Washington, DC persuaded the US Army to reconsider a plan to abandon the fort and its garrison of troops. [ Brown, Cantor. Tampa Before the Civil War. University of Tampa Press. 1-879852-64-0]

The Territory of Florida had grown enough by 1845 to become the 27th state. The settlement of Tampa recovered enough by 1849 to incorporate as the "Village of Tampa", which official occurred on January 18. At the time, Tampa was home to 185 inhabitants, excluding military personnel stationed at Fort Brooke. The city's first official census count in 1850 listed Tampa-Fort Brooke as having 974 residents. [http://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/1850c-11.pdf] Tampa was reincorporated as a town on December 15, 1855, and Judge Joseph B. Lancaster became the first Mayor in 1856. [ http://www.tampagov.net/dept_City_Clerk/previous_mayors/index.asp] [ [http://www.tampagov.net/dept_city_clerk/archives/Records/City_of_Tampa_Incorporation_History.asp City of Tampa Incorporation History] ]

The Civil War in Tampa

On January 10th, 1861, the state of Florida seceded from the United States along with the rest of the American South to form the Confederate States of America, touching off the American Civil War. Fort Brooke was soon manned by Confederate troops and martial law was declared in Tampa in January 1862. Tampa's city government ceased to operate for the duration of the war. [ [http://www.tampagov.net/dept_City_Clerk/Information_resources/previous_mayors/No_Municipal_Form_of_Government.asp Military Rule of Tampa During Civil War ] ]

Blockade and Blockade Runners

In late 1861, the Union navy set up a blockade near the mouth of Tampa Bay as part of an overall campaign to cut off the Confederacy from outside sources of money and supplies. However, several local blockade runners consistently slipped out undetected to the Gulf of Mexico. Most notable (though not most successful) among these was former Tampa mayor James McKay Sr., who delivered Florida cattle and citrus to Spanish Cuba in exchange for gold and supplies before being captured and imprisoned by Union forces. [ [http://www.tampagov.net/dept_City_Clerk/Information_resources/previous_mayors/james_mckaysr.asp James McKay, Sr. – 6th Mayor of Tampa ] ] (McKay Bay, the portion of Tampa Bay adjoining the port, is named in his honor.)

Trying to put a stop to this, Union gunboats sailed up Tampa Bay to bombard Fort Brooke and the surrounding city of Tampa. The Battle of Tampa on June 30-July 1, 1862 was inconclusive, as the shells fell ineffectually and there were no casualties on either side. [ [http://americancivilwar.com/statepic/fl/fl002.html Florida Civil War Battle Tampa Bay American War Between the States ] ] [ [http://www.cr.nps.gov/hps/abpp/battles/fl002.htm Battle Summary: Tampa, FL ] ]

Much more damaging to the Confederate cause was the Battle of Fort Brooke on October 17-18, 1863. The Union gunboats U.S.S. "Adela" and U.S.S. "Tahoma" came up the bay and, after firing at the fort, landed troops near the town. The Union forces headed a few miles up the Hillsborough River until they found the hidden blockade runners "Scottish Chief" and "Kate Dale" near present-day Lowry Park Zoo and burned them at their moorings.http://www.tampabayhistorycenter.org/civwar.htm] The local militia was mustered to intercept the Union troops, but the raiders were able to return to their ships after a short skirmish and headed back out to sea.

The War Winds Down

In May 1864, the "Adela" returned, bringing Union forces to occupy Fort Brooke itself. Not finding enough justification to stay, they left after two days.

The war ended in Confederate defeat the following spring, 1865. In May, federal troops arrived in Tampa to occupy the fort and the town as part of Reconstruction. They would remain until August, 1869.

Hard Times

The years after the Civil War were difficult ones in Tampa. With little industry and land transportation links limited to bumpy wagon roads from the east coast of Florida, Tampa was a small fishing village with poor prospects for development.

Yellow fever had always been a threat in early Tampa, but the disease hit with terrifying regularlity throughout the late 1860s and 1870s. Borne by mosquitos from the surrounding swampland, Tampa was hit by wave after wave of yellow fever epidemics and scares throughout the period [ [http://www.tampagov.net/dept_City_Clerk/Information_resources/previous_mayors/edward_a_clarke.asp Edward A. Clarke – 10th Mayor of Tampa ] ] . The disease was little understood at the time, and some residents simply packed up and left rather than face the mysterious and deadly peril.

