A festive image, for sure. And yet years later, during WW II, a mandatory “blackout” along the entire shoreline was imposed. “On Feb. 19, 1942, a German U-boat sank the Pan Massachusetts 20 miles south of Cape Canaveral. Five days later the Republic met the same fate off West Palm Beach and on May 19, 1942, the Portero del Llano, attacked by a German submarine, burned and sank within sight of Miami Beach. Debris from those freighters and other unfortunate ships began washing up on the Gold Coast’s beaches.
The proximity of war’s violence plus blackout and rumors that personnel from German U-boats were frequenting Miami’s theaters ended South Florida’s 1941-1942 season.”