On This Day in Automotive History...
January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December
Birthdays: Scott Riggs (1971), Zsolt Baumgartner (1981)
1931: Bridgestone was founded.
1932: Nizhegorodsky Avtomobilny Zavod (NAZ) began production of the NAZ-A.
1965: Production begins on the Mark III Shelby Cobra.
1969: Auto Union merges with NSU to Audi NSU Auto Union AG.
2011: Mastretta begins production of the MXT.
2014: Fiat announced that it would purchase the portion of Chrysler LLC it did not already own, becoming the basis of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles later in the month.
Birthdays: Robby Gordon (1969)
1927: The Bureau of Public Roads announces the location of routes designated as part of the U.S. highway system. AASHO had approved the locations at its annual meeting on November 11, 1926, but public announcement was withheld until maps could be prepared and issued.
1970: The Highway Users Federation for Safety and Mobility is formed by the consolidation of the Automotive Safety Foundation, the National Highway Users Conference, and the Auto Industries Highway Safety Committee.
1974: In the midst of an energy crisis touched off by conflict in the Middle East, President Richard Nixon signs the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act, establishing a maximum national speed limit. No highway projects may be approved in any State having a maximum speed limit over 55 m.p.h. The Act, part of a nationwide effort to save oil, is a result of an oil embargo imposed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that forced Americans into long lines at gas stations. President Nixon estimates the new speed limit can save nearly 200,000 barrels of fuel a day.
Birthdays: Willy T. Ribbs (1956)
1908: Office of Public Roads completes work on a macadam object-lesson road built on the State Fair Grounds in Sedalia, Missouri. Work on the 2,945-foot road from 16th Street to the administration building began on August 1, 1907. The final road, built on a sticky gumbo soil, is 24 feet wide, with a depth of 4 inches at the sides and 6 inches at the center. With labor varying from $1.50 to $2.50 and animal teams at $3.50 per day, the road cost $6,731.82.
1965: In his State of the Union Address, President Lyndon Johnson calls for, "A new and massive effort to landscape highways and provide places of relaxation and recreation wherever our roads run." He adds that the beauty of America "has sustained our spirit and enlarged our vision."
1975: President Richard Nixon signs the Federal-Aid Highway Amendments of 1974, establishing the Off-System Roads and Access to Lakes Programs, and continuing the temporary maximum speed limit of 55 m.p.h. by prohibiting Federal-aid project approvals in States not in compliance.
2011: The final Mercury, a Grand Marquis, was produced.
Birthdays: Dennis Connor (1951), Troy Beebe (1962)
1977: Secretary of Transportation William T. Coleman, Jr., approves Federal-aid for construction of controversial I-66 from the Capital Beltway to the District of Columbia. As approved, I-66 will be a four-lane, limited access highway with Metrorail's Vienna line in its median. Heavy duty trucks will be excluded, and during peak hours, traffic in the peak direction will be limited to buses, automobiles with four occupants, emergency vehicles, and Dulles Airport traffic.
1987: Production of the Chevrolet Corsica began.
1989: Administrator Robert Farris approves a revised "Pavement Policy for Highways," which covers selecting, designing, and managing Federal-aid highway pavements in a cost-effective manner. Each State highway agency is to have a pavement management system based on concepts described in AASHTO's Guidelines on Pavement Management (1985).
Birthdays: Dick Rathmann (1924), John DeLorean (1925)
President Ronald Reagan signs the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, which increases the gasoline and diesel tax by 5 cents per gallon (the first increase since 1961), and establishes the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program. The added revenue helps reverse the 1970's trend that saw highways and bridges deteriorating faster than they could be repaired. Also, Section 105(f) provides that 10 percent of the funds authorized to be appropriated by the act shall be expended with disadvantaged business enterprises.
1907: In deciding Wilson v. Shaw, a case involving Federal authority to construct the Panama Canal, Supreme Court Justice David Brewer writes that based on Supreme Court precedents, "These authorities recognize the power of Congress to construct interstate highways" under the constitutional right to regulate interstate commerce. This decision effectively ends the debate over whether the Federal Government can fund road projects.
1957: Administrator John Volpe's Washington Headquarters reorganization goes into effect to match needs of the Interstate Highway Program. In addition, consistent with terminology used in other Federal Agencies, Bureau of Public Roads Division Offices became Region Offices and District Offices in each State became Division Offices.
1958: The first post-1956 Interstate Cost Estimate is transmitted to Congress--total cost is estimated as $37.6 billion (Federal share: $33.9 billion).
1972: FHWA releases the first annual report to Congress on the Special Bridge Replacement Program. It reveals that of the approximately 563,500 highway bridges in the U.S., about 88,900 are considered critically deficient. An estimated 24,000 of these deficient bridges are on the Federal-aid highway system. More that 400,000 of the Nation's bridges were built before 1935.
1985: General Motors registered the Saturn trademark.
2007: Bobby Hamilton died.
2010: Volkswagen revealed the first generation Amarok to the public.
Birthdays: Stephen Simpson (1984)
1944: William Kissam Vanderbilt II, automobile pioneer and sponsor of the Vanderbilt Cup, died.
1991: Administrator Thomas Larson sends a memo entitled "Moving FHWA Into the 21st Century," to all employees. With the Interstate era winding down, he announces the start of FHWA 2000--a program to "clearly define a vision of where we want to be in the future, and a plan for how we can get there."
Birthdays: Bob Rahilly (1953), Mark Martin (1959)
1951: Bureau of Public Roads awards a construction contract for an access road to a projected Atomic Energy Commission plant on the Savannah River southeast of Augusta, GA (construction begins January 15, and the road opens July 1).
1962: At the HRB's 41st Annual Meeting, Administrator Rex Whitton presents the George S. Bartlett Award to former Administrator Bertram Tallamy. Whitton says his predecessor "took the post when it was new, and just getting started on the enlarged program, and thus absorbed many of the shocks of the new job." He adds, "He is such a good friend that he recommended to the Secretary of Commerce and insisted that I accept the position that he previously held and that I now hold."
2007: Elmer Symons dies during the Dakar Rally.
Birthdays: Harry Gant (1940), David Crittenden (1943), Bobby Rahal (1953), Eddie Cheever (1958), Larry McReynolds (1959)
1967: Secretary of Transportation Alan Boyd transmits BPR's report on the Highway Beautification Act to Congress. The report contains an estimate of the act's costs, an estimate of the economic impact of the program, and draft standards, criteria, rules and regulations for reaching agreement with the States on control of outdoor advertising.
1968: Administrator Lowell Bridwell announces a new contract with the International Road Federation to survey highway research and development activities in Ceylon, India, Pakistan, and Thailand. The survey is part of a pilot project, begun in 1964, to enable international exchange of highway research findings.
Birthdays: Brett Bodine (1959)
1945: Commissioner Thomas MacDonald testifies on "Housing Developments and Express Highways" before the Subcommittee on Housing for the Post-War Period. Using the Shirley Memorial Highway in northern Virginia as an example, he shows how the "location and development of modern housing projects and the provision of express highways are closely interrelated."
2010: Mercedes-Benz unveils the A207 E-Class Cabriolet.
Birthdays: Ray Harroun (1879)
1911: Addressing the Society of Automobile Engineers in New York City on "The Construction of Automobile Roads," Director Logan Page states that, "The economical construction and maintenance of the type of road which is subjected to mixed automobile and heavy teaming traffic is probably the most difficult and important problem that to-day confronts the road engineer."
1927: At ARBA's annual banquet at the Palmer House in Chicago, IL, the Metropolitan Super-Highway Association announces that BPR District Engineer R. E. Toms (Montgomery, AL) is the winner of the $1,000 prize for suggesting a plan for stage construction of superhighways. The association says the plan will be the basis for superhighway construction in Chicago totalling $25 million.
1980: Al Bonnell died.
1982: President Ronald Reagan visits DOT Headquarters to address members of its Senior Executive Service. Later, he meets with Secretary of Transportation Drew Lewis and other DOT officials. Administrator Ray Barnhart makes the case for a user tax increase to address the deteriorating condition of the Nation's highways and bridges.
1998: North American Van Lines was purchased by investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
Birthdays: Ernie Irvan (1959), Patrick Dempsey (1966)
1960: Under the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1959, a BPR report is transmitted to Congress on extending the Interstate System to Alaska and Hawaii. The report recommends 50 miles in Hawaii, but states that Interstate mileage is not warranted in Alaska.
1961: Secretary of Commerce Frederick H. Mueller transmits BPR's first Highway Cost Allocation study to Congress, pursuant to Section 210 of the Highway Revenue Act of 1956. The objective is to provide Congress with information it might use in developing legislation to make a more equitable allocation of Federal taxes for the support of the Federal-aid highway program.
1999: The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers was founded.
2017: The United States charges Takata executives Shinichi Tanaka, Hideo Nakajima, and Tsueno Chikaraishi for the company's exploding airbags.
1909: Director Logan Page addresses a good roads convention in Salt Lake City, UT, on the roads of different sections of the country, compared with roads in other countries. "Suffice it to say," he explains, "that the principle of state aid and supervision constitutes the germ of the only road administration which has proven successful in other countries."
1954: Nash & Hudson merge to form AMC.
1956: BPR Commissioner F. V. du Pont resigns to work as a consultant to Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks in furthering President Dwight D. Eisenhower's road program. Secretary Weeks announces that Charles D. "Cap" Curtiss, Deputy Commissioner in charge of the Division of Finance and Management, will assume the administrative duties of Commissioner.
2018: Dan Gurney died.
Birthdays: Aaron Ricker (1991)
1911: J. E. Pennybacker, Jr., OPR's Chief of Road Economics and Secretary of the American Association for Highway Improvement, addresses the South Carolina Good Roads Association in Columbia on "The Advantages of Co-Operation Between State Highway Associations and the American Association of Highway Improvement."
1923: At the 14th American Good Roads Show, held in conjunction with ARBA's convention in Chicago, IL, BPR's exhibit covers more than 2,000 square feet. Included is a 20-foot long model of a typical mountain forest road, color photos of Federal-aid roads around the country and BPR's experimental and research work, and stereopticon lantern slides of road construction.
Birthdays: A.J. Foyt (1935)
1912: During AAA's First Annual Federal Aid Good Roads Convention, U.S. Senator J. H. Bankhead of Alabama says, "I hope to live long enough to see the realization of these things that we are here discussing . . . . God being my helper and preserving my life, I intend, sir, to devote that time in urging upon Congress and the country the adoption of a system of National and State aid in cooperation." (The Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 is sometimes called the "Bankhead Bill.")
1963: In Jordan, the Jerusalem-Dead Sea Highway opens. His Majesty King Hussein and his Government issue a Royal Decree thanking BPR's Jordan Division for its work on the project (Division Engineer John C. Sprague, Construction and Maintenance Engineer Harrison Hawkins, and Construction and Maintenance Superintendents Leon B. Hirsch and Robert L. James).
1967: Alan S. Boyd is sworn in as the first U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Judge James Durfee of the U.S. Court of Claims administers the oath in the East Room of the White House as Mrs. Boyd and President and Mrs. Johnson look on. The President says Secretary Boyd's major assignment would be to "coordinate a National Transportation Policy."
1968: General Motors filed for a U.S. design patent for the C3 Chevrolet Corvette.
1981: Secretary of Transportation Neil Goldschmidt transmits a report to Congress on the Everett Bypass demonstration project in Pennsylvania, authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1976 to demonstrate how project completion time can be reduced. The lessons learned, such as concurrent review, will be applied to other projects via the FAST initiative.
Birthdays: Harry Hyde (1925), Lake Speed (1948), Sam McMahon III (1958)
1893: The second convention of the National League for Good Roads is held in Washington, DC, to advocate creation of a National Highway Commission. General Roy Stone is acting secretary of the league, which was formed last October in Chicago, IL.
1969: Director of Public Roads Frank Turner signs Project Prospectus No. 1 for a demonstration project to demonstrate the savings, efficiency, and accuracy of using "Aerial Analytical Triangulation Methods Utilizing Stereocomparators and Electronic Computers."
1970: FHWA issues implementing instructions for the Urban Highway Public Transportation Program established by Section 111 of the 1970 Federal-Aid Highway Act. The section allows Federal-aid highway funding for "the construction of exclusive or preferential bus lanes, highway traffic control devices, bus passenger loading areas and facilities, including shelters, as well as fringe and transportation corridor parking facilities to serve bus and other public mass transportation passengers.
1994: The Northridge Earthquake strikes the Los Angeles area at 4:31 a.m., lasts less than 1 minute, and snaps segments of I-5, I-10/Santa Monica Freeway (the busiest in the world), and other highways. Secretary of Transportation Federico Pea and Administrator Rodney E. Slater, dispatched by President Bill Clinton, are the first Federal officials to arrive at the site.
1911: An OPR engineer begins a thorough study of roads in Mobile County, AL, particularly those under county supervision. During the review, which concludes March 6, he finds that except for a few shell roads, the county does not have any improved roads.
1912: The Kansas State Good Roads Association's 2-day 10th Annual Convention in Emporia concludes. Director Logan Page delivers an address on the value of good roads, stating that at present, road work is carried on inefficiently. Noting that about 100,000 township road offices exercise separate authority with no one to direct them, he asks, "What would a great railroad organization do if each of its section bosses were permitted to buy all of the material for the construction and maintenance of his division of the railroad?" At the close of his address, Page invites questions. Asked if a county surveyor, instead of a State engineer, could handle road work, Page responds, "It would be just as sensible to appoint an astrologer to build the good roads."
1919: Bentley founded.
1961: Maryland is the first State to enter into a "Bonus Agreement" on control of outdoor advertising under the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1958, providing for a 1-percent increase in the Federal share of Interstate highway projects.
2007: The W204 version of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was introduced.
2008: Tata Motors establishes Jaguar Land Rover as a British-registered, wholly owned subsidiary.
1893: Representatives of the National League for Good Roads appear before the House Agriculture Committee in support of a National Highway Commission. General Roy Stone testifies that the group unanimously voted against Federal funds for road building.
1912: Director Logan Page addresses a meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers at Society House in New York City. His subject is the need for different road standards in different parts of the country.
1962: The first of 13 Uniform Traffic Control Conferences, sponsored by BPR, AASHO, the National Association of County Officials, and the American Municipal Association, gets underway in Washington to encourage effective action in implementing 1961 MUTCD traffic standards.
1968: Ray Harroun died in Anderson, Indiana at age 89.
1973: The Monte Carlo Rally begins, the first race of the inaugural season of the World Rally Championship.
Birthdays: Jeff Wood (1957)
1905: The second day of the National Good Roads Association's midwinter meeting, in Jacksonville, FL, begins at 10:30 a.m. Colonel W. L. Spoon, the OPRI expert in charge of the object lesson road under construction during the convention, discusses construction of sand-clay roads, saying sand and clay make the finest roads in the world, as demonstrated by the beach road along the Florida coast. On the 21st, the delegates meet at the Board of Trade, then go to the northern part of the city where they inspect the road being built by Spoon and road expert J. H. Dodge, Director Martin Dodge's brother.
1908: OPR begins an 8-week course of theoretical and practical instruction for engineer trainees in Washington, DC (salary: $60 per month and field expenses). Lectures and laboratory work cover problems in road construction, petrography and mineralogy, dust preventatives, plotting, field notes, estimates, types of surface, and the history and development of road building.
2007: Éric Aubijoux dies during the Dakar Rally.
1897: In an address to the State Board of Agriculture in Augusta, ME, General Roy Stone discusses the history of road building in the U.S., the role of farmers in the Good Roads movement, the cost of bad roads versus good roads, and the value of convict labor.
1903: Director Martin Dodge participates in the Arkansas Good Roads Convention (January 21-22), delivering a speech on "Federal and State Aid to Roads." Over 1,200 delegates attend, voting to change the name of the "Good Roads League of the State of Arkansas" to the "Arkansas Good Roads Association," with a permanent office in Little Rock. A report in Good Roads Magazine describes Dodge as "the bright particular star of the gathering, and his presence did much to inspire the delegates with greater enthusiasm for the work."
1915: A Joint Congressional Committee established by the Post Office Appropriation Act for FY 1913 issues its final report on Federal-aid in construction of post roads. The committee agreed unanimously on the need and constitutionality of Federal-aid, but not on any special policy or how much should be granted. The report notes that, "permanent highways will result in very considerable adoption of auto-truck hauling in preference to rail transportation where the distance is within a half day's run."
1943: Commissioner Thomas MacDonald addresses the American Society of Civil Engineers' Annual Meeting in New York City on the "Proposed Interregional Highway System as it Affects Cities": "If the interregional highway system is to be truly effective for the uses for which it is designed, it must be conceived only after a careful and complete functional study of the city organism."
1959: At AASHO's annual meeting in Dallas, TX, Federal Highway Administrator Bertram Tallamy presents the George S. Bartlett Award to Chief Engineer Rex Whitton of the Missouri State Highway Commission. Tallamy says, "There is none of us whose heart is not full of agreement and genuine joy as we meet to honor one among us who is universally loved and respected by those who have known him longest and best. To have that said by one's fellows is life's highest accolade."
2014: Fiat announced that with the purchase of the remainder of Chrysler LLC, the two companies would be reorganized as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
1923: BPR District Engineer J. W. Johnson and his assistant, A. V. Williamson, conclude a 3-day meeting in Denver with Colorado's State Highway Engineer, Major L. D. Blauvelt, and other State highway officials. The purpose of the meeting was to bring about closer cooperation by increasing the State's understanding of Federal requirements and procedures.
1934: A memo from Chief Thomas MacDonald establishes a district office in Washington, DC, for park and forest highway work in the eastern U.S., headed by H. J. Spelman. The office is the forerunner of today's Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division Office in Sterling, VA.
1969: Chief Justice Earl Warren administers the oath of office to Secretary of Transportation John A. Volpe in a White House ceremony as President Richard Nixon looks on. Volpe is the only Federal Highway Administrator to become Secretary.
1904: The annual dinner of the Automobile Club of America turns into a Good Roads Dinner, with guests such as Representative W. P. Brownlow, Colonel Albert A. Pope, General Nelson A. Miles, and OPR's Director Martin Dodge, M. O. Eldridge, and James W. Abbott. For introducing good roads legislation, Brownlow is given three rousing cheers when he rises to speak.
1922: President Warren Harding's 5-day National Agricultural Conference opens in Washington, DC. The Highway Transportation Committee's report calls for continued aid to improve interstate, postal, and farm-to-market roads; increased safety; the putting aside of all partisan or political considerations; and coordination of railways, highways, and waterways so that each may carry the kind of traffic it can most economically, expeditiously, and efficiently serve.
1965: A.F. Chiglione represents BRP as U.S. and Canadian officials meet in Ottawa to discuss engineering factors involved in reconstructing or paving the Alaska Highway. Also in attendance are Burke Riley of the Interior Department's Juneau office and representatives of Canada's Public Works and Northern Affairs Departments.
1947: Commissioner Thomas MacDonald speaks on "Interstate or Super Highways" before the North Carolina Society of Engineers: "The need to plan and to get underway the urban distribution and terminal facilities is paramount. Our traffic studies show that the purely urban traffic has an influence extending radially from 6 miles to 30 miles outward from the heart of the city."
1977: In a telegram to the Florida DOT, Administrator Norbert Tiemann indicates FHWA will rescind all I-95 location approvals between Fort Pierce and North Palm Beach to ensure restudy of a location east of Florida's Turnpike. On January 14, during a hearing on the issue at the Tequesta Village Hall, Tiemann had stated, "I, personally, favor the eastern route."
Birthdays: Buddy Baker (1941)
1911: In Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Road Improvement Train makes the first of 165 stops. Sponsored by OPR, the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the State Highway Department, the train includes OPR's J. H. Dodge and D. H. Winslow, who lecture, demonstrate the exhibits, and teach farmers to make split-log drags and other home-made equipment for building and maintaining roads.
1950: U.S. Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney of Wyoming, Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Economic Report, transmits the committee's report titled Highways and the Nation's Economy to Members of Congress. The introduction notes that "the maintenance of maximum production, employment, and purchasing power in the Nation [is directly related to] the development and maintenance of an adequate system of highways." The report acknowledges BPR's help in compiling data, particularly citing A. C. Clark, H. A. Radzikowski, and S. E. Ridge as well as the statistical work of Mrs. J. K. Baker.
1974: Deputy Administrator Ralph Bartelsmeyer dies unexpectedly of kidney failure at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC. He had been appointed Director of BPR in 1969, when it was a bureau within FHWA, and became Deputy Administrator when BPR was eliminated on August 10, 1970. Bartelsmeyer served as Acting Administrator from July 1972 to June 1973 between the departure of Administrator Frank Turner and the arrival of Administrator Norbert Tiemann.
Birthdays: Al Bonnell (1909), Edgar Barth (1917), Scott Wimmer (1976)
1904: OPRI Director Martin Dodge joins a committee of good roads advocates, about 75 strong, at the Raleigh Hotel in Washington to discuss ways of securing government aid in construction of good roads. At 4 o'clock, the group visits President Theodore Roosevelt, who tells them he is sympathetic to their cause "because we are a civilized people, and we cannot afford to have barbaric methods of communication."
1942: Gloria M. Campbell begins work with PRA as a CAF-1 earning $105 per month, "including half days on Saturday and no overtime pay," as she later put it. She served the PRA/BPR/FHWA in its San Francisco office for 52 years, before passing away on October 24, 1994, after experiencing chest pains while at work in the morning. Ms. Campbell is believed to have served more years with the FHWA than any other employee.
1968: FHWA asks the Delaware River Port Authority for detailed information on toll increases on the bridges in the Camden, NJ, area. Administrator Lowell Bridwell requests that the increases be delayed until a review is completed under a provision of the General Bridge Act of 1946 that allows FHWA to prescribe reasonable tolls on interstate bridges (a Corps of Engineers responsibility transferred to FHWA when it joined USDOT in April 1967).
Birthdays: Gary Bradberry (1961)
1914: OPR's George R. Marshall and Professor R.J. Potts of Texas A&M University conduct a school on good roads as part of the Third Annual Convention of the Texas Good Roads Association in Fort Worth.
1959: Amid cheers from over 160 freeway foes, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopts a resolution deleting six of the nine proposed freeways in the city. An editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle endorses this "rebellion against the bull-dozing, home-displacing, land-gobbling freeway monster."
1962: Calling it a "marvelous asset," Governor Gaylord Nelson opens the first 5-mile segment of Milwaukee County Expressway in Wisconsin. More than 200 people, including State, county, city, and suburban officials, are present for the ribbon cutting. The remainder of the 15-mile east-west Interstate freeway, westerly from the downtown area, is scheduled to be completed next year.
Birthdays: Tim Morgan (1954), David Green (1958)
1920: Commissioner P. P. Claxton of the Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior, convenes a committee to assess the need for college-educated men able to cope with the many problems of highway and highway transportation engineering. T. Warren Allen and A. T. Goldbeck represent BPR.
Birthdays: Fireball Roberts (1929), Tommy Houston (1945)
1946: During AASHO's Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City, OK, Commissioner Thomas MacDonald is made an honorary member of the Kiowa Tribe, with the name of Ho on oye Keah ("Father of Great Trails") in a ceremony conducted by Chief Jasper Saunkeah and his daughter, Vivian Saunkeah Davis. AASHO President Herman A. MacDonald is honored with the name of Dom ate ton keah ("Pilgrim Father from Plymouth Rock"). War bonnets are given to both: "For untold years the possession of a war bonnet in our Tribe was a mark of high achievement. Every feather in it had a meaning of demonstrated courage and honorable action. We are proud to have you wear them as our brothers."
1971: FHWA issues Instructional Memorandum (IM) 20-1-71 on "Guidelines for Minimizing Possible Soil Erosion From Highway Construction." The first IM on prevention, control, and abatement of water pollution resulting from soil erosion had been issued on June 7, 1966. The guidelines issued today are in response to Section 136 ("Economic, Social, Environmental, and Other Impact") of the 1970 Federal-Aid Highway Act.
1982: Bradford M. Crittenden died.
2008: The 5 millionth BMW 5 Series was manufactured, a 530d Saloon in Carbon Black Metallic.
1918: BPR issues the certificate of completion for the first project completed under the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 in Contra Costa County, CA. The 2.55-mile project is on the road from Richmond, CA, to the Alameda County line. Work consisted of grading the roadbed, draining and installing culverts flanked with concrete headwalls, and laying a portland cement concrete base, 20 feet wide, with a bituminous concrete top. The pavement is 20 feet wide. Total cost for the project: $53,938.85.
1951: Ferdinand Porsche died.
Birthdays: Rick Wilson (1953)
1968: Administrator Lowell Bridwell announces a 2-year research contract with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to study crash experience of at least 27 makes of passenger cars. The purpose is to evaluate the effect of design variables of passenger cars on the frequency and severity of crashes and injuries.
1975: FHWA's Inter-American Office closes after 37 years of operation.
1893: The House Committee on Agriculture votes to insert a provision appropriating $10,000 for an office within the Department of Agriculture to conduct a road inquiry.
