August 3 - 1986: Train service to Cape Cod begins again

1923: Bay State's Calvin Coolidge became president
The Cape Codder leaving Buzzards Bay on its return trip to NYC. The cocktail of the same name only cost $2.25 twenty-two years ago and even a first class ticket was just $116 round trip.

1923: Another President from the Bay State sworn in

Calvin Coolidge had been Massachusetts Governor

On this day in 1923, upon the death of Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as President of the United States. "Silent Cal" had been the Republican governor of Massachusetts, little known outside the state, until the Boston police strike of 1919 catapulted him into the national spotlight.

Coolidge was quick to gain political advantage from the situation. "There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time," he proclaimed. In this turbulent period, when many Americans feared the country was being overrun by immigrants, radicals, and militant trade unionists, the voters found his law and order stance and his image as an old-fashioned, rustic Yankee farmer profoundly reassuring. Within a year of the strike, Coolidge was elected Vice President.

1986: Rail service to Cape has caught on

A Cape Codder cost $2.25 and the round trip only $70

On this day in 1986, Amtrak started rail service to Cape Cod for the first time in 22 years. The New York Times story that day heralded the event this way:

Before they boarded Amtrak Train No. 270 last Saturday morning, Mark Zelek and Alicia Castilla, two Manhattan lawyers, had talked about a Cape Cod vacation for almost two years. In addition to the lure of sand and sun, Mr. Zelek's family in Harwich, Mass., had been lobbying for a visit, especially since their daughter, Alicia Zelek Castilla, was born 10 weeks ago.  The couple's plans were haunted, however, by the reality of getting to the Cape...

''Cape Cod was the most difficult place to travel to,'' said Mr. Zelek, who is 30-years-old, as he enjoyed his first ride on the Cape Codder, Amtrak's new weekend service from New York City to Cape Cod. It is the first regular passenger service on the 250-mile route in 22 years. Relaxing on the way...  Since July 3, hundreds of people have taken the scenic six-hour trip between Pennsylvania Station and Hyannis. Despite limited advertising, the service, which will run until Sept. 14, has caught on quickly.

Last weekend passengers applauded the train and celebrated an exclusive addition to its menu, a tart concoction of cranberry juice and vodka, the Cape Codder Cocktail ($2.25). 

''It's the nicest way you can spend six hours going place to place,'' said Maron J. Simon, a retired 79-year-old businessman from Manhattan who was traveling first class to Hyannis ($116 round trip) on his way to Chatham, Mass. $70 round trip for coach ''It's elegant,'' he said. ''The only thing you can't do is watch the Mets game.'' 

Read the rest of the article here.


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