Cape Canaveral is a name that evokes visions of giant rockets and a shuttle thundering into space. In fact, the cape's history is much older than the space program. In the beginning of European exploration of the New World, maps marked Cape Canaveral as a hazard for sailors. Its treacherous shoals and currents caused the destruction of many ships and the deaths of many seafarers. The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, built in the 19th century, became a welcome landmark, warning ships of dangers and serving as a beacon of light for a bright future. In addition to serving as a major seaport, Cape Canaveral became another kind of portal in the 1960s: the Kennedy Space Center is now known locally and worldwide as the gateway to the stars.
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