1906: OPR, presently using offices on the fourth floor of the Agriculture Department's main building, leases a new four-story building at 237 14th Street, SW., built in accordance with its plans, for $2,000 a year.
1941: PRA's Highways for National Defense discloses an urgent need for improvement or construction of 1,500 miles of roads in military reservations and 2,830 miles of access roads to serve 192 military establishments. In requesting the report on June 21, 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt had asked PRA to focus on "the strength of bridges, the width of strategic roads, adequacy of ingress and egress from urban centers, and the servicing of existing and proposed Army, Navy, and Air bases."
1952: The last contract for construction of the War Department Building [Pentagon] Road Network is completed. The PRA/BPR had awarded 47 contracts for the project, the first on November 28, 1941.
1962: The Blatnik Committee, House of Representatives, opens a hearing on right-of-way acquisition in MA. The first witness, Arthur Schoenhaut of the General Accounting Office, refers to the vulnerability of the right-of-way transaction to improper conduct and says BRP lacks sufficient personnel to administer the right-of-way program properly and to protect Federal interests.
1967: Secretary of Transportation Alan Boyd reviews hundreds of entries in a competition to design an insignia for the new USDOT. The winning entry was designed by James M. Ashworth, an FAA employee, and his family-they received a $500 savings bond. The family said that using the triskelion (a symbol of progress in heraldry) in the emblem symbolizes continual progress in development of safe, rapid, and economical transportation. Ground, air, and water transportation are depicted in the three branches of the triskelion, and the counterclockwise motion stresses USDOT efforts to reduce travel time.
Birthdays: Rocky Moran (1950)
1963: The United Nations Conference on Science and Technology for Less Developed Areas opens in Geneva, Switzerland, February 3-20. One of the participants is Administrator Rex Whitton, who delivers a paper on "Highway Planning and Programming in the Economy." He summarizes the observations of BPR engineers who have seen how the improved roads they helped build in five countries (Jordan, Mexico, The Philippines, Turkey, and Uganda) expedite social, political, and economic growth.
2016: Toyota announced that it would discontinue the Scion brand.
Birthdays: Tim Brewer (1955)
1903: Director Martin Dodge delivers a speech to a good roads convention in Concord, NH, noting that while the cost of transportation over roads in this country is 25 cents a ton per mile, the cost is only 8 cents in France, owing to the fine condition of its roads.
1922: The Lincoln Motor Company was purchased by the Ford Motor Company for $8M.
1974: Wesley M. Baker of the Construction and Maintenance Division presents the first FHWA "show-and-tell" on the metric system during the "Materials Course for Area Engineers." Legislation on the metric system is pending in Congress.
1981: John DeLorean filed for a U.S. patent for "Mounting for a Vehicle Door" for the DeLorean's famed gullwing doors.
1991: Administrator Thomas Larson selects John C. Fegan as FHWA's Bicycle Program Manager. Fegan has been with FHWA since 1972 and had been responsible for research on bicycle and pedestrian safety since 1974.
2004: Toyota unveiled the second generation Tacoma at the Chicago Auto Show.
Birthdays: Darrell Waltrip (1947), Dorsey Schroeder (1953), Ricky Pearson (1957)
1919: BPR conducts a slab stress test on the Camp Humphreys concrete road to Alexandria, VA, with a loaded truck (5,000 pounds front, 17,000 pounds rear axle).
1957: Bertram D. Tallamy takes office as the second Federal Highway Administrator (and first confirmed by the Senate).
Birthdays: Paul Gentilozzi (1950)
1901: General E.G. Harrison of Asbury Park, NJ, ORI's first object lesson road builder, dies in Washington, DC, at the age of 73. He built the first object lesson road in 1897 and continued the work, in nearly every State east of the Rocky Mountains, until the end.
1917: In Boston, MA, at the opening of ARBA's 14th Annual Convention, Director Logan Page reads a paper on "Policy and Program of Government in Road Construction under the New Federal Aid Law," then is surprised by protracted questioning on OPR's requirement that patented pavements may be used on Federal-aid projects only if they are selected competitively at the same or less cost than equally suitable unpatented articles or methods.
1918: With AASHO concerned about restrictions in the transport of highway materials amid World War I transport shortages, Director General of Railroads William G. McAdoo says, "The United States Railroad Administration will cooperate with the Secretary of Agriculture by transporting materials for construction of national highways designated by it as a military or economic necessity, when the equipment is . . . not needed to move supplies for the army, navy, shipping board, or other governmental activities."
2008: The third generation Dodge Challenger debuted.
Birthdays: Christian Klien (1983)
1907: OPR issues Circular No. 97 on "Coke-Oven Tars of the United States" by OPR Chemist Prevost Hubbard. He prepared the circular because of the rapidly increasing use of refined coal tar in road work and the immense quantity that will become available through installation of by-product coke ovens.
1916: D. H. Winslow, OPR's Senior Highway Engineer, delivers a series of lectures to the Third North Carolina Road Institute at the University of North Carolina. The lectures discuss maintenance, with particular reference to the patrol system, under which citizens are assigned to keep their eye on specified stretches of road near their home or farm.
1983: Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor administers the oath of office to Elizabeth Hanford Dole, who becomes the first woman to serve as US Secretary of Transportation.
2013: FCA unveiled the Ram ProMaster at the Chicago Auto Show.
1912: OPR assigns R. E. Toms to help the Memphis-to-Bristol Highway Commission in Tennessee with surveys, general plans, and administration. The commission guarantees Toms' expenses under OPR's customary rules. He will organize surveys under county supervision and draw up general plans for uniform methods of construction for the entire road.
1979: The first 5-day pilot workshop is underway in Olympia, WA, on seismic design of highway bridges. The workshop consists of intensified training in structural dynamics, seismology, seismic design methodologies, retrofitting concepts, and advanced topics. The course, with Bill Allen of FHWA's Washington Division Office serving as coordinator, reflects heightened interest in seismic design during the 1970's following the San Fernando Earthquake (February 9, 1971), in California.
1996: With one of the pens President Dwight D. Eisenhower used to sign the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, President Bill Clinton signs the Telecommunications Act Conference Report. The pen was provided by one of the authors of the 1956 Act, former Senator Albert Gore, Sr., whose son, Vice President Al Gore, was one of the chief backers of the Telecommunications Act.
1926: Secretary of Agriculture W. M. Jardine signs a cooperative agreement, developed by NPS Director Stephen Mather and Chief Thomas MacDonald, for the engineering and construction of roads by BPR in National Parks on a reimbursable basis. Secretary of the Interior Hubert Work signed it on January 22, 1926.
1961: Secretary of Commerce Luther H. Hodges administers the oath of office to Federal Highway Administrator Rex Whitton.
1994: Today is the official grand opening of the Highway Innovative Technology Evaluation Center (HITEC), a service center and clearinghouse for evaluating innovative highway technologies. Sponsored by FHWA and the Civil Engineering Research Foundation, HITEC has been described by Deputy Administrator Jane Garvey as "the key to restarting the engine of innovation."
1942: President Franklin Roosevelt approves the Alaska Highway project to furnish a supply route linking the airfields established by Canada and the U.S. and to provide an overland route to Alaska. During 1942, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including several units of African-American troops, and contractors under PRA open a pioneer route.
1975: To stimulate the economy and relieve unemployment, President Gerald Ford releases $2 billion in Federal-aid highway funds, which had been impounded by various Administrations, to combat inflationary trends and for other economic reasons. By May, more than half the funds were obligated.
Birthdays: Steve Bird (1955), Taranosuke Takagi 高木 虎之介 (1974)
1902: The American Road Makers Association, forerunner of ARTBA, is founded at the Cadillac Hotel in New York City. Michigan's Horatio S. "Good Roads" Earle and William S. Crandall of New York had formulated the idea during a meeting on December 8, 1901. Director Martin Dodge promptly endorsed the idea. However, of the 200 people invited to participate, only 25 answered and only 4 attend the organizational meeting (16 sent proxies). Earle chose the association's name because the acronym "ARM" meant that the association "will never lower its arm until its purpose, 'The Capital Connecting Government Highway' is attained, connecting every state capital with every other state capital, and every capital with the United States Capital-Washington."
1914: Senior Highway Engineer J. T. Voshell of OPR and Iowa State Highway Engineer Thomas H. MacDonald participate in the First Annual Conference on Concrete Road Building, held in Chicago, IL.
1942: The Southeastern Association of State Highway Officials holds its first annual meeting in Asheville, NC. PRA participants include B. I. Segall ("Metropolitan Atlanta Master Traffic Plan Study") and Wilbur B. King ("Roadside Development").
1981: Secretary of Transportation Drew Lewis administers the oath of office to Federal Highway Administrator Ray A. Barnhart, who will serve longer than any "Administrator" (through December 31, 1987).
Birthdays: Jim Crawford (1948), Donnie Wingo (1960)
1902: During the visit of the Southern Railway Good Roads Train to Raleigh, NC, a statewide road convention takes place, with speeches by Director Martin Dodge yesterday and, today, J. W. Abbott of OPRI's Western Division and M. O. Eldridge, whose speech on "The Highways of the World" features stereopticon views of the Appian Way in Italy and the roads of Europe and Egypt. The crowning event of the day is the organization of the North Carolina Good Roads Association.
1903: In Detroit, MI, during ARMA's First Annual Convention, Director Martin Dodge delivers a speech in favor of the Brownlow bill (see December 1, 1902), while OPRI's M. O. Eldridge delivers his illustrated lecture on "The Highways of the World."
1967: FHWA initiates TOPICS (Traffic Operations Program to Increase Capacity and Safety) in pilot form. TOPICS projects are eligible for funding under regular, apportioned categories.
Birthdays: Ronnie Peterson (1944), Bill Venturini (1953)
1968: In response to public concern following the collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15, 1967, the USDOT announces a comprehensive program to analyze the safety of over 703,000 highway and railroad bridges. President Lyndon Johnson's Task Force on Bridge Safety, headed by Administrator Lowell Bridwell, will conduct the survey in cooperation with the State highway agencies, AASHO, the Association of American Railroads, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "We are giving first priority," Bridwell says, "to those bridges built before 1935 which are carrying highway traffic and those which pass over deep ravines or water where a collapse might result in catastrophic loss of life and property."
1978: Members of the Arlington County Board, VA, protest construction of I-66 by presenting an exhibit, entitled "Felled Oak," to Deputy Administrator Karl Bowers. The exhibit includes a portion of an oak tree planted in 1888 and labeled "Victim of I-66."
1994: The 1994-1996 Chevrolet Impala SS went into production.
1997: In the White House Oval Office, President Bill Clinton looks on as former Federal Highway Administrator Rodney E. Slater (1993-1997) takes the oath of office as the 13th Secretary of Transportation. In announcing the selection on December 20, 1996, President Clinton said, "He has built bridges both of steel and goodwill to bring people closer together." Slater becomes the second FHWA Administrator to serve as Secretary.
Birthdays: Dewey Livengood-1942), Jimmy Spencer (1957)
1936: President Franklin D. Roosevelt tells reporters he likes a proposal by Senator Robert J. Bulkley of Ohio that the Federal Government set up a public corporation to build a self-sustaining, transcontinental system of toll superhighways as a national defense and pump-priming measure.
1968: Administrator Lowell Bridwell announces a new motor vehicle safety standard requiring protective head restraints on all passenger cars manufactured after December 31, 1968. The standard is designed to reduce the frequency and severity of "whiplash" neck injuries.
1914: OPR establishes a Division of National Park and Forest Roads, under T. Warren Allen, to take charge of certain road work in National Parks and Forests.
1914: OPR establishes a Division of Road Maintenance under E. W. James to meet growing demands for advice after local officials failed to provide for maintenance of roads built as a result of a greatly increased number of bond issues since 1910.
1967: At a White House reception honoring the Citizens Advisory Committee on Recreation and Natural Beauty, Secretary of Transportation Alan Boyd announces an annual awards competition to recognize public agencies and private groups for protecting, restoring, and enhancing highway beauty. The goal is to encourage "the battle against highway uglification," he says. However, the highlight of the reception occurs when the First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, presents citations recognizing the best examples of highway beautification by the States.
1983: FHWA awards $5.4 million to the New York State DOT to begin repair of the Brooklyn Bridge, the first Federal-aid funding for the historic structure.
Birthdays: Marshall Teague (1922)
1921: Secretary of Agriculture E. T. Meridith transmits BPR's report to the California Highway Commission classifying pavement on 1,262 miles of California's road system. (Field studies, began July 8, 1920, under the direction of Dr. L. I. Hewes and T. Warren Allen, involved taking 7,500 photos.) In a foreword, Chief Thomas MacDonald notes, "The California study is the most comprehensive study of results obtained through the development of a State highway system that has yet been undertaken."
1969: In Little Rock, AR, FHWA's David S. Gendell, Ali F. Sevin, and Manuel A. Marks, Jr., open a 4-day course on urban transportation planning for local, State, and FHWA officials. The course familiarizes attendees with the key elements of the comprehensive, cooperative, continuing transportation planning process.
2001: Dale Earnhardt died in a last lap crash at the Daytona 500. Michael Waltrip would win the race, his first Winston Cup victory.
Birthdays: Jeff Purvis (1959), John Paul Jr. (1960)
1991: Secretary of Transportation Samuel Skinner transmits FHWA's report to Congress on the National Scenic Byways Study. He cites Blue Highways author William Least Heat Moon's comment that, "The travelers are ready to go, let the journey begin." The Secretary adds, "In that spirit, we look forward to working with the Congress and with the many government agencies and private groups that support the scenic byways initiative."
2004: Chop Cut Rebuild debuted.
Birthdays: Roger Penske (1937), Scott Brayton (1959), Adam Clarke (1975)
1903: At a national good roads convention in Chicago, IL, Director Martin Dodge says the burden of improving highways should rest on all the people, not on the agriculturist alone. He favors State and national aid.
1914: OPR's M. O. Eldridge lectures on "Sand Clay Roads" at the West Virginia Road School at West Virginia University. In previous days, he had lectured on uniform culvert and bridge plans, model roads and road models, and bituminous binders. The course is free and participants were assured that the total expense of the course, not counting railroad fare, need not exceed $12.00.
2006: Production of the Mazda CX-7 begins.
1939: PRA's Worth Ross is authorized to proceed to Colombia, South America, to give technical advice and help concerning highway construction. President Franklin Roosevelt approved the detail under the provisions of an Act approved May 25, 1938. Ross arrives March 7 and assists in developing projects for a national highway.
2009: First Lady Michelle Obama visits DOT Headquarters, the 5th agency she visits to thank government employees for their public service. Speaking in the West Atrium, she says, "Just know that we value you, America values you, and together we can get this country moving again."
Birthdays: Chuck Bown (1954)
1955: President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends Congress a report titled "A 10-Year National Highway Program." The report, by a presidential committee headed by General Lucius Clay, recommends creation of a Federal Highway Corporation to finance a $101-billion program, including $25 billion for the Interstate System. To pay for the Interstate System, the corporation would issue $20 billion in long-term bonds, to be repaid over 32 years from the existing 2-cent Federal motor-fuel tax. The President calls the plan "A solid foundation for a sound program." However, it fails in Congress.
1993: Production began on the Lexus GS300.
Birthdays: Julius "Slick" Johnson (1948), Rodney Slater (1955)
1920: A meeting of State highway testing engineers and chemists gets underway at BPR headquarters, under auspices of AASHO's Tests and Investigations Committee, to formulate standard methods for testing road materials and to establish safe test limits. Professor T. R. Agg of the Iowa Highway Commission acts as chairman of the conference, which includes BPR's B. A. Anderson (chemist), L. G. Carmick (assistant chemist), A. T. Goldbeck (engineer of tests), F. H. Jackson (senior assistant testing engineer), Henry M. Milburn (chemist), and E. B. Smith (senior assistant testing engineer).
2015: Honda announced that CEO and President Takanobu Ito would step down to be replaced by Takahiro Hachigo in June.
Birthdays: Timo Bernhard (1981)
1913: OPR's James T. Voshell is a lecturer at the winter course in highway engineering, Ohio State University. His subjects are "Earth Roads," "Road Materials-Gravel and Broken Stone," and "Binders and Fillers for Gravel, Macadam, and Brick Paved Roads."
1964: Dr. Homer T. Rosenberger, Chief of BPR's Training Branch, completes his tour, begun December 1, 1963, of six African countries- Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Tunisia. His book, Letters from Africa, describes the people, their culture, and the current economic and political scene.
1977: Despite the onset of rain, President Jimmy Carter, escorted by Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams, addresses USDOT personnel in the courtyard of the USDOT Headquarters. "I want to be sure that Brock Adams, who has my total confidence, is able to bring together all of you in an approach that is in itself cohesive and understandable, where there are no sacred fiefdoms within the Transportation Department."
2006: DealerPeople launched.
Birthdays: Tony Brooks (1932), Davey Allison (1961)
1899: Renault founded.
Birthdays: Robert La Caze (1917), Terry Cook (1968), Brad Coleman (1988)
1961: In a 2-hour ceremony, the Terraba River Bridge officially opens near Palmar, Costa Rica, on the Inter-American Highway. The U.S. paid two-thirds of the cost of the bridge and the adjacent 56 miles of road through some of the roughest terrain on the highway. The 1,120-foot long bridge consists of four 90-foot, steel beam spans on the north and three 250-foot, through-steel trusses on the south. With more than 3,000 people in attendance, the official opening by President Mario Echandi Jimenez is followed by speeches by the assembled dignitaries, including BPR's Assistant Commissioner for Operations, Paul F. Royster.
1970: The second generation Pontiac Firebird debuted.
2008: A 3-month American Axle & Manufacturing strike began.
Birthdays: Steve Chassey (1945), Todd Bodine (1964)
1917: Today and tomorrow, during the Fourth Annual Good Roads School at the University of Idaho, Dr. L. I. Hewes of OPRRE is the principal instructor. He lectures on "The Highway as an Investment" and "Maintenance Organization," describes the Agency's 1915 and 1916 experiments, and presents an illustrated lecture on "Road Improvement."
1959: BPR transmits a report to Congress on "The Federal Role in Highway Safety," concluding with a description of an adequate program and recommendations for official action.
1991: In a steady rain, demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway in San Francisco begins, ending 30 years of controversy over the elevated roadway, widely described as an "eyesore." The freeway had been damaged by the Loma Prieta Earthquake. "This is a good day for a rainfall . . . and it's a great day to take down a freeway," Mayor Art Agnos says.
2007: Boyd Coddington died.
Birthdays: Mario Andretti (1940)
1919: The Post Office Appropriation Act, signed by President Woodrow Wilson today, amends the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 in an attempt to correct defects that had hampered the success of the program. It broadens the definition of "rural post road," increases the maximum amount of Federal funding to $20,000 per mile, and increases funding. In addition, the Act authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to distribute World War I equipment, through BPR, to the States for road improvement.
1961: President John F. Kennedy's Special Message to Congress warns that, "Our Federal Pay-As-You-Go Highway Program" is "in peril." Citing "the vital contribution this [Interstate] program makes to our security, our safety, and our economic growth," he discusses the need for additional funds to complete the program on schedule. His message leads to the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1961.
Birthdays: Masten Gregory (1932), Francesco Conti (1964)
1944: Testimony begins before the House Roads Committee on the legislation that would approve the National System of Interstate Highways (concludes May 3). Commissioner Thomas MacDonald testifies that, unlike wartime legislation, the proposal "is not temporary, but will mark the progress of road construction for the next quarter of a century." Only one State (Colorado) testifies in opposition to what is still known as the Interregional System.
Birthdays: Dave Marcis (1941), Ni Amorim (1962), Antron Brown (1976)
1936: The Hoover Dam was completed in 1936. Heavily travelled U.S. 93 ran along the dam's crest until October 2010, when the Hoover Dam Bypass opened.
1966: In the Providence Journal's auditorium in Rhode Island, BPR Assistant Regional Engineer Robert Kellum conducts a hearing on standards for the Highway Beautification Act of 1965. Pro-billboard speakers contend the proposed standards go far beyond the act's intent. Anti-billboard speakers say "trapped motorists" deserve stretches of highway free of advertisements. Governor John Chafee endorses the standards and promises to comply speedily when they are finalized.
1988: The 2-year, $210-million reconstruction of the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago, IL, between 31st Street and the Eisenhower Expressway, gets underway. Because of careful planning of alternate routes and an extensive publicity campaign, the closing of two northbound lanes today (and subsequent lane closings) do not result in the widely expected traffic nightmare. A March 2 article in the Chicago Sun-Times about the closing is headlined, "A Breeze!" and begins, "Rush hour? What rush hour?"
2009: Trucking companies Yellow Transportation and Roadway merged.
1878: William Kissam Vanderbilt II, automobile pioneer and sponsor of the Vanderbilt Cup, was born.
1925: In response to a resolution adopted by AASHO during its annual meeting in 1924, Secretary of Agriculture Howard M. Gore appoints the Joint Board on Interstate Highways to study how to designate the Nation's main interstate roads. Chief Thomas MacDonald chairs the committee, with BPR's E. W. James as secretary and A. B. Fletcher as a member. The Joint Board, which includes representatives of 21 State highway agencies, creates the U.S. numbered highway system. (AASHO continues to designate U.S. route numbers today.)
1966: The one millionth Ford Mustang was produced.
1974: Administrator Norbert Tiemann announces an agreement with the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc., and the State highway agencies for "Operation Wildflower" to promote the planting and growth of wildflowers along Federal-aid highways.
Birthdays: Tiny Lund (1936), Ed Carpenter (1981)
1893: In one of President Benjamin Harrison's last acts before leaving office, he signs the Agriculture Appropriations Act of 1894, appropriating $10,000 for a road inquiry that gets underway with formation of the ORI, headed by General Roy Stone, on October 3, 1893. An associate of General Stone wrote to him in New York to tell him why Stone's broader bill had not been considered: Senate supporters of both bills "decided that it was more discreet to save the appr'n of $10nd, as it stood, than to attract attention to it by an amendment, & run the risk of a debate & losing all-hence the inaction."
1936: In a referendum, Vermont's voters defeat a proposition to buy right-of-way for the Green Mountain Parkway, effectively killing the proposal. The parkway, which would have run the length of the State, had been proposed by the NPS, BPR, and the Vermont Bureau of Public Works. Reporting the results of the referendum, the Rutland Herald said, "Now in truth Vermont can say not only that she is, but that she will remain unspoiled-unspoiled in character, in common sense, in dignity, as well as in scenery."
2009: President Barack Obama visits DOT along with Vice President Joe Biden to discuss the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which is intended to help the country recover from a deep recession. In the East Atrium, the President says, "we will be investing $28 billion in our highways, money that every one of our 50 States can start using immediately to put people back to work."
Birthdays: Buck Baker (1919), Rick Mast (1957), Satoshi Motoyama (1971)
1894: General Roy Stone transmits ORI Bulletin No. 4 to Secretary of Agriculture J. Sterling Morton for release: Road Making Materials in Arkansas by State Geologist John C. Branner. The introduction begins: "The quagmires, ruts, and wrecked wagons that mark our common highways, the reckless waste of the old road system, and the social and commercial isolation that such roads impose upon our people-and especially upon our farmers-during a large part of the winter and spring months must sooner or later convince us that bad roads cost more than good ones."
1911: A. L. Westgard (known as "The Pathfinder") of the Touring Club of America begins the first transcontinental trip by truck (a 37- horsepower truck called the "Pioneer Freighter"). Director Logan Page has appointed Westgard an OPR Special Agent (unpaid).
1915: The FY 1916 appropriations act for the Agriculture Department combines the Divisions of Drainage and Irrigation (Office of Experiment Stations) and the farm architecture work of the Office of Farm Management Investigations with OPR, which is renamed the Office of Public Roads and Rural Engineering. The change is effective July 1, 1915.
1918: OPRRE assigns an engineer to help the U.S. Shipping Board Housing Corporation in working out highway and street problems in connection with housing projects during World War I. A similar arrangement was made with the U.S. Housing Corporation of the Department of Labor.
1927: The first LaSalle, the Series 303, is introduced.
1929: David Dunbar Buick died.
1990: Administrator Thomas Larson is in Turkey to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Directorate of Turkish Highways, which BPR helped establish. With his Turkish counterpart, Atalay Coskunoglu, Dr. Larson signs a technical cooperation agreement.
1995: Phyllis Etheridge Young reports for her new assignment as Division Administrator in Jackson, Mississippi. She is the first African-American woman appointed an FHWA Division Administrator. Thirty years earlier, she had joined BPR (effective date: July 4, 1965) as the first African-American woman to be a mathematical statistician in the Office of Research.
1900: Gottlieb Daimler died.
1913: Director Logan Page presides as the Second National Good Roads Federal-Aid Convention opens at the Raleigh Hotel in Washington. Following a reception by President Woodrow Wilson at the White House, the first speech of the afternoon is by M. de Pulligny, France's Chief Engineer of Roads and Bridges, who outlines the road building methods of that country.
