Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, it is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world. Columbia was established as King's College by royal charter of George II of Great Britain in reaction to the founding of Princeton University in New Jersey, it was renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the Revolutionary War and in 1787 was placed under a private board of trustees headed by former students Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In 1896, the campus was moved from Madison Avenue to its current location in Morningside Heights and renamed Columbia University. Columbia scientists and scholars have played an important role in the development of notable scientific fields and breakthroughs including: brain-computer interface.
The Columbia University Physics Department has been affiliated with 33 Nobel Prize winners as alumni, faculty or research staff, the third most of any American institution behind MIT and Harvard. In addition, 22 Nobel Prize winners in Physiology and Medicine have been affiliated with Columbia, the third most of any American institution; the university's research efforts include the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Goddard Institute for Space Studies and accelerator laboratories with major technology firms such as IBM. Columbia is one of the fourteen founding members of the Association of American Universities and was the first school in the United States to grant the M. D. degree. The university administers the Pulitzer Prize annually. Columbia is organized into twenty schools, including three undergraduate schools and numerous graduate schools, it maintains research centers outside of the United States known as Columbia Global Centers. In 2018, Columbia's undergraduate acceptance rate was 5.1%, making it one of the most selective colleges in the United States, the second most selective in the Ivy League after Harvard.
Columbia is ranked as the 3rd best university in the United States by U. S. News & World Report behind Princeton and Harvard. In athletics, the Lions field varsity teams in 29 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference; the university's endowment stood at $10.9 billion in 2018, among the largest of any academic institution. As of 2018, Columbia's alumni and affiliates include: five Founding Fathers of the United States — among them an author of the United States Constitution and co-author of the Declaration of Independence. S. presidents. Discussions regarding the founding of a college in the Province of New York began as early as 1704, at which time Colonel Lewis Morris wrote to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, the missionary arm of the Church of England, persuading the society that New York City was an ideal community in which to establish a college. However, it was not until the founding of the College of New Jersey across the Hudson River in New Jersey that the City of New York considered founding a college.
In 1746, an act was passed by the general assembly of New York to raise funds for the foundation of a new college. In 1751, the assembly appointed a commission of ten New York residents, seven of whom were members of the Church of England, to direct the funds accrued by the state lottery towards the foundation of a college. Classes were held in July 1754 and were presided over by the college's first president, Dr. Samuel Johnson. Dr. Johnson was the only instructor of the college's first class, which consisted of a mere eight students. Instruction was held in a new schoolhouse adjoining Trinity Church, located on what is now lower Broadway in Manhattan; the college was founded on October 31, 1754, as King's College by royal charter of King George II, making it the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States. In 1763, Dr. Johnson was succeeded in the presidency by Myles Cooper, a graduate of The Queen's College, an ardent Tory. In the charged political climate of the American Revolution, his chief opponent in discussions at the college was an undergraduate of the class of 1777, Alexander Hamilton.
The American Revolutionary War broke out in 1776, was catastrophic for the operation of King's College, which suspended instruction for eight years beginning in 1776 with the arrival of the Continental Army. The suspension continued through the military occupation of New York City by British troops until their departure in 1783; the college's library was looted and its sole building requisitioned for use as a military hospital first by American and British forces. Loyalists were forced to abandon their King's College in New York, seized by the rebels and renamed Columbia College; the Loyalists, led by Bishop Charles Inglis fled to Windsor, Nova Scotia, where the
National Library of Australia
The National Library of Australia is the largest reference library in Australia, responsible under the terms of the National Library Act for "maintaining and developing a national collection of library material, including a comprehensive collection of library material relating to Australia and the Australian people." In 2012–13, the National Library collection comprised 6,496,772 items, an additional 15,506 metres of manuscript material. It is located in Parkes, Canberra, ACT; the National Library of Australia, while formally established by the passage of the National Library Act 1960, had been functioning as a national library rather than a Parliamentary Library since its inception. In 1901, a Commonwealth Parliamentary Library was established to serve the newly formed Federal Parliament of Australia. From its inception the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library was driven to development of a national collection. In 1907 the Joint Parliamentary Library Committee under the Chairmanship of the Speaker, Sir Frederick William Holder defined the objective of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library in the following words: The Library Committee is keeping before it the ideal of building up, for the time when Parliament shall be established in the Federal Capital, a great Public Library on the lines of the world-famed Library of Congress at Washington.
