I remember the 1920s when you could rent an apartment on Atlantic Avenue along the ocean for $25 a week and store clerks with salaries of $8 a week could afford to send their families to the beach in the summer for an annual vacation," John Paul Jones, editor of Florida Living, wrote in 1993; "Summertime was Daytona Beach's big season when the boardwalk was going full blast, day and night. Children and young couples had a safe, healthy place to laugh and play-much like Coney Island."1 Indeed, early-twentieth-century Daytona Beach took several strategic steps which would position it alongside Hampton Beach in New Hampshire, Atlantic City in New Jersey, Ocean City in Maryland, and Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, as middle-class vacation meccas. Yet, behind the image of mirth and merriment, progress and good works existed a racist and repressive Southern community. While Daytona Beach maintained an outwardly affable, liberal, and dynamic posture on tourism, it wa inwardly adversarial, reactionary, regressive, and violent when it came to race relations. By the 1930s, the world's most famous beach was not simply for whites only but also home to a carefully controlled closed society.2
Snyder, Robert E.
"Daytona Beach: A Closed Society,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 81:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol81/iss2/4