1934: President Franklin Roosevelt transmits a report to Congress on the reconnaissance survey for the proposed Inter-American Highway from Panama to the United States (requested in the Inter-American Highway Act, March 4, 1929). A BPR engineering party had established an office in Panama on July 1, 1930, and completed field work by May 1933.
1943: Based on a field survey in February, Senior Highway Engineer H. A. Stoddart of PRA completes a report on disabled U.S. Army and contractor equipment along the Whitehorse Division of the Alaska Highway, resulting from the haste of construction and the difficulty of securing repair parts.
1975: In a White House ceremony conducted by President Gerald Ford, William T. Coleman, Jr., becomes the first African-American to serve as Secretary of Transportation. The oath of office is administered by Coleman's friend and colleague, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. President Ford tells the guests that the new Secretary has a mandate to help save energy, develop mass transportation, strengthen the railroads, and ensure an equitable and stern enforcement of the 55 m.p.h. speed limit brought on by oil shortages. For FHWA, his tenure would be marked by direct involvement in settling highway controversies.
Birthdays: Mark Smith (1954), Kirk Shelmerdine (1958), Michael Bartels (1968)
1973: The 1.7-mile, $112-million Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel on I-70 in Colorado, bypassing Loveland Pass, opens after a brief ceremony conducted about 500 feet inside the tunnel's entrance west of Denver. The ceremony is moved inside because the weather includes a temperature of 34 degrees and snow flurries. Governor John Love says, "This tunnel, as part of the interstate system, represents the most recent, and possibly the most effective, answer to tying east and west Colorado together and opening the way west."
1990: In the Old Executive Office Building, President George Bush and Secretary of Transportation Samuel Skinner unveil the National Transportation Policy (NTP), developed by a USDOT team under Deputy Secretary Elaine Chao and Administrator Thomas Larson after an extensive public/private sector outreach. The policy will, in the Secretary's words, "set a course that will ensure we have a transportation system that supports our national goals for the future." The USDOT's legislative proposals for the post-Interstate era-unveiled in this same room on February 13, 1991-are based on the NTP and lead directly to ISTEA.
Birthdays: John Walczak (1949), Danny Sullivan (1950), Ronnie Hopkins (1962)
1964: Production began on the Ford Mustang.
1965: President Lyndon Johnson signs the $1.1 billion Appalachian Regional Development Act, creating the Appalachian Regional Commission and authorizing construction of the Appalachian Development Highway System and local access roads.
1974: The Governing Board of the National Research Council approves a replacement for the Highway Research Board: the Transportation Research Board.
1992: A 3-day U.S./Mexico Roundtable on Concessionary Transportation Infrastructure gets underway in Manzanillo, Mexico, to encourage cooperative enterprise. Administrator Thomas Larson heads a U.S. delegation of nearly 100 public and private sector officials.
2014: William Clay Ford Sr. died.
Birthdays: Mike Wallace (1959), Matt Kenseth (1972)
1919: The Indiana State Highway Commission becomes the last State highway agency to qualify for funding under the 1916 Federal Aid Road Act. The original commission had suspended operations when the 1917 legislation establishing it was challenged as unconstitutional. After the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in the State's favor, the General Assembly passed an act, effective this date, creating the commission.
1953: At the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, Wilbur H. Simonson, Chief of BPR's Roadside Branch, delivers the First Lecture in the Horace Brown Lecture Series sponsored by the New Jersey Roadside Council. In "Evolution of the Parkway to the Complete Highway," he says that studying earlier examples "will give you a clearer vision of complete highway design as a way of life-the American way, bright with the promise of opportunity to serve your fellow man in the years to come."
2009: Fleetwood filed for bankruptcy.
Birthdays: Derek Daly (1953)
1906: During an official meeting of the City Council of Demopolis, Alabama, today and tomorrow, OPR advice results in a unanimous sentiment to advance the standard of road improvement. The city asks for construction of an object lesson road.
1993: Transportation Planner Wilfred Owen addresses FHWA's Research and Technology Coordinating Committee. He advises that research into demand-side solutions to sustaining mobility could allow the transportation sector to lead in addressing national needs, such as making cities more livable, reducing unnecessary commuter traffic, implementing land conservation, protecting the environment, and saving energy.
2016: The first Cadillac CT6 was delivered.
Birthdays: Red Byron (1915), Johnny Rutherford (1938), John Andretti (1963), and Casey Mears (1978)
1907: In an address to ARMA's Fourth Annual Convention, in Pittsburgh, PA, Director Logan Page summarizes the history of the good roads movement and explains OPR's mission: "We hope to succeed in partially mitigating the deplorable conditions due to incorrect methods of road construction; to induce some of the road builders to exercise judgment in the selection of their road materials; to enable legislators, by placing proper information before them, to improve existing legislation."
1919: Chief Thomas MacDonald issues regulations implementing the FY 1920 Post Office Appropriation Act of February 28, 1919. In implementing the new law, the regulations incorporate changes in response to suggestions by State highway officials, during AASHO's Annual Meeting last December, for resolving disagreements or delays identified under the Federal-aid highway program.
1968: Public Roads Director Frank Turner issues an Instructional Memorandum on "Bridge Safety Inspection," which includes the first guide on evaluating bridge conditions. Stanley Gordon of the Bridge Division had developed the guide at Turner's request following the collapse of the Silver Bridge. Gordon has been called "the Father of Bridge Inspection."
1970: FHWA Regional Safety Specialists Stanley Keesling and Sam Luebbert, while attending the annual meeting of the Mississippi Valley Institute of Traffic Engineers in Oklahoma City, OK, tell a reporter about tests of self-inflating balloons that are being tested as a new way of protecting motor vehicle occupants in collisions. Luebbert says, "I would love to have students-who are always looking for causes-get traffic safety as a cause."
1915: In Washington, DC, Governor James B. McCreary of Kentucky and State Commissioner of Public Roads R. C. Terrell meet with Secretary of Agriculture D. F. Houston and OPR, receiving all available information on the best methods of developing good roads. The Governor tells a reporter, "I think I am safe in saying there is no other State in the union where good roads enthusiasm is at higher tide than in Kentucky."
1918: Work is completed on a road from Quantico Marine Corps base in Virginia to the Richmond-Washington highway, with BPR's C. L. Brown advising the post quartermaster.
1967: BPR Public Information Officer Robert S. Marx, speaking before the Regional Landscape Architects on "Improving the Bureau's Public Image," begins by saying that promoting the highway beautification program sometimes makes him feel "not unlike the man who pushed his mother-in-law over the cliff in his brand new Cadillac."
Birthdays: Lee Petty (1914), Bill Rexford (1927), Greg Anderson (1961), Hiro Matsushita (1961), Tina Gordon (1969), John Zimmer (1984)
1903: A State law is enacted authorizing the use of convicts to build a public road from Santa Fe to Las Vegas, NM. At the State's request, OPRI Special Agent James W. Abbott inspected the road and advised the State of his findings in 1904. OPRI's annual report states that the mountain road is "destined to become famous because of scenic attraction and excellence of construction."
1913: OPR's George D. Marshall addresses a good roads meeting in Hamilton, TX, on "Good Roads Yesterday, To-day and Forever." According to Southern Good Roads magazine, Marshall "is not only a good engineer but he is a very fine speaker."
1942: President Franklin Roosevelt sends letters to the Governors of the 48 States asking each one to establish and enforce a 40-m.p.h. speed limit as a wartime measure to conserve tires and the Nation's rubber supply. The request is based in part on data provided by PRA to the Office of Defense Transportation on numbers of motor vehicles, gasoline consumption, and highway use.
1978: FHWA issues a "Policy Statement on the Minimization of Red Tape," which calls for review of all reporting requirements; State, local, and public involvement in the development of regulations and directives; and strengthened communication with local governments.
2013: Zipcar purchased by Avis for US$500 million.
Birthdays: Mickey Gibbs (1958)
1922: Chief Thomas MacDonald is elected one of the four initial directors of the Eno Foundation, established by William Phelps Eno in 1921 to perpetuate his work in promoting safety and discipline on streets and highways.
1947: Preston Tucker filed for a U.S. design patent for the Tucker 48.
1961: A medium-scale computer with four magnetic tape units and 8,000 characters of memory is installed in BPR's Washington Headquarters, replacing a medium-size digital computer, compatible with punch cards, installed in July 1958.
1990: Administrator Thomas Larson is in Turkey to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Directorate of Turkish Highways, which BPR helped establish.
Birthdays: Billy Stavola (1947), Ed Ferree (1952), Franck Fréon (1962)
1946: At the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago, IL, Deputy Commissioner of Public Roads H. E. Hilts addresses the Mississippi Valley Conference on "Activating the Postwar Federal-Aid Highway Program." He also looks back, "Now that the war is over we find it easy to forget the real concern that was felt . . . over a possibility of bombings and even invasions. [The PRA studied] the effectiveness of the strategic network of highways to accommodate 55-ton tanks in our coastal States . . . . At the same time as these studies were in progress, selections were being made of alternate routes paralleling each side of each route of the strategic network to facilitate potential heavy military movements. Fortunately we were not called upon to use these routes for these purposes except for maneuvers."
1966: The last ever Studebaker was manufactured in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
2009: The 5th Generation Chevrolet Camaro began production.
1914: OPR joins with the American Highway Association in an object lesson in road maintenance, cooperating with the States and 49 counties to maintain the 893-mile Washington-to-Atlanta Highway. In OPR's FY 1914 annual report, Director Logan Page says the goal is to demonstrate "road maintenance on a sufficient scale to attract general attention, and at the same time render the largest amount of assistance at the least relative cost to the Office of Public Roads." The demonstration, supervised by OPR's Division of Maintenance, continues until 1917.
Birthdays: Andy Granatelli (1923), Mark Donohue (1937), Volker Weidler (1962)
1968: Evel Knievel appears on The Joey Bishop Show, bringing him to national attention.
1976: Based on a request from the National Advisory Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, FHWA adopts new design standards for signs identifying tourist information centers, welcome centers, and rest areas.
1985: The First North American Pavement Management Conference opens at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Canada. Cosponsored by FHWA and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communications (in cooperation with AASHTO, TRB, and the Roads and Transportation Association of Canada), the conference is chaired by Dr. R. K. (Ramesh) Kher of the Ontario Ministry. Among those addressing the conference are Deputy Administrator Lester Lamm ("Major Pavement Investment Management Issues and Prospects for the U.S. Federal Highway Network") and Administrator Thomas Larson ("Improved Pavement Maintenance: Accelerating the Search for Innovation").
Birthdays: Bill Sedgwick (1955), Michael Krumm (1970)
1903: OPRI's Western Agent, James W. Abbott, addresses the Texas good roads convention, explaining the technical features of highway construction. M. O. Eldridge delivers his popular illustrated lecture on "The Highways of the World."
1961: Design work begins on the Studebaker Avanti.
1969: Secretary of Transportation John Volpe administers the oath of office to Administrator Francis C. Turner. Guests include Senator Jennings Randolph, Chairman of the Committee on Public Works; Representative George H. Fallon, Chairman of the Committee on Public Works; and Representative John C. Kluczynski, a member of the committee.
2005: John DeLorean died.
Birthdays: Geoff Brabham (1952), Pedro Lamy (1972)
1914: OPR Superintendent of Road Construction D. H. Winslow addresses the New Hampshire Road Convention on "Special Problems in the New England States." He begins, "It has been said that 'you can always tell a New Englander, but you cannot tell him much' . . . . He is 'willing to be convinced, but would like to see the man that can convince him.'"
1943: PRA contractors complete the south river pier for the Peace River Bridge on the Alaska Highway. PRA's Raymond Archibald is in charge of design and construction. (The bridge collapsed on October 16, 1957, following a landslide. A replacement structure opened in January 1960).
Birthdays: George Abecassis (1913), Fonty Flock (1921), Larry McClure (1944), Ayrton Senna (1960)
1929: BPR's E. W. James sails to Bogota as a member of a commission formed to prepare a plan for improving transportation and communications in Colombia.
1980: In accordance with Executive Order 12185, dated December 17, 1979, FHWA issues FHWA Notice N 5520.4 establishing "policy and broad direction on energy for the Federal-aid highway program and to identify areas that possess the greatest potential for fuel conservation."
1985: To handle a large post-deregulation truck safety workload imposed by new legislation, the BMCS is superseded by an upgraded Office of Motor Carriers, with Richard Landis brought in from the Arizona Highway Patrol as the first Associate Administrator for Motor Carriers. He takes office September 15, 1985.
Birthdays: Billy Hagan (1932)
1918: The contract is awarded for Ohio's Federal-Aid Project #1, involving a 13.63-mile stretch of the National Pike in Muskingum County. Construction begins May 1 and the project is completed in October, with Governor James M. Cox laying the last brick.
1968: FHWA's National Highway Safety Bureau conducts a 1-day seminar on vehicle safety standards at the Pick-Congress Hotel in Chicago, IL. The meeting, held primarily for organizations representing recreational vehicles, truck trailers, and truck body and equipment industries, covers the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 and Federal vehicle safety standards.
1994: Following an inspirational battle with cancer, FHWA Transportation Engineer James F. Condron dies today. On April 22, as a memorial to his contribution to the Agency, the Georgia Division Office renames its Merit Award in his honor. The Condron Award will be given annually to a Georgia DOT employee for outstanding performance of his or her job during the year.
Birthdays: Don Bierschwale (1933)
1903: OPRI's M. O Eldridge addresses a good roads meeting at Ft. Smith, AR. "Some counties are wasting their [highway bond] money because the work is done in a crude manner and not under the direction of expects." He also stresses the importance of maintenance: "A little mud hole may be fixed before it gets big and does a great deal of damage. Any man who knows his business may with the toe of his boot turn off a little stream of water, which will do $100 worth of damage if left alone."
1945: S.S. Cars Limited changes its name to Jaguar.
1964: President Lyndon Johnson sends a message to Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges calling for an accelerated safety program known as the safety spot improvement program to encourage States to use FAP and FAS funds to eliminate or reduce hazards.
1967: Lowell K. Bridwell is sworn in as Federal Highway Administrator by Secretary of Transportation Alan Boyd and takes office. On January 20, 1964, Bridwell had taken office as Acting Deputy Administrator, replacing the first Deputy Administrator, D. Grant Mickle, and was appointed Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation (Operations) on July 2, 1964.
1999: The Conexpo-Con/Agg exposition opens in Las Vegas. During the exposition, Nevada Division Administrator John Price accepts an award honoring FHWA for the Interstate System, selected as one of the Top 10 Construction Projects of the 20th century.
Birthdays: Jimmy Makar (1956), Adam Andretti (1979)
1908: Director Logan Page sends a letter to officials of 49 railroad companies seeking their help in OPR's study of county and township road management. "I shall be greatly obliged if you will assist us by giving the names of such counties along the line of your road as appear to have the best systems and are obtaining the best results in the improvement of their roads without undue expense." He took this action, and called on other sources, after concluding that obtaining complete, accurate, and unbiased reports from the counties themselves would be impossible.
1960: BPR Commissioner Ellis Armstrong begins a 3-day series of hearings on the controversial issue of where to route I-64 between Louisville, KY, and St. Louis, MO. When a photographer's flash bulb explodes at the start of the third day, Armstrong comments, "I didn't expect the shooting to start so quickly."
Birthdays: Danica Patrick (1982)
1942: In preparation for construction of the Alaska Highway, PRA officials and guides leave Fort Nelson, British Columbia, on a dog team reconnaissance trip to Watson Lake. Another team leaves the Hudson's Bay Trading Post on the Sikanni Chief River on a reconnaissance trip to Fort Nelson. According to Highway Engineer W. H. Curwen, "Rations carried on this trip . . . consisted of the following: sausages, bacon, flour, sugar, salt, canned butter, tea, dry milk, dried eggs, baking powder, dried fruits, dehydrated vegetables, supplemented with 21 grouse, and about 10 pounds of moose meat obtained from trappers." Rations for the dogs consisted of cornmeal cooked with tallow.
1974: As authorized by the 1973 Federal-Aid Highway Act, FHWA issues guidelines authorizing, for the first time, the use of Federal-aid highway funds for construction of bikeways and pedestrian walkways outside the highway right-of-way along Federal-aid highways.
1992: The $8 million Travtek project, an experimental IVHS project financed by FHWA, AAA, General Motors, the Florida DOT, and the city of Orlando, gets underway. The goal is to provide traffic congestion information, motorist services information ("yellow pages"), tourist information, and route guidance to operators of 100 test vehicles equipped with in-vehicle TravTek devices.
Birthdays: Doug Williams (1951), Elaine Chao (1953)
1953: Tom Alley died in Indianapolis, Indiana.
1993: The 2-day Conference for State DOT Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinators concludes in San Diego, CA. The conference, coordinated by FHWA Bicycle Program Manager John Fegan, gives the participants, representing 45 States, the opportunity to meet each other, share information about their activities, and learn what resources are available at the national level. Most participants were appointed after ISTEA required each State to have a coordinator.
1975: Production begins on the Cadillac Seville.
2006: Paul Dana dies in IRL practice in Homestead, Miami.
2008: Ford agreed to sell their Jaguar Land Rover operations to Tata Motors.
2009: The Tesla Model S was displayed for the first time.
Birthdays: Cale Yarborough (1939)
1893: In a decision on Monongahela Navigation Company v. United States, Supreme Court Justice David Brewer states that, "the power of Congress to regulate commerce carries with it power over all the means and instrumentalities by which commerce is carried on . . . . We are so much accustomed to see artificial highways, such as common roads, turnpike roads and railroads, constructed under the authority of the States, and the improvement of natural highways [waterways] carried on by the general government, that at the first it might seem that there was some inherent difference in the power of the national government over them. But the grant of power is the same."
1964: An earthquake damages roads and bridges in Alaska. BPR's Region 10 moves into action to help the Alaska Department of Highways restore service. On April 17, BPR concurs in Governor William A. Egan's emergency proclamation and allocates an initial $4.2 million in emergency relief funds.
1969: Secretary of Transportation John Volpe announces a new post, Special Assistant to the Administrator, to ensure enforcement of Equal Employment Opportunity requirements. Alexander D. Gaither, currently Chief of FHWA's Equal Employment Opportunity Division, fills the position. In an order dated March 17, Volpe requires that equal practices be made part of every Federal-aid highway project contract or subcontract of $10,000 or more.
2010: The Mercedes-Benz A207 E-Class Cabriolet went on sale in Europe.
Birthdays: Nicholas Hamilton (1992)
1946: Nebraska becomes the first State to accept its tentatively integrated Interstate System, a map of which PRA had transmitted to the State highway agencies on March 14 for their concurrence. By the end of the fiscal year, PRA had received acceptances from 37 States and the District of Columbia. Seven States had not replied officially and four had proposed alternate routes that did not meet the routes proposed by adjoining States.
2008: Production of the GAZ Volga Siber began.
2014: Production of the BMW X4 began.
1920: In a letter to General Inspector L. I. Hewes in Portland, OR, Chief Thomas MacDonald discusses BPR's responsibilities. Given the 50-50 matching shares, he says, "we have equal responsibility with the States for securing adequate returns to the public. [In fact,] I feel that we should take at least 50 percent of the responsibility . . . because we will get the full one hundred per cent of responsibility for failures." MacDonald also recommends that "our district engineers should work with the State highway departments toward the completion of a program which will include the roads in their order of importance, and in so far as possible place the projects in the order which will complete the main State systems before side roads are undertaken."
1974: The first production Volkswagen Golf rolls off of the assembly line in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Birthdays: Rudolf Krause (1907)
1956: BPR issues PPM 20-7 on "Archeological and Paleontological Salvage." It is superseded on October 19 by a revised PPM implementing Section 120 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, under which Federal-aid highway funds may be used by State highway departments for archeological and paleontological salvage in compliance with An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities (June 8, 1906) or State laws. The October 19 PPM states, "When a road location or improvement is in an area where it is anticipated that historical objects may be encountered, the appropriate authority should be advised as early as possible of the exact location of the road to enable such authority to determine the likelihood of the highway destroying historical objects."
Birthdays: Richard Jackson (1937), Kevin Cogan (1956), Jon Beekhuis (1960), Scott Houston (1965)
1951: The Plymouth Cranbrook Belevedere was introduced.
1953: "The Chief," Thomas H. MacDonald, retires after heading BPR for 34 years (1919-1953). He had stayed beyond the mandatory retirement age of 70 with approval of the President. During testimony in April before the House Roads Subcommittee, Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks says, "There is nothing intended or implied, so far as I know . . . that in any way, shape or manner tends toward any watering down, so to speak, of the Bureau of Public Roads." During the hearings, Undersecretary Robert Murray, Jr., denies rumors that BPR is going to be dissolved.
1976: At 4 p.m., Transportation Secretary William Coleman, Jr., and Administrator Norbert Tiemann open the "Highways of History" exhibit in the lobby of the Old Pension Building in Washington, DC. The exhibit features 109 paintings by BPR's Carl Rakeman, pronounced Rock-a-mon.
2007: The W204 version of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class went on sale.
1919: Thomas H. MacDonald of the Iowa State Highway Commission is appointed "engineer in immediate charge of work under the Federal aid road act," pending reexamination by Congress of his salary. He had been interested in the position of BPR Director, and had been recommended by AASHO, but balked at the low pay ($4,500 a year). On July 1, 1919, he was appointed to fill the renamed position of "Chief of Bureau" at a salary of $6,000. MacDonald headed the Agency until 1953.
1953: Francis V. du Pont assumes responsibility as Commissioner of BPR. When a reporter asks why he came out of retirement to take the job, du Pont replies, "I can assure you I'm not in it to make a living." The job pays $16,000 a year. He adds that the BPR is unique and that there is "no yardstick to compare it with other agencies."
1967: On the Mall in Washington, DC, Secretary of Transportation Alan Boyd officiates at ceremonies marking the opening of the new U.S. Department of Transportation. The USDOT is the fourth largest Federal Department, with 100,000 employees. Within USDOT, FHWA is established as a merger of BPR, the National Traffic Safety Agency, and the National Highway Safety Agency, all from the Commerce Department, and the motor carrier safety functions of the ICC. Although BPR remains in the Matomic Building at 1717 H Street, NW., FHWA headquarters is established under Administrator Lowell Bridwell in the Donohoe Building at Sixth and D Streets, SW.
1970: AMC launches the Gremlin.
1975: The National Transportation Safety Board became a fully independent federal agency.
1992: "Don't be April Fooled" is the motto as the single commercial driver's license requirement goes into effect pursuant to the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986. Jill Hochman and Stan Hamilton of the Office of Motor Carriers orchestrated the most massive public education outreach campaign in FHWA history ("everything but skywriting and smoke signals") to get the word out to 5 million drivers who needed licenses by the deadline.
1993: Alan Kulwicki died in a plane crash.
2006: Honda Fit goes on sale in the United States.
2008: O'Reilly signs a deal to purchase CSK Auto.
2010: The 5th Generation Chevrolet Camaro won the World Car Design of the Year at the World Car of the Year Awards.
2015: The ninth generation Chevrolet Malibu was unveiled.
Birthdays: Steve Saleen (1949)
1962: Miss Beverly Cover (pronounced KOH-ver), 22, of Cumberland, MD, becomes the first woman to take a full-time position with BPR as a highway engineer. A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Miss Cover is sworn in by Deputy Administrator D. Grant Mickle while top officials Frank Turner, O. K. Normann, and Carl C. Saal look on. Miss Cover is assigned to Mr. Saal's Traffic Operations Division, where her work will include field studies using BPR's "Traffic Analyzer" to collect data on traffic flow. In 1964, Miss Cover, now Mrs. Beverly C. Norris, resigned to become a full-time mother and housewife, the same week BPR's second woman engineer, Miss Karen M. Porter, reported for duty in the Automatic Data Processing Division. Miss Porter says, "My teachers helped and encouraged me. They seemed to take pride in the fact that a girl was studying civil engineering."
1964: Saab begins Project Gudmund, which would eventually become the 99 in 1967.
1971: E.H. Ted Holmes, who joined BPR in 1928, retires as Associate Administrator for Planning.
1973: John DeLorean announces that he is leaving General Motors.
1986: Senator William Proxmire gives his monthly "Golden Fleece" award for "hitting the taxpayers with a $21 million toll to pay for unused and unneeded roads and bridges."
1987: By a 67-to-33 vote, the Senate overrides President Ronald Reagan's veto of the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act, even after the President drove to Capitol Hill to lobby against the measure, which he vetoed largely because it increased the number of "demonstration" projects to what was then a record high. The Act, which extends highway user fees for 5 years and funds the Strategic Highway Research Program, is widely perceived as the final authorization of the Interstate era.
Birthdays: Speedy Thompson (1926)
1902: A passenger train from Washington, DC, arrives in Charlottesville, VA, for the Jefferson Memorial and Inter-State Good Roads Convention (April 2-4), the final stop for the Southern Railway Good Roads Train (see November 24, 1901). The train carries OPRI's M. O. Eldridge, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture J. H. Brigham, General Nelson A. Miles, and several Congressmen. On April 2, General Roy Stone had addressed the convention ("The Necessity of Congressional Action in Road Improvement"), as had Director Martin Dodge ("Removing the Burdens of Bad Roads"). The primary purpose of the convention, sponsored in part by OPR, is to back a memorial road from Charlottesville to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, an idea attributed to Dodge. Today's afternoon session is called to order by Dr. W. C. N. Randolph, grandson of Thomas Jefferson.
