April 23 - 1914: Cape Cod Canal opens before Panama Canal

2006: Christy Mihos freaks out GOP. 2007: Nor'easter wrecks over two dozen navigation buoys
Belmont ceremoniously blended bottles of water from both bays before opening the final sluiceway. As the waters trickled through, Belmont and Parsons shook hands; the long awaited completion of the Cape Cod Canal was now in sight.

1914: Foley's Dike sluiceway opened, Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod Bay come together

To open for boat traffic in June

On this day in 1914, a story in the New York Times heralded the opening of waters from both our bays into the canal.  The headline read:

Flood Let Into Cape Cod Canal,
August Belmont Officiating.

Apr 23, 1914  BUZZARD'S BAY, Mass., In the presence of August Belmont, President of the Cape Cod Canal Construction Company, and other dignitaries, the sluiceway in Foley's Dike, connecting Cape Cod Bay and Buzzard's Bay, was opened this morning, and the water rushed through and intermingled in one continuous waterway.

August Belmont said, "May the meeting of these waters bring happiness and prosperity to our country and save some of the misery which the waters together of the Cape have caused in the past."

Canal opened three months before the Panama Canal

04-23-08-canal_opened_to_both_bays_573Three months later, on July 29, 1914, the Cape Cod Canal opened as a privately operated toll waterway. The festive Parade of Ships included the excursion steamer Rose Standish, the destroyer McDougall carrying the then Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Belmont's eighty-one foot yacht, the Scout.

Mr. Belmont had achieved his objective of opening the Cape Cod Canal before the Panama Canal, which opened on August 15, 1914, seventeen days later.

Although the charter depth was twenty-five feet, Belmont decided to open the Canal with a controlling depth of only fifteen feet. By opening at a lesser channel depth, Belmont could then begin to receive revenue from ships using the partially completed Canal. Belmont hoped that once the charter depth was achieved, more tug and barge traffic would find the Canal an attractive route.

Traffic steadily increased with the continued deepening of the Canal. In 1915, with the channel twenty feet deep, 2,689 vessel transits were recorded; the following year the number of vessel transits reached 4,634 with a gross tonnage of 3.5 million. However, the original Canal never achieved the level of traffic or revenue its investors had envisioned.

2007: Over two dozen navigation buoys found ravaged by Nor'easter

Coast Guard begins assessment and repairs

Following a severe spring Nor'easter earlier this week in 2007, the Coast Guard is urging mariners to use extreme caution while underway as numerous aids to navigation throughout New England waters have been damaged by the storm.

The photo above were taken by the Coast Guard on  Thursday.  The cottages in the bottom half are now on an island and can only by reached by boat.  Two of them sold recently for $1 million.

Two dozen navigation aids missing 

Upon initial assessment, the Coast Guard determined that more than two dozen aids were either not working, missing or adrift with some washed up on the shore.  With this discovery, the Coast Guard immediately initiated planning for recovery and repairs.

To further evaluate the extent of damage, Coast Guard auxiliary aircraft and an HU-25 Falcon jet from Air Station Cape Cod are flying offshore and coastal patrols.  Arrangements have been made at Coast Guard buoy depot sites to ensure an adequate stock of hardware, such as new chain, buoy anchors, etc. will be readily available to complete all repairs. 

Although an initial assessment indicated that no main shipping channels would be grossly affected, many Coast Guard land units from Maine to New Jersey are broadcasting notifications to warn mariners of affected areas.  Coast Guard aid-to-navigation teams are working to repair or replace the damaged aids, but the expected time of full restoration is not yet known.

(Above photos: The Coast Guard has been flying recons looking for missing buoys. Yesterday they also started checking on the new breakthrough in the barrier beach. Below that a USCG navigation boat prepares to transit back to the station after recovering several buoys. One of the station’s many missions is aids to navigation. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas Johnson.)

2006: Christy freaks out GOP - they now want him in primary

Healey urges Mihos to run as Republican, guarantees spot in GOP primary

On this day in 2006, Christy Mihos of Yarmouth, a former Massachusetts Turnpike board member and lifelong Republican, alleged he had been shut out of the party nomination battle by Kerry Healey loyalists, and hasn't yet declared whether he'll run as an independent or Republican.

MS. Healey is backed by Gov. Mitt Romney.

House Minority leader Brad Jones, who chaired the GOP convention for Healey, pledged in a letter to Mihos released publicly on Monday that he would secure enough delegate votes for Mihos to get him a spot on the primary ballot.

Party rules require a candidate for statewide office to get 15 percent of the vote at the April Republican state convention in order to have their name on the primary ballot in September.

Mihos said he appreciates the "olive branch," but added "we're in the process right now of trying to reach as many Republicans as possible and see that we can do this on our own."

In the election that Fall the state Republicans were creamed nearly 2 to 1 by the Democrats; Deval Patrick (D) 1,230,065, 56% vs. Kerry Healey (R) 779,807, 35%.

Christy tried again in 2010, but failed to get enough votes at the GOP Convention to be on the September Primary ballot, and he graciously pledged to support the party's choice, Charlie Baker who went on to ose to Deval Patrick. Baker ran again in 2014 and beat Attorney General Martha Coakley.

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