Convoy to mark inception of Interstate Highway System
Jun 12, 2006 3:38 PM
A re-enactment of the 1919 military convoy that inspired President Dwight Eisenhower to propose the Interstate Highway System 50 years later sets out June 16 in San Francisco CA. Participants will include the great-grandson of the founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and America's Road Team, a group of professional truck drivers sponsored by the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
The original convoy left Washington DC in a test to see if troops and supplies could travel across the country. The group reached San Francisco 62 days later, having covered 3,250 miles. When they passed through Columbiana OH, Harvey Firestone invited the convoy, including the young Eisenhower, to stop at his farm for a chicken dinner. The next morning, Firestone added two of his own trucks, both equipped with his pneumatic tires. Firestone's descendant, Andrew Firestone, will greet the modern-day convoy in Akron before it eventually culminates in Washington DC June 29.
When Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act and Congress established the Highway Trust Fund, just 120,000 tractor trailers operated on US highways, compared with the two-million that ply the routes today, ATA said. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), organizer of the event, invited Andrew Firestone to participate.
For more information, click here for the Department of Transportation Web site.
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