2009: Fast & Furious was released.
2015: Furious 7 was released.
Birthdays: Bill France Jr. (1933), Tom Peck (1953)
2007: Lexus debuts the third generation LX (an LX 570) at the New York International Auto Show.
1986: Administrator Rex Whitton issues a checklist of desirable construction practices, drawn up with help from industry, to improve contractors' image. This is a followup to a program outlined on February 21, 1966, for carrying out construction in a way that minimizes public inconvenience and fully considers the interests of highway users, adjacent property, and natural resources.
1994: Administrator Rodney Slater and his staff complete preparations for a 14-day, 14-State, border-to-border road tour highlighting the vital role transportation plays in the economy. The tour begins tomorrow in Buffalo, NY, and ends in Laredo, TX, on April 18. "President Clinton has challenged all of us to rebuild America, and Transportation Secretary Federico Pea is leading the effort to invest in transportation infrastructure, which will increase productivity, stimulate the economy, and create jobs. This trip will give me a firsthand opportunity to look, listen and learn about the transportation needs of people in their communities."
1932: The first stage of the final Bates Road Test, near Springfield, IL, is completed when the loaded trucks used in the test had made 1,000 round trips over the 63 test sections on the 2-mile road. The tests, which are sponsored by the Illinois Division of Highways and BPR, demonstrated the need for control of wheel loads and result in the use of a thickened edge on concrete pavements.
1962: In an important message to Congress, President John F. Kennedy recommends that approval of Federal-aid highway projects in any metropolitan area should be contingent on a finding by the Secretary of Commerce, via BPR, that the projects are consistent with adequate, comprehensive development plans for the area or are based on a continuing planning process carried on cooperatively by the States and local communities. The recommendations are largely based on a joint report on urban transportation submitted to the President on March 28 by Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges and Housing and Home Finance Administrator Robert C. Weaver.
1983: John DeLorean granted a U.S. patent for "Mounting for a Vehicle Door" for the DeLorean's famed gullwing doors.
Birthdays: Pete DePaolo (1898), Herb Thomas (1923)
1977: On the recommendation of the National Advisory Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, FHWA approves symbol signs for the Nation's streets and highways: "Reserved Parking" (for handicapped), "Handicapped Crossing," "Fire Station," "Stop Ahead," and "Yield Ahead."
1988: President Ronald Reagan signs H.R. 4263 naming I-195 in New Jersey the "James J. Howard Interstate Highway" after the late Chairman of the House Public Works and Transportation Committee. The President says that Chairman Howard, who died March 25, is being honored for his "untiring efforts to bring this country a modern network of highway and mass transit projects."
1994: Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena transmits the report of the Scenic Byways Advisory Committee to Congress, as required by Section 1047 of ISTEA. The report contains the committee's recommendations for a National Scenic Byways Program to help motorists find the most scenic, most interesting roads in the country. The Secretary predicts that the National Scenic Byways Program will "become one of ISTEA's most popular legacies."
2016: Tata Tiago launched in India.
1947: Henry Ford died.
1957: "The Chief," Thomas H. MacDonald, dies following a heart attack in College Station, Texas. According to State Highway Engineer Dewitt C. Greer, MacDonald "walked over to the cigar counter after a very pleasant dinner with his family and friends and bought a cigar, sat down on a comfortable divan and passed away." MacDonald was buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Suitland, MD, by the side of his first wife, who died in 1935. In a tribute, his friend Pyke Johnson of the Automotive Safety Foundation, describes MacDonald as "a statesman who built an enduring monument to himself not so much in roads and bridges as in the lives of people." Johnson concluded, "Few knew him. But those few knew him as one of the men of history, who with their associates, have profoundly affected the course of modern life."
1977: William M. Cox, a native of Madisonville, KY, is sworn in as Federal Highway Administrator by Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams.
1989: Production of the Dodge Lancer ended.
Birthdays: Junie Donlavey (1924), Butch Mock (1952), Robert Pressley (1959)
1912: OPR's Paul Sargent chairs the day's session of the Southern Commercial Congress, reporting that in recent years, the South averaged $63 per mile on its entire system of roads. Later, he presents a paper on "What To Do As First Aid To Good Roads." (First thing: study traffic on the roads.)
1927: After meeting with Ross Sterling of the Texas Highway Commission on April 7 in Washington, DC, Chief Thomas MacDonald announces he will visit the State to determine whether to lift a suspension of Federal-aid project approvals. District Engineer A. R. Losh had suspended approvals on January 3 "until it has been satisfactorily shown that . . . funds are available, free from obligations," for necessary reconditioning and maintenance of completed Federal-aid projects. During MacDonald's visit in late April, he announces a resumption of normal relations.
2004: Subus Chile founded.
1943: The Secretary of War authorizes PRA to construct the Haines Cut-Off to connect the Alaska Highway with Haines in the Alaska Panhandle. Ken Coates' 1992 book, North to Alaska: Fifty Years on the World's Most Remarkable Highway (University of Alaska Press), describes the Haines Highway in the early 1970's as "twisting, rocky, and rather terrifying."
1985: FHWA officially adopts AASHTO's A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets. Because of the color of its cover, the policy is nicknamed "The Green Book."
1987: The third generation Honda Prelude was released in the Japanese market.
Birthdays: D.K. Ulrich (1944), Jeffrey Ellis (1956), Kasey Kahne (1980)
1894: With a letter to Secretary of Agriculture J. Sterling Morton, General Roy Stone transmits ORI Bulletin No. 8, Earth Roads: Hints on Their Construction and Repair. Stone compiled the information in response to the Secretary's ORI charter (see October 3, 1893), which called for information on the "best method of constructing a common highway, without gravel and stone." Hints are provided for earth roads in different States, drainage and construction, treatment of earth and sandy roads, grubbing and clearing for new roads in timbered regions, wagons for distributing crushed stone, and repair of country roads.
1986: President Ronald Reagan issues Proclamation 5457, designating 1986 the Centennial Year of the Gasoline Powered Automobile.
1895: The California Bureau of Highways writes a letter to General Roy Stone: "It is with exceeding great pleasure we inform you that we this day organized the first State Bureau of Highways in the Golden State of California, and our first official act is to send you greetings and thanks, for we feel assured it was through your visit and the interest you created while here that the . . . bills were passed by our Legislature."
2018: Key Safety Systems becomes Joyson Safety Systems.
Birthdays: Curtis Turner (1924)
1965: Director of Planning E. H. "Ted" Holmes delivers the Sixth Rees Jeffreys Triennial Lecture at the Town Planning Institute in London, England. In "Looking 25 Years Ahead in Highway Development in the United States," Holmes says, "The highways and freeways being built today will be in use 25 years hence, and those yet to be built will not differ greatly from those we know today. Probably designed for higher speeds, certainly with more attention to aesthetics and their attractiveness both to the road user and others, major urban freeways will have special purpose lanes, perhaps for buses or trucks, perhaps reversible in peak hours, and with controls to insure that their potential capacity is more nearly approached."
1979: Mad Max released.
Birthdays: Dan Gurney (1931)
1971: Under instructions issued by FHWA today, each urbanized area must be certified annually by the FHWA regional office as having an areawide policy board, an acceptable organizational arrangement to carry on the work, and an acceptable planning process. The FHWA Division Engineer can approve proposed projects only in certified areas and only if the project is part of a program that implements a plan held currently valid by the policy board.
2001: Honda introduced the Integra DC5.
2008: Jeffrey F. Paniati takes the oath of office as Executive Director, FHWA's highest career post. After joining FHWA in 1983 as a Highway Engineer Trainee, he served in a variety of posts, most recently as Associate Administrator for Operations. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters recommended him for the post and he was approved by President George W. Bush.
2009: President Barack Obama visits DOT to announce funding for the 2,000th transportation project under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, only 6 weeks after the first project was approved under the recession relief legislation. The President, who is joined by Vice President Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in the West Atrium, says, "I am proud to utter the two rarest phrases in the English language - projects are being approved ahead of schedule, and they are coming in under budget."
2015: Production began on the Jagaur XE.
Birthdays: Jeff Andretti (1964), Tony Raines (1964)
1921: AASHO's Executive Committee confers with President Warren Harding and Secretary of Agriculture Henry C. Wallace. The President states he is averse to funding road construction unless the highways will receive proper maintenance.
1927: Volvo was founded.
1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints the National Interregional Highway Committee, headed by Commissioner Thomas MacDonald, to refine the "Interregional Highways" concept described in the 1939 report to Congress titled Toll Roads and Free Roads. The seven-member committee is directed "to investigate the need for a limited system of national highways to improve the facilities now available for interregional transportation, and to advise the Federal Works Administrator as to the desirable character of such improvements, and the possibility of utilizing some of the manpower and industrial capacity expected to be available at the end of [World War II]." The committee's Interregional Highways report, transmitted to Congress on January 12, 1944, provides the basis for the "National System of Interstate Highways."
1960: The Reporter, dated today, contains an article by future Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan on "New Roads and Urban Chaos." It plays an important part, 31 years later, in debate on the landmark ISTEA. "The crisis has come," Moynihan says. "It has been impossible for the cities to resist the offer of unprecedented amounts of money, however futile they might know it will be to spend it on highways alone. In one metropolis after another the plans have been thrown together and the bulldozers set to work."
2015: Grand Theft Auto V released for Microsoft Windows (supplemental release date).
2017: The Fate of the Furious was released.
Birthdays: Michael Greenfield (1963), Jack Harvey (1993)
1909: OPR's P.M. Speicher attends a good roads meeting of businessmen in Dennison, TX, to explain his tests of roadbuilding materials in Sherman County. He thinks it is possible to build excellent roads for about $3,500 a mile.
1970: Testifying before the Senate Public Works Committee, Administrator Frank Turner says that since the start of the Interstate Program in 1956, "we have provided more than 11 trillion vehicle miles of transportation over America's highways" (roughly 23 million round trips to the moon).
1926: The Ohio State Highway Commission opens bids for construction of a 4-mile section of the Lincoln Highway east of Delphos. Although the State had wanted a macadam surface, BPR refused to participate in anything less permanent than concrete on this major highway. Bids are $71,322 for oil-bound macadam, $72,156 for tar-bound macadam, $84,367 for Kentucky asphalt, and $91,982 for concrete. After some hesitation, the State awards the contract to G. H. Heffner for concrete construction.
1938: Chief Thomas MacDonald transmits a report to Colonel James Roosevelt discussing the feasibility of direct toll roads, with excess condemnation, on lines drawn by Roosevelt's father, the President, on a national map-the report is the predecessor to part one of Toll Roads and Free Roads.
1958: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act, increasing Interstate construction funds and suspending the pay-as-you-go-feature of the Federal-aid highway program for FY's 1959-60 as part of an economic stimulus package.
1963: A motorcade of dignitaries from the United States, Canada, and Central and South America travels from Panama City to Mexico City in three buses to officially open the Inter-American Highway. The highway is now paved for 2,664 miles and the remaining 478 miles have an all-weather surface, making travel between the U.S. and Panama City possible at any time of year.
Birthdays: Mike Chase (1952), Len Wood (1956), Tony Glover (1957)
1925: Construction begins on a 10.16-mile section of State Route 6 between Columbia and Mt. Pleasant, TN (completed October 2). At the contractor's request, BPR efficiency engineers make time studies of construction operations on this Federal-aid project. The experts make several suggestions to increase daily output. For example, use of a double hose connection on the cement mixer adds 20-30 minutes of running time each day and increases daily output by about 75 square yards.
1931: The Allstate insurance company went into business.
1962: Administrator Rex Whitton testifies before the House Subcommittee on Roads in support of H.R. 11199, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962, citing particularly its provisions for urban transportation.
1964: The Ford Mustang was introduced to the public.
1965: Arnie "The Farmer" Beswick becomes the first NHRA Funny Car driver to run a 1/4 mile in under 10 seconds, posting a 9.97 at York, Pennsylvania.
Birthdays: Jochen Rindt (1942), Geoffrey Bodine (1949)
1927: In Morris et al v. Duby et al, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the right of the State to regulate maximum loads to be carried by motor vehicles within the State over roads constructed with both State and Federal funds. The case stemmed from an Oregon Highway Commission decision lowering weight limits for trucks to 16,500 lbs (from 22,000 lbs) because heavier loads damaged the roads.
1957: Administrator Bert Tallamy joins Senator Prescott Bush in an interview taped as a "Report from Washington" for use on radio and television stations in the Senator's State, Connecticut. Tallamy reports that the Interstate Highway Program is on schedule and that State laws will permit the States "to adequately compensate all people that they must acquire right-of-way from."
1972: At a meeting of Federal and State highway officials in Albany, NY, FHWA unveils the "Federally Coordinated Program of Research and Development in Highway Transportation," aimed at creating a safer, more efficient highway system that is better integrated with other transportation modes.
2011: The eighth generation Chevrolet Malibu was unveiled.
Birthdays: Jack Roush (1942), Robert Yates (1943), Al Unser Jr. (1962)
1968: Administrator Lowell Bridwell reconfirms Federal approval of proposed I-40 through Overton Park in Memphis, TN. This action follows an April 5 resolution by the Memphis City Council endorsing the park route as "feasible and prudent." On March 3, 1971, in a decision written by Justice Thurgood Marshall, the Supreme Court orders reconsideration of the decision to build I-40 through Overton Park. In addition to requiring a change in the route of I-40, which will be shifted to the northern beltway, the decision provides a basis for interpreting the "prudent and feasible alternative" requirement of Section 4(f) of the DOT Act in future cases. (Section 15 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1966, approved September 13, 1966, adds a similar provision to Title 23, United States Code, as Section 138, "Preservation of Parklands.")
1995: Julie Anna Cirillo is appointed Regional Federal Highway Administrator in FHWA's Region 9 (San Francisco, CA). She is the first woman to become an FHWA Regional Administrator.
Birthdays: Zachary Claman DeMelo (1998)
1901: Director Martin Dodge accompanies the first Good Roads Train, sponsored by the National Good Roads Association, as it leaves Chicago, IL, for New Orleans, LA. The association pays the salary and expenses of OPRI expert Charles T. Harrison, who lectures on roads and supervises roadbuilding demonstrations along the way. Dodge later says, "This was undoubtedly the most successful campaign ever waged for good roads."
1971: Director of Environmental Policy Michael Lash opens the first FHWA Environmental Workshop for representatives of each regional office and several division offices. Associate Administrator for Right-of-Way and Environment John A. Swanson's keynote address stresses the important role FHWA must play in environmental design and analysis.
1990: On the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, Administrator Thomas Larson issues FHWA's Environmental Policy Statement, which re-dedicates FHWA to the "goal of leaving new generations with a better environment and a higher quality of life."
Birthdays: Bill Ingle (1956), Greg Zipadelli (1967)
1944: Addressing the Highway Engineers Association of Missouri in St. Louis, Deputy Commissioner of Public Roads H. E. Hilts discusses "Cooperation is Essential in Building a National System of Interregional Highways," as the Interstate System is then called.
1949: In New Mexico, the footings for the east portal of a tunnel on BPR's Alamogordo-Cloudcraft Forest Highway Project are poured. The work is part of a project that includes concrete lining, pneumatic mortar lining, pavement, and portals of the tunnel bore driven in 1947. Because the project involves development of the only highway tunnel in the State, the project is of considerable public interest. On November 20, 1949, the day after the tunnel is completed, over 1,000 people attend the opening ceremony.
1976: The final Cadillac Eldorado convertible is produced.
1994: USDOT unveils "Share the Road," a national public service campaign to educate motorists on how to operate more safely amid large commercial vehicles. The campaign, administered by the Maryland DOT with a grant from FHWA, will inform motorists about limitations of trucks and buses in given situations.
1905: In Jacksonville, FL, OPR completes a 5,280-foot object lesson road, 15 feet wide, at a cost of $5,211.03. OPR's FY 1910 report notes the road was the best road in the area "and traffic, whenever possible, was diverted from other roads to it. In a year the travel over it had increased fourfold. A brickyard was established by the road and many very heavy loads were hauled over it . . . . Automobiles have increased in number from 100 in 1905 to 973 in 1910."
1983: In a memo to Executive Director R. D. Morgan from David K. Phillips, the Pavement Management Coordination Group notes that no significant road test work has been done since the AASHO Road Test was completed in 1960. The Group recommends short- and long-term initiatives to provide answers to complex pavement rehabilitation and design issues. On July 26, Administrator Ray Barnhart informs Associate Administrators and Regional Administrators that he has approved a program consisting of six interrelated activities aimed at providing sound information to pavement engineers.
1994: Administrator Rodney Slater and Acting NHTSA Administrator Christopher Hart walk from the USDOT Building to Capitol Hill to deliver the report to Congress on the "National Bicycling and Walking Study." Accompanied by a pedestrian convoy and police bicycle squads from local jurisdictions, they turn the report over to Representative Martin O. Sabo, who initiated the study. The report lays out an action plan to achieve the report's goals of doubling, from 7.9 percent to 15.8 percent, the percentage of transportation trips by bicycling and walking and to reduce, by 10 percent, fatalities occurring to bicyclists and pedestrians.
2002: Production of the Cadillac Eldorado ended.
2007: Jeff Gordon won the Subway Fresh Fit 500, his 76th win, tying Dale Earnhardt's career total.
Birthdays: Chris Kneifel (1961), Chad Little (1962)
1921: The 9th Annual Convention of the U.S. Good Roads Association and the Bankhead Highway Association closes its 6-day meeting in Greensboro, NC. Chief Thomas MacDonald delivered an address on road construction under the Federal-aid plan ("more or less of a statistical and technical nature but very illuminating," according to one reporter). Also during the convention, Senator J. Thomas Heflin of Alabama reviewed the benefits of the Federal-aid plan, while Senator Charles E. Townsend of Michigan denounced Federal-aid as a "pork barrel system" and asked for support of his bill for creating a national highway commission to build a national highway system. The convention endorsed "the Federal and State co-operative plan."
1963: A public hearing is held in Wilmington, NC, regarding the State Highway Commission's request for a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a bridge across the Cape Fear River. Although considerable opposition is registered, BPR representatives strongly recommend approval. The Corps later issued the permit. Construction begins in December 1965, and the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, the first lift span in the State, is dedicated and opened on October 20, 1969, honoring the men and women of NC who gave their lives in the service of their country.
1969: In the FAA Auditorium, Secretary of Transportation John Volpe addresses FHWA's 2-day Equal Opportunity Workshop. Participants include engineers assigned EEO responsibilities in the 50 States and DC as well as Regional EEO Officers. They discuss methods by which FHWA can carry out its responsibilities for equal opportunity under Executive Order 1246, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968.
1942: Because of a shortage of tankers and tank cars, the Petroleum Coordinator for War issues a recommendation that asphalt and tar for highway use be deferred unless certified by PRA as "necessary to the successful prosecution of the war." The recommendation applies only to 17 Atlantic seaboard States, but control is extended on July 2 to the western borders of Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and the Dakotas.
1957: BPR's Floyd Oliver arrives in Tehran to head the Division Office in Iran for a 2-year program of highway maintenance and training of highway personnel. Funds for the project come from a $5 million credit to Iran by the Export-Import Bank, approved December 7, 1956.
2003: SEAT introduced the Cupra GT.
Birthdays: Ken Wilson (1957)
1939: President Franklin D. Roosevelt submits Reorganization Plan No. 1 to Congress. The plan transfers BPR (renamed PRA) to the new Federal Works Agency and changes the title of the head of PRA to Commissioner of Public Roads. The Federal Works Agency also includes the Public Buildings Administration, the U.S. Housing Authority, the Public Works Administration, and the Work Projects Administration. Approved by Congress, via Joint Resolution, on June 7, the plan goes into effect on July 1, 1939.
1979: FHWA Division Office staffers in Oklahoma participate in an emergency preparedness exercise to test the State's highway emergency plans, with a mock nuclear attack on April 26 as the focus.
2001: Michele Alboreto died.
2016: Production of the Volvo V70 ended.
Birthdays: José María López (1983)
1911: Director Logan Page submits an application for a patent for a "process for mixing and preparing hydraulic cement concrete and the product thereof." In the application, which will be granted on August 15, 1911, Page states that, "My invention has for its object an improvement in the final product formed after the hydraulic cement mixtures or concrete mixtures have set and hardened in the usual well-known manner." The application states that the patent is "Dedicated to the Public."
1967: Winston Daniel and R. C. McIntire represent FHWA at inauguration of the last link of the Inter-American Highway in Nicaragua (Project No. 11-Nandaime-Rivas). President Lorenzo Guerrero and U.S. Ambassador Aaron S. Brown perform the ribbon cutting. The highway was constructed jointly by the U.S. and Nicaragua, with supervision by BPR.
1991: The last Oldsmobile Calais was produced.
Birthdays: Jeff Segal (1985)
1909: After blocking off a 2-mile section of Conduit Road above Cabin John Bridge in Washington, DC, Director Logan Page conducts experiments with high speed automobiles (50-60 m.p.h.) to test the effect of speed on macadam roads. Instantaneous cameras and moving picture machines record the effects.
1939: On the recommendation of Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace and Secretary of War Harry H. Woodring, President Franklin D. Roosevelt transmits Toll Roads and Free Roads to Congress, providing the first outline of the future Interstate Highway Program. Part I concludes that a 14,000-mile toll road network would not be self-supporting. Part II, "A Master Plan for Free Highway Development," proposes development of a 26,700-mile system of interregional superhighways with connections through and around cities.
2009: General Motors announces the discontinuation of the Pontiac Vibe.
Birthdays: Al Miller (1907), Jay Leno (1950)
1903: General Roy Stone, now Chief Engineer of the Union Terminal Company of New York, addresses the National Good Roads Convention in St. Louis, MO, on "Good Roads and How to Get Them." Yesterday, Director Martin Dodge spoke on "What the Federal Government is Doing." After describing the OPRI's work, Dodge had told the convention, "We are so much encouraged from the good results that have come from [object lesson road projects] that it would seem to be wise that the government should do more; not only more of the same kind, but contribute more largely to the cost of building."
1917: OPR issues Standards Governing the Form and Arrangement of Plans, Specifications, and Estimates for Federal Aid Projects. The publication, which presents ideas on how surveys and plans should be made, was prepared by OPR in cooperation with AASHO.
1971: In a pine grove just off I-95 near Freeport, ME, Secretary of Transportation John Volpe says, "Take her down, boys," as a crane pulls the facing off the first billboard to be removed under the Highway Beautification Act of 1965. Volpe explains, "We realize that while the beauty of our landscape is more important than billboards, the billboard itself is not intrinsically evil. Therefore, this legislation provides just compensation for those whose signs are taken to benefit the commonwealth." The double-faced billboard had most recently advertised a Brunswick restaurant and a Falmouth music store.
Birthdays: Dale Earnhardt (1951)
1903: At the National Good Roads Convention in St. Louis, MO, President Theodore Roosevelt says, "When we wish to use descriptive adjectives, fit to characterize great empires . . . invariably one of the adjectives used is to signify that that empire built good roads . . . . The faculty, the art, the habit of road building marks in a nation those solid, stable qualities, which tell for permanent greatness."
1932: Advance Auto Parts founded.
1994: Acting Regional Administrator Dale Wilken joins U.S. Representative Solomon Ortiz, Texas DOT, and Port of Brownsville officials in the symbolic driving of a spike to begin the North Loop railroad relocation project. The project will provide an improved connection for the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads and improve safety by eliminating at-grade crossings.
2004: The final Oldsmobile Alero was produced.
2005: Production of the original run of the Mercury Sable ended.
2011: Fast Five was released.
Birthdays: Kurt Kuhnke (1910), Andy Hillenburg (1963), Michael Waltrip (1963), Anthony Foxx (1971), Elliott Sadler (1975)
1935: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Davis-Bacon Act applying prevailing wages to Federal projects. For BPR, because the States are the contracting Agency on Federal-aid projects, the act applies only to projects administered by BPR on Federal lands until the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 applies the requirement to initial construction of the Interstate System (extended to other Federal-aid projects in 1968).
1964: Acting Deputy Administrator Lowell Bridwell, Chief Engineer Frank Turner, and 8 other BPR officials explain the Federal-aid program to 11 visiting Japanese Prefecture Governors. For the occasion, the Administrator's conference room is equipped with simultaneous translation equipment. Bridwell explains that he is standing in for Administrator Rex Whitton, who had arrived in Tokyo for an IRF meeting the day the Governors left their country.
1995: Arthur E. Hamilton's promotion to Regional Federal Administrator in Region 7 (Kansas City, MO) is effective today. He becomes the first African-American to become an FHWA Regional Administrator.
2000: Excitebike 64 was released for the Nintendo 64.
