The original inhabitants of the area now known as Fort Lauderdale were the Seminole Indians. The city itself was named for Major William Lauderdale, who led a group known as the Tennessee Volunteers into the area during the Seminole War. Fort Lauderdale began as an agricultural community, full of citrus groves.
By the 1960’s, the city took on a new identity as the place for college students to come for spring break. Hedonism and public drunkenness became the norm for much of the next twenty years, but the residents of the once sleepy town decided to take it back from the rowdy youngsters. The police began to make their presence known a little more, and soon Fort Lauderdale was off the list of top Spring Break destinations. Today, Fort Lauderdale is a little closer to its roots, with a gentle breezy demeanor to it. You can still have a good time here, exploring the 300 miles of waterways that led to the labeling of Fort Lauderdale as "the Venice of America." There are places to rent boats, and plenty of opportunities to take a boat tour around the city.