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Hollywood History, Florida

The City of Hollywood,Florida is a built-out mature community in which rapid growth in population was seen in 1950s to 1960s. The cultural variety, racial diversity and a mix of young and old are what the country stands for. Starting out as a tract of palmetto plants, tangled undergrowth and pine forests along with low lying marshland and tomato farms, it has now become one of the most populated cities in the Broward County. Joseph Wesley Young, the former resident of Indiana and California and state native of Washington, founded the city. He first visited South Florida in 1920 and persuaded the foreigners to invest in its real estate. By 1925, its real estate market reached remarkable heights.

In 1926, a vicious hurricane slammed the Atlantic coast of South Florida and Hollywood became one of its major targets. The success of the city came to a stop and the population declined significantly. After Young’s death, Hollywood Inc. undertook the growth of Hollywood city and in the early 1930s, construction on Federal Highway began. By 1940, the population of the city increased but during the Second World War, the site of its military academy was taken over and was converted into US Naval School of air gunners. The Hollywood Beach hotel was converted into the US Naval Training and Indoctrination school and its country and golf club became the recreation and entertainment center for the US service members. After the war, the population continued to grow and even the two hurricanes of 1947 could not deter its renewed growth.

Joseph Watson, in 1952, became the city’s 22nd city manager who continued to remain at his post for the next 18 years. By 1960s, the city had more than 12000 single family houses and several other housing structures. Before 2000, four members of City Commission along with the Mayor were elected through city-wide elections. In 1998, it was indicated through a straw ballot that the residents wanted to expand the commission to 6 members and each should be elected by distinct districts and not through city-wide election. In 1999, the city was divided into 6 districts and each of them was represented by an individual commissioner. Apart from that, the Mayor’s term was also expanded from 2 years to 4 years. The general and primary elections in March and February were first elections held under this new system. Two serving commissioners were re-elected and four new ones were voted in the office. The Mayor was also re-elected for a 4-year term.

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