The after-effects of the Civil War, disease, and disinterest put Tampa into a slow downward spiral. Conditions in the city deteriorated to the point that residents voted to temporarily disincorporate the city in 1869 [http://www.tampagov.net/dept_City_Clerk/previous_mayors/john_henderson.asp] . However, it would reincorporate in 1872. As a result, Tampa's population fell from approximately 885 in 1861 [http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/SFE0000077] to 796 in 1870 and 720 in 1880.

Another blow was to come. Fort Brooke, the seed from which Tampa had germinated, had served its purpose and was decommissioned in 1883. Except for two cannons displayed on the nearby University of Tampa campus, all traces of the fort are gone. In an odd nod to history, a large downtown parking garage near the old fort site is called the Fort Brooke Parking Garage. [ [http://www.tampagov.net/dept_parking/Programs_and_services/Garages_and_Lots/ft_Brooke_garage.asp Fort Brooke Garage ] ]

Late 19th Century: Rebirth

Phosphate Discovered

Phosphate, a mineral used to make fertilizers and other products, was discovered in the Bone Valley region southeast of Tampa in 1883. Soon, the mining and shipping of phosphate became important area industries. Tampa's port still ships millions of tons of phosphate annually, and the area is known as the "phosphate capital of the world." [ [http://www.tampaport.com/subpage.asp?navid=&id=18 Tampa Port Authority ] ]

Henry B. Plant and His Railroad Arrive

Transportation magnate Henry B. Plant's railroad line reached Tampa and its port shortly thereafter, connecting the small town to the country's railroad system. Tampa finally had the overland transportation link that had been so sorely lacking. The railroad enabled phosphate and commercial fishing exports to go north [ [http://www.baysoundings.com/sum05/phosphate4.html About Bone Valley ] ] , brought many new products into the Tampa market, and started the first real tourist industry: visitors coming in modest numbers to Henry Plant's first Tampa-area hotels.

Plant's St. Elmo Inn and Port Tampa Inn were built at the end of his rail line in the newly created suburb of Port Tampa. The Port Tampa Inn was larger and had the distinction of being constructed directly on the bay on stilts. [http://www.porttampa.org/port_tampa_city_Ghost.htm Port_Tampa_City_Yesteryear ] ]

Both of these early hotels are long gone, and the independent town of Port Tampa was annexed into Tampa in 1961.

Ybor and the Cigar Industry

The new railroad link enabled another important industry to come to Tampa. In 1885, the Tampa Board of Trade helped broker a land deal with Vicente Martinez Ybor to move his cigar manufacturing operations to Tampa from Key West. Close proximity to Cuba made imports of tobacco easy by sea, and Plant's railroad made shipment of finished cigars to the rest of the US market easy by land.

Since Tampa was still a small town at the time (population less than 5,000), Ybor built hundreds of small houses around his factory to accommodate the immediate influx of mainly Cuban and Spanish cigar workers. Other cigar factories soon moved in, and Ybor City (as the 40-odd acre settlement was dubbed) quickly made Tampa a major cigar production center. To round out the town's population, many Italian and a few eastern European Jewish immigrants also arrived starting in the late 1880s, mainly operating businesses and shops that catered to the cigar workers. The majority of Italian immigrants came from Alessandria Della Rocca and Santo Stefano Quisquina, two small Sicilian towns with which Tampa still maintains strong ties.

