March 16 - 1967: Granite from Falmouth used in rebuilt JFK gravesite

1970: Congress authorizes National Seashore funds. 1926: The Space Age was launched in the Bay State
The photo shows Janet Coleman at the Kennedy gravesite on Veterans Day, 1993. Photo credit: Jack Coleman.

1967: Falmouth granite used in rebuilt John F. Kennedy Arlington Cemetery gravesite

Jackie Kennedy found the pink granite at Baker Monument Company

On this day in 1967, it was first reported that the remains of President John F. Kennedy were re-interred at a permanent gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery with granite quarried from Cape Cod.

Members of the Kennedy family, along with his widow, Jacqueline Kennedy, and President Lyndon Johnson, gathered for the blessing of grave by Richard Cardinal Cushing early on the morning after re-interrment.

More than 16 million people had passed the grass-covered plot where Kennedy's body had formerly lain, according to the AP, enclosed by a low picket fence about 20 feet from the new gravesite.

Also re-interred were two infants who preceded Kennedy in death: a son, Patrick, who died two days after his birth in 1963, and an unnamed stillborn daughter who died in 1956.

In a story published in the Barnstable Patriot's Summerscape supplement in 2004, Jim Coogan described how Jacqueline Kennedy was a frequent patron of antique shops dotting Route 28A on the Cape. One of her favorites was The Antiquarian, since closed, on Palmer Avenue in Falmouth.

Mrs. Kennedy asked the owner, O.D. Garland, "to see if he might be able to procure some pink granite," Coogan wrote, "similar to a piece that was part of the entrance way to the antique shop. She wanted it incorporated into the memorial" shown today on the right.

Garland contacted Dick Baker, owner of the Baker Monument Company in Falmouth, who had a "sizable pile of stone from old fireplaces, chimneys and foundations" stockpiled at his business, Coogan wrote. Garland bought granite pieces from Baker and shipped them to the home of Robert and Ethel Kennedy in McLean, Va., where a mason cut the stone to the specifications of architect John Warnecke, who designed the permanent gravesite.

Jacqueline Kennedy was eventually buried there after her death from cancer in 1994.

"The family now rests together near the eternal flame, surrounded by irregular pieces of Cape Cod pink granite from the hills of West Falmouth," Coogan wrote.

1970: Seashore funds authorized

$17.5 million for 43,607 acres acres of waterfront real estate

On this day in 1970 the House passed a bill authorizing funds for the Cape Cod National Seashore Park acquisition.

The CCNSP includes nearly 40 miles of seashore along the Atlantic-facing eastern shore of Cape Cod, in the towns of Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans and Chatham. It is administered by the National Park Service.

Read the story on right.

1926: The Space Age started in Bay State

Clark U's Goddard launches first first liquid-fueled rocket

On this day in 1926, Clark University physics professor Robert Goddard launched the world's first liquid fuel rocket (on right) and with it the space age.

Standing in a snow-covered field in Auburn, Massachusetts, he watched as the rocket he had built rose 41 feet into the air, flew for two and a half seconds, and landed 184 feet away.

Having been widely ridiculed for suggesting that it might be possible for a rocket to reach the moon, he did not publicize his achievement.

It would be another 30 years before Robert Goddard was recognized as the father of modern rocketry.

In May of 1959, NASA named the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland in memory of the brilliant and visionary scientist from Worcester.

The NASA photo on right shows Robert H. Goddard beside his 1926 liquid- fueled rocket. The rocket is on top, receiving its fuel by two lines from the tank at the bottom.


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