On This Day in History…

Cape Hatteras became the country’s first national seashore on August 17, 1937.

“North Carolina Congressman Lindsay C. Warren sponsored the bill that sought to preserve the distinctive barrier islands of the Outer Banks. Because support for the park waxed and waned over the years, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore was not officially established until 1953. The formal dedication ceremony was held in 1958. “1

The national seashore covers 70 miles of reaching from Nags Head to Ocracoke. Three of the seven standing lighthouses in North Carolina stand within the park. Millions of people visit each year to camp, bird watch, climb the lighthouses, and enjoy the beautiful beaches.

An important feature of the national park is the Cape Hatteras lighthouse built in 1802 to warn sailors of one of the most perilous sections of the Atlantic coast nicknamed, Graveyard of the Atlantic. While it was effective, many sailors complained it was neither tall or bright enough. Following the Civil War, congress authorized funds for a new lighthouse which was lit in 1870. It was painted with distinctive black and white stripes and currently shines in a restored state.

Additional resources:

  1. Frank Stick, Lindsay Warren and Cape Hatteras National Seashore,” NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, https://www.ncdcr.gov/blog/2014/08/17/frank-stick-lindsay-warren-and-cape-hatteras-national-seashore.
Lighthouse image via NPS.org