Some cigar factories also opened nearby in West Tampa, which thrived as a separate municipality until it was annexed by Tampa in 1925. [http://tampa.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A11138 Creative Loafing Tampa | News | The Western Front ] ] [ http://www.tampabayhistorycenter.org/cigar.htm]

The Tampa Bay Hotel

In 1891, Henry B. Plant built a lavish 500+ room, quarter-mile long luxury resort hotel called the Tampa Bay Hotel among convert|150|acre|km2|1 of manicured gardens along the banks of the Hillsborough River. The eclectic structure cost $2.5 million to build, a huge sum in those days. Plant filled his expensive playground with exotic art collectables from around the world and installed electric lights and the first elevator in Florida. [ [http://www.plantmuseum.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=35 Henry B. Plant Museum - The History ] ]

The resort did great business for a few years, especially during the Spanish-American War (see below). But with Plant's death in 1899, the hotel's fortunes began to fade. The city of Tampa purchased the resort in 1905 and used it for community events, including the first state fair [http://www.tampabayhistorycenter.org/rrship.htm] . It was finally closed 1930. In 1933, however, the stately building reopened as the University of Tampa.

The Spanish-American War

Mainly because of Henry Plant's connections in the War Department, Tampa was chosen as an embarkation center for American troops in the Spanish-American War. Lieutenant Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders were among the 30,000 troops who waited in Tampa for the order to ship out to Cuba during the summer of 1898, filling the town to bursting [http://www.tampabayhistorycenter.org/spanam.htm] .

Those months, while unpleasant for the troops wearing thick wool uniforms in the oppressive Florida heat, were a great boon to Tampa's growing economy. It was also the only time when Plant's Tampa Bay Hotel was full to capacity as army officers and newspaper correspondents sought out more comfortable quarters than a hot and dusty tent. [ [http://www.plantmuseum.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=41 Henry B. Plant Museum - Spanish-American War ] ]

The war was also very popular in Ybor City. Many of the Cuban cigar workers had long pressed for Cuba Libre - a Cuba free of Spanish colonial rule. Leaders like Jose Marti (who had been killed in earlier fighting in Cuba against Spain) had come to Tampa many times to raise money and volunteers for the cause. With the U.S. entering the war to fight against Spain, it seemed that their dreams would soon be realized. [ [http://www.cigarcitymagazine.com/features/jose-marti.html Jose Marti | Tampa Bay's Cigar City Magazine ] ]

A Vital Period

The founding of Ybor City, the building of Plant's railroad and hotels, and the discovery of phosphate - all within 10 years - were crucial to Tampa's future development and its very survival. The town suddenly expanded from a dying backwater village to a bustling town to a small city. Except for temporary bumps along the way, this growth has continued unabatted.

The 20th Century

During the first few decades of the 20th century, the cigar making industry continued to be the backbone of Tampa's economy. The factories in Ybor City and West Tampa made an enormous number of cigars -- in the peak year of 1929, over 500,000,000 cigars were hand rolled in the city. [Ybor City: The Making of a Landmark Town by Frank Lastra] As the market for cigars began to wane during the Great Depression, other industries came to the fore, especially shipping and, of course, tourism.

In 1904, a local civic association of local businessmen dubbed themselves Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla (named after local mythical pirate Jose Gaspar), and staged an "invasion" of the city followed by a parade. With a few exceptions, the Gasparilla Pirate Festival has been held every year since.

Bolita, corruption, and the mob

Beginning in the late 1800s, illegal bolita lotteries were very popular among the Tampa working classes, especially in Ybor City. In the early 1920s, this small-time operation was taken over by Charlie Wall. The Wall family was one of the pioneer families from early Tampa, and Charlie Wall’s family tree included many leading businessmen, mayors, and other public officials among its branches.

Wall’s operations thrived as he expanded them to include liquor distribution and speakeasies (this was the era of Prohibition) and prostitution. Other smaller organized crime groups tried to muscle in on the action, and long-simmering rivalries were kindled.

These organizations were able to operate openly because of kick-backs and bribes to key local politicians and law enforcement officials. Charlie Wall was well connected, and he used those connections to keep his businesses running and to help put down his competition. Tampa’s political elite, which had held an inconsistent but mostly ambivalent attitude toward organized crime, quietly became de-facto partners.

