By the late 50's the annual congregation of college students in Ft Lauderdale began to draw the attention of national media, which at that time were Time Magazine, Look Magazine and Life Magazine. A coed interviewed by Life Magazine explained that she had come to Ft Lauderdale because "this is where the boys are."
A Michigan State English professor Glendon Swarthout wrote a comic novel about the "coming of age" of four collegiate girls during spring vacation titled "Where The boys Are." The novel was optioned by MGM and production began immediately on location in Ft Lauderdale.
"Where the Boys Are" premiered at Fort Lauderdale's Gateway Theatre on Sunrise Boulevard on December 21, 1960.
The movie met with great success and popularized the annual event spreading the myth throughout the nation of the epic journey of college-age men and women to the idyllic shores of Florida--Ft. Lauderdale, to be precise--to find fun, sun, and true love. With the balladic crooning of Connie Francis ringing in their ears, thousands of college students began finding their way to Florida in droves, seeking to escape the challenges of their studies in a place where romance and good times were always close at hand.
The "College Student Invasion" began 90 days later in March of 1961 with over 50,000 college students arriving in Ft Lauderdale overwheming the 80,000 local residents.