When Pres. John F. Kennedy established the Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961, it was acclaimed as the "finest victory ever recorded for the cause of conservation in New England."
When erosion and overdevelopment threatened the Cape, the idea of a national seashore took hold, forever protecting this treasured place. The park preserves 44,000 acres of forest, marsh, bog, and ponds, and a 40-mile stretch from Provincetown to Chatham, which Henry David Thoreau called the "Great Beach." Unlike other national parks at the time, the Cape Cod National Seashore was created from a combination of private, town, state, and federal lands. Cape Cod National Seashore: The First 50 Years captures the political drama of the creation of this extraordinary seashore. Images detail an early Native American presence and the romance of whaling, shipwrecks, lighthouses, windmills, and dune shacks.