Election controversies

From the early 1930s until the early 1950s, every municipal election was tainted by electoral abnormalities, most with alleged mob connections. The first widespread example was Tampa’s mayoral election of 1931, when over 100 people were arrested for “cheating at the polls”. Most were supporters of the winning candidate, Robert E. Lee Chancey, who his opponents claimed had close ties to Tampa’s “underworld” cite book | last = Kerstein | first = Robert | title = Politics and Growth in 20th Century Tampa | publisher = University Press of Florida | year = 2001 | isbn = 0813020832] . After the election, all of the charges were either reduced or dropped altogether. Many of those involved had been on the city payroll at the time of their arrest, and most remained there. The situation was even more chaotic during the next election cycle in 1935. This started before election day when Tampa’s chief of police (who supported the incumbent mayor) and the Hillsborough County Sheriff (who supported the challenger) both claimed to be the proper authority to monitor the actual voting. Anticipating trouble, Florida Governor Sholtz mobilized the National Guard to prevent violence. Still, both sheriff’s officers and city police were deployed at polling places, resulting in police officers arresting sheriff’s deputies and vice-versa. .

Despite (or perhaps because of) the large number of observers, ballot stuffing and re-voting was widespread. The day may have turned violent if not for the presence of the National Guard troops and a sideswipe from the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, which passed just west of Tampa during the afternoon and pelted the area with torrential rains and high winds.

In the end, the Tampa Election Board determined that Chancey had easily won re-election. They had reached these results by throwing out all ballots from 29 precincts due to “fraudulent voting”. The Board may not have been the most impartial judge of the matter, however, as Chancey had appointed the members himself .

New bosses

While Charlie Wall was Tampa's first major crime boss, various factions vied for control of the area in later years. Ongoing power struggles resulted in regular organized-crime related “unsolved” murders of crime-connected figures in what became known as the “Era of Blood”. To protect their interests (and keep gangland killings unsolved), crime bosses regularly kept local officials -from state attorneys to top law enforcement personnel and even mayors - on the payroll. [ [http://tampa.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/the_mob/Content?oid=317 Creative Loafing Tampa | News | Cover | The Mob ] ]

By the late 1940s, most of the area’s crime organizations were under the control of Sicilian mafioso Santo Trafficante, Sr. and his faction. After his death in 1954 from cancer, control passed to his son Santo Trafficante, Jr., who established alliances with families in New York and extended his power throughout Florida and into Batista-era Cuba. [ [http://www.weeklyplanet.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A317 Creative Loafing Tampa | News | The Mob ] ] [ [http://www.americanmafia.com/Feature_Articles_101.html AmericanMafia.com - Feature Articles 101 ] ]


The era of rampant and open corruption came to a head in the early 1950s when the Kefauver hearings, Senator Estes Kefauver’s traveling investigation of organized crime in America, came to town. Informants (including the retired Charlie Wall) came forward to make startling accusations of corruption throughout Tampa’s power structure. The hearings were followed by misconduct trials of several local officials and the “unsolved” murders of some of the government informants (including the retired Charlie Wall) .

Though most of the accused persons were acquitted or given light sentences, the trials helped to motivate Tampa to end the corruption and general sense of lawlessness which had prevailed for decades. Ethics and election reforms were passed, and the link between local government and organized crime weakened.

However, major corruption was not eliminated entirely. In 1983, 3 out of the 5 members of the Hillsborough County Commission were charged with accepting bribes. Unlike earlier crooked officials, however, these three were convicted of their crimes and sentenced to federal prison. This scandal resulted in another round of ethics reforms. [ http://www.tampabays10.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=73000]

Growth and changes

During the Great Depression, WPA projects were underway which include Peter O. Knight Airport, near Davis Island and Drew Field (later named Tampa International Airport). During World War II, MacDill Air Field opened up for military operations.


Tampa remained a compact city with a land area of convert|19|sqmi|km2|0 until the mid-1950s. [http://www.census.gov/population/documentation/twps0027/tab16.txt] [http://www.census.gov/population/documentation/twps0027/tab17.txt] http://www.census.gov/population/documentation/twps0027/tab18.txt] It's northernmost boundary was the Hillsborough River, in the northern part of Seminole Heights. [http://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/23761117v1_TOC.pdf]

In 1953, the city annexed over convert|60|sqmi|km2|-1 of unincorporated land, including the communities of Sulphur Springs and Palma Ceia. As a result, Tampa grew rapidly, growing by 150,289 residents during the 1950s. [ http://www.tampagov.net/dept_city_clerk/archives/history/previous_city_council_members/Tampa_City_Council_Members_June1904_October1963.asp] The growth also reflected on the city's national ranking. Tampa jumped from 85th in 1950 to 48th in 1960, [http://www.census.gov/population/documentation/twps0027/tab19.txt] it's peak ranking to date.

