On this day in 1956, president Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act
June 29, 2023
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 29 of June, repeating indefinitely
On this day in 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act, officially creating the U.S. Interstate Highway System. The new system of highways (41,000 miles in total) greatly improved infrastructure and increased the efficiency of nationwide travel.
The project is considered one of the most important achievements of Eisenhower’s presidency.
Did you know? Eisenhower was inspired to improve the nation’s highways by his experience traveling in the Transcontinental Motor Convoy. In 1919, the military convoy drove across the country from Washington D.C. to San Francisco, with aim of testing military mobility in case of wartime conditions. It’s hard to imagine in our modern age, but cross-country travel was very difficult – the convoy was met with narrow, impassable roads, dirt paths, and mountain trails. The expedition took a whopping 62 days.
On the Transcontinental Motor Convoy, friends William Stuhler, Major Brett, Paul V. Robinson, and Dwight Eisenhower pause for a picture at the Firestone Homestead in Columbiana, Ohio, 1919
(The house now resides in the Ford Museum’s Greenfield Village.)