Minimize Cape Cod National Seashore

It was a sense of both looking forward and backward that led Kennedy and the United States government to establish Cape Cop National Seashore. The land was set aside for the sake of recreation, natural beauty, and history. But the creation of the park also set a new precedent.

Unlike most previous national parks, which were usually carved out of rural public lands in the South and West, the Cape Cod was smacked in the middle of established East Coast development. It was the first time the U.S. government created a park out of land that was primarily in private hands. Today, Cape Cod National Seashore spans 40 miles of coast.

Landsat 8 captured these natural-colour images of Cape Cod on August 23, 2016. Yellow lines denote the borders of the park, which blend with and run around six towns.

The entirety of Cape Cod is a piece of geologic history, a reminder of the last Ice Age. Retreating ice sheets dumped rock and sand on the landscape, and rising seas shaped and sculpted the massive sandbar that some scientists believe to be the largest glacial peninsula on Earth. Mixed in with those sands are thousands of years of Native American history from the "people of the first light" (the Wampanoag).

Cape Cod National Seashore also preserves some more modern pieces of history. Italian inventor and electrical engineer Guglielmo Marconi worked from locations in Wellfleet and Eastham to test his new wireless communications technology—what we now call radio. In January 1903, he sent the first complete message in Morse code across the Atlantic Ocean, transmitting a 300-letter greeting from President Teddy Roosevelt to King Edward VII of England.

View the full resolution image.

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory - Additional editing by the eoPortal team.

Cape Cod

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