The present library building was opened on 15 August 1968 by Prime Minister John Gorton. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Bunning and Madden in the Late Twentieth Century Stripped Classical style; the foyer is decorated in marble, with stained-glass windows by Leonard French and three tapestries by Mathieu Matégot. The building was listed on the Australian Commonwealth Heritage List on 22 June 2004. In 2012–13 the Library collection comprised 6,496,772 items, with an estimated additional 2,325,900 items held in the manuscripts collection; the Library's collections of Australiana have developed into the nation's single most important resource of materials recording the Australian cultural heritage. Australian writers and illustrators are sought and well represented—whether published in Australia or overseas; the Library's collection includes all formats of material, from books, journals and manuscripts to pictures, maps, oral history recordings, manuscript papers and ephemera.
92.1% of the Library's collection has been catalogued and is discoverable through the online catalogue. The Library has digitized over 174,000 items from its collection and, where possible, delivers these directly across the Internet; the Library is a world leader in digital preservation techniques, maintains an Internet-accessible archive of selected Australian websites called the Pandora Archive. The Library collects material produced by Australians, for Australians or about the Australian experience in all formats—not just printed works—books, newspapers, posters and printed ephemera—but online publications and unpublished material such as manuscripts and oral histories. A core Australiana collection is that of John A. Ferguson; the Library has particular collection strengths in the performing arts, including dance. The Library's considerable collections of general overseas and rare book materials, as well as world-class Asian and Pacific collections which augment the Australiana collections.
The print collections are further supported by extensive microform holdings. The Library maintains the National Reserve Braille Collection; the Library houses the largest and most developing research resource on Asia in Australia, the largest Asian language collections in the Southern hemisphere, with over half a million volumes in the collection, as well as extensive online and electronic resources. The Library collects resources about all Asian countries in Western languages extensively, resources in the following Asian languages: Burmese, Persian, Japanese, Korean, Manchu, Thai and Vietnamese; the Library has acquired a number of important Western and Asian language scholarly collections from researchers and bibliophiles. These collections include: Australian Buddhist Library Collection Braga Collection Claasz Collection Coedes Collection London Missionary Society Collection Luce Collection McLaren-Human Collection Otley Beyer Collection Sakakibara Collection Sang Ye Collection Simon Collection Harold S. Williams Collection The Asian Collections are searchable via the National Library's catalogue.
The National Library holds an extensive collection of manuscripts. The manuscript collection contains about 26 million separate items, covering in excess of 10,492 meters of shelf space; the collection relates predominantly to Australia, but there are important holdings relating to Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and the Pacific. The collection holds a number of European and Asian manuscript collections or single items have been received as part of formed book collections; the Australian manuscript collections date from the period of maritime exploration and settlement in the 18th century until the present, with the greatest area of strength dating from the 1890s onwards. The collection includes a large number of outstanding single items, such as the 14th century Chertsey Cartulary, the journal of James Cook on the HM Bark Endeavour, inscribed on t
A given name is a part of a person's personal name. It identifies a person, differentiates that person from the other members of a group who have a common surname; the term given name refers to the fact that the name is bestowed upon a person to a child by their parents at or close to the time of birth. A Christian name, a first name, given at baptism, is now typically given by the parents at birth. In informal situations, given names are used in a familiar and friendly manner. In more formal situations, a person's surname is more used—unless a distinction needs to be made between people with the same surname; the idioms "on a first-name basis" and "being on first-name terms" refer to the familiarity inherent in addressing someone by their given name. By contrast, a surname, inherited, is shared with other members of one's immediate family. Regnal names and religious or monastic names are special given names bestowed upon someone receiving a crown or entering a religious order; such a person typically becomes known chiefly by that name.
