In 1871, Mathias Day, Jr., a newspaper publisher from Mansfield, Ohio, purchased a 2000 acre tract of land on the west bank of the Halifax River. He built a hotel around which a town was built. Today, the area where the hotel once stood is known as the South Beach Street Historic District, which includes a downtown business core of restaurants and shops, the Halifax Historical Museum, the Volusia county courthouse and a baseball stadium named after Jackie Robinson who play there in 1941.
In 1872, Day lost title to his landvdue to financial trouble with his newspaper. In 1876, when residents decided to incorporate, they chose Daytona as the name.
In 1902, Daytona’s wide beach of smooth, compacted sand began to attract automobile and motorcycle races.
On March 8, 1936, the first stock car race was held on the Daytona Beach Road Course.
In 1959, William France Sr. and NASCAR opened the Daytona International Speedway.
Although automobiles are still permitted on some areas of the beach, the maximum speed is 10 mph.
Today, the Daytona Beach area is an internationally recognized travel destination, attracting more than 8 million visitors each year, including 200,000 NASCAR fans for the Daytona 500 in February and upwards of 500,000 motorcyle enthusiasts for the annual 10 Day Bike Week in March.
For more information, visit http://DaytonaBeach.com.
Video produced by Ken English, http://mediamojoguy.com, using Animoto and Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD-10 Platinum, with royalty-free music and an edited audio track.