Everglades National Park is the largest protected subtropical area in the United States. The park is home to endangered species such as the manatee and the rare Florida panther.
The area that is now Everglades National Park was originally inhabited by the Calusa Indians. Although their population was decimated when the Spanish arrived in 1513, pieces of their culture remain, including their architectural shell works and intricate canal systems. The Everglades is also home to the HM69 Nike Missile Base, a relic of the Cold War. The base was built after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 as an anti-aircraft missile site. The base was decommissioned in 1979 and is now a popular historical site for park visitors.