The order given name – family name known as the Western order, is used throughout most European countries and in countries that have cultures predominantly influenced by European culture, including North and South America. The order family name – given name known as the Eastern order, is used in East Asia, as well as in Southern and North-Eastern parts of India, in Hungary; this order is common in Austria and Bavaria, in France, Belgium and Italy because of the influence of bureaucracy, which puts the family name before the given name. In China and Korea, part of the given name may be shared among all members of a given generation within a family and extended family or families, in order to differentiate those generations from other generations; the order given name – father's family name – mother's family name is used in Spanish-speaking countries to acknowledge the families of both parents. Today the order can be changed in Spain and Uruguay using given name – mother's family name – father's family name.
The order given name – mother's family name – father's family name is used in Portuguese-speaking countries to acknowledge the families of both parents. In many Western cultures, people have more than one given name. One of those, not the first in succession might be used as the name which that person goes by, such as in the cases of John Edgar Hoover and Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland. A child's given name or names are chosen by the parents soon after birth. If a name is not assigned at birth, one may be given at a naming ceremony, with family and friends in attendance. In most jurisdictions, a child's name at birth is a matter of public record, inscribed on a birth certificate, or its equivalent. In western cultures, people retain the same given name throughout their lives. However, in some cases these names may be changed by repute. People may change their names when immigrating from one country to another with different naming conventions. In certain jurisdictions, a government-appointed registrar of births may refuse to register a name that may cause a child harm, considered offensive or which are deemed impractical.
In France, the agency can refer the case to a local judge. Some jurisdictions, such as Sweden, restrict the spelling of names. Parents may choose a name because of its meaning; this may be a personal or familial meaning, such as giving a child the name of an admired person, or it may be an example of nominative determinism, in which the parents give the child a name that they believe will be lucky or favourable for the child. Given names most derive from the following categories: Aspirational personal traits. For example, the name Clement means "merciful". English examples include Faith and August. Occupations, for example George means "earth-worker", i.e. "farmer". Circumstances of birth, for example Thomas meaning "twin" or the Latin name Quintus, traditionally given to the fifth male child. Objects, for example Peter means "rock" and Edgar means "rich spear". Physical characteristics, for example Calvin means "bald". Variations on another name to change the sex of the name or to translate from another language.
Surnames, for example Winston and Ross. Such names can honour other branches of a family, where the surname would not otherwise be passed down. Places, for example Brittany and Lorraine. Time of birth, for example day of the week, as in Kofi Annan, whose given name means "born on Friday", or the holiday on which one was born, for example, the name Natalie meaning "born on Christmas day" in Latin. Tuesday, May, or June. Combination of the above, for example the Armenian name Sirvart means "love rose". In many cultures, given names are reused to commemorate ancestors or those who are admired, resulting in a limited repertoire of names that sometimes vary by orthography; the most familiar example of this, to Western readers, is the use of Biblical and saints' names in most of the Christian countries (with Ethiopia, in which names were ideals or abstractions
The Philolexian Society of Columbia University is one of the oldest college literary and debate societies in the United States, the oldest student group at Columbia. Founded in 1802, the Society aims to "improve its members in Oratory and Forensic Discussion." The name Philolexia is Greek for "love of discourse," and the society's motto is the Latin word Surgam, meaning "I shall rise." The society traces its roots to a literary society founded by Alexander Hamilton in the 1770s. Philolexian has been called the "oldest thing at Columbia except the College itself," and it has been an integral part of Columbia from the beginning, providing the institution with everything from its colors, Philolexian Blue, to some of its most solemn traditions and many of its most noted graduates. Members are admitted after a selective evaluation process and are sworn to secrecy thereafter. Philolexian is one of many literary societies that flourished at the nation's early colonial colleges. Before fraternities and other extracurriculars became common, these groups—which bore Greek or Latin names—were the sole source of undergraduate social life.
