Place in Florida – the airport, which is living history – Part 2

In Florida, there is an administrative Airport Opa-Locke, who simply can not stay on the sidelines of history textbooks. Ever since this airport took off in the 1920s, so many historical events of the early start that historians may ask, "What next?"

Part 1 of this story Airport Opa-Locke spoke about the start and subsequent development on the background of the many changes in the aviation industry and geopolitics. He also talked about the nine cases on which history students can point and say: "Why Opa Locke?"

I have no crystal ball, which is responsible, "What next?", But I can offer a theory that can explain the "Why Opa Locke?" But first …

Let's take a closer look at these nine historical events – and why Airport Opa Locka, it seems, is in the midst of almost a hundred years.

The disappearance of Amelia Earhart

As noted in Part 1, this is the biggest unsolved mystery in America, and it began in this area in the airport Opa Locke in Florida.

Before she left for Lockheed Electra 10E June 1, 1937, Amelia Earhart was an international celebrity, known first as "Lucky Lindy," and then as "Lady Lindy", which is a & # 39 was the result of the first independent flight in history 1932 pilot woman across the Atlantic. Five years after the historic flight of Charles Lindbergh, she became the "Queen of the air".

Previously, she was a successful literary writer, who worked as aviation editor of Cosmopolitan – a post that katapultuvala it to the publishing stage and married – someone considers "convenient" – George P. Putna, who has published two books that she has written.

She also promoted women in aviation, competing in the "Derby of powder." And its high-profile endorsement of such products, such as luggage, cigarettes and women's clothing and casual wear (increasing its tall, thin look, which, according to some, imitating the appearance of Charles Lindbergh), led her to American women.

If she and navigator Fred Noonan departed Opa-Locke June 1, 1937, they went first to the Caribbean, and then made a few stops in South America, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, arrived at Lae, New Guinea on June 29 . Their flight to 29,000 miles is only 7,000 miles left – but that was the hardest part. Almost all of it was over the Pacific Ocean.

The plane took off on July 2 and headed north-east to the island of Howland, just a point on the map. He disappeared around Havlenda, and never heard. Navy and other ships without success searched an area of ​​150 000 square miles for six to seven days. The disappearance has given rise to many theories, but the mystery was never solved.

pigs congestion

Now it is no secret, but a catastrophic invasion in 1961, Cuban exiles in the Bay of Pigs was planned CIA airport Opa Locke, there were prepared troops, and here 20 26 fights have been prepared. Last training of troops and the beginning of the invasion took place in Guatemala and Nicaragua. Article 80 rebels of Fidel Castro overthrew Fulgencio Batista in 1959 and turned Cuba into a communist state. The aim in the bay of pigs was to overthrow Castro.

E. Howard Hunt (later Watergate conspirators) with the help of friends from the Cuban exile in Miami, spent time in Opa-Loka, developing plans for a new Cuban government. The plans were abandoned in File 13 when Cuban troops defeated the invaders – destroying the reputation of the Hunt as the spy chief. The invasion was planned in the Eisenhower administration, but Hunt blamed the defeat of the new Kennedy administration and the State Department, which helped to strengthen the power of Castro.

The Cuban Missile Crisis

If the American spy plane U-2 found in Cuba the Soviet missiles aimed at the United States in 1962, it led to a confrontation, which was the nearest of the world in a nuclear war. Airport Opa-Locke, who passes and struggling to find a new tenant after the loss-making was on the side of the Bay of Pigs invasion, soon again preparing for battle.

President John F. Kennedy returned Opa-Locke for use as the base of the peninsula of command for an invasion of Cuba. Fourteen days after the start of the crisis Kennedy and the Soviet premier & # 39; -Minister Khrushchev secretly agreed that the United States remove the missiles in Turkey (failed), and the Soviet Union will remove its missiles in Cuba (it failed). Opa Locke airport can return to their commercial routes. In 1967, it was the busiest commercial airport in the world.

CIA and Airport Opa-Locke

Levisty who agitate in banana Latin American republics in the early to mid-1950s – a threat to the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, designed to prevent European countries from the Western Hemisphere & # 39; I – Opa-Locke has become a convenient and affordable place in Florida to mount and carry out covert operations against them. The CIA continued to be used for this mu Opa Locke catastrophic invasion of Bay of Pigs in 1961.

