The Day Zorita and Her Snake Slowed Traffic to a Crawl in Downtown Miami, 1939

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Wednesday, Feb. 22, 1939: A 21 year-old exotic dancer named “Zorita” takes her snake for a noon-time stroll on busy Flagler Street in downtown Miami. A large crowd gathers to watch the spectacle, spilling into the street. Traffic soon slows to a crawl.

Miami Daily News, Feb. 22, 1939.

The cops are called and Zorita and her snake are on their way to police department.

“The only way we could disperse the crowd and free traffic from a snarl was to bring her and the snake in,” one of the cops told his bosses.

The Miami Daily News quotes a few veteran cops as saying, “The whole thing smacks of a publicity gag.”

Publicity? No way, says Zorita, “We only were taking the morning breeze.”

Two days later, this ad runs in the back pages of the Daily News.

Miami Daily News, Feb. 24, 1939.

That ad in the News was just the first of hundreds of ads for Zorita and her snake that would run in Miami newspapers over the next four decades.

Miami Daily News, May 27, 1955.

Miami News, Dec. 14, 1958.

Zorita died in 2001 at age 85.

(via Random Pixels Blog)

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