Overall, most of the annexed communities were unincorporated but five incorporated places were consolidated into Tampa: North Tampa (1885), [http://www.worldstatesmen.org/US_Mayors2.html Mayors of U.S. Cities M-W ] ] Ybor City (1885), Fort Brooke (1907), West Tampa (1925), and Port Tampa City (1961).

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida was established in 1956, sparking development in northern Tampa and nearby Temple Terrace. Busch Gardens theme park opened in 1959.

Urban renewal and suburbanization

With growth came problems. With suburbanization and urban renewal programs on the horizon, Downtown Tampa began deteriorating and many industries began to move to the suburban areas. Park Tower, opened in 1973, would be the city's only substantial skyscraper (460 feet/36 stories) until the building boom of the 1980s. In the midst of this, a race riot plagued the city on June 11, 1967. [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,837017-1,00.html How to Cool It - TIME ] ] The combination of the decline of the cigar industry and the construction of Interstates 4 and 275 further deteriorated historic areas such as Ybor City and West Tampa. [ [http://www.flheritage.com/services/magazine/index.cfm?action=article&season=06spring&article=50 Services - Office of Cultural & Historical Programs ] ]

There were four attempts to consolidate Tampa with Hillsborough County (1967, 1970, 1971, and 1972). All of which failed at the ballot box with the biggest margin was 33,160 for and 73,568 against the proposed charter in 1972. [http://etd.lib.fsu.edu/theses/available/etd-04152005-170723/unrestricted/07_lsj_chapter6_c.pdf]

These events also reflected on the city's population growth. Tampa grew very slowly in the 1960s to reach 277,714 in 1970. However, further problems in the 1970s lead to the first decline of the city's population in a century, falling to 271,523 in 1980. Tampa's national ranking dropped from 50th in 1970 [http://www.census.gov/population/documentation/twps0027/tab20.txt] to 53rd in 1980.http://www.census.gov/population/documentation/twps0027/tab21.txt] In contrast, suburban areas such as Brandon, Carrollwood, and other areas of Hillsborough County experienced rapid growth.

New Tampa Annexation

The biggest development of the city was the development of New Tampa that started in 1988 when the city annexed a 24-square mile (mostly rural) area between I-275 and I-75, increasing the total land area from convert|84|sqmi|km2|0 to nearly 109. [http://www.census.gov/population/documentation/twps0027/tab22.txt] Despite this, the city only grew three percent in the 1980s to reach 280,015 in 1990.

Early 21st century

On January 5, 2002, just four months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, 15-year-old amateur pilot Charles Bishop flew a Cessna plane into the 42-story Bank of America Plaza building in downtown Tampa. Bishop died, but there were no other injuries (because the crash occurred on a Saturday, when few people were in the building). A suicide note found in the wreckage expressed support for Osama bin Laden. Bishop had been taking a prescription medicine for acne called Accutane that may have had the side effect of depression or severe psychosis. His family later sued Hoffman-La Roche, the company that makes Accutane, for $70 million; however, an autopsy found no traces of the drug in the teenager's system.

tormy Weather

The 2004 Atlantic Hurricane Season was historically busy for all of Florida, including Tampa. Tampa was affected by a record four hurricanes that year; Frances, Jeanne, Charley, and to a lesser extent, Ivan.

The eyes of both Jeanne and Frances passed within a few miles of Tampa as they slashed their way across the state from the east coast. Charley was forecast to make a direct hit on Tampa Bay from the south (the worst-case scenario for local flooding). But the storm made a sudden and unexpected turn to the northeast and brought only tropical storm force winds to Tampa, devastating the Ft. Myers/Port Charlotte area instead. Ivan roared past the Florida gulf coast on its way to landfall near the Alabama/Florida border, passing near enough to bring high seas and stormy conditions to the Tampa area.

