The Day It Snowed In Miami, a documentary showcasing South Florida's role in the gay-rights movement, covers the political battle lines in Miami in 1977 when LGBT activists sought approval of a then-controversial human rights law. Singer and orange juice pitchwoman Anita Bryant led the opposition.
The film's title serves as a metaphor: The ordinance that sparked the outrage was debated by Dade County commissioners on an uncharacteristically frigid night, and some opponents at the time remarked that the ordinance would pass "when hell freezes over." The morning after the ordinance was approved — Jan. 19, 1977 — Miamians woke up to snowflakes for the first and so far only time.
The 86-minute film, presented by the Miami Herald Media Company and WPBT-Channel 2, broadcast nationally on PBS and screened at South Florida theaters. The documentary was honored with a regional Emmy Award as "Best Historical Documentary" during the 38th annual Suncoast Emmy Awards gala in Fort Lauderdale in December.
The film also was honored with the prestigious 2014 Aurora Award for "great technical execution, good variety of material sources, clear, in-depth interviews."