Executive Order

Executive Order No. 31: (1st Series) Blackout Regulations in coastal and island areas (with supplement)

Date: 07/17/1942
Issuer: Leverett Saltonstall
Revoked by: 1st Series Executive Order 40
Revoked by: 1st Series Executive Order 86

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, the maintenance of shipping and the protection of ships, cargoes and crews are vital to the prosecution of the war; and

WHEREAS, the action of enemy submarines along the Atlantic coast has resulted in the destruction of numerous ships, the loss of cargoes and crews and has jeopardized the safety of all shipping; and

WHEREAS, lights on or near the shore which shine or are reflected toward the sea or contribute to the skyglow over the sea or adjacent land have caused ships along the coast to be silhouetted during the nighttime, thereby giving substantial assistance to said submarines and promoting the success of their activities; and

WHEREAS, the Government of the United States, acting through the War Department, has requested that all possible measures be taken immediately to eliminate or sharply reduce such lights:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Leverett Saltonstall, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acting under the provisions of Acts of 1941, chapter 719, sections 7 and 8 (a), Acts of 1942, chapter 13, sections 2 and 3, and all other authority vested in me, do hereby issue this order as a measure necessary and expedient for meeting the supreme emergency of the existing state of war between the United States and certain foreign countries.

1. The term "coastline," for the purpose of this order, is the natural shores of the main- land and the islands of the Commonwealth, including all bays, harbors, coves, estuaries and indentations, except in the locations hereafter described, where the coastline is established as follows:--

(a) Across any tidal river or estuary it shall be the line of the bridge located nearest the sea, except in cases where such bridge is inside the coastline as defined in sections (b), (c) and (d) of this paragraph.

(b) At Salem Harbor it shall be a line extending from the southwesterly extremity of Gales Point to the northeasterly extremity of Peach Point.

(c) At Boston Harbor it shall be a line extending from the southwesterly extremity of Deer Island to the westerly extremity of Windmill Point in the town of Hull.

(d) At Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds it shall be lines extending from the southerly extremity of Monomoy Point to the northerly extremity of Great Point on Nantucket Island; thence around the easterly and southerly shores of Nantucket and Tuckernuck Islands; from the easterly extremity of Tuckernuck Island to Norton Point on the easterly extremity of Martha's Vineyard Island; thence along the southerly shores of Martha's Vineyard Island to Gay Head Light on the westerly extremity of Martha's Vineyard Island; thence from Gay Head Light to Cuttyhunk Island Light on Cuttyhunk Island.

2. During the period between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sun- rise, all lights of every nature which are visible from the sea, or which by themselves or with others illuminate the sky, shall be extinguished or regulated or shielded so that such lights, by themselves or with others, or the illumination therefrom, will not show the position or out- line of any ship at sea.

3. Without limiting the generality of paragraph 2 hereof, the following specific measures are hereby ordered, during the period between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise, for the area between the coastline as herein established and an imaginary line three miles inland therefrom, for the cities of Newburyport, Gloucester, Beverly, Salem, New Bedford and Fall River, the town of Plymouth, and for the area within a radius of twelve miles from the Boston City Hall.

(a) All lights, whether stationary or on mobile units, used for illuminating outdoor signs, store windows or any display visible from the outside shall be extinguished.

(b) All street lights and other outside lights, other than those referred to in section (a) of this paragraph, shall be extinguished or regulated or shielded so that direct or reflected light therefrom shall neither be visible from the sea nor show above the conic surface formed by lines drawn earthward from the center of the light source at an angle of ten degrees with the horizontal plane through said light source.

(c) The windows, doors and other apertures of all buildings and structures shall be regulated or shielded, or the interior lights in said buildings or structures shall be extinguished or regulated or shielded, so that direct or reflected light therefrom, by itself or with others, shall neither be visible from the sea nor show or reflect toward the sky to such extent as to show the position or outline of any ship at sea.

(d) Motor vehicles which are parked on any way, public or private, shall have all lights extinguished except parking lights. Motor vehicles parked off any such way shall have all lights extinguished.

(e) The windows, doors and other apertures of railroad cars shall be regulated or shielded, or the interior lights in said cars shall be extinguished or regulated or shielded, so that direct or reflected light therefrom, by itself or with others, shall neither be visible from the sea nor show or reflect toward the sky to such extent as to show the position or outline of any ship at sea. The headlight on any locomotive shall be dimmed and a curtain shall be drawn over the cab of such locomotive on the side toward the sea so that no light from the cab shall be visible from the sea.