Downtown Revitalization

Current Tampa mayor Pam Iorio has made the redevelopment of Tampa's downtown, especially bringing in residents to the decidedly non-residential area, a priority. [ [http://www.sptimes.com/2003/08/10/Floridian/Urban_culture_clash.shtml Floridian: Urban culture clash ] ] Several residential and mixed-development high-rises are in various stages of planning or construction, and a few have already opened. Another of Mayor Iorio's initiatives is the Tampa Riverwalk, a plan which intends to make better use of the land along the Hillsborough River in downtown where Tampa began. Several museums are part of the plan, including the Tampa Bay History Center, the Tampa Children's Museum, and a new Tampa Museum of Art. [ [http://tampa.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A52700 Creative Loafing Tampa | News | Downtowns On The Verge ] ]


ee also

"Other articles which contain relevant history sections."
*History of Florida
*Ybor City
*Mayors of Tampa, Florida
*History of Brandon
*Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

"Articles on specific events in Tampa history"
* Great Gale of 1848
* Battle of Fort Brooke
* Battle of Tampa
* Tampa Bay Hurricane of 1921
* Tampa Riots
* 2002 Tampa plane crash
* Oaklawn Cemetery

"Other articles of interest"
*Tampa-Fort Brooke, "a single census unit recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1850.

External links

* [http://www.tampabayhistorycenter.org/ Tampa Bay History Center]
* [http://www.lib.usf.edu/public/index.cfm?Pg=TampaBayHistoryCollection Tampa Bay History Collection] , includes historical photographs "(University of South Florida)"

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tampa Heights (Tampa), Florida — Tampa Heights is one of the oldest neighborhoods within the city limits of Tampa that s situated in the central part of the city. As of the 2000 census, the neighborhood had a population of 16,393. Description Tampa Heights is bounded by the… …   Wikipedia

  • History of Tallahassee, Florida — Early history The name Tallahassee is a Muskogean Indian word often translated as old fields, or old town. This may stem from the Creek (later called Seminole) Indians that migrated into this region in the 18th century. The area had previously… …   Wikipedia

  • Tampa, Florida — Tampa redirects here. For other uses, see Tampa (disambiguation). Tampa   City   Images from top, left to right: Skyline of D …   Wikipedia

  • Ybor City, Tampa, Florida — Infobox Settlement official name = Ybor City nickname = Florida s Latin Quarter image caption = Centro Ybor complex with a TECO Line car passing in front settlement type = Neighborhood subdivision type = Country subdivision type1 = State… …   Wikipedia

  • Temple Crest, Tampa, Florida — Temple Crest is a neighborhood and district located in northeastern part of Tampa, Florida. The population was 8,621 at the 2000 census. [http://www.theplanningcommission.org/library/onlinelibrary/datafolder/census/00census/2000%20Population%20by%… …   Wikipedia

  • Davis Islands, Tampa, Florida — Davis Islands is a Tampa neighborhood and archipelago made of two islands in Hillsborough County, Florida. Its close proximity to Downtown Tampa and its views of the port of Tampa make it a popular area to live. The population was 5,436 at the… …   Wikipedia

  • Seminole Heights, Tampa, Florida — Infobox City official name = Seminole Heights, Tampa, Florida nickname = image motto = map caption = Bungalow in Seminole Heights subdivision type = Country subdivision type1 = State subdivision type2 = County subdivision type3 = City subdivision …   Wikipedia

  • Neighborhoods in Tampa, Florida — The city of Tampa, Florida is officially divided into five geographical regions: North Tampa, West Tampa, East Tampa, South Tampa, and New Tampa, each coinciding with a respective Tampa City Council district[1]. The neighborhoods are managed by… …   Wikipedia

  • East Tampa, Tampa, Florida — The following article is about a district within the city limits of Tampa, for the community in unincorporated Hillsborough County, see East Tampa, Florida. East Tampa is a district within the city limits of Tampa, Florida. As of the 2000 census… …   Wikipedia

  • Harbour Island (Tampa), Florida — Harbour Island is a neighborhood within the city limits of Tampa, Florida and the sub district within Downtown Tampa. The ZIP Code serving the area is 33602 [ [http://jeannewolfe.com/Tampa Neighborhoods Harbour Island.htm Neighborhoods in Tampa… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.