Birthdays: Johnny Sauter (1978)
1914: OPR's Charles Moorefield, until today in charge of bridge work, is placed in charge of important concrete road construction in Ohio, involving an expenditure of $320,000. Oscar L. Grover, formerly chief bridge engineer of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and of the Virginia State highway department, assumes responsibility for bridge work.
1916: Sinclair Oil Corporation founded.
1946: PRA issues General Administrative Memorandum 300 ("Reimbursement of Costs of Changes to Utility Facilities"), the first all-inclusive instructions in a single document for utility adjustments.
1950: UD Trucks founded.
1968: The Committee of Urban Advisors to the Administrator, established in November 1965 by Administrator Rex Whitton, submits The Freeway in the City, a report of findings and recommendations with respect to the planning and design of urban freeways. The introduction notes that, "clearly something is wrong, and the situation cries out for new approaches, particularly in the nonengineering aspects of highway development."
1970: The Publications and Visual Aids Branch is advised that one of its films, ERGS-69 (Electronic Route Guidance System) has been selected for a Special Award at the 5th Festival of Technical Films, held in Budapest, Hungary.
1992: Secretary of Transportation Andrew H. Card, Jr., signs an agreement with the EPA and Department of the Army on streamlining the NEPA and Section 404 wetlands permit processes. Eugene W. Cleckley, Chief of the Environmental Operations Division, had spearheaded the FHWA's role in this initiative.
1994: Ayrton Senna died as a result of injuries from the Italian Grand Prix.
2006: Terrafugia was incorporated.
Birthdays: Masami Kageyama (1967)
1943: A B-25 medium bomber makes an emergency landing on a flight strip being constructed under PRA's flight strip program in an unspecified Atlantic Coastal State. At least 10 U.S. flight strips have figured in emergency landings during the course of their construction.
1967: Director of Public Roads Frank Turner issues Instructional Memorandum 30-6-67, "Utilities--Scenic Enhancement," covering utility facilities in scenic strips, overlooks, rest areas, landscaped areas, and other areas of roadside development or scenic enhancement.
1986: Administrator Ray Barnhart issues a bulletin transmitting The Flexibility Document, which highlights the flexibility available in the project development process under current regulations and statutes. The document was developed by an interoffice work group that included staff from the Offices of Highway Planning, Environmental Policy, Right-of-Way, Engineering, and Chief Counsel.
2010: Alan Boyd, the first U.S. Secretary of Transportation (1967-1969), visits FHWA's Division Office in Washington State. Now living in Seattle, Boyd talks about the Department's origins and its early years, including the evolution of social and environmental consciousness. He tells Division staff that the three main reasons for creating DOT were: safety, coordination among agencies, and protection of the environment.
Birthdays: Akio Toyoda (1956)
1954: AASHO adopts A Policy on Geometric Design of Rural Highways (updated in 1965). Called the "Blue Book" because of the color of its cover, the policy is adopted by BPR for use on Federal-aid highway projects.
1962: With a ribbon-cutting ceremony in San Antonio, TX, a 43-mile section of I-35 in Bexar County becomes the first Interstate route in Texas opened from county line to county line through a large metropolitan area. Division Engineer L. S. McCoy represents BPR. At a luncheon in the Peraux Room of the St. Anthony Hotel, Chairman Herbert C. Petry, Jr., of the Texas State Highway Commission expresses appreciation to BPR. Meanwhile, the manager of a large national chain of stores announces, "We will realize huge benefits, since IH-35 is near our two stores and central warehouse."
1994: Acting Regional Administrator Dale Wilken and Planning and Program Director Pete Lombard represent FHWA at the dedication of the Santa Fe Railway Transportation Center, a $100-million intermodal facility near Ft. Worth, TX. Regional representatives of FAA and FRA also attend. The 575-acre carload and truck-railway facility is co-located with Alliance Airport, close to I-35, providing an opportunity for transfer of freight among the three modes.
2005: Forza Motorsport was released in North America.
Birthdays: Dr. Don Tarr (1929), John Watson (1946)
1894: In Washington, DC, General Roy Stone of the ORI completes the preface to his book, New Roads and Road Laws in the United States, published by the D. Van Nostrand Company later that year. In the preface, Stone notes that the book is largely based on material compiled before the start of the road inquiry, adding, "it is hoped that this book may still further stimulate public interest in the subject, and thus promote the success of the official inquiry."
1992: Administrator Thomas Larson joins State and local government officials and fourth graders from Page Elementary School in Arlington, VA, to launch America's TreeWays, a national highway tree-planting effort. The group planted 100 seedlings at Chain Bridge Road and Georgetown Pike. Thousands of trees donated by private companies will be planted statewide under the program, including 1,000 in northern Virginia.
2016: NHTSA announces it is expanding the recall of Takata airbag inflators by 35-40 million in addition to the 28.8 million already recalled.
Birthdays: Bob Welborn (1928)
1899: Electric Automobile Company founded
1942: Hino Motors founded.
1976: President Gerald Ford signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act, establishing the Interstate 3R program for resurfacing, restoring, and rehabilitating Interstate highways, the first Federal program to confront the problems of an aging Interstate System. The Act also establishes a "Transition Quarter" as part of the shift of the start of the fiscal year from July 1 to October 1, revises the Interstate withdrawal provisions to allow substitute highway projects as well as substitute public transportation projects, and calls for a study to determine the factors in planning, selecting, programming, and implementing Federal-aid urban system routes.
1983: Former Administrator Frank Turner is the guest of honor at the dedication of the $6.5-million Francis C. Turner Building as part of the renamed Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. Construction of the Turner Building began in the fall of 1980. Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole comments, "This research center will enable us to learn more about highways, how to build them to greater life expectancies, how to make them more resistant to heavy loads, and, above all, how to make them safer."
1954: In a signing ceremony attended by Commissioner F. V. du Pont, President Dwight D. Eisenhower uses seven pens to sign the Federal-Aid Highway Act authorizing $175 million a year for Interstate construction (FYs 1956-1957) at a Federal-State matching share of 60-40. The act also authorizes the Secondary Road Plan to reduce Federal reviews on FAS projects.
1971: At the Pan American Union in Washington, DC, the U.S. and Colombia sign an agreement covering the responsibility of each party in carrying out the $100 million Darien Gap Highway Program for closing the gap between the Inter-American Highway and the Pan American Highway System of South America.
1906: A. W. Nichols of Greenville, MI, writes a letter to Good Roads Magazine to report that an object lesson road built by OPRI on July 29-31, 1902, with Director Martin Dodge present, was still in excellent condition even though "not a dime has been expended upon it since its construction."
1951: On the Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway, BPR works with the Virginia State Department of Highways and the Williams Construction Company to complete construction of a pit and slab for the load cells and electrical equipment to test weigh-in-motion equipment. The experiment, near the intersection with U.S. 1, leads to the conclusion that a good possibility exists for improving accuracy to the point that weighing trucks in motion will provide data that is as accurate as weighing trucks statically.
1954: Mrs. Mildred W. Helvestine, Chief, Library Branch, and 13 members of her staff receive sustained superior performance awards totalling $1,850, one of the largest group awards ever made by BPR. The 14 recipients have a cumulative 221 of service to BPR. The News in Public Roads says that, "The international reputation of the Public Roads Library stems at least as much from the capable and courteous service provided by the staff as it does from the unparalleled collections in the Library."
1970: Under an FHWA contract and with cooperation of the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, a computerized traffic control system is activated to help drivers merge from the Main Street ramp onto Route 128 in Woburn. The Raytheon Company designed the "Merging Control Traffic System."
1972: Woody Brown died.
Birthdays: Bobby Labonte (1964)
1879: The "Selden Patent," the first U.S. patent for an automobile, was filed.
1948: Having played a major role in organizing the President Harry Truman's 3-day Highway Safety Conference in Washington, DC, PRA takes an active part in its proceedings. Other participants include Federal, State, and local officials, civic leaders, highway transportation and traffic technicians, and leaders of national organizations. PRA supplies a considerable portion of the conference staff and helps in the preparation and assembly of reports to the conference.
1969: Secretary of Transportation John Volpe administers the oath of office to Ralph R. Bartelsmeyer as Director of Public Roads. He would prove to be the last Director of Public Roads--the position is abolished in August 1970.
1970: FHWA announces new evidence that breakaway light poles are saving lives and preventing injuries. On an experimental installation along I-10/12 in Baton Rouge, LA, 16 motorists had smashed into the poles in the past 12 months, without a single fatality.
2007: 4,000,000th Land Rover rolls off the production line, a Discovery 3 (LR3), donated to The Born Free Foundation.
Birthdays: Bradford M. Crittenden (1912)
1950: SEAT founded.
1980: The ship "Summit Venture" strikes a pier of the southbound lanes of the I-275 Sunshine Skyway Bridge across Tampa Bay in Florida. Collapse of the main span kills 35 people. Emergency relief funds help the Florida DOT build a $240-million replacement cable-stay bridge, which opens on April 30, 1987. The New York Times says the new bridge "may rank as the most impressive piece of large-scale bridge design in this country in half a century."
1982: "Illegal bidding practices cannot be condoned by government, society, or the construction industry," Administrator Ray Barnhart says via videotape in the opening address of the Anti-Trust Seminar for State Attorneys and Engineers, sponsored by AASHTO. "There will no longer be soft pats on the back, nor gentlemanly condolences. We cannot, and must not, accept such behavior."
1926: On the Crain Highway between Upper Marlboro and Baltimore, MD, the Maryland State Roads Commission, in cooperation with BPR, begins construction of the first 2.5-mile pavement in a test of the use of sodium silicate and calcium chloride as substitutes for wet earth in curing concrete pavements. Except for the special curing features, construction is in accordance with Maryland's standard specifications.
1962: The first of a series of regional conferences on urban transportation planning gets underway at the Sherman House in Chicago, IL, with 200 Federal, State, county, and city officials in attendance. Administrator Rex Whitton, Deputy Administrator D. Grant Mickle, and Director of Planning E. H. "Ted" Holmes are among the speakers.
1983: Roll Me Away by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band released.
1991: FHWA approves the Record of Decision on the final supplemental environmental impact statement for depression of the Central Artery (I-93) and construction of the Third Harbor Tunnel (I-90) in Boston, MA. Combined, they comprise one of the most expensive projects in Agency history.
1993: In a letter, President Bill Clinton congratulates FHWA on its 100th anniversary. "The FHWA," he says, "has helped make the United States the most mobile country in the world."
Birthdays: Tim Flock (1924)
1965: Lady Bird Johnson participates in a bus tour of I-95 in Virginia, highlighting highway beautification. In A White House Diary, Mrs. Johnson describes the route as "a model of what can be done." She adds that Mr. and Mrs. Rex "Whitten," plus all the Cabinet wives (except Mrs. Dean Rusk), participated along with Nash Castro of the NPS and State Senator Fred Farr of California. "We had come without our hats, soon slipped out of high-heeled shoes, moved around the bus from person to person, while we drank coffee and munched homemade cookies that Mrs. Rex Whitten had brought along." [Spelling as in original.]
1978: America's Highways: 1776-1976, produced by FHWA staff, receives the Award for Excellence in an international competition by the Society of Technical Communicators. Executive Director Lester Lamm accepts the award, which was announced on January 17. The book has since become a standard reference for highway historians.
2007: FHWA begins the move to the top 3 floors in the East Building of the Department of Transportation's new headquarters in SE Washington. The move is divided into five groups spaced over the next few weeks. The new DOT headquarters consists of two buildings, containing a total of about 2 million square feet, along the Anacostia River. The buildings are part of a revitalization of SE Washington that will include a new baseball stadium for the Washington Nationals (opened in time for the 2008 season) and a mix of retail, residential, and office properties.
1893: In a letter to General Roy Stone--not yet head of the not-yet formed ORI--U.S. Senator Charles Manderson recommends against further efforts to secure Federal funds for a good roads exhibit at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, IL. "The Exposition grounds themselves are an object lesson in good roads. When it rains mud is shoe deep where the road builder has not put in his best work."
1967: A Life magazine article, "Bitterest Fight: New Mass Transit vs. More Highways," charges that, "huge chunks of revenue producing downtown land are being eaten up." The article prompts a rebuttal in the June issue of Highway User magazine, which states that Life's serious charges are "patently untrue."
1992: First Lady Barbara Bush and Ohio First Lady Janet Voinovich join local school children and State, Department of the Interior, and FHWA officials in a tree planting ceremony along State Route 72 and I-70 outside Dayton. The ceremony recognizes Ohio's participation in America's TreeWays, a national highway tree planting initiative jointly sponsored by FHWA, Take Pride in America, the National Tree Trust, and the U.S. Forest Service. Associate Administrator for Program Development Anthony R, Kane, Division Administrator Fred Hempel, and Historic Preservation Officer Bruce Eberle represent FHWA.
2018: Kevin Harvick wins the KC Masterpiece 400 (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Kansas Speedway).
Birthdays: Rich Bickle (1961)
1950: Nino Farina wins the The Royal Automobile Club Grand Prix d'Europe Incorporating The British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Formula 1's first Grand Prix.
1961: J. Clarke Williams, Chief of BPR's Nuclear Energy Branch, retires after 31 years with the agency. In 1963, his son, James C. Williams, and Robert C. Clayton are appointed by Administrator Rex Whitton as the first two trainees in the Office of Highway Safety's highway safety training program. The new program is designed to attract qualified college graduates to careers in highway safety management.
1963: BPR and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) enter into an interagency agreement for construction of public lands development roads and trails, authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962. BLM may survey, design, and construct some projects, following BPR approval of the PS&E. In other cases, BPR will undertake survey and design, and supervise construction.
1976: About 6,000 spectators join West Virginia highway and FHWA officials to watch as ironworkers guide the final section of the New River Gorge Bridge into place, marking completion of the arch (part of Corridor L of the Appalachian Development Highway System).
2005: Forza Motorsport was released in Europe.
2016: Production of the Volvo XC70 ended.
Birthdays: Randy Baker (1958)
1920: Commissioner P. P. Claxton of the Bureau of Education, convened the first Conference on Highway Engineering and Highway Transport Education, telling participants they are responsible for "determining and stating as clearly as possible the needs and the qualifications for trained men" for highway development. Chief Thomas MacDonald addresses the conference on "The Widening Field for Engineers in Highway Improvement and Their Training for the Field."
1923: Secretary of Agriculture Henry C. Wallace holds a hearing in Washington DC, to decide which of two competing alignments west of Salt Lake City, UT--the Lincoln or the Victory Highway--will be included in the Federal-aid system. On June 6, Wallace chooses the Victory Highway via Wendover, UT, proposed by the State. That alignment became U.S. 40 (1926), then I-80 (1957), while the Lincoln Highway route became U.S. 50 (the June 1986 issue of Life referred to Nevada's U.S. 50 as "The Loneliest Road" in America).
1957: In Chicago, Il, BPR holds a meeting of regional, district, and headquarters right-of-way personnel to discuss PPM 21-4.1 on the acquisition of right-of-way in which Federal-aid funds are involved.
1976: FHWA issues the first regulations on noise abatement, implementing a provision of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1970, which called for "standards of highway noise levels compatible with different land uses."
2007: DaimlerChrysler announces the sale of 80.1% of Chrysler Group to American private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., thereafter known as Chrysler LLC
1974: A slide presentation on Region 15's Demonstration Project on "Noise-Measurement Techniques, Equipment Systems, and Data Interpretation" is presented at USDOT Headquarters. Observers, including Administrator Norbert Tiemann, then tour the trailer containing FHWA's Acoustical Laboratory, which was constructed at the Region 9 Office of Federal Highway Projects Equipment.
1980: Ground is broken for a $50 million Justice Center in Portland, OR, the largest functional replacement project to date. It is needed because construction of I-205 requires the taking of the Rocky Butte Jail.
2000: Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater announces the appointment of Dr. Walter Sutton, Jr., as Deputy Federal Highway Administrator. Dr. Sutton, who joined FHWA as Associate Administrator for Policy in September 1998, had been serving as Acting Deputy Administrator since the departure of Deputy Administrator Gloria J. Jeff on January 3, 1999.
1910: M. O. Eldridge, OPR's Assistant Chief of Road Management, delivers an address in Ontario, OR, the first of 50 he will make as part of a good roads campaign by the State's Threshers and good roads associations. Eldridge says, "The greatest factors against good roads are the localization of the management of road affairs, the practice of paying road taxes in labor, and the usual lack of supervision of the work." The good roads tour ends on June 11 at Medford after at least one stop in each county.
1990: President George Bush declares a Federal disaster in 22 Arkansas counties because of flooding; requests from Oklahoma and Texas are pending. The State intends to request emergency relief funds for road repairs. Secretary of Transportation Samuel Skinner plans to view the extensive flood damage on May 19. (Eventually, emergency relief funds totalling $1.9 million will be used for repairs in Arkansas.)
2015: The 6th Generation Chevrolet Camaro was introduced.
Birthdays: Mikko Kozarowitzky (1948)
1904: Director Martin Dodge addresses the National and International Good Roads Convention in St. Louis, MO, on "Educational and Experimental Work of the Government Division." Looking back at the start of the road inquiry, he says the very first thing expressed was "the idea that the cost of transportation in this country, over our roads, was excessively high; higher than it should be as compared with other means of transportation; and higher as compared with the cost of transportation in other countries." Later, he describes OPR's object lesson roads as "perpetual sermons in stone that spread the idea constantly, continuously, and extensively throughout the country."
1961: Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges presents an Award of Honor to BPR for superior work in internal safety promotion, based on an outstanding safety program and superior accomplishment in the reduction of accidents over the preceding 2 years.
1962: By a letter to Senator Dennis Chavez, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works, Administrator Rex Whitton transmits a report on The Use of Materials for the Nation's Highways, as requested by a committee resolution on January 16, 1962. The report covers such materials as aluminum, explosives, steel, plywood, bituminous materials, chloride salts, portland cement, rubber products, additives for concrete, electronic and scientific products, and plasticized sulfur pavement markings.
1980: Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington State, killing dozens, damaging a large portion of State Route 504, and covering other highways with volcanic ash.
1984: Forest Service personnel at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest present an appreciation plaque to FHWA's Western Direct Federal Division for rebuilding access roads to Mount St. Helens National Monument. The Division helped in the $27 million reconstruction of the road system damaged by the 1980 eruption.
1903: The Buick Motor Companywas founded.
1909: "Good Roads Day" is held on the grounds of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, MO. R. W. Richardson, who had taken charge of OPRI's Middle Division on July 1, 1902, arranged to build an object lesson road on the exposition grounds.
1965: Assistant Regional Engineer Robert I. Kellum of BPR tells an all-day conference at the University of Rhode Island that highway beautification is everybody's job. "Local citizens and industry should clean up back of the right of way." He also outlines the key points of President Lyndon Johnson's beautification program.
2008: A bridge on Meadow Creek Road in Boundary County, Idaho, is named the Donald R. Olson Memorial Bridge. Olson, an FHWA employee (1970-1991), had helped design and build more than 200 bridges in the Pacific Northwest. Acting Federal Highway Administrator James D. Ray says, "At 223 feet long, this is one of the nation's smallest bridges, but it is a big monument to a man who dedicated nearly four decades of service to the people of Idaho and to motorists nationwide." The bridge, which replaced the 85 year old Rutledge Bridge, opened the previous November.
2009: Germany's Daimler AG, acquired an equity stake of less than 10% in Tesla Motors for a reported US$50 million.
2015: The Takata airbag recall becomes the largest vehicle recall in history as the number of vehicles recalled rises from 40 million to 53 million.
Birthdays: Tony Stewart (1971)
1909: In Jamaica Heights, Long Island, NY, Director Logan Page and a committee of Army engineers begin tests (with AAA cooperation) on the effect of the automobile on macadam roads. In 37 events, automobiles, motorcycles, and horses are used, with 12 photographers taking instantaneous pictures to measure the effects.
1965: Edgar Barth died.
1986: Nearly 500 transportation construction executives and ARTBA members gather at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC, for "Interstate Nite," a celebration of the Interstate's 30th anniversary. Administrator Ray Barnhart and five of his predecessors attend (Volpe, Turner, Tiemann, Bowers, and Hassell).
Birthdays: Tom Alley (1889)
1912: Director Logan Page has invited State highway officials from around the country to DC to meet Albert Mahieu, Engineer-in-Chief of France's Department of Bridges and Highways and Secretary-General of PIARC. Page wants U.S. road builders to learn what foreign countries are doing to improve their roads.
1928: The Federal-Aid Highway Amendment of 1928 authorizes the use of Federal-aid funds for planting shade trees along Federal-aid routes. The first year passes without any State proposing the use of funds for that purpose. BPR's annual report for FY 1929 notes that some States may be devoting funds to "more utilitarian purposes" while others may "find it feasible" to use other funds. The report add that the greatest use of Federal-aid roads "is by those seeking pleasure and recreation by travel. To many such users a pleasant roadside prospect means as much as a smooth surface and easy grades."
1950: Juan Manuel Fangio wins the Prix de Monte-Carlo et XIe Grand Prix Automobile (Formula 1: Circuit de Monaco).
1961: The First National Highway Week begins, declared by President John F. Kennedy on April 29 "in recognition of the vital role of highway transportation in our way of life."
1962: Harold Rib of the Physical Research Division begins presentation of a course in air photo interpretation at the offices of the Wyoming State Highway Department. Officials from Colorado, South Dakota, and BPR's Region 9 office also attend.
1982: Opening ceremonies for Seven Mile Bridge, part of the U.S. 1 Overseas Highway leading to Key West, FL, take place. The bridge is the Nation's first of any length employing precast segmental construction.
2005: Production of the Mercury Sable ended.
Birthdays: Ernst Klodwig (1903), Wally Dallenbach Jr. (1963)
1919: Chief Thomas MacDonald sends his first memo to District Engineers outlining his vision of highways: "There is no work more worthwhile. I have yet to know any man who has devoted a considerable period of his life to the building of roads who is not conscious of having accomplished results whose returns to the public in service can scarcely be measured."
1938: BPR engineers E. R. Shepard and A. E. Ryan complete subsurface exploration tests in New Hampshire. The tests, begun May 10, were conducted at the request of Commissioner F. E. Everett of the State Highway Department to demonstrate the possibilities of the electrical resistivity and the seismic methods of exploration in connection with highway construction problems. The tests showed that NH soils were not well adapted to the electrical resistivity method of subsurface exploration, but the seismic testing was well adapted to detecting and locating the approximate position of solid ledge, profiling with respect to density and rigidity, and locating rock formations in connection with grading operations.
1974: Controversial portions of I-95 and I-695 in Boston, MA, are the first to be withdrawn from the Interstate System under Title 23, United States Code, Section 103(e)(4), which was added to Title 23 by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973.
Birthdays: Jack Smith (1924), Ricky Craven (1966)
1965: Administrator Rex Whitton participates in a panel on "Design of Highways" during the White House Conference on Natural Beauty. BPR's Dr. David Levin participates in the panel on "Scenic Roads and Parkways," while the "Roadside Control" panel includes Mr. Marion A. Hornbeck of BPR's Office of General Counsel. Meanwhile, a new BPR exhibit, "America's Highways are Windows to Beauty," is on display in the Headquarters building. It features a diorama showing a highway and rest area in the foreground, with a real waterfall, and a broad scenic valley in the background. Side pictures show what can be done to preserve natural beauty, including screening unsightly areas, controlling billboards, and landscaping highways. A large panel quotes President Lyndon Johnson: "By making our roads highways to the enjoyment of nature and beauty, we can greatly enrich the life of nearly all our people."
1982: Nine organizations receive the FHWA Administrator's first Awards for Ridesharing. Administrator Ray Barnhart says the recipients come "from all segments of the public and private sector and reflect the highest standards of excellence in ridesharing nationally."
2013: Fast & Furious 6 was released.
Birthdays: Bud Moore (1925), Paul Andrews (1957), A.J. Foyt IV (1984)
1911: Former Director Martin Dodge is in Birmingham, AL, to address the 4th National Good Roads Congress on "Advancement of the Road Movement in the United States." He advocates dividing the cost of building and maintaining public highways among local, State, and Federal governments. "I am perfectly sure that the idea of state aid which has worked so well in many of the states, carried to its logical conclusion through National aid will surely and finally solve the problem."
1919: In his first memorandum to all engineers, Chief Thomas MacDonald notes that, "Our success will depend largely upon the attitude of mind and confidence we establish on the part of the State officials."
1939: The Export-Import Bank of Washington asks Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace to arrange for the assignment of BPR engineers to assist with extension of credits for public road construction in Latin America. The first request for assistance was for assignment of an engineer to Paraguay.
2014: Hindustan Ambassador production ended.
1913: Work begins on the Waterloo Post Road in Lauderdale County, AL, the first to be completed under the 1913 Federal post road program. The work consists of grading 14.56 miles (72,240 square yards) of road at a cost of $25,781.09 and surfacing part of this length at a cost of $2,166.05. The 12-foot wide gravel surfacing is laid on the graded earth road.
1923: The first 24 Hours of Le Mans began in Le Sarthe, France.
1927: Production of the Ford Model T ends. Henry Ford was on hand to watch the 15 millionth roll off of the assembly line in Highland Park, Michigan.