(f) The windows, doors and other apertures of electric passenger vehicles shall be regulated or shielded, or the interior lights in said vehicles shall be extinguished or regulated or shielded, so that direct or reflected light therefrom, by itself or with others, shall neither be visible from the sea nor show or reflect toward the sky to such extent as to show the position or outline of any ship at sea. Exterior lights on such vehicles, with the exception of running lights, shall be extinguished or regulated or shielded, so that direct or reflected light there- from, by itself or with others, shall neither be visible form the sea nor show or reflect toward the sky to such extent as to show the position or outline of any ship at sea. The running lights on such vehicles shall be dimmed.

(g) The windows, doors and other apertures of buses and all other public passenger vehicles shall be regulated or shielded, or the interior lights in said vehicles shall be extinguished or regulated or shielded, so that direct or reflected light therefrom, by itself or with others, shall neither be visible from the sea nor show or reflect toward the sky to such extent as to show the position or outline of any ship at sea. Exterior lights on such vehicles, with the exception of running lights, shall be extinguished or regulated or shielded so that direct or reflected light therefrom, by itself or with others, shall neither be visible from the sea nor show or reflect toward the sky to such extent as to show the position or outline of any ship at sea. The running lights on such vehicles shall be subject to the provisions of paragraph 4 of this order.

4. Motor vehicles shall be operated throughout the Commonwealth, or any area thereof designated by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, with lights of such intensity and regulated or shielded in such manner as he may prescribe. The Registrar may regulate the speed of motor vehicles in any area of the Commonwealth in which headlights of reduced intensity have been prescribed by him pursuant to the authority of this order. The provisions of General Laws (Ter. Ed.) chapter 90, sections 6, 7 and 31, or the provisions of any other law, in so far as they are inconsistent with this paragraph, are hereby suspended.

5. The Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety may authorize a reasonable variation of the foregoing order and may relax specific provisions of the same, except as to paragraphs 3 (d) and 4 hereof, when, in its opinion, the public safety, the public welfare or the public convenience may be promoted thereby, provided that the provisions of this order shall not be varied or relaxed to such extent as to be inconsistent with any orders of the Government of the United States, acting through the War Department or any agency thereof.

6. The provisions of this order shall not apply to any real or personal property owned by or under the control of the Government of the United States or any agency thereof.

7. Any person who violates any provision of this order, or any rule or regulation issued hereunder, shall be punished therefor as provided by Acts of 1942, chapter 13, section 3.

GIVEN at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this seventeenth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and forty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the one hundred and sixty-seventh.

By His Excellency the Governor, Leverett Saltonstall

Paul D. Howard, Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth

 

SUPPLEMENT

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS REGISTRY OF MOTOR VEHICLES

Acting under the provisions of Executive Order No. 31, Section 4, I, Frank A. Goodwin, Registrar of Motor Vehicles, hereby designate areas within which are prescribed reduced light intensity, and regulate the speed of motor vehicles therein, as follows:

Section 1. "Dim-out areas" of cities and towns, or parts thereof, are hereby designated as follows:

BEVERLY. Essex Bridge, Lothrop Street from Water Street to Hale Street and all the area southeast of it; also Central Street, Washington Street, Thorndike Street, Abbott Street, Atlantic Avenue, Ocean Street and Dane Street east of Cabot and Hale Streets.

CAPE. (Bourne to the east.) The area east of, but not including, Massachusetts state route No. 3 in Bourne from the Plymouth town line to the Cape Cod Canal. The area north of, but not including, United States route No. 6 from the Cape Cod Canal to the town of Orleans and west of, but not including, United States route No. 6 from the town of Orleans to the intersection of said route No. 6 with the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad right of way in the town of Truro. All of Provincetown and all of Truro north of the intersection of United States route No. 6 with the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad right of way in Truro. Both bridges spanning the Cape Cod Canal.

CHILMARK. The entire town.

COHASSET. The area east of, but not including, North Main Street, Elm Street, and Border Street.

DARTMOUTH. Padanaram Bridge and Smith Neck Road from Padanaram Bridge to the Bay View entrance. The area south of, but not including, Little River Road from Smith Neck Road to Potomska Road. Horseneck Road in Dartmouth and Westport from Division Road to the sea.

DUXBURY. The area east and southeast of the abandoned road- bed of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.

GAY HEAD. The entire town.

GLOUCESTER. All of the city except Essex Avenue from Bond Street to the Essex town line, Western Avenue from Hesperus Avenue to the Manchester town line, Main Street from Washington Street to East Main Street, East Main Street from Main Street to Eastern Point Road, Eastern Point Road from East Main Street to Grapevine Road, Eastern Avenue from Main Street to the Rockport town line and Washington Street from Main Street to Leonard Street.

HULL. The entire town.

IPSWICH. Great Neck, east from the entrance to Barker's Island.

LYNN. General Edwards Bridge and Broad Street from the Revere city line to Commercial Street, the area southeast of Tudor Street and that southeast of Ocean and New Ocean Streets.

MANCHESTER. The area south of, but not including, Massachusetts state route No. 127 from the intersection of Beach Street with said route No. 127 to the Gloucester city line.

