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Myrtle Beach History

Once inhabited by the Native American Waccamaw and Winyah tribes, Myrtle Beach history as a beach destination reaches back only into the early 20th century, when railroad employees began taking weekend visits to the towns along the “Grand Strand.” During World War II the town housed an Air Force base used for training and coastal patrols, and that is now the site of the city’s international airport. The area along Long Bay and the Atlantic Ocean was rated as one of this country’s fastest-growing metropolitan area in the 2000 US Census. Franklin Burroughs, a turpentine and naval entrepreneur, is credited with the town’s tourist revolution, using the Florida beaches as inspiration, while the name comes from a locally popular shrub, the Southern Wax Myrtle.
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