The Rockaways have a long history of military use and records exist of a blockhouse inititally constructed on the peninsula during the War of 1812. The piece of land now known as Fort Tilden was already being used as a Coast Guard Station when it was officially named for former New York Governor Samuel J. Tilden on August 1, 1917. Later, the Cold War brought anti-aircraft guns and Nike Missiles to Fort Tilden before the site was deactivated in 1974. It is now part of the Gateway National Recreation Area.
- Parks & Gardens