Indeed, it was not unusual for two or more groups to coexist at one institution in competition. Surviving examples include Institute of 1770 of Harvard University. Yale University has a number of student literary and political societies with similar purposes, the most notable being the Elizabethan Club and the Yale Political Union. Columbia's first such society was formed in the 1770s, when the school was still known as King's College. After the Revolution, a similar group known as the Columbia College Society for Progress in Letters was formed. C. and Daniel D. Tompkins, vice president of the United States under James Monroe; the group became extinct in 1795. Building on these earlier efforts, Philolexian was established on May 17, 1802. Among its earliest members were future Columbia president Nathaniel Fish Moore, Alexander Hamilton's son, James Alexander Hamilton, U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. To accommodate freshmen, who were ineligible for admission, the Peithologian Society was formed four years later.
For most of the next 100 years, Peithologian would serve as Philolexian's primary literary rival. For most of the 19th century, Philo engaged in a wide range of literary activities, including debates within and without the society, essay writing and hosting speeches by eminent men of the city. In 1852, at the organization's semi-centennial celebration, alumni raised a prize fund of over $1,300 to endow annual awards in three categories: Oratory and Essay. In the 20th century, Philo broadened its range of activities as it became a training ground for essayist Randolph Bourne, poet A. Joyce Kilmer, statesman V. K. Wellington Koo, all prize winners in their time at Philo. In 1910 the society took a decidedly dramatic turn when it commenced a 20-year stretch of annual theatre productions, ranging from Elizabethan comedies to contemporary works. Many of the older productions, by the likes of Ben Jonson, Nicholas Udall, Robert Greene, were North American debuts. Oscar-winning screenwriter Sidney Buchman got a start playing Shakespeare's Richard II for a Philo production.
Although Philolexian members during the Great Depression included such figures as future Pulitzer Prize-winning poet John Berryman and publisher Robert Giroux and noted Trappist monk and humanist Thomas Merton, the economic hardships of the period curtailed the group's activities. By the late 1930s, according to former society president Ralph de Toledano, the organization was devoted to drinking wine and listening to jazz. Philo ceased to function by the beginning of World War II, but in 1943, at the behest of Columbia history professor and former Philo president Jacques Barzun, several undergraduates competed for the Philolexian Centennial Washington Prize, an oratory competition endowed by J. Ackerman Coles, bestowed on the society on the occasion of its centennial in 1902; this short-lived revival was followed by another wartime incarnation. By 1952, due to waning interest and, according to some, the infamous presidency of poet Allen Ginsberg, the society entered a 10-year period of dormancy.
Another brief revival in 1962, spearheaded by members of the Columbia chapter of Alpha Delta Phi, was followed by an longer period of inactivity. In 1985, the society was revived in its current incarnation; the society celebrated the 25th anniversary of its revival, dubbed "Resurgam 25," in October 2010, with a reception and meeting for students, alu
Early history of the IRT subway
The first operated subway in New York City was built by the city, upon the completion of the subway's first segment in 1904, it was leased to the Interborough Rapid Transit Company for operation under Contracts 1 and 2, along with contract 3 of the Dual Contracts. For fourteen years, it consisted of a single trunk line below 96th Street with several northern branches. In 1918, a new "H" system was placed with separate East Side and West Side lines; the system had four tracks between Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall and 96th Street, allowing for local and express service on that portion. Under the "H" system, the original line and early extensions are now as follows: The IRT Eastern Parkway Line from Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center to Borough Hall The IRT Lexington Avenue Line from Borough Hall to Grand Central–42nd Street The IRT 42nd Street Shuttle from Grand Central–42nd Street to Times Square The IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line from Times Square to Van Cortlandt Park–242nd Street The IRT Lenox Avenue Line from 96th Street to 145th Street The IRT White Plains Road Line from 142nd Street Junction to 180th Street–Bronx Park Planning for the system, built began with the Rapid Transit Act, signed into law on May 22, 1894, which created the Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners.
