June 3 - 1961: The White House moves to Cape Cod

1893: America's first park system created by Massachusetts. 2007: Visa delays hold up seasonal staffers
The Camelot couple in front of the Compound with their daughter Caroline.

1893: Massachusetts creates Nation's first Regional Park system

Youngest-ever Governor creates first park 20 years ahead of Washington

On this day in 1893, Governor William Eustis Russell (on right) , the youngest person ever elected as the state's governor at 34, signed a bill creating the Metropolitan Parks Commission, the nation's first regional park system.

It was the result of planning and politicking by a group of far-sighted Bostonians concerned about rapidly disappearing open space. With its first funding, the new commission acquired over 7,000 acres in the space of 18 months.

By 1900, it had protected 9,000 acres and built nine scenic parkways within 12 miles of Boston. To put that achievement into perspective, that's over 20 percent as big as our own Cape Cod National Seashore Park, and it's in an urban setting, and today that system is even larger.

Two decades ahead of Washington

The federal government didn't do the same for the rest of America for twenty years. The National Park Service (NPS) is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks including our own 3,500 acre Cape Cod National Seashore Park with its 0 miles of shorefront was created on August 25, 1961, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act.

1961: A White House on Cape Cod

Hyannisport Is Bracing for the Summer Return Flow of Tourists and Official Visitors

On this day, June 3, 1961, Cape Cod, and especially Hyannis Port was bracing for the first wave of the Kennedy Camelot as it was getting ready to move here for the summer months.

The lead story that Sunday in the New York Times Travel section had the headline above, and the first paragraph read:

FALMOUTH, Mass. -- With prospects of becoming the summer capital of the United States during the current Administration, Cape Cod is expected to take on the aspect of a sort of latter-day Camelot as soon as President Kennedy and his family move from Washington into their summer home at near-by Hyannis Port... 

The story went on to state that most Cape Town Meetings earlier in the spring had voted for additional funds for added police during summer to handle the thousands of extra sightseers who would be attracted here because of the enormous popularity of Jack and Jackie Kennedy.

It would be impossible to exaggerate the tremendous impact this event had on our county, and it reverberates in ever-lessening shock waves until this very day. See the actual copy below.


2007: Déjà vu all over again - Cape suffers worker shortage

Visa delays hold up seasonal staffers

On this day in 2007 it was reported that an already labor-starved Cape Cod is facing yet another challenge this year when it comes to hiring enough summer employees to work at its hotels, restaurants, landscaping firms and other businesses. Employers say the bureaucratic process for hiring seasonal immigrant workers, who must come to the country with H-2b visas, was tougher and slower this year than in the past.

The result: Delays in issuing visas, higher application costs and fewer desperately needed workers...  “It’s been a really difficult situation,” said Bill Zammer, owner of four establishments on the Cape, including the Coonamessett Inn and Flying Bridge restaurant in Falmouth.  Zammer said he eventually got the workers he needed this year, but he had to spend more money on visa application appeals and some immigrant workers arrived later than normal in the season.

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