The Regional Review

Volume I - No. 1

July, 1938


Creation of a new National Historical Park, transfer to the Service of the historic First Landing Dune at Cape Henry, appropriations for parkway reconnaissance and development, and recognition through fiscal procedure of the permanency of the four Regional Offices were features of the legislative program voted by the third session of the Seventy. Fifth Congress and approved by the President.

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Authorization for the establishment of Saratoga National Historical Park brings into the Service the third federal reservation of the Colonial-Morristown category. Situated in the Hudson River valley where it is readily accessible to large numbers of visitors, the Saratoga battlefield embraces the site where General Burgoyne, on October 17, 1777, surrendered his army of more than 5,000 men to General Gates. The American victory thwarted the British plan to cut the Revolution in two and marked the turning point of the struggle for independence.

It brought France openly to the side of the Patriots who thus received much needed money, supplies, ships and men. Through the aid of the French fleet, sea control was gained in 1781 and the army of Cornwallis ultimately was forced to yield at Yorktown. The nucleus of the park will be a 1,429 acre area acquired 12 years ago by New York State upon which considerable restorative work already has been carried out. The Service will complete its boundary study within the next five months.

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The Cape Henry Landing Dune, where America's first permanent English colonists came ashore April 26, 1607, before proceeding to Jamestown, became a part of Colonial National Historical Park as the result of a bill approved by the President in mid-June. The 100-square foot area, which had been administered by the Army as a part of the Fort Story reservation, includes a granite memorial marking the site where, the colonists set up a wooden cross and gave thanks for their safe crossing of the Atlantic. The new acquisition will supplement the important historical chapter now presented at Colonial.

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Administration by the Service of the Natchez Trace, an ancient route leading from Natchez, Miss., to Nashville, Tenn., was provided by another Act of Congress, and still another authorized a survey of the Oglethorpe National Trail and Parkway along a trace which once linked Savannah and Augusta, Ga. Meanwhile, the Blue Ridge Parkway, first great national enterprise of its type, received new appropriations totaling $5,500,000. One-half of the entire 500 mile Parkway, connecting the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, soon will be under development.

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Approval of the Department of the Interior Appropriations Bill gave recognition to the Regions as permanent parts of the National Park Service organization when it specifically set aside funds for their routine operations.

Approximately $286,000,000 was appropriated for operating 1,500 CCC camps during the fiscal year with a continental enrollment of 300,000.

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Expenses incident to the observance in September of the 75th anniversary of the battles commemorated. by Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park will be defrayed by the Government in accordance with a joint resolution of Congress. The memorial program will be held from September 18 to 24.

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Similar action provided for the 75th anniversary ceremonies at Gettysburg National Military Park where approximately 1,300 veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic and 500 United Confederate Veterans joined July 1-3 in an impressive final reunion. The program reached its climax when the President dedicated the Eternal Light Peace Memorial on which an ingeniously contrived flame now burns night and day.

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Attendance figures which sometimes exceed 1,000 persons on "off days" of the mid-week and reach 6,000 on Sundays are inaugurating the public bathing and picnicking area which was opened this month at Swift Creek Recreational Demonstration Area, 7,500-acre reservation situated about 20 miles south of Richmond.

One of the comparatively few projects where day use areas have been developed sufficiently to permit general public visitation, Swift Creek greeted an inrush of recreationists whose numbers far exceeded the expectations of planners. Extension of parking, bathhouse checking and refreshments facilities was begun within ten days after the opening of the new lake section and workers still are racing to provide accommodations for a total of 1,100 automobiles.

Recreational and educational activities at the demonstration area are being supervised by a newly formed Swift Creek Recreational Council composed of Richmond residents. Numerous handicraft classes and group competitions are sponsored. Meanwhile, an organized camp at the reservation is occupied five days a week by members of the Virginia Association of the Future Farmers of America.

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One hundred sixty-four Regional Office workers have enrolled in the Richmond National Park Service Association which was organized April 30 to promote the physical, recreational and economic welfare of its members. A dance, a weekend outing and formation of a softball league are among the activities in which the new group has participated. Several committees are at work on arrangements for an interesting program to be carried out this year.

Associate Regional Director Herbert Evison was chosen president of the Association at a general election held May 18 when nine members of the staff were named to the Board of Trustees. Other officers and board members are: Ira B. Lykes, first vice-president; K. A. Tappscott, second vice-president; C. C. Stutts, treasurer; Mrs. Christine F. C. Tayloe, secretary; Miss Mary Kane, Mrs. Ellen Lindsay, C. C. Jaquette and W. S. Bhalman.

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Date: 04-Jul-2002