1983: Deputy Administrator Lester Lamm announces specifics of the FAST program to Facilitate Acceleration Through Special Techniques. Growing out of the Everett Bypass Demonstration Project in Pennsylvania, FAST is aimed at simplifying procedures for all highway projects. "This program can be summarized as a systematic effort to expedite projects through exceptions to normal procedures based on predetermined priority need." Mr. Steiner M. Silence, Chief of the Special Procedures Branch, is the Headquarters contact for FAST.
2006: Cars opens in theaters.
Birthdays: Jeremy Mayfield (1969)
1923: André Lagache & France René Léonard win the first 24 Hours of Le Mans.
1937: BPR awards the first Natchez Trace Parkway construction contract to the Hodgkin-Adams Company, Inc., for a 12.76-mile segment in Madison County, MS, at a cost of $307,939.
1951: Juan Manuel Fangio wins the XI Großer Preis der Schweiz (Formula 1: Circuit Bremgarten)
1972: The U.S. International Transportation Exposition, known as Transpo 72, opens at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. In addition to featuring futuristic technology ("Flying trains, square dancing helicopters and the fantasy of a wonderland," according to a news release), Transpo 72 covers all current modes of transportation. General Manager William J. Bird explains, "We want to emphasize totally integrated systems in our future transportation . . . . "FHWA participation includes sponsorship of the "International Vehicle and Highway Safety Conference," featuring discussions on international cooperation in vehicle and highway safety.
2018: Kyle Busch wins the Coca-Cola 600 (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Charlotte Motor Speedway).
Birthdays: Marvin Panch (1926), Tero Palmroth (1953)
1889: Michelin was founded.
1925: Secretary of Agriculture W. M. Jardine addresses the Mid-West Transportation Conference in Chicago, IL, on "Public Sentiment and Highway Transportation." He concludes, "Railroad, waterway and highway transportation should be co-ordinated in order that each shall be developed to its highest point of usefulness without taking from another the functions which the other can perform to the better advantage of the public . . . to the end that the public needs will be met to the fullest possible degree and that a fair return upon the invested capital shall be assured to the agencies of transportation."
Birthdays: Joe Weatherly (1922), Al Unser (1939), Jimmy Means (1950), Ken Schrader (1955), Bobby Hamilton (1957)
1899: Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson rescinds former Secretary J. Sterling Morton's restrictive letter of October 3, 1893, to ORI Director Roy Stone and directs him to emphasize practical, over educational, work. The new policy makes formal the understandings agreed to in 1897 after Wilson became Secretary.
1925: The Chicago Regional Planning Association is organized under the laws of Illinois to coordinate street, highway, park system, zoning, and other plans. In part, the impetus for this association comes from a highway traffic survey in the summer and fall of 1924 by the BPR and the Cook County Highway Department. The two agencies joined with the Illinois Division of Highways and the Chicago Planning Commission in an agreement that the four parties would not depart from the plan developed as a result of the surveys. On May 6, 1937, during the 14th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Regional Planning Association, Chief Thomas MacDonald referred to the 1924 study: "By coordinating highway improvements according to an established plan with a known sequence of improvement, each community involved will secure the greatest possible benefit for the least expenditure."
1950: Johnnie Parsons wins the 34th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes (AAA: Indianapolis Motor Speedway).
1951: Lee Wallard wins the 35th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes (AAA: Indianapolis Motor Speedway).
1992: The U.S. Postal Service issues a 29-cent commemorative stamp honoring the 50th anniversary of the Alaska Highway. The design, by Alaska artist Byron Birdsall, had been unveiled in Anchorage on December 6, 1991, in a ceremony that included Senator Ted Stevens and Representative Don Young.
2006: The first production Jeep Compass was built.
Birthdays: Jack Baldwin (1948)
1904: In Marietta, OH, Archer Butler Hulbert completes the preface to volume 15 of his 16-volume Historic Highways of America. This volume, a symposium on "The Future of Road-Making in America," includes a picture of General Roy Stone as the frontispiece ("Father of the good-roads movement") and essays by Director Martin Dodge ("Government Cooperation in Object-Lesson Road Work"), M. O. Eldridge ("Good Roads for Farmers"), and Logan Page ("The Selection of Materials for Macadam Roads").
2006: Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta administers the oath of office to General J. Richard (Rick) Capka as Federal Highway Administrator (2006-2008). He had served as Deputy Administrator since August 2002 and before that as CEO/Executive Director of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. His most recent military assignment in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been as Division Engineer and Commander of the South Atlantic Division.
Birthdays: Darel Dieringer (1926), Jim Sauter (1943), Chuck Little (1944), Tom Sneva (1948), Davy Jones (1964)
1909: An OPR exhibit, including its first use of dioramas, at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle, WA, proves especially popular. When the exposition ends on October 16, the exhibit is shipped to Nebraska for the Corn Show and Omaha Exposition, then to the District of Columbia for the Builders' Exchange Exhibit Company, and later to Knoxville, KY, for the Appalachian Exposition. The exhibit is duplicated and exhibited in over 100 places through 1917 and seen by over 2.5 million people.
1934: The BPR exhibit at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago, IL, includes changing maps and dioramas showing the progress of highway development in the United States from 1792 to the present. The history begins in 1792 with authorization of the Lancaster Turnpike in Pennsylvania, the best highway of its day, and ends, according to The Highway Magazine, with "an ultra- modern four-lane highway of 1933, with its bus stations at a grade-separated highway intersection, and its bordering sidewalks and landscape treatment. This type of thoroughfare [is] the supreme development of the cooperative work of engineers of the State highway departments and the Bureau of Public Roads."
1973: Secretary of Transportation Claude Brinegar administers the oath of office to Administrator Norbert "Nobby" Tiemann.
Birthdays: Jan Lammers (1956), Kyle Petty (1960)
1920: Chief Thomas MacDonald, National Park Service founder Stephen Mather, and other officials in Washington, DC, wish pathfinder and temporary BPR Special Agent A. L. Westgard success on his trip to identify the best route for the National Park-to-Park Highway loop of western National Parks.
1958: Today is moving day for Washington Headquarters employees who report for duty in their new offices in the Matomic Building (1717 H Street, NW)--521 employees from offices in the GSA Building, 26 from the United Steel Workers Building, and 3 from the National Association of Plumbing Contractors' Building. They join employees from the Defense Plans and Operations Division, who moved on May 12, and the Law Library (May 24). The move will be completed in 1960, with BPR occupying floors 5 through 10. ("Matomic" comes from the building's owner, Jerry Maiatico, and the Atomic Energy Commission, the first tenant.)
1979: FHWA announces that all future roadbuilding contracts will contain provisions to ensure effective control of water pollution from highway construction sites. "In the past," Administrator Frank Turner says, "these pollution controls were voluntary . . . . Henceforth, they will be spelled out in the contracts with provisions made for separate payment for the control work performed."
1988: Secretary of Transportation James Burnley and Administrator Robert Farris are among the guests participating in the opening of the 10-mile I-93 Franconia Notch Parkway in New Hampshire. Controversy, particularly related to the rock landmark known as the "Old Man of the Mountain," resulted in a compromise parkway design. The finished highway includes sections of Interstate highway, a four-lane parkway, a three-lane parkway, and a two-lane parkway.
2008: Tata Motors finalised their purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford.
1922: BPR and the Nevada State Highway Department formally accept as completed an improved highway across the notorious "Fallon Sink" in Churchill County, a sand and alkali flat that had bedeviled motorists for years. The road, with a 20-foot wide crushed-rock and gravel surface and 18-foot turnouts every 2,000 feet, opens on June 4.
1993: Secretary of Transportation Federico Peña (the first Hispanic-American to hold the post) administers the oath of office to Rodney E. Slater as Federal Highway Administrator, the first African-American to hold the position. A swearing in ceremony takes place on June 16, with Slater's family in attendance.
2018: Martin Truex Jr. wins the Pocono 400 (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Pocono Raceway)
Birthdays: Barry Dodson (1953)
Deaths: Bill France Jr. (2007)
1923: Chief Thomas MacDonald joins President Warren Harding during the dedication of the permanent Zero Milestone ("POINT FOR THE MEASUREMENT OF DISTANCES FROM WASHINGTON ON HIGHWAYS OF THE UNITED STATES") on the Ellipse south of the White House. A marching song, composed for the occasion ("Hail! Hail! The Caravan!"), is performed by the U.S. Army Band.
1950: Nino Farina wins the Großer Preis der Schweiz für Automobile (Formula 1: Circuit Bremgarten).
1982: Secretary of Transportation Drew Lewis announces appointments to the National Motor Carrier Advisory Committee. He says the committee, which will develop reports and recommendations for FHWA, "represents a cross section of viewpoints concerning motor carrier policies." Thomas P. Holian of FHWA's Office of Chief Counsel is designated the committee's Executive Director.
2009: Volkswagen revealed the Amarok name to the public.
Birthdays: Butch Miller (1952), Bobby Hillin Jr. (1964)
1912: W. Rees Jeffreys of the British Road Board attends an ARBA dinner at the Hotel Astor in New York City. After Jeffreys compares English and United States roads, Director Logan Page speaks of his embarrassment that the United States is not a member of PIARC. He also mentions that American automobiles are now built on European lines, and he hopes that American roads would also be made to resemble those of Europe.
1984: FHWA issues a final rule designating a National Network for commercial vehicle use, as required by the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982. Administrator Ray Barnhart says the National Network, which includes the Interstate System and approximately 139,000 miles of non-Interstate primary routes, "provides a safe and efficient highway environment for the commercial transportation of materials and manufactured products between the nation's market centers."
Birthdays: Jamie McMurray (1976), Justin Allgaier (1986)
1904: Chrysler was founded.
1932: President Herbert Hoover signs the Revenue Act of 1932, authorizing the first Federal gas tax, 1 cent a gallon. The revenue is paid into the general fund for deficit reduction.
1972: Secretary of Transportation John Volpe addresses the Western Association of State Highway Officials in Salt Lake City, UT. He states that when asked what our national highway policy is, "My answer is brief: we don't have one. What we have is a National Transportation Policy." He adds that given the recent emphasis on environmental and social issues, "I've had highway contractors, and even a State highway director or two, come up to me and say, 'Are you the same John Volpe who used to be President of the AGC?' or 'Are you the same fellow who was in on the start of the Interstate System back in '56?'"
2003: 2 Fast 2 Furious was released.
2008: Trevor Wilkinson died.
2012: Fast N' Loud debuted.
Birthdays: Tim Richmond (1955), Robbie Loomis (1964)
1951: In response to the Korean War, the authority to approve construction involving more than 25 tons of steel is delegated from the National Production Authority to the Commerce Secretary, who immediately redelegates it to the BPR Commissioner.
1968: Secretary of Transportation Alan Boyd announces the creation of an Environmental Development Division in FHWA to guarantee full consideration of environmental factors in the location, design, and construction of freeways. The Division, headed by former Connecticut Division Engineer Harold C. King, will be staffed with urban planners, architects, landscape architects, sociologists, economists, and highway engineers.
1967: Frank Turner, Director of FHWA's BPR, says the last slab of concrete has been poured on a 63-mile stretch of the Inter-American Highway in Panama, bypassing a primitive, dangerous road between Guabala and Santiago, cutting the 3-hour driving time in half. The project, which included the first use of slip-form paving in Latin America, ends the United States' 30-year participation in Panama highway construction.
1976: FHWA announces Demonstration Project No. 39, "Recycling Asphalt Pavement." The announcement notes that the energy crisis following an oil embargo had created new concerns about our energy supply. "This crisis, coupled with rising costs, material scarcities, and the diminishing proximity of quality aggregates, has seriously affected the highway industry." Demonstration Project No. 47, "Recycling Portland Cement Concrete Pavements," will be announced on May 5, 1978.
1998: In a ceremony in the Old Executive Office Building, President Bill Clinton signs the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), which reauthorizes Federal-aid highway, transit, and safety programs through FY 2003. He says that TEA-21 "will strengthen America by modernizing and building roads, bridges, transit systems, and railways to link our people and our country together and to permit a freer flow of goods."
2003: Scion was founded.
Birthdays: Dave Fuge (1955)
1925: C.H. Purcell, BPR's District 3 Engineer in Portland, OR, opens bids for several projects in the Pacific Northwest, the most important of which is the Transmountain Road (Going-to-the-Sun Road) in Glacier National Park, MT. The low bid of $869,145 for 12.4 miles of construction is submitted by Williams and Douglas of Tacoma, WA. The idea for the highway came from NPS founder and Director Stephen T. Mather.
1947: PRA holds the first meeting of the Board of Urban Consultants. The 2-day meeting covers questions related to the 1944 Federal-Aid Highway Act, the status of urban projects, intergovernmental cooperation, and urban planning problems.
1949: BPR issues instructions and forms for the Board of County Engineer Consultants to study local highway administration as part of a larger BPR study, requested May 27 by the Senate Committee on Public Works, on the economic, engineering, financial, and administrative phases of the local rural road problem. The report is submitted in January 1950.
2009: The sale of substantially all of Chrysler's assets to "New Chrysler", organized as Chrysler Group LLC, was completed.
2018: Clint Bowyer wins the FireKeepers Casino 400 (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Michigan International Speedway)
Birthdays: Pancho Carter (1950)
1910: OPR moves to a larger building at 14th and B Streets, SW., Washington, DC, between B and C Streets. The building, formerly occupied by the Agriculture Department's Bureau of Chemistry, has been thoroughly remodeled to suit OPR's needs.
1960: U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia opens the Blue Ridge Parkway Bridge over the James River. The ceremony allows the use of 114 continuous miles of parkway from Shenandoah National Park to U.S. 460 outside Roanoke, VA. F. W. Cron, Regional Engineer for Region 15, attends the ribbon-cutting, noting that the excellent condition of the highway is a tribute to the NPS's maintenance activities.
Birthdays: Joan B. Claybrook (1937)
1924: Governor Len Small of Illinois breakfasts with 38 representatives of Latin American countries. The visitors began their tour in Washington, DC, on June 2, where they met with the sponsoring Highway Education Board and President Calvin Coolidge ("We desire to profit by your experience and I hope that you may profit by ours"). On June 3, BPR officials conducted the visitors on a tour of the experimental farm in Arlington, VA. That evening, they embarked on a tour of the States arranged by Chief Thomas MacDonald and S. T. Henry, Director of the Pan-American Highway Commission. In Illinois, the visitors see Abraham Lincoln's tomb in Springfield and inspect the Bates Test road, on which the Illinois Division of Highways and BPR conducted pavement tests (1920-1923).
1972: ASE founded.
1979: At the Four Seasons Motor Hotel in Albuquerque, NM, during the 58th Annual Meeting of the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, FHWA demonstrates a new low-cost, durable pavement marking material, known as epoxy thermoplastic, developed as an alternative to conventional traffic paints. Associate Administrator for Research and Development Gerald Love says it is "non-polluting, extremely durable, and available as a generic formulation."
1995: In a case growing out of a Federal Lands highway project in Colorado, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that Federal affirmative action programs are constitutional only if they serve a compelling governmental interest and must be narrowly tailored to address identifiable past discrimination (Adarand Constructors vs Pea).
1996: The final Ford Bronco rolls off the assembly line.
2006: Monster Garage ended.
2007: Announcement from the Ford Motor Company that it plans to sell Land Rover and Jaguar Cars.
2013: Jason Leffler died.
Birthdays: Harry Melling (1944)
1962: Bids are opened in Helena, MT, for a contract to construct a 32.5-mile section of the Lewis and Clark Highway from a junction with U.S. 93 near Missoula to the Idaho line at Lolo Pass. The road joins with a 38.7-mile section scheduled to be opened on August 19 (Governors Tim Babcock of Montana and Robert E. Smylie of Idaho will saw a log blocking the road in a ceremony at Packers Meadow). According to BPR's Ed Cowan, work on the 32.5-mile section includes grading along the existing road, base surfacing, and raising three bridges within 200 days after the contract is awarded. "Particular attention is to be given to the contractors' operations in both States to permit public travel through the construction and assure that inconvenience will be held to a minimum."
1975: On behalf of Administrator Norbert Tiemann, Kentucky Division Engineer Robert Johnson presents the first FHWA Public Service Award to John H. Miller, Director of the Metro Louisville Carpool project.
2012: Chinese consortium NEVS announces purchase of Saab assets.
Birthdays: President Donald J. Trump (1946)
1911: OPR's Charles H. Moorefield addresses the annual convention of the North Carolina Good Roads Association on standardizing and systematizing the methods of sand-clay construction so adequate specifications may be prepared.
1944: Referring to the June 2 introduction of a bill in the House of Representatives that would create a "National System of Interstate Highways," Herbert Fairbank, PRA's Deputy Commissioner for Research, tells the American Planning and Civic Association that the bill "lays the foundation for a long-time Federal-aid program that . . . is new in time and new in form, and it is right in emphasis." Asking, "Dare we fail to modernize our highways and streets?" he responds that, "Years ago, Thomas H. MacDonald gave succinct expression to the answer, when he said that we pay for modern highway improvements whether we have them or not, and we pay less if we have them than if we have not." Fairbank predicts that the new Interstate program will "give the first positive impetus toward the accomplishment of plans for the gradual remodeling of the existing amorphous city structure into a structure of neighborhood and functional cells, logically and naturally arranged."
1949: Preston Tucker granted a U.S. design patent for the Tucker 48.
1964: In New Mexico, Administrator Rex Whitton meets with Governor Jack Campbell and representatives of U.S. 66 communities fighting construction of an I-40 bypass. Whitton objects to any arrangement that would misroute motorists into the towns. "We want the interstate to be the main route; its got to look like the main route all the time."
1903: The Ford Motor Company was incorporated.
1933: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the National Industrial Recovery Act, providing $400 million for road projects without a matching requirement. For the first time, funds can be used on urban extensions of the Federal-aid system or on "secondary and feeder roads" off system.
1940: Ceremonies mark the opening of the 13.6-mile East Side Highway just inside the eastern boundary of Mount Rainer National Park, WA. BPR administered 11 contracts over 9 years, with a final cost of $1,381,788. To everyone's surprise, over 5,000 people travel over the road the first day. Continued heavy use of the highway during June overtaxes park campgrounds and other facilities in the southeastern section of the park.
2006: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was released.
1951: Nino Farina wins the XIII Grote Prijs van Belgie (Formula 1: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps).
1980: Groundbreaking ceremonies take place for the I-95 Fort McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore, MD. Initial plans for a bridge over the Patapsco River were abandoned because of local opposition. The completed $750 million tunnel is dedicated November 23, 1985--on time and $100 million under budget--with Executive Director Lester Lamm representing FHWA during the dedication. The tunnel is the largest underwater highway tunnel and the widest vehicular tunnel ever built by the immersed tube method.
1987: Administrator Ray Barnhart urges Congress to schedule hearings on diesel tax evasion. Citing a study by the Internal Revenue Service and the National Association of Tax Administrators, he estimates that hundreds of millions of dollars are lost each year, mainly due to large-scale evasion.
Birthdays: Denny Hulme (1936)
1934: The Hayden-Cartwright Act authorizes $200 million for highway projects, with a minimum of 25 percent to be expended on secondary and feeder roads. The act converts matching loans under previous acts to grants; removes limits on construction within municipalities and Federal payment per mile of road; resumes matching requirements abandoned after the Emergency Construction Act of December 20, 1930; applies a penalty to States that divert motor vehicle tax revenue to nonhighway projects; and allows earmarking of up to 1.5 percent of Federal-aid systems funds for surveys, plans, and engineering investigations, the initial legislative authorization for the planning process. Planning funds are soon used for statewide planning surveys that provide the statistical basis for the Interstate System. The President says, "As long as the roads of the Nation are used by more than 24,000,000 automobiles and trucks, construction and improvement of roads will be of major importance." The gold pens the President uses to sign the Act are provided by AASHO.
1950: Juan Manuel Fangio wins the Grand Prix Automobile de Belgique (Formula 1: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps).
2011: Cars 2 had its Hollywood premiere.
Birthdays: Charlie Glotzbach (1938)
1902: Near Saginaw, MI, work begins on the longest object lesson road to date--nearly 2 miles. After a big meeting in the city, a grand procession, headed by Governor Aaron T. Bliss, the Mayor, and his police force, march about 2 mile out of town to the site. The Governor breaks ground for the work. According to Dodge, "Governor Bliss, therefore, has the credit of being the first Governor to put his hands to the plow in this new and great work of road building by cooperation."
1922: President Warren Harding signs the Post Office Appropriations Act for FY 1923. Instead of appropriating Federal-aid funds, it "authorized [sums] to be appropriated," the start of contract authority, which allows the States to obligate authorized funds before legislation is passed to provide liquidating cash to pay the amounts claimed. With contract authority, which has continued to the present, States can develop multi-year Federal-aid programs with assurance of the continuity of the program.
1960: Joe Lee Johnson wins the inaugural World 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway's first race.
1969: Cadillac produces its four millionth car.
1936: Public Law 74-848, signed by President Franklin Roosevelt today, officially names the "Blue Ridge Parkway." Other names considered include Skyline Drive, Skyland Drive, Park-to-Park Highway, Scenic Parkway, Shenandoah National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Parkway, the Appalachian National Parkway, the Southern Appalachian Parkway, and The Ickes Highway (after Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes). Secretary Ickes had recommended the chosen name in a press release on February 18 after receiving an endorsement from the Division of Geographic Names, which favored the name "because the parkway lies upon the Blue Ridge throughout most of the length of both the parkway and the ridge. It is, geographically, a most appropriate name."
Birthdays: Phil Parsons (1957), Eddie Pearson (1965)
1991: President George Bush addresses AASHTO in the White House's Rose Garden on the surface transportation legislation pending in the Congress (ISTEA). "No transportation partnership," he says, "has endured so long or accomplished as much as the one between the federal government and AASHTO." He also refers to the challenge he issued to Congress during his State of the Union Address to enact the transportation bill within 100 days. The Senate had acted, but not the House. "A challenge of 100 days became an occasion for 100 different delays and 101 excuses for inaction."
2016: NEVS announces that it will sell cars under its own brand after loss of permission to use the Saab name.
Birthdays: Phil Krueger (1951), Jeff Ward (1961)
1926: Today is the final day for submitting applications to the U.S. Civil Service Commission for the open competitive examinations for BPR positions: Chief engineering inspector-superintendent ($2,400) and senior engineering inspector-foreman ($1,860). As vacancies occur at higher levels, top pay for the former is $3,000 and for the latter, $2,400.
1929: At the dedication of the Hiouchi (Blue Water) Bridge on the Redwood Highway near the California/Oregon border, BPR's Dr. L. I. Hewes says, "Sometimes I wonder whether we are aiding the states or whether the states are aiding the United States when we provide Federal aid for roads, for the entire country benefits through good highways."
2001: The Fast and the Furious was released.
1905: At the Fifth Annual National Good Roads Convention in Portland, OR, Special Agent James W. Abbott of the OPRI speaks on "Transcontinental Highways," endorsing construction of "one or more good through wagon roads from the Atlantic to San Francisco, and to the Northwest."
1964: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, cuts the ribbon opening the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge carrying I-66 and U.S. 50 across the Potomac River between Washington, DC, and Virginia. BPR is represented by Administrator Rex Whitton, Acting Deputy Administrator Lowell Bridwell, Chief Engineer Frank Turner, and August Schofer, Charles Hall, and John Sullivan. On April 10, 1992, The Washington Post comments, "Much maligned for its aesthetic deficiencies (though isn't this quibbling, with the Kennedy Center so close by?), this bridge is nonetheless a driver's godsend."
2002: Monster Garage premiered.
2010: Production of the Chevrolet Cobalt ended.
2014: BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, and Toyota announce a recall of 3 million Takata airbags.
Birthdays: Jim Bown (1960), Hut Stricklin (1961)
1909: In New York, during the annual meeting of the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education, Director Logan Page makes an earnest plea for the teaching of highway engineering in the engineering schools.
1910: Alfa Romeo was founded.
1938: The 3-day celebration for the opening of South Dakota's first trans-State paved highway ends at Chamberlain, SD. On June 22, Governor Leslie Jensen said, "U.S. Highway No. 16 could be likened to the goose laying the golden egg because completion of hard surfacing will bring a vast increase in traffic, increase in revenue, and wonderful advertising to the State." S. L. Taylor represents BPR during the ceremonies.
1941: The initial meeting of the National Interregional Highway Committee, appointed by President Franklin Roosevelt, convenes at PRA headquarters (the Federal Works Building) to begin identifying a limited system of national highways designed to provide a basis for improved interregional transportation. Commissioner Thomas MacDonald is Chairman and Herbert Fairbank is secretary.
1964: BPR's highway research facility in McLean, VA, is named the Herbert S. Fairbank Research Station. A plaque is unveiled at 2:30 by Mrs. Francis Fairbank, wife of his cousin, when his sister, Miss Grace C. Fairbank of Baltimore, MD, is unable to attend due to illness. A tribute says, "His monument, still being built, is an efficient highway system, planned for the future and soundly financed."
