Key West

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Key West,

city (1990 pop. 24,832), seat of Monroe co., S Fla., on an island at the southwestern extremity of the Florida KeysFlorida Keys,
chain of coral and limestone islands and reefs, c.150 mi (240 km) long, extending from Virginia Key, S of Miami Beach, to Key West, and forming the southern extremity of Florida.
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; inc. 1828. About 150 mi (240 km) from Miami (but only 90 mi/145 km from Cuba), it is the southernmost city of the continental United States. It is a port of entry and a cruise-ship stop, a popular resort with a tropical climate, a shrimping and fishing center, and an artists' colony. Tropical fruits are harvested, but tourism is central to the economy.

Early Spanish sailors called the site Cayo Hueso (Bone Island), because of the human bones they found there. A railroad (completed 1912) linked the Keys with the mainland. It was abandoned after being damaged by a hurricane in 1935 and was replaced by the 123-mi (198-km) Overseas Highway (completed in 1938). After a severe economic decline, the federal government took over (1934) the bankrupt city.

Places of interest include a sponge pier, an aquarium, a lighthouse (1846; replacing one built in 1825), Mallory Square (a daily sunset-viewing point), and two Civil War forts. John James AudubonAudubon, John James
, 1785–1851, American ornithologist, b. Les Cayes, Santo Domingo (now Haiti). The illegitimate son of a French sea captain and plantation owner and a Creole chambermaid who died months after his birth, he was educated in France and in 1803 came to live
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 and Winslow HomerHomer, Winslow,
1836–1910, American landscape, marine, and genre painter. Homer was born in Boston, where he later worked as a lithographer and illustrator. In 1861 he was sent to the Civil War battlefront as correspondent for Harper's Weekly,
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 painted in Key West, and the city was used as a setting in the works of Ernest HemingwayHemingway, Ernest,
1899–1961, American novelist and short-story writer, b. Oak Park, Ill. one of the great American writers of the 20th cent. Life

The son of a country doctor, Hemingway worked as a reporter for the Kansas City Star
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, who once lived there. His home (built 1851) was made a museum, as was the Little White House, President Harry S. TrumanTruman, Harry S.,
1884–1972, 33d President of the United States, b. Lamar, Mo. Early Life and Political Career

He grew up on a farm near Independence, Mo., worked at various jobs, and tended the family farm.
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's personal retreat.


See C. Cox, A Key West Companion (1983).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Key West


a city in the southeastern United States, in the state of Florida, on the island of Key West. It is connected by highway (extending through the chain of coral islands on bridges and dikes) with the peninsula of Florida. Population, 27,600 (1970). The city is a winter sea resort. There is fishing.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Explore some of Key West's most historic and charming sights, such as the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, a grand property in which this famous author lived for almost 10 years and produced some of his best work, (
In addition to fascinating antique photographs, and high-quality reproductions of important documents, The Jews of Key West includes woodcuts by the beloved Cuban folk artist Mario Sanchez.
Caption: NWS Key West. The WFO in the Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma.
In Key West and neighboring Stock Island, those numbers are even higher, with 95 percent available.
With regard to feeding the crew, the food service division (S-2/S-5) met every requirement as it provided 1,200 boxed lunches to sustain Iwo Jima Sailors in Key West who had volunteered to work at distribution centers ashore.
Key West Bar & Grill opens early evening for guests to create memorable experiences with sundowners, aperitif hour and dishes from a trinity of cuisines.
Recognized as one of the country's premier tourist destinations, Key West has strong leisure appeal for both domestic and international visitors.
We headed home just before dusk and checked in at Ibis Bay in Key West proper.
15, Miami-based charter company Air MarBrisa will offer charter flights from Key West International Airport to Havana's Jose Marti International Airport for small groups of qualifying travelers.
SOUNDBITE 3 Chris Mullins (man), restaurant manager, Key West (English, 10 sec):
Dubai: Middle East rally star Nasser Al Attiyah will join Shaikh Hassan Bin Jaber Al Thani in the Qatar Team as he makes his powerboating debut at November's Key West World Championships in Florida.
KEY WEST, David Wolkowsky, is selling his private island Ballast Key.