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Vintage Spring Break Photos Make Us Want To Book A Vacation

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VINTAGE SPRING BREAK
Courtesy of Fort Lauderdale Historical Society

Spring break has become a thing of the past for most of us (except for teachers and professors... lucky). And it seems that a few traditional spring break destinations from our college days also have moved away from the decades-old tradition of fun in the sun.

"We haven't been putting marketing dollars toward students [for] well over a decade," confirmed Tangela Boyd, communications manager of Daytona Beach Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Some spring break standbys from boomers' youths have pulled away from promoting spring break to the college set due to the huge costs associated with cleaning up after drunk students.

"Spring break became so much bigger than what it reallly was to the community, and it affected our family travel a lot, so we pulled back from [it]," Boyd said. "People thought it was like that all the time."

The Huffington Post spoke with Fort Lauderdale Historical Society curator Chris Barfield to get a history of the rite of passage in the popular spring break destination:

"We started off in the '30s by hosting intercollegiate swim competitions during Easter break. Our city during the Depression built a big community pool so schools from up the East coast and Midwest -- Michigan, Maine, all the big public Ivys. Instead of freezing, they'd come down for the competition. They'd tell their friends after the competition, how great it was... and slowly we would have people come down during Easter Weekend.

[During the] '30s, '40s and '50s is when you started having more student tourists coming down during break. In 1960 we had the wonderful movie 'Where The Boys Are,' (a coming-of-age movie set in Fort Lauderdale). The year before it premiered we had 6,000 or 7,000 people [visiting] -- the year after it premiered we had 30,000. It's what put Fort Lauderdale on the map as a spring break destination and it just grew and grew and grew.

The beach was just choked with college students. They would trash the beach, and they would trash the town. It got to the point where the clean up that was necessary and the damage that they did and the general discomfort that it caused the community, wasn't worth it. In the 80s a commission basically said 'We're done. Students, you can go somewhere else.' There's no spring break like it used to be. Our beach tourism is 100 percent targeting families -- that's the view [now].

We do still have a good population of boomers here who actually came back [and] remembered Fort Lauderdale from their time, where they went as college kids and drank themselves into oblivion. They're connected to the community in a different way, but spring break is what brought them back. It wasn't all debachery and vandalism and rioting. None of those people would want their children or grandchildren doing what they did.

Maybe not. But in honor of Spring Breaks past, take a look at these vintage vacation pictures, and feel free to add some of your own to the slideshow below.

Also on The Huffington Post

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