1977: FHWA drops the proposal to change road signs to the metric system. Following publication of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in April inviting public comment, FHWA received more than 5,000 comments and, says Administrator William Cox, "about 98 percent of them were negative. There simply was too much opposition to the proposal from the general public."
2011: Cars 2 released in the U.S.
2018: Martin Truex Jr. wins the Toyota/Save Mart 350 (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Sonoma Raceway)
1917: BPR and the Forest Service sign a cooperative agreement for construction of a road across Monarch Pass in Colorado (later part of U.S. 50). W. M. Jeffrey of the BPR ran the location survey in 1917, but work was delayed by World War I (Jeffrey served in France, performing civil engineering and road building duties). Groundbreaking takes place on July 10, 1919, and the completed road is dedicated on September 19, 1921. Groundbreaking takes place on July 10, 1919, and the completed road is dedicated on September 19, 1921. An article in Colorado Highways comments that Jeffrey's feelings during the ceremony "must have been much the same as those of a proud parent who attends the graduation of a favorite child . . . . From the speakers' stand where he stood while he spoke, he could see some of the tools with which he and his men had been working just a few days before. Like old friends were these tools; they seemed to greet him from where they lay in the tall mountain grass, and there, too, was the highway. Just beyond a little copse of aspen it curved and wound its way through the timber and up over the pass." Assistant District Engineer A. E. Palen of BPR commented that for scenery, the road "out switzes Switzerland."
1952: President Harry Truman signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act, which authorizes the first funding, $25 million, specifically for the Interstate System.
1990: Deputy Secretary Elaine Chao helps launch the Pathfinder IVHS pilot project in Los Angeles, a cooperative effort by FHWA, the California DOT, and General Motors.
Birthdays: Dick Moroso (1939), Kevin Lepage (1962), Steve Grissom (1963)
1956: Congress completes work on the landmark Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 when the House approves the bill by voice vote and the Senate completes congressional action on an 89 to 1 roll call vote. Senator Russell Long of Louisiana is the lone dissenter, saying he believes present taxes are sufficient to finance the program. The bill's chief sponsors, Senator Albert Gore, Sr. (TN) and Representative George H. Fallon (MD), in a joint statement, say the bill will set in motion "the greatest governmental construction program in the history of the world." Fallon adds, "The American people will ride safely upon many thousands of miles of broad, straight, trouble-free roads, four to eight lanes wide, criss-crossing America from coast to coast and border to border, built to the very highest standards that our highway engineers can devise."
1962: In Delmar, NY, Region 1 holds a seminar for 12 members of BPR's Executive Reserve--officials from contractors' associations, consulting engineering firms, universities, and retired highway officials who will fill executive posts in the Agency if present top officials are killed or incapacitated in a nuclear attack. Similar seminars will be held in each of BPR's regions, covering all 88 reservists.
Birthdays: Johnny Benson (1963)
1958: BPR's Montana Division begins a move to Helena after being in Missoula since April 1918.
1967: In West Yellowstone, MT, Administrator Lowell Bridwell addresses the Western Governors' Conference on uniform standards for highway safety. He says the Highway Safety Act of 1966 "represented the intention of Congress that the Federal Government support, stimulate, and help the States toward achieving the nationally mandated goal of much greater safety on America's highway network . . . . So we see the future of our standards, and the State programs initiated or improved under them, as a future of close cooperation between and among the Federal and State governments in this area of critical national need."
1990: Days of Thunder was released.
2006: Johan Jacobs dies in a crash while testing for a land-speed record attempt.
Birthdays: Junior Johnson (1931), Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima (1950), Mike Skinner (1957)
1957: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development signs an agreement with the Imperial Ethiopian Government for a $15 million highway loan for several purposes, including construction under BPR supervision of 510 miles of roads to open up a potentially rich coffee-producing area.
1966: Chevrolet announces the Camaro name in the first time in history that 14 cities were connected in real time for a press conference via telephone lines.
1969: Ralph Bartelsmeyer, Director of Public Roads, represents FHWA at the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge's lower deck, which had been built the same time as the upper deck (opened November 21, 1964) but kept closed until needed--which turned out to be 11 years sooner than planned. Robert Moses, whose Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority built the bridge, tells the assemblage, "The ex-post-facto boys of course know just how it should have been done [but give] practical folks their due. Who shall challenge their assertion that man cannot live by ecology and esthetics alone?"
2006: Who Killed the Electric Car? released.
Birthdays: Eddie Bierschwale (1959), Jeff Burton (1967), Martin Truex Jr. (1980)
1932: Auto Union was founded.
1956: President Dwight D. Eisenhower, on his last day at Walter Reed Army Hospital following surgery on June 9 for ileitis, signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, ushering in the Interstate era. Title I increases the Interstate System to 41,000 miles (from 40,000 miles authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944) and authorizes $25 billion over the period 1957-1969 as the Federal share (90 percent) of the cost of construction. Title II, the Highway Revenue Act of 1956, establishes the Highway Trust Fund and provides that the highway program must operate on a pay-as-you-go basis. Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks tells reporters $1.125 billion would be allocated to the States immediately for "the greatest public works program in the history of the world." The President, he says, "was highly pleased."
1961: President John F. Kennedy signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act, which increases Interstate authorizations. It revises the existing schedule of highway-user excise taxes and makes permanent the temporary gas tax of 4 cents per gallon approved by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1959. These changes provide the sound financial footing needed to complete the Interstate System.
1977: The FHWA Regulation Reduction Red Tape Task Force presents its study and recommendations to Administrator William Cox, Deputy Administrator Karl Bowers, and Executive Director Lester Lamm.
Birthdays: Henry Ford (1863), Don Miller (1939), Dave Mader III (1955), Sterling Marlin (1957)
1924: For the opening of the Mount Hood Loop in Oregon, BPR officials join a caravan of automobiles carrying Forest Service, State and county officials, prominent citizens, and the press. They leave Portland, OR, drive to Government Camp, around the mountain to Hood River, and then back to Portland over the Columbia Highway, thus making the first complete circuit (173 miles) of Mt. Hood by way of the Loop Highway--in 8 hours. BPR supervised construction of the 37-mile section through Mt. Hood National Forest.
1933: For the first time since 1916, the fiscal year ends without definite provision by Congress for continuation of the Federal-aid highway program. However, the National Industrial Recovery Act, approved June 16, provided $400 million for Federal-aid roads and $50 million for forest, park, public lands, and Indian reservation roads. (The Federal-aid program would be reestablished, June 18, 1934, by the Hayden-Cartwright Act for FYs 1936 and 1937).
1953: Production of the Chevrolet Corvette began.
2008: The Tesla Model S was announced in a press release.
1961: Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges inaugurates operation of the National Driver Register Service in BPR's computer room to maintain records of motor vehicle operators whose license has been revoked. (On June 13, 1967, Administrator Lowell Bridwell announced that the register had made 31,921,825 searches, resulting in 182,679 identifications warranting further investigation.)
1972: Frank Turner retires as Federal Highway Administrator, ending a BPR/PRA/FHWA career that began immediately after his graduation from Texas A&M University in 1929.
1993: A Federal Grand Jury in New York indicts eight individuals for allegedly evading $85 million in Federal tax on 946 million gallons of gasoline between 1983 and 1988. This is the largest fuel tax evasion case ever brought by the Department of Justice and brings the total evasion alleged in various indictments over the past 6 months in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania to almost $200 million. FHWA's fuel tax evasion project played a significant role in assisting the Internal Revenue Service and State revenue agencies.
2010: George Austin Hay, a multimedia specialist in FHWA's Publishing and Visual Communications Team, retires at the age of 94 after 55 years of Federal service, including 37 with FHWA. In his final days at work, Hay is congratulated by Secretary Ray LaHood, Deputy Secretary John Porcari, and Administrator Victor Mendez. On July 2, The Washington Post covers the retirement - in part because of Hay's sideline as an actor who appeared as an extra in such films as North by Northwest (1959), Being There (1979), Her Alibi (1989), The Contender (2000), and Ladder 49 (2004).
1905: OPRI becomes OPR under the Agriculture Appropriation Act of March 3, 1905. For the first time, the Agency is permanent, with an annual budget of $50,000. Director Martin Dodge had worked hard to achieve these goals. However, as a lawyer, he was prohibited by the new law from heading OPR. The Director must "be a scientist and have charge of all scientific and technical work." Logan Page becomes Director at a salary of $2,500. His staff includes a Chief of Records (M. O. Eldridge), a Chief Clerk (J. E. Pennybacker, Jr.), a Chief of the Division of Tests (Dr. A. S. Cushman) and a Chief of Construction (A. N. Johnson), an Instrument Maker, and six clerks.
1926: Hudson finishes a $10M body plant where they could build all-steel closed bodies for Hudson and Essex.
1951: Juan Manuel Fangio wins the XXXVIII Grand Prix de l'A.C.F. after swapping his failing car with Luigi Fagioli's car on orders of the team. The veteran Fagioli was so infuriated by this that he quit Grand Prix racing on the spot.
1955: Yamaha Motor Company was founded.
2005: The final Ford Thunderbird was produced.
2018: Kyle Busch wins the Overton's 400 (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Chicagoland Speedway) in a controversial finish. The race was Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Cup Series debut as a broadcaster.
1915: OPR becomes the Office of Public Roads and Rural Engineering.
1918: OPRRE becomes the Bureau of Public Roads.
1924: BPR discontinues the practice of testing samples of road materials for any U.S. citizen. Samples will be tested only if submitted by or at the request of government officials and then only if the request is accompanied by a statement that the sampling was done by a disinterested party. The statement should be made on BPR Form T-206.
1939: BPR becomes the Public Roads Administration and is shifted from the Department of Agriculture to the Federal Works Agency.
1942: In Panama, after working day and night, PRA completes the 52-mile Chorrera-Rio Hato Road to an important military airfield at Rio Hato. About half the mileage had been completed in cooperation with Panama when the U.S. entered World War II and the U.S. Army demanded that work be completed by June. PRA completed the road without cost to Panama.
1949: PRA becomes the Bureau of Public Roads, briefly part of the General Services Administration before moving to the Department of Commerce on August 20.
1977: In Washington, DC, the Metro subway opens its second line, this one serving the L'Enfant Plaza Station at the USDOT Headquarters. Over the years, Interstate substitution funds totalling more than $2 billion were transferred to Metro transit projects. The opening ceremony in the USDOT Building plaza features Executive Director Lester Lamm, Deputy Administrator Charles F. Bingham of UMTA, and Theodore Lutz, General Manager of Metro.
Birthdays: Richard Petty (1937)
1900: ORI's initial involvement in the international road community occurs at the First International Good Roads Congress at Port Huron, MI, launched by Michigan's Horatio S. Earle with Director Martin Dodge's enthusiastic support. Dodge arrives today and works with Road Expert E. G. Harrison, who had begun work on an object lesson road on July 1. In addition to supervising this work, Dodge presides over the convention on July 3 and 4.
1950: Juan Manuel Fangio wins the XXXVII Grand Prix de l'A.C.F. (Formula 1: Reims-Gueux).
1992: FHWA joins with the North Carolina Department of Transportation in a pilot partnership agreement with North Carolina A&T University, the first of five such partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The objective is to increase the opportunities for the college and its students with FHWA and State DOTs.
Birthdays: Bob Whitcomb (1937), Larry Phillips (1942)
1906: Under a plan signed today by Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson, a locality desiring a rural mail route can petition OPR for an engineer to examine the road and recommend any needed improvements (the joint plan is approved by the Postmaster General on July 10).
1938: Ceremonies in Berthoud Pass, CO, mark completion of the last paved segment of U.S. 40. BPR's Clyde Learned had largely determined the location and was involved throughout construction, prompting journalist H. B. Rose to say, "Learned has built himself in every foot of that superb surface and in every yard of the structure."
1958: BPR establishes a Division Office in Beirut, Lebanon, to provide technical assistance in developing the highway program of that country. Little could be accomplished during the first 6 months due to an armed rebellion and period of instability.
1970: The final Volvo Amazon was produced.
1930: Governors of 13 States, in the area for a national Governors meeting, participate in the dedication ceremony for the $2 million Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway in Zion National Park, UT. The ceremony takes place in one of the galleries of the mile-long tunnel that is one of the unique features of the highway. The audience of 2,000 finds the tunnel delightfully cool on a sizzling Independence Day. Director of National Parks H. M. Albright introduces Chief Thomas MacDonald and District Engineer B. J. Finch, who describes some of the facts about the highway. A contemporary account describes the highway as "a wonderful engineering accomplishment in the land of natural wonders."
1979: Auto Shack opened in Forrest City, Arkansas, the first store in what would become AutoZone.
1892: Senator Charles B. Manderson of Nebraska introduces General Roy Stone's proposal for a National Highway Commission. Representative Philip S. Post of Illinois had introduced the same measure in the House on June 29. The measure passed the Senate July 27, but failed in the House.
1959: Three BPR engineers (H. A. Radzikowski, R. S. Anderson, and S. E. Farin) complete a study tour, begun June 15, of highways in Poland. They found that good use is made of local materials while good laboratory facilities and practices were observed and highway maintenance was well performed. On the other hand, highway surfaces are not always smooth, city bypasses are congested, trees are sometimes planted on shoulders, and mechanization of highway work is limited.
1944: F.H. Jackson, Principal Engineer of Tests for PRA's Division of Physical Research, heads a team in California studying the causes of the disintegration of concrete structures in California, Oregon, and Washington. Defects, some of which appeared after only 3 or 4 years of service, require intensive review to ensure freedom from these troubles on future projects. The problem in California appears to be exposure to the alkali-aggregate reaction, a problem that Jackson believes can be solved by application of the principle of air entrainment.
Birthdays: Stan Fox (1952), Gabby Chaves (1973)
1919: After a ceremony dedicating the temporary Zero Milestone marker on the Ellipse in Washington, DC, the first U.S. Army transcontinental truck convoy, under Lt. Col. C. D. McClure, gets underway. It crosses the country on the Lincoln Highway, which it reaches at Gettysburg, PA, and arrives in San Francisco, CA, on September 5, with future President Dwight D. Eisenhower participating as an observer. The experience contributes to his support for the Interstate System after becoming President.
1993: FHWA launches its 100th anniversary celebration with a gala kickoff in the USDOT Headquarters (the Nassif Building) plaza featuring distinguished guests, a courtyard full of exhibits, and an oversized commemorative "birthday card." The temperature reaches 100 degrees during the formal ceremony featuring Secretary of Transportation Federico Pea, Administrator Rodney Slater, Deputy Administrator Jane Garvey, Executive Director E. Dean Carlson, former Administrators Robert Farris, John Hassell, and Frank Turner, former Executive Director and Deputy Administrator Lester Lamm, former Executive Director R. D. Morgan, and Chairman Nick Rahall of the House Subcommittee on Surface Transportation.
2000: Production of the first generation Lexus SC ended.
2018: Erik Jones wins the Coke Zero Sugar 400, his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory.
Birthdays: Leo Jackson (1933), Dale Coyne (1954)
1912: OPR Traveling Inspector E. W. James tells the Third Annual Convention of the Montana Good Roads Congress, "There are many men in almost every community who can tell us how to build good roads, but we have yet to find the man who can tell us how to keep any kind of road in good condition easily. This means work and the expenditure of money."
1961: The Saturday Evening Post carries an article by Arthur W. Baum on "Our New Super-Road System," discussing "where it goes, how fast it is being built, and how it will change the lives and habits of countless Americans."
2009: Gregory G. Nadeau becomes the 19th Deputy Administrator. A former member of the Maine House of Representatives (1978-1990), Nadeau served as Deputy Commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation before taking his Federal post.
Birthdays: Donnie Richeson (1960), Earl Bamber (1990)
1900: Dowlais Iron Company and Arthur Keen's Patent Nut and Bolt Company merged to form Guest, Keen & Co. Ltd., a precursor to GKN.
1951: In Detroit, Michigan, the first section of the Edsel Ford Expressway opens, financed by BPR, the State, Wayne County, and the city. The expressway is depressed below ground level, with all principal intersecting streets carried over the six expressway lanes. Frontage roads are provided at ground level for local traffic. BPR's annual report for FY 1951 says the opening "was the beginning of a new era of automobile transportation in Detroit."
1964: President Lyndon Johnson signs the Urban Mass Transportation Act to provide additional assistance for the development of comprehensive and coordinated mass transportation systems, both public and private, in metropolitan and other urban areas. The Act vests urban mass transportation functions in the Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency. The authority is shifted to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development before being transferred to the Secretary of Transportation. In 1991 the Urban Mass Transportation Administration would go on to become the Federal Transit Administration.
Birthdays: Brendan Gaughan (1975)
1919: The first 47 of 200 government surplus war material trucks arrive in Denver, CO, most from Fort Benjamin Harrison at Indianapolis, IN. Chairman E. K. Sommers of the State Highway Commission had arranged for the shipment during a June trip to BPR in Washington, DC. At the time of the trip, J. S. Bright of BPR's Denver District Office had noted that, "There are two dumps in France, covering 9 square miles, in which you can find anything from a locomotive to a screw driver."
1961: The first of a series of "Radiological Monitoring Courses" in Region 3 is held in the North Carolina Division Office. The course is conducted by Halsey L. Mallory and D. E. Schneible.
1967: The world's leading authority on how much crash force a human being can stand, Colonel John P. Stapp of the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps, is detailed to FHWA's National Highway Safety Bureau as Chief Medical Scientist to help reduce death and injury on the Nation's highways.
Birthdays: Bobby Dotter (1960), Ben Spies (1984)
1911: President Woodrow Wilson signs the Federal Aid Road Act, launching the Federal-aid highway program. The ceremony is witnessed by Members of Congress and representatives of farmers' organizations, AAA, and AASHO. Federal-aid funds are to be apportioned based on area, population, and post road mileage. The Federal share is 50 percent of the actual cost, up to $10,000 a mile. However, no funds are to be provided to a State unless it has a State highway agency and its legislature has assented to the provisions of the Act.
1967: Director of Public Roads Frank Turner tells the Western Association of State Highway Officials, meeting in Honolulu, HI, to plan, design, construct, and maintain highways with an enlightened view toward their total impact on society.
1980: Transportation Secretary Neil Goldschmidt administers the oath of office to Administrator John S. Hassell, Jr., who had served as Deputy Administrator since August 31, 1978. Referring to the complex challenges facing FHWA, Hassell says, "I am confident that we, working in cooperation with the various State highway departments and the Congress, can and will develop solutions which will permit our highway transportation system to serve our mobility needs."
Birthdays: Benny Parsons (1941), Rick Hendrick (1949)
1947: By agreement with the State Department, PRA undertakes to supervise the highway program authorized by May 22 legislation to help Turkey improve its highways. The legislation authorized $5 million for purchase of highway equipment, materials, supplies, and contractual services. The Turkish Government agreed to provide adequate funds for carrying out the road program.
1954: President Dwight D. Eisenhower's "Grand Plan" for a properly articulated highway network, including the Interstate System, is unveiled at the Governors Conference, Bolton Landing, NY, by Vice President Richard Nixon (a death in the family kept the President from attending). The plan calls for a $50-billion highway program over 10 years.
1956: AASHO adopts the initial geometric design standards for the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways (approved by BPR on July 17). Revisions are adopted April 12, 1963, October 24, 1963, December 1988, and July 1991.
2004: Production begins on the third generation Mercury Montego.
1925: Chief Thomas MacDonald represents BPR at the opening of the 42-mile, $390,000 Wendover Cut-Off across the Great Salt Lake Desert in western Utah, creating an entrance to Nevada and California. A contemporary account notes that the cut-off crosses "what is probably the most inhospitable waste that the vicissitudes of mother earth have produced." Construction was possible only because the Western Pacific Railroad, its line parallel to the new road, carried men and materials to construction sites. In the opening ceremony, Utah Governor George Dern, Nevada Governor J. G. Scrugham, and Secretary of Agriculture William Jardine shovel the final salt barrier from the roadway (later included in U.S. 40).
1978: Lee Iacocca was fired from the Ford Motor Company.
1991: Davey Allison died.
Birthdays: Chico Landi (1907)
1951: José Froilán González wins the IV RAC British Grand Prix (Formula 1: Silverstone Circuit).
1960: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act. Section 6 allows Delaware and Maryland to repay Federal-aid Interstate funds used on a portion of I-95 so the section can be built with toll financing. Because President John F. Kennedy dedicated the turnpike on November 14, 1963, 8 days before his assassination, the turnpike was renamed the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway. Deputy Administrator Lawrence Jones represents BPR at the January 1965 second dedication ceremony.
1993: During the Great Flood of 1993, Administrator Rodney Slater visits the St. Louis area to tour flood-impacted areas along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. He also meets with State and local officials to discuss flood relief and FHWA's commitment to help provide all necessary assistance.
Birthdays: Gene Roberts (1959), Tyler Young (1990)
2015: Jules Bianchi died from injuries sustained during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.
1933: Over 4,000 people gather on Logan Pass, MT, for the opening of the Going-to-the-Sun Road after 3 decades of construction at a cost of more than $2 million. In addition to speeches extolling the hard work that went into the highway, the ceremony features the Blackfeet Tribal Band playing the "Star Spangled Banner" and a chorus organized by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The afternoon ends with a ceremony of peace among the Blackfeet, Flathead, and Kootenai tribes.
1957: The 16 members of the Utah Division Office are informed their office will move from Ogden to Salt Lake City. The Ogden office was established in 1917 as a branch of OPR's District Office at Denver. On July 1, 1919, it became a District Office with jurisdiction over all Federal-aid work in Utah and Nevada and forest and park projects in Forest Service District 4. In 1945, the Ogden District Office, like all District Offices, was confined to its State borders; at the same time, each State received its own District Office. On January 7, 1957, the UT District Office, and all other District Offices, became Division Offices. The move to Salt Lake City will bring the Division Office closer to the State highway department.
1992: Director of Communications David Fredrickson introduces the first edition of the "Third Friday Report," FHWA's inhouse video magazine. In an interview, Administrator Thomas Larson attributes the idea for the show to Alcoa's Paul O'Neill, who stresses the importance of having a variety of communication channels. Also featured: the TravTek IVHS experiment in Orlando, FL, an interview with Executive Director E. Dean Carlson on career development, and FHWA 2000. (Karen Whitney hosts the magazine show beginning with the February 1993 edition.) The 41th and final edition aired in December, 1995.
Birthdays: Scott Atchison (1962)
1902: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders founded in the UK.
1913: H. W. Hendley transfers to OPR from the Smithsonian Institution to help with photographic and model work. During the year, 70 models illustrating types of road construction are restored and 30 new road models, 3 culvert models, 1 drainage model, 1 bridge model, 1 model showing construction features in the Alps, and 1 large relief model of the Yosemite Valley of the Yosemite National Park are constructed.
1963: Ohio Division Engineer W. E. Reed and Area Engineer S. J. Kimlicko participate in the opening of the "Euclid Spur," an 8.2-mile section of I-90 east of Cleveland. The opening makes possible a drive from Cleveland to New York City, via the New York Thruway, entirely on expressway.
1974: In an interview with the Atlanta Constitution, Administrator Norbert Tiemann predicts that, "At the current level of funding, which is $2.5 billion per year, and with the 10 percent inflation rate, it will be 2007 before we'll finish the interstate highway system."
Birthdays: Erwin Bauer (1912), Eddie Dickerson (1955)
1892: The annual meeting of the League of American Wheelmen (LAW) begins in Washington, DC (through July 21). In addition to holding parades, conducting championship bicycle races, and visiting the White House, participants lobby for General Roy Stone's bill calling for a National Highway Commission to make a "general inquiry into the condition of highways in the United States, and means for their improvement, and especially the best method of securing a proper exhibit at the World's Columbian Exposition of approved appliances for road making, and of providing for public instruction in the art during the Exposition." After the meeting, General Stone and former LAW president James Denn stay in Washington to continue the lobbying effort.
1923: Secretary of Agriculture Henry C. Wallace recognizes completion of the 266.84-mile, 7-percent Federal-aid system in Delaware, the first State to receive this recognition under the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1921. This early completion reflects the fact that a considerable amount of the mileage had been improved before the system was designated. Under the Act, Delaware is now eligible to extend its Federal-aid system beyond the 7-percent system.
2009: Victor M. Mendez takes office as the 18th Federal Highway Administrator. He is the second Administrator, after Mary E. Peters (2001-2005), who had served as Director of the Arizona Department of Transportation. He soon launches the Every Day Counts initiative to find, foster, and promote innovation and technology in FHWA and the broader transportation community.
2009: Fleetwood's motorized recreational vehicle assets acquired by American Industrial Partners (AIP).
Birthdays: Glen Wood (1925), Randy Lewis (1945)
1934: BPR issues special provisions for construction of highways and related projects under sections of the National Industrial Recovery Act and the Hayden-Cartwright Act (June 18, 1934). The provisions cover such areas as employment lists; subletting; wages, hours of employment, and conditions of employment; and hand labor methods. In addition, all manufactured and unmanufactured articles, materials, and supplies must come from the United States, except that with respect to asphaltic materials, "it is impracticable to apply the above requirements."
