Pembroke Pines was incorporated in 1960, and took the name Pembroke from its location along Pembroke Road and the many pine trees in the area. But the name Pembroke dates back much further. The name may have been from an early landowner from Britain known as the Earl of Pembroke.
The first inhabitants estimate in the city are American Indians that first appeared about 4,000 years ago. Skeletal remains of animal hunters dating about 10,000 years old were found around Broward County, showing that perhaps human beings have lived around here even earlier.
The town started as agricultural land occupied by dairy farms and grew after the war as servicemen were retiring, including large eastern sections that were part of the Waldrep Dairy Farm. The first two tiny subdivisions were called Pembroke Pines. One of the first homes in the city belonged to Dr. and Mrs. Walter Smith Kipnis, built in 1956. Dr. Kipnis was also the first mayor. It was then known as the “Village of Pembroke Pines” and was incorporated into a town in 1959. Builders contested the incorporation, so a legal battle was brought out concerning the boundaries of the new town that were incorrectly stated in the ballot. City services were added in the 1960s with the building of the first fire department building near North Perry Airport. However, University Drive was the western edge of habitable land for residents.
In January 1960, Pembroke Pines held another election when the town became a city. This small property was less than a square mile and was between Hollywood Boulevard and SW 72nd Avenue, and had the Florida Turnpike to the east. Pembroke Pines sought to give citizens involvement so they organized the Pembroke Pines Civic Association. The square-mile city was unable to expand due to North Perry Airport and the South Florida State Hospital. Joseph LaCroix, a developer, had his 320 acres (1.3 km2) land north of Pines Boulevard annexed to the city. This gave a new pathway to proceed westward. In 1977, a maximum security prison known as the Broward Correctional Institution was built in northwestern part and Cooper City. It has a capacity for 611 inmates and has academic programs, vocational programs, wellness education services, library services, substance abuse programs, chaplaincy services, institutional betterment programs, and many other programs. In 1980, property from Flamingo Road to U.S. 27 was incorporated into Pembroke Pines, doubling the size of the city. This expansion included the property that is currently C.B. Smith Park as well as the Hollywood Sportatorium and the Miami-Hollywood Motorsports Park. At this time, I-75 was extended through the city.
The city’s rapid population growth in the mid- to late-1990s was part of the effect of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Thousands of southern Miami-Dade County residents moved northward to Broward County, many to Pembroke Pines. The resulting boom ranked the City of Pembroke Pines third in a list of "Fastest Growing Cities" in the United States in 1999. Over the years, the increase in population has caused the need for schools. In 2003, Charles W. Flanagan High School had close to 6,000 students, making it the most populated high school in Florida. In response to Broward County's need to keep up with demands, Mayor Alex Fekete and City Manager Charles Dodge started a Charter School System. As of 2006, Pembroke Pines had the largest Charter School System in the county. The city is also home to campuses for Broward Community College and Florida International University. The city's population has grown from 65,452 in 1990 to 154,750 at the 2010 census.
In 2001, Pembroke Pines was home to the most dangerous road intersection (Pines Boulevard and Flamingo Road) in the United States, according to State Farm Insurance. A bond initiative was passed by city residents to allow the city to begin construction to redesign the intersection. The intersection has since been expanded with additional east/west Pines Boulevard lanes.
Over the past decade as developers expanded Pembroke Pines westward, more hurricanes have affected the city and its residents. In 1999 Hurricane Irene dumped up to 16 inches (410 mm) of rain in the city. The western communities, such as Chapel Trail and Silver Lakes, saw an estimated 19 inches (480 mm). Then in 2004, Hurricane Frances and Jeanne passed to the north (Palm Beach County) but brought tropical storm-force winds and left minor tree and shrub damage. The 2005 Hurricane Season left a mark on the city. Hurricane Katrina passed directly over the city as a category one storm. In its wake, it left some damage such as downed power lines and trees, especially in the Chapel Trail and Silver Lakes developments. In late October Hurricane Wilma's eye passed about 20 miles (32 km) toward the north of the city, which saw the strongest winds its residents had experienced in decades. The strongest wind officially recorded in the city was a 92 mph (148 km/h) sustained wind, with a 101 mph (163 km/h) wind gust. Most of the city was left without power for days, lights at intersections had been destroyed, a riot at a gas station which led to it being closed, most landscaping was destroyed or damaged beyond repair, and left minor structural damage (mainly roof and screen damage). In addition, schools remained closed for two weeks.