The first inhabitants of the land were Seminole Indians who arrived in the 18th century. During the Second Seminole War, Major William Lauderdale led his Tennessee Volunteers into the area and raised New River Fort on the site of the modern city in 1838. In 1893, a young Ohioan named Frank Stranahan arrived and built a house that served as the first trading post, post office, bank and town hall of the area. The house was built near the site of the New River Fort and still stands today as a museum, Stranahan House.
Fort Lauderdale was officially incorporated as a town in 1911, and became the seat of newly formed Broward County. It began as a predominantly agricultural community of dairy farms and citrus groves.
More growth came with establishment of the Naval Air Station, which is now Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.
The city and its surrounding suburbs experienced tremendous growth following the end of World War II, and the arrival of home air-conditioning. In the 1960s, Fort Lauderdale became the center of Spring Break after the debut of the movie “Where the Boys Are”. It is now an anchor of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach Metropolitan area, the nation’s 6th largest metro area.
Fort Lauderdale has a subtropical rainforest climate, which means all months of the year have a mean temperature of 18 C (65 F) or higher. As is typical in most tropical climates, there is a “wet/dry season”. Much of the rainfall in Ft. Lauderdale falls in the hot and humid summer months from May though mid October. Daily thundershowers build up in the intense heat and quick, but intense, tropical downpours are common. Daytime temperatures are usually in the high 80sF or low 90sF with high humidity; nights are around 77F. The dry or low sun from November through April normally features sunny, dry, and warm weather with highs in the middle 70’s and lows near 60 F. Some winters can be quite dry and brush fires and water restrictions in place. The warm tropical climate of Ft. Lauderdale gives the city a 12 month beach season.