The act provided that the commission would lay out routes with the consent of property owners and local authorities, either build the system or sell a franchise for its construction, lease it to a private operating company. A line through Lafayette Street to Union Square was considered, but at first, a more costly route under lower Broadway was adopted. A legal battle with property owners along the route led to the courts denying permission to build through Broadway in 1896; the Elm Street route was chosen that year, cutting west to Broadway via 42nd Street. This new plan, formally adopted on January 14, 1897, consisted of a line from City Hall north to Kingsbridge and a branch under Lenox Avenue and to Bronx Park, to have four tracks from City Hall to the junction at 103rd Street; the "awkward alignment...along Forty-Second Street", as the commission put it, was necessitated by objections to using Broadway south of 34th Street. Legal challenges were taken care of near the end of 1899. Elm Street was widened and cut through from Centre Street and Duane Street to Lafayette Place to provide a continuous thoroughfare for the subway to run under.
A contract known as Contract 1, was executed on February 21, 1900, between the commission and the Rapid Transit Construction Company, organized by John B. McDonald and funded by August Belmont Jr. for the construction of the subway and a 50-year operating lease from the opening of the line. Ground was broken at City Hall on March 24. On February 26, the Board instructed the Chief Engineer to evaluate the feasibility of extending the subway south to South Ferry, to Brooklyn. To ensure that the RTC was permitted to construct the subway into areas of the city that were added as part of Consolidation in 1898, which occurred after the Act of 1894 was passed, a bill was passed and became law on April 23, 1900. In May 1900, two routes were examined for the Brooklyn extension. One route would have run under Broadway to Whitehall Street, under the East River, Joralemon Street, Fulton Street, Flatbush Avenue to Atlantic Avenue; the second route would have followed the first route but would have gone to Hamilton Avenue before going towards Bay Ridge and South Brooklyn.
On January 24, 1901, the Board adopted the first route, which would extend the subway from City Hall to the Long Island Rail Road's Flatbush Avenue terminal station in Brooklyn. The line's cost was expected to be no greater than $8 million. Contract 2, giving a lease of only 35 years, was executed between the commission and the Rapid Transit Construction Company on September 11, with construction beginning at State Street in Manhattan on November 8, 1902. Belmont incorporated the Interborough Rapid Transit Company in April 1902 as the operating company for both contracts. On July 12, 1900, the contract was modified to widen the subway at Spring Street to allow for the construction of 600 feet of a fifth track, to lengthen express station platforms to 350 feet to accommodate longer trains. On June 21, 1900, the route of Contract 1 was modified at Fort George in Upper Manhattan; the route was changed to run over Nagle Avenue and Amsterdam Avenue instead of over Ellwood Street, between Eleventh Avenue and Kingsbridge Avenue or Broadway.
The route of the terminal loop at City Hall was shortened to only be constructed between City Hall and the Post Office instead of passing around the Post Office as a result of a change issued on January 10, 1901. In addition, the loop was changed from being double-tracked to single tracked; the loop was designed to allow local trains to be turned around, to pass under the express tracks under Park Row without an at-grade crossing, to allow for a possible future extension south under Broadway. To allow for the switching back of express trains, a relay track was constructed under Park Row, allowing for a future southern extension under Broadway. On December 20, 1900, the contractor requested that the plans for the Manhattan Valley Viaduct be modified to allow for a three-track structure and for the construction of a third track at the 145th Street, 116th Street, 110th Street stations; the Board adopted the request on January 24, 1901. Some time after, the contractor requested permission to construct a third tr
Cape Cod Canal
The Cape Cod Canal is an artificial waterway in the U. S. state of Massachusetts connecting Cape Cod Bay in the north to Buzzards Bay in the south, is part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The seven-mile-long canal traverses the narrow neck of land joining Cape Cod to the state's mainland. Most of its length follows tidal rivers widened to 480 feet and deepened to 32 feet at mean low water, shaving 135 miles off the journey around the Cape for its 14,000 annual users. Most of the canal is located in Bourne, but its northeastern terminus is in Sandwich, Massachusetts. Scusset Beach State Reservation lies near the canal's north entrance, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy near its south. A swift running current changes direction every six hours and can reach 5.2 miles per hour during the receding ebb tide. The waterway has no toll fees, it is spanned by the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge, the Bourne Bridge, the Sagamore Bridge. Traffic lights at either end govern the approach of vessels over 65 feet.