Inglourious "black flights"

One banana republic (a term coined by O. Henry in 1904 to refer to the country, operated by plantation agriculture by large companies) was Guatemala. If Left President Zhakaba Arbenz began to flirt with the Communists, and then held the land reform, which is opposed by "O & # 39 In 1952, the United Fruit" (which was associated with the new Eisenhower administration), red flags went up in the United States, if not in Guatemala.

US decided to deprive Arbenz, and Hunt says he made the most of a hidden plan to a "safe house" in Miami, with more than a little help Guatemalan exiles Airport Opa-Locke. In fact, if the approaching coup attempt, were almost kazhdonoschnye flights from Guatemala City to Opa-Locke, who brought the people of Ar-Arbenz for training. Thus, the term "black fly," which so far have never been formally.

Though no invasion was not the operation was successful. Arbenz was overthrown without bloodshed. But this has led to decades of unrest in Guatemala and its neighbors.

mariel Boatlift

In 1980, when 10 thousand people who have requested asylum in Peru showed the embassy in Havana, Castro said, well, leave Cuba if you want – and 125,000 did. Most of them went to Miami and Opa-Locke airport was again available for any historical event took place. US Coast Guard – much more difficult task at the airport, to recycle a wave of refugees – found that Castro has opened the doors of prisons and mental health facilities, and 2% of the refugees were criminals. They refused to shelter.

hurricane Andrew

Destroyed or badly damaged 117,000 homes south of Miami with winds of 165 miles per hour, Hurricane Andrew evicted tens of thousands of people in 1992. Airport Opa-Locke was the only relatively untouched place in South Florida, with whom it was possible to establish the massive recovery effort.

destruction of the airship

Partly due to its prastornastsi, Opa-Locke airport was an important stop for the "cut through" during the 1930s. Huge airships were significant, but the checkered role in the First World War, so there is little doubt in buying Miami old World War II hangar at Key Uestse to be dismantled, moved to Opa-Lock and set up shop in a hurry station in 1929 American airships "Akron and Macon" and the German "Graf SPI" did extensive advertising travel to Opa-Locke. Then it was unusual to see heaven in the sky over Miami.

US Navy Akron was prone to accidents aircraft airplane – he launched a biplane Curtiss Sparrowhawk – in retrospect, probably should never have to leave your vehicle for ahryshchennyav Goodyear in Ohio. March 4, 1933 it was in Washington when President Delano Roosevelt took the oath. Only a few people knew, but Akron waiting for the accident.

After seven days, Akron went to Opa-Locke, who was heading to Panama, looking for a potential site airbase. The return journey of the airship she again stopped on Opa Locke that among its devices, among other reasons, it was possible to get some target practice. Leaving Opa Locke March 22, she returned to their home base in Lakehurst, New Jersey. April 3, loaded the VIP-persons interested in the commercial potential dyryzhabliv, she suddenly faced a violent storm near New Jersey and crashed into the sea, dying 73.

Train kidnappers 9/11

In the months preceding the September 11 terrorists to move freely throughout South Florida and the United States. Few places they visited were more important to their mission than the Simulator, Inc., at the airport in Opa-Locke. It was there, the leader of Ata Mohammad and colleague, Marwan Al-Shahi, paid $ 1,500 to spend 90 minutes a day for two days, learning to fly a Boeing 767. The simulator, which has controls that are similar to the 767, has a topography. it holds New York. Investigators believe that the two practitioners to crash into the World Trade Center.

So … Why Airport Opa-Locke?

So why Airport Opa-Locke fills in the history books? That's my theory. Some of these historical events put Opa Locke airport in the history books for the same reason that people climb mountains: just because it's there. But it goes beyond:

  • The Cold War. Although life began in the 1920s, the airport was basically a child of the Cold War. Of course, he played a prominent role in World War II, but after the war, Opa-Locke airport has almost become a household word.
  • Its location. Think of Florida as the index finger of the United States sitting in the midst of a vast sea change, with a fingernail and Miami Opa Locka. The nail of the index finger is always in the thick of the action, is not it?
  • Geopolitics. Wind of change often creates extreme measures. Opa Locke Airport gave shelter to the United States to fight against what he considered to be hazardous to his political health – in Cuba, Central America and all the rest of Latin America.

Education kidnappers 9/11? Why they chose this place in Florida to learn how to fly large aircraft? I think the airport Opa-Locke was in the wrong place at the wrong time.