Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Society & Culture
  3. Ethnic Cultures

The Conch Republic - "We Seceded Where Others Failed", pt. 1

Key West has always had a reputation as a repository for the independent-minded, entrepreneurs, opportunists and other unique personalities that just don’t fit in anywhere else. This has shown itself in the income-producing efforts in the past – wreckers, pirates, smugglers. During the 70’s & 80’s, the smuggling included lots of “square grouper”, otherwise known as bales of marijuana. To this day, the smuggling also includes illegal aliens. Finally, in 1982, the U.S. Government decided to crack down on smuggling. At least that was their excuse for their actions.


A border checkpoint was set up in Florida City. Every car leaving the Keys was stopped and searched. This has never been done in any other state in this union. This checkpoint caused backups of miles and miles. It adversely affected the Tourism Industry; something the Keys was beginning to rely on. People leaving the Keys were being treated as if they were returning from a foreign country. So people stopped coming.


Never ones to just sit quietly while being abused, Key West’s leaders took immediate action. They tried the courts, but the Federal Court in Miami refused to force the border patrol to remove the blockade. The Key West delegation decided that if they were going to be treated like a foreign country, they were going to become one. This talk of secession panicked the government so federal agents began to flood the Keys.

What was the Key West reponse to this invasion?  Continue on to Part 2.
 

Comments

Advertisement

Life

  • Dan Savage
    Dan Savage cares about LGBT youth, bullying and saving lives
    Today's Buzz
  • Raku
    Teachers and students can use this summer to learn a new skill
    Camera
    15 Photos
  • Beach body
    Fitness: Earn your beach body badge with bootcamp classes
    Camera
    10 Photos
  • Greek wine
    Unwind with these delicious wines: The thrilling wines of Greece
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Mandy Moore
    Exclusive interview with Celebrity Mandy Moore concerning animal activism
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Educational family vacations
    Find out how to take an educational family vacation that doesn't break the bank
    Camera
    9 Photos