The canal is used by whales and dolphins, including endangered North Atlantic right whales. Construction of a canal was first considered by Myles Standish of the Plymouth Colony in 1623, the Pilgrims scouted the low-lying stretch of land between the Manomet and Scusset rivers for potential routes. William Bradford established the Aptucxet Trading Post in 1627 at the portage between the rivers. Trade prospered with the American Indians of Narragansett Bay and the Dutch of New Netherland, this was a major factor enabling the Pilgrims to pay off their indebtedness. In 1697, the General Court of Massachusetts considered the first formal proposal to build the canal but took no action. In 1717, a canal was created in Orleans, Massachusetts called Jeremiah's Gutter which spanned a narrower portion of the Cape some distance to the east, but it only remained active until the late 1800s. More energetic planning with surveys took place in 1776, 1791, 1803, 1818, 1824–1830, 1860. None of these efforts came to fruition.
The first attempts at building a canal did not take place until the late 19th century. The engineers decided which route to take through the hillsides by connecting and widening the Manomet and Scusset Rivers. On June 22, 1909, construction began for a working canal under the direction of August Belmont Jr.'s Boston, Cape Cod & New York Canal Company using designs by engineer William Barclay Parsons. There were many problems, such as huge boulders underwater. Divers were hired to blow them up. Another problem was cold winter storms which forced the engineers to stop dredging altogether and wait for spring; the canal opened on a limited basis on July 29, 1914, it was completed in 1916. The owned toll canal had a maximum width of 100 feet and a maximum depth of 25 feet, it took a somewhat difficult route from Phinney Harbor at the head of Buzzards Bay. Several accidents occurred due to the narrow channel and navigation difficulty, these limited traffic and tarnished the canal's reputation. Toll revenues failed to meet investors' expectations as a result, despite shortening the trade route from New York City to Boston by 62 miles.
The German U-boat U-156 surfaced three miles off Orleans, Massachusetts on July 21, 1918 and shelled the tugboat Perth Amboy and her string of four barges. The Director General of the United States Railroad Administration took over jurisdiction and operation of the canal four days under a presidential proclamation; the United States Army Corps of Engineers re-dredged the channel to 25 feet deep while it remained under government control until 1920. In 1928, the government purchased the canal for $11.4 million as a free public waterway, $21 million was spent between 1935 and 1940 increasing the canal's width to 480 feet and its depth to 32 feet. As a result, it became the widest sea-level canal of its time; the southern entrance to the canal was rebuilt for direct access from Buzzards Bay rather than through Phinney Harbor. Before construction began, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology built a huge scale model of the canal to study the hydraulic effects of tidal currents on the enlarged and rerouted canal.
During World War II, shipping again used the canal to avoid Kriegsmarine U-boats patrolling offshore. It was protected by coastal artillery batteries at the Sagamore Hill Military Reservation at the northern entrance and the Butler Point Military Reservation at the southern entrance; the artillery was never fired in defense of the canal. The Mystic Steamship Company's collier USS Stephen R. Jones was grounded and sank in the canal on June 28, 1942. Shipping was routed around Cape Cod, one diverted ship was the Liberty ship SS Alexander Macomb, torpedoed by the Kriegsmarine's U-215 on July 3 with the loss of 10 lives; the canal reopened on July 31 after the wrecked Stephen R. Jones was removed with the help of 17 tons of dynamite; the canal is used extensively by commercial vessels. Service roads on both sides of the canal provide access for fishing and are used by in-line skaters and walkers. Several parking areas are maintained at access points. Bourne Scenic Park is leased by the Corps of Engineers to the Town of Bourne Recreation Authority for use as a tent and RV campground adjacent to the Canal.
The Army Corps