MARBLEHEAD. East of the intersection of Beach Street and Ocean Avenue to and including all of Marblehead Neck; also the northeasterly part of Front Street from the more northerly intersection of Front Street and Circle Street; also Franklin Street and the northerly portion of Circle Street within three hundred feet of Front Street.

MARSHFIELD. The area east of the abandoned roadbed of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.

NAHANT. The entire town.

NANTUCKET. The entire town.

NEWBURY. The area east of, but not including, Massachusetts state route No. 1A from the Rowley town line to Rolfe's Lane and the area east of, but not including, Rolfe's Lane.

NEWBURYPORT. The area east of, but not including, Massachusetts state route No. 1A and the area east of, but not including, United States route No. 1 from its junction with said route No. 1A to the Salisbury town line.

PLYMOUTH. The entire town.

QUINCY. Quincy Shore Boulevard and each entering road within two hundred yards of said boulevard. All that section of Quincy known as Squantum.

REVERE. Winthrop Parkway from Eliot Circle to the Winthrop town line and the area to the east. The area east of a line running along Webster Street to Winthrop Avenue, through Drury Lane to Bradstreet Avenue and thence in a straight line to Bellingham Avenue. Revere Beach Boulevard from Eliot Circle to Northern Circle and the ways leading into said boulevard for a distance of one hundred yards from said boulevard. Lynnway from Northern Circle to the Lynn- Revere city line and the area east thereof. Massachusetts state route No. 1A from John Street to Lynnway.

ROCKPORT. The entire town.

ROWLEY. The area east of, but not including, Massachusetts state route No. 1A.

SALEM. Derby Street northeast of English Street, Fort Avenue, Salem Neck, Essex Bridge and Bridge Street north of Pierce Avenue.

SALISBURY. The area east of, but not including, United States route No. 1 from the Newburyport city line to Seabrook Road, and the area east of, but not including, Seabrook Road, except all of that area within one mile of Salisbury Square.

SCITUATE. The area east of, but not including, Border Street, Hollett Street to Ann Vinal Road, Ann Vinal Road, Tilden Road, Stockbridge Road to Massachusetts state route No. 3A and said route No. 3A from Stockbridge Road to the Marshfield town line.

SWAMPSCOTT. Humphrey Street from Lynn city line to Puritan Road. Puritan Road from Humphrey Street to Puritan Lane.

WESTPORT. East Beach Road, West Beach Road, Plants Road and Main Road from Plants Road to Cornell Road. The entire area south of and including Cross Road in Westport Harbor.

WINTHROP. The area east of a line running along Revere Street from the Revere-Winthrop line to Crest Avenue, thence along Crest Avenue to Beach Road, thence along Beach Road to Shirley Street, thence along Shirley Street to the easterly end of Terrace Avenue, but not including Revere Street, Shirley Street, and Crest Avenue and Beach Road except as specified hereafter. Crest Avenue from Hutchinson Street to Beach Road, Beach Road from Crest Avenue to Locust Street.

Any motor vehicle operated within the areas designated in this section, during the period from one half an hour after sunset to one half an hour before sunrise, shall be operated with lights of an intensity not greater than three candlepower, and at a speed not to exceed fifteen miles an hour.

Section 2. "Low beam areas" of cities and towns, or parts thereof, are hereby designated as follows:

Except as otherwise provided in the preceding section, all of that area east of, but not including, United States route No. 1, otherwise knows as the Newburyport Turnpike, from the New Hampshire line to the Saugus-Lynnfield line; all of the following cities and towns: Lynn, Saugus, Melrose, Malden, Medford, Arlington, Somerville, Everett, Revere, Chelsea, Winthrop, Cambridge, Belmont, Waltham, Watertown, Newton, Brookline, Dedham, Milton, Quincy, Braintree, Weymouth, and Boston: all of that area east of, but not including, Massachusetts state route No. 18, from the Weymouth-Abington line to the junction of United States route No. 44; all of that area south and southeast of, but not including, United States route No. 44 to the Rhode Island line; and all of the cities of Brockton, Newburyport, Haverhill, Lowell, and Lawrence.

Any motor vehicle operated in the areas designated in this section, during the period from one half an hour after sunset to one half an hour before sunrise, shall be operated on the low headlamp beam only, and at a speed not to exceed thirty miles an hour.

The words "low headlamp beam", as used in this section, shall mean that beam from headlamps which is projected nearer to the motor vehicle than the upper beam when the upper beam is aimed in accordance with "Rules and Regulations Concerning Headlamps on Motor Vehicles" made by the Registrar.

Dated at Boston this tenth day of August, 1942.

Frank A. Goodwin, Registrar of Motor Vehicles

Contact for No. 31: (1st Series) Blackout Regulations in coastal and island areas (with supplement)

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