1962: Administrator Rex Whitton sends a message to all BPR employees on "Will it Promote Economic Growth?" He notes that Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges has called promotion of economic growth the Commerce Department's most important single problem.
1973: The Nebraska Department of Roads is the first State to have an approved State Highway Action Plan, meeting a new FHWA requirement designed to describe the procedures the State will use to ensure consideration of environmental values in developing highway projects. Administrator Norbert Tiemann, a former Governor of Nebraska, presents a plaque to Nebraska Director Thomas D. Doyle to mark the occasion.
2013: Gina McCarthy took office as 13th Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Birthdays: Clyde McLeod (1950)
1943: Canada and the United States exchange diplomatic notes formally naming the road from Dawson Creek in British Columbia to Fairbanks, AK -- the explicit termini -- the "Alaska Highway."
1957: Today is the last day for a BPR exhibition portraying the dramatic impact of highways on all segments of American life. It had been unveiled in the main lobby of the Department of Commerce on June 25. The main feature is the Interstate System, with graphic presentations of progress in its construction and the benefits it will make possible.
1967: The Gnome-Mobile was released.
1973: In Kansas City, Missouri, Administrator Norbert Tiemann presents the first two Presidential Medals of Honor for Lifesaving to Jon Eugene Harley (saving an injured driver from drowning after his truck plunged off a bridge in Missouri) and Mrs. Lucille Widsteen (taking control of a bus on the Kansas Turnpike after the driver suffered a heart attack).
1962: Commerce Secretary Luther Hodges announces a BPR reorganization, establishing the Office of Right-of-Way and Location and the Office of Audit and Investigations. The former, to be headed by Edgar Swick, will be responsible for ensuring right-of-way is acquired properly and at fair cost. It also will handle all aspects of route location. The audit office, to be headed by former FBI agent Joseph O'Connor, will probe allegations of fraud, land speculation, collusion, and other irregularities, as well as auditing State claims for reimbursement of the Federal share of project costs. Three days later, Administrator Rex Whitton announces expansion of the Office of Research, which becomes the Office of Research and Development under Director Robert F. Baker.
2006: Stellican Limited announced it is restarting the Indian Motorcycle Company in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.
1916: In the first apportionment under the 1916 Federal Aid Road Act, only $5 million is available for FY 1917. Texas receives the largest amount ($291,927.81) and Delaware the smallest ($8,184.37). Under the legislation, funds increase $5 million each year, up to $25 million for 1921.
1931: BPR instructs the contractor on the first section of Skyline Drive in Virginia to proceed with work. Bids on sections A and B (19.97 miles) from Thornton's Gap to Big Meadows, VA, had been opened on June 25, 1931. Albert Brothers Contractors, Inc., of Salem, VA, was awarded the contract on June 26. Work began on July 22 and was completed on schedule on September 8, 1932.
1932: President Herbert Hoover signs the Emergency Relief and Construction Act appropriating $120 million for advances to States to match Federal-aid funds, with advances to be repaid by deduction from regular apportionment over 10 years (converted to grants by the Hayden-Cartwright Act of 1934).
2011: Fiat purchases a stake in Chrysler.
2018: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announces that Mike Manley will succeed Sergio Marchionne as CEO of the company.
1909: In West Newton, MA, OPR inspects an experimental pavement that had been built during the summer of 1908 with a binder made from a mixture of molasses, oil, and lime. The inspector finds that the road is "in a very good condition, except at a rather sharp curve where the surface had just started to pick up under traffic."
1911: OPR writes to the Iroquois Iron Works of Buffalo, NY, about the need for a 400-gallon kettle for an experimental project to resurface a road in Chevy Chase, MD, with bituminous macadam. "This section of road is traversed practically every day by the President and several members of his Cabinet, and a great many senators and representatives, as well as other persons high in official life at the Capital, and we believe will be a very good location for demonstration work." Funds are, however, limited. "We are wondering if you could make any concession on prices in consideration of the fact that this is to be a demonstration and experimental job." The letter adds, "If we were sure our appropriations will be continued through a period of years, we would buy a good outfit. If you have some good, second-hand kettles which you could rent to us, I think perhaps they might do."
1991: The last Pontiac 6000 was produced.
2008: Mastretta unveils the pre-production MXT
Birthdays: Roy "Buckshot" Jones (1970)
1903: Ford made its first car sale, a Model A, to Dr. Ernest Pfenning of Chicago for $850.
1913: Representative William Kent of California introduces H.R. 7084, which would allow road publications issued by the States to be mailed as second class matter, with the Secretary of Agriculture deciding which documents will receive the privilege. The act, which was not approved, was intended to make it easier to spread information, but also make it easier for OPR to be a clearinghouse for the country's road building community.
1975: FHWA and the Commerce Department's Office of Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) sign a memorandum of understanding on ways to increase participation of minority business enterprises in Federal-aid construction programs. Among other things, FHWA agrees to review the feasibility of setting goals for MBE contracts and subcontracts and assist in identifying capable minority construction contractors, vendors, suppliers, equipment dealers, and service companies.
1992: Regional Administrator David Gendell represents FHWA during the signing of a landmark agreement for integrating the NEPA and Section 404 wetlands permit processes. The consensus agreement was also signed by representatives of EPA, the Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service. The revised procedures will merge the two processes at a much earlier time than in the past, with the goal of reducing processing time.
Birthdays: Johnny O'Connell (1962)
1911: In connection with the American Association for Highway Improvement, the Touring Club of America begins a road inspection tour of Virginia to secure data as to highway conditions and especially the improvement of the notoriously bad highway between Richmond and Washington,DC, in time for the American Road Congress in November. OPR's Paul Sargent and J. E. Pennybacker, Jr., join the party, which is officially started by Vice President J. S. Sherman. (President William H. Taft agrees to attend the American Road Congress but only on condition that he not have to motor to Richmond over Virginia's roads.)
2004: Nikolai Smolensky becomes the owner of TVR.
Birthdays: Ernie Elliott (1947)
1911: OPR begins work on Mountain View Road to Sycamore, AR. The earth road, an object lesson project, is completed August 1, 1911. The total length graded was 3,000 feet, the width 16 feet, and the area 5,333 square yards. The cost to the community was $127.60.
1916: The North and South Highway Association of Idaho is organized, with Dr. L. J. Perkins of Lewiston as president, to promote a 500-mile highway connecting the northern and southern sections of the State--a goal achieved in late 1926 (U.S. 95). The idea of linking the two parts of the State captured the imagination, but financing seemed impossible until "Federal aid and distribution of forestry money . . . made possible the fulfillment of Idaho's greatest dream," as one 1926 account put it.
1994: At the White House, Jordan's King Hussein and Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin sign a "Peace Declaration" and shake hands, ending a half century of hostilities between their countries. As part of the process leading to this day, Seppo I. Sillan, Chief of FHWA's Geometric and Roadside Design Branch, co-chaired talks about improving roads between the countries in a meeting held at the Dead Sea, Jordan, during the week before the historic "hand shake" in Washington, DC.
Birthdays: Rick Crawford (1958)
1973: At the Holiday Inn in Bellevue, Washington, Administrator Norbert Tiemann addresses the 18th Joint State Right-of-Way Seminar. He states his theme by noting that some 2,500 years ago, the philosopher Heraclitus wrote, "All is flux, nothing stays still . . . nothing endures but change." Tiemann explains that, "The old days of roadbuilding, when the main concern of the engineers was to build a highway between two points in as straight a line as possible, are gone, and they will not return." After outlining changes in the program, he concludes by quoting Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: "Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear, and with a manly heart."
1993: A state-of-the-art automatic weather station is installed at FHWA's Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. Weather data will be used with other pavement-related data to develop improved pavement design and performance prediction models.
2002: The final 9th Generation Lincoln Continental was produced.
1925: In Chicago, IL, the ICC begins a series of hearings on the complaint that motor transport is materially injuring the business of rail carriers. Representatives of rail and highway carriers, as well as shippers, testify. Chief Thomas MacDonald and J. G. McKay, Chief of BPR's Highway Economics Division, testify at length on the proposal to regulate motor carriers as the railroads are regulated. MacDonald states that motor trucks carry about 2 percent of the total volume of freight handled by the railroads. He adds that any change from rail to highway transportation was principally because the public wanted that kind of service.
1986: President Ronald Reagan signs the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act, giving FHWA new tools to enhance commercial vehicle safety, including a requirement that bus and truck drivers have a single commercial driver's license based on uniform standards for testing drivers; creation of a central clearinghouse for complete driving records (See April 1, 1992); and mandatory penalties for serious traffic violations and felony convictions.
Birthdays: Luigi Musso (1924)
1911: Charles Hoyt, OPR's Superintendent of Construction, begins an inspection of New Hampshire's highways (through August 12) at the request of Governor Robert Bass. In Bulletin No. 42, issued February 6, 1912, Hoyt reports that "the condition of the highways was found to be much better than was expected."
1924: The contract for the last leg of the Dalles-California Highway in Deschutes National Forest, OR, is awarded to John Hampshire of Grants Pass. Completion of this project opens the last link in a highway that extends from The Dalles, OR, to the CA line.
1955: After the House turns down the proposed Federal-aid Interstate bill by a 127-to-292 vote, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issues a statement: "There is a difference of conviction, I realize, over means of financing this construction . . . . Adequate financing there must be but, and this is the important part, contention over the method of financing should not be permitted to deny our people these critically needed roads."
Birthdays: Fernando Alonso (1981)
1907: At Cumberland Gap, TN, OPR begins a 12,300-foot long macadam object lesson road known as the Tri-State Road because it lies in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. The road is completed October 9, 1908. Because of the mountainous country, an unusual amount of rock excavation was required to establish a satisfactory grade. Work was suspended for 4 months during the winter, in addition to 76 days lost because of rain or other bad weather. The total cost, including excavation, macadam, and drainage, was $7,050 per mile, while the cost of the macadam alone was $0.35 per square yard, or $2,875 per mile.
1946: An Act is approved to amend the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 by authorizing Federal dams to be constructed so as to serve as a foundation for Federal-aid highways ($10 million made available from prior authorizations for emergency reimbursement of extra costs incurred).
1951: Alberto Ascari wins the XIV Großer Preis von Deutschland (Formula 1: Nürburgring Nordschleife).
1993: In a ceremony on Capitol Hill, Administrator Rodney Slater unveils the Eisenhower Interstate System sign, honoring President Dwight D. Eisenhower for his role in launching the Interstate Highway Program. The sign was designed by FHWA in conjunction with AASHTO, and representatives of the Eisenhower family, the Eisenhower Center, and The Eisenhower Society. Slater says that while honoring President Eisenhower, the new sign "marks the contributions of the thousands of employees in the Federal Government, State Departments of Transportation, and industry [who] translated his vision into the world's finest highway transportation system."
Birthdays: Neil Bonnett (1946)
1902: Today is the second day of the 3-day Greenville Good Roads Exposition in Michigan, sponsored by the State Highway Committee, the Montcalm County Road Makers Association, OPRI, and ARMA. Planned by Horatio S. Earle of the State Highway Committee, the exposition attracts over 25,000 people. Today, Director Martin Dodge addresses the convention on "Government Co-operation in Object-Lesson Road Work." In discussing object-lesson roads in 1900 and 1901, he says, "In all of these cases the co-operation has been very hearty on the part of the state, the county, the municipality in which the work has been done, and the results have been very satisfactory and beneficial."
1996: The final Chevrolet Beretta was produced.
1945: An Act is approved to amend the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 to provide for payment of half the cost of acquiring and freeing toll bridges. This makes permanent the temporary powers granted during the war.
1970: For a half hour today, Miss Lynda Sue Plambeck of Carpenter, WY, is Girls Nation "Federal Highway Administrator." (Girls Nation is a youth citizenship training program conducted each year by the American Legion Auxiliary.) Sitting at the desk of Administrator Frank Turner, Miss Plambeck reviews correspondence, often asking questions about the documents before signing off on them. After she completes her duties, Turner gives her a copy of the triskelion USDOT emblem. Miss Plambeck, turning to a map of the Interstate System behind them, asks Turner, "When will you finish that road from Walcott to Carpenter?" He assures her that construction of I-80 is underway. (On October 3, 1970, when that stretch opens, FHWA is represented by Deputy Administrator Ralph R. Bartelsmeyer and former "Administrator" Plambeck.)
Birthdays: Bobby Isaac (1934)
1945: AASHO concurs in the initial "Design Standards for the National System of Interstate Highways," designed to "set the values or controls, the use of which is intended to produce highway facilities that represent the best practice in the light of present knowledge." The standards accommodate the 30th highest hourly traffic density and, in most but not all cases, require access control, separation at rail crossings, and elimination of cross traffic at grade. The standards were developed by AASHO Special Committee on Planning and Design Policies during a June meeting in Washington, DC.
1956: With Commissioner Charles Curtiss looking on, Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks signs the apportionment document for $2.55 billion in FY 1958 funds authorized by the 1956 Federal-Aid Highway Act, the largest amount ever provided for roads to date. The first apportionment under the 1956 Act, totalling $1.125 billion, took place the day it was signed, June 29, 1956.
1965: In an interview with The New York Times, Robert O. Swain, president of the International Road Federation, says that his organization has joined with BPR in a $150,000 project to send 17 road experts to Europe, the Far East, and South America. "Despite great advances here, United States road builders are a long way from knowing everything there is to know about their art," commented Swain.
2005: Production of the Ford Fusion began.
2007: The I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, MN, collapses into the Mississippi River during the evening peak period. Thirteen people die and hundreds are injured. At the request of President George W. Bush, Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters is on the scene within hours of the collapse. She taps Administrator J. Richard Capka to manage a team of experts assigned to replace the bridge.
1947: Commissioner Thomas MacDonald and the Federal Works Administrator, Major General Philip B. Fleming, announce the general locations of the first designated routes of the National System of Interstate Highways (as it is called). The routes total 37,681 miles, including 2,882 miles of urban thoroughfares. The remaining mileage of the 40,000-mile Interstate System, as authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, was reserved for auxiliary urban routes.
1956: The Missouri State Highway Commission awards a construction contract for 13.3 miles of U.S. 66 (I-44) in Laclede County. BPR District Engineer S. W. O'Brien telephones Headquarters to confirm that it is the first Interstate contract awarded under the 1956 Federal-Aid Highway Act. The State also awards a contract for a project to pave a 2.6-mile section of U.S. 40 (I-70) in St. Charles County (west from the Missouri River), which will be the first on which actual construction is started under the Act. The State posts a sign at the site to that effect.
1990: Iraq invades Kuwait, taking foreign hostages, including three FHWA employees--Monte Darden, Hristaki Sofokidis, and John Turley. They were on their last day in the country closing out a 22-year technical assistance program. On December 2, shortly after their release, they arrive in Germany.
Birthdays: Jules Bianchi (1989)
1900: Firestone Tire & Rubber Company was founded.
1958: Peter Collins dies from injuries sustained during the German Grand Prix.
1972: The USDOT transmits the 1972 National Transportation Report to Congress, the first in a planned series of periodic reports on the state of the Nation's transportation system and the planning alternatives of Federal, State, and local governments for improving the system over the longer range future.
1973: Administrator Norbert Tiemann announces a policy, known as "Last Resort Housing," that will allow States to use Federal-aid funds to provide special housing for people whose homes are displaced by Federal-aid projects and for whom comparable replacement sale or rental housing is not available. The new policy, he says, "purposely provides for broad latitude and creative thinking by the State highway agencies."
1978: After serving since June 1977 as Deputy Administrator, Karl S. Bowers is appointed Administrator (and is sworn in by Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams on August 31). Bowers had been appointed Acting Administrator on May 1 following the resignation of Administrator William Cox. In a May 1 notice to all employees, Bowers had said, "Highways are as important and vital today as they always have been . . . . The only difference is that today they are no longer a separate entity in the transportation field. We think of highways today as an integral part of the total transportation system, one which forms a connecting link with other transportation modes."
Birthdays: Jeff Gordon (1971), Kurt Busch (1978)
1892: House Speaker Charles Crisp of Georgia refuses to allow a vote on General Roy Stone's National Highway Commission Bill, effectively killing it when Congress adjourns the next day. Some House members had objected to the bill as an invasion of States' rights and also feared it would lead to a large-scale road building program. Disappointed, General Stone, co-lobbyist James Dunn, and others turn their attention to the problem of winning public support for the bill, leading to creation of the National League for Good Roads, on October 20, 1892, to finance and direct a nationwide publicity campaign.
1928: DeSoto was founded.
1970: In Atlanta, the Bridge Division holds the first of nine 3-day Bridge Inspector Training Symposia. Over 50 State and Federal bridge design, maintenance, and training officials attend. In addition to a slate of speakers, headed by AASHO Executive Director Alfred Johnson, the symposium features a chapter-by-chapter presentation of the Bridge Inspector's Training Manual by the Bridge Division's Stanley Gordon, John O'Fallon, and Joseph Policelli.
Birthdays: Gordon Johncock (1936), Leo Kinnunen (1943), Eddie Wood (1952), Colin McRae (1969), Kenny Irwin, Jr. (1969)
1933: The first highway project under the National Industrial Recovery Act (June 16, 1933) gets underway on the Salt Lake City to Saltair Road in Utah. By October 27, 1934, 16,330 miles of new roadway projects had been completed, 7,880 additional miles were under construction, and 2,845 miles more were definitely scheduled for construction (a total of 27,055 miles).
1968: Edward J. DePina is appointed Division Engineer for FHWA's Connecticut Division Office. DePina, who joined FHWA in 1965 after a career that included service as a Captain in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a stint with the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, is the first African-American to serve as an FHWA Division Engineer.
1971: In Named Individual Members of the San Antonio Conservation Society, et al. v. The Texas Highway Department, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, resolves whether a State, having accepted Federal-aid funds for a project (for construction of the North Expressway through Brackenridge Park in San Antonio), can then build the road with State funds to avoid Federal requirements. The court says no. "The state, by entering into this venture, voluntarily submitted itself to federal law. It entered with its eyes open," the court finds. Section 154 of the 1973 Federal-Aid Highway Act provides relief for Texas by declaring an end to the contractual relationship between the Federal and State governments with respect to the North Expressway.
2011: Production begins on the Polaris Industries generation of Indian motorcycles.
2016: Scion was discontinued.
1905: General Roy Stone dies at Phoenix House, Mendham, New Jersey, after a brief illness, survived by his wife Mary and daughter, Margaret (Lady Monson of England). He is buried August 10 with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. Stone was a hero of the Civil War, particularly distinguishing himself during a heroic stand at McPherson's Ridge on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. He also served as a volunteer in the Spanish-American War during a leave of absence from ORI in 1898.
1993: Following a series of fatal truck accidents on the Capital Beltway, Administrator Rodney Slater convenes a meeting with over 125 Federal, State, and local officials to discuss ways of improving beltway safety. Recommendations, including stepped-up truck inspections and the use of photo radar to detect speeders, are released on December 20, 1993. The Washington Post comments editorially on December 25 that, "Mr. Slater and the participating state and local officials have delivered a solid response to Beltway dangers--and the interest should not be allowed to wane." (A similar conference, convened by Executive Director R. D. Morgan, on September 9, 1988, had resulted in numerous initiatives to improve beltway operation and safety.)
Birthdays: Steve Loyd (1948)
1937: In accordance with the road user tax anti-diversion requirement of Section 12 of the Hayden-Cartwright Act (See June 18, 1934), BPR reduces New Jersey's Federal-aid funds by $250,000 for FY 1937. The Act stated that decreased funding was justified because ". . . it is unfair and unjust to tax motor vehicle transportation unless the proceeds of such taxation are applied to the construction, improvement or maintenance of highways." The only other State to lose funds is Massachusetts, with BPR action taken on June 2, 1938 ($472,862 in FY 1938 funds), but the provision, along with an improving economy, brought diversion under control.
Birthdays: Tommy Ellis (1947), Jack Sprague (1964), Richard Lyons (1979)
1916: All applications, accompanied by a medical certificate, must be in today for "United States Civil Service Examination, Senior Highway Engineer (Male)," paying $2,200-$4,000 a year. Candidates will be rated on the basis of education and preliminary training (20 percent), responsible experience in engineering and fitness (30), and responsible experience in highway engineering (50). Minimum age is 30.
1973: Secretary of Transportation Claude Brinegar administers the oath of office to Lester P. Lamm, who succeeds Martin F. "Pat" Maloney as Executive Director. Lamm, a native of Hull, MA, began his career with BPR in 1955. On September 17, 1982, he would become Deputy Administrator, the first to rise from career ranks within FHWA. "We, as a family, can truly look back with pride at our accomplishments. We should also look ahead with confidence at the challenges we now have, because together we can do anything. But only as a family," said Lamm.
1980: Secretary of Transportation Neil Goldschmidt administers the oath of office to Ms. Alinda C. Burke, the first woman to become Deputy Federal Highway Administrator. A native of Flint, MI, Ms. Burke grew up in Fremont, CA, receiving her Bachelor's Degree in political science from Stanford University in 1968. After receiving a Master's Degree from the University of Washington's Graduate School of Public Affairs, she held several government positions in Seattle, before joining Public Technology, Inc., a nonprofit urban research firm in Washington, DC (1975-1979). She served as a Special Assistant to Secretary Goldschmidt before her appointment as Deputy Administrator. "I'm proud to have been chosen for this position but . . . I am extremely respectful of those of you who have made a life's work of giving this nation the finest highway system in the world."
1954: Commissioner F. V. du Pont issues the first "Cherry Memorandum." It indicates that to ensure uniform interpretations nationwide, whenever a ruling or interpretation of general importance is made in Washington, DC, copies will be sent to all field offices on cherry-colored paper. "I trust," du Pont says, "that every effort will be made in the Divisions to see that they use Bureau policies, as distinguished from Division policies." Cherry Memorandum No. 2 (August 16) concerns Section 17 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954, which requires that projects "shall be performed by contract awarded by competitive bidding . . . unless the Secretary of Commerce shall affirmatively find that, under the circumstances relating to a given project, some other method is in the public interest."
Birthdays: Woody Brown (1918)
1956: PPM 20-8 implements Section 116(c) of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, which requires that in deciding whether to bypass any city, town, or village, the State highway department must hold public hearings or afford the opportunity for such hearings, and consider the economic effects of the action.
1961: J.B. Hunt was incorporated.
1970: After the National Highway Safety Bureau was separated from FHWA to become the seventh USDOT operating administration in March 1970, FHWA was reorganized, effective this date. Under the change, BPR is eliminated as an identifiable separate organizational component. Instead of a bureau structure, FHWA is divided into six components, each headed by an Associate Administrator (Administration, Planning, Engineering and Traffic Operations, Motor Carrier and Highway Safety, Research and Development, and Right-of-Way and Environment). The Offices of Chief Counsel, Civil Rights, Program Review and Investigations, and Public Affairs, each headed by a Director, report directly to the Administrator.
1989: Attorney General Dick Thornburgh administers the oath of office to Dr. Thomas D. Larson as the 12th Federal Highway Administrator. He calls the post-Interstate period "a hinge point in this country's transportation history."
1990: Opening of the Papago Freeway in Phoenix, AZ, completes the 2,460-mile I-10, the second transcontinental Interstate route to be completed (Jacksonville, FL, to Santa Monica, CA). The Director of the Office of Engineering in Headquarters, Thomas O. Willett, who was Division Administrator in Arizona while controversy surrounding the route was resolved, is quoted as saying, "Completion of the Papago Freeway is far more than construction of concrete and steel. It represents a successful culmination of a state, city, and federal partnership forged by the challenge of a concerned public."
2005: In a ceremony in the Caterpillar-Aurora Facility in Peoria, Illinois, President George W. Bush signs the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The Act reauthorizes Federal-aid highway, transit, and safety programs through FY 2009. The President says, "this is more than just a highway bill; it's a safety bill." SAFETEA-LU "makes our highways and mass transit systems safer and better, and it will help more people find work. And it accomplishes [these] goals in a fiscally responsible way."
2015: Buddy Baker died.
1924: At the Department of Commerce, Chief Thomas MacDonald participates in a meeting of the Committee on Public Relations of the Conference on Street and Highway Safety. Participants outline procedures for helping communities put a safety program into use to reduce highway and street accidents. While methods for reducing accidents may vary, participants agreed that positive results can be obtained only by the cooperation of officials and lay bodies.
1947: Harold Allen, Principal Materials Engineer, and F. H. Jackson, Principal Engineer of Tests, complete a 28-day PRA tour of Germany, during which they inspected concrete pavements on the Autobahn. The study tour resulted from comments by returning visitors, one of whom said, "In all my experience I have never seen concrete highways in better shape after at least 7 years' service." The team finds the concrete in better shape than comparable roads in the United States, partly because of lighter loads and comparatively mild weather.
2015: Gregory G. Nadeau was sworn in as the Federal Highway Administration's 19th Administrator.
Birthdays: Parnelli Jones (1933), Mark Stahl (1951)
1905: The first Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill Climb was held.
1908: Production began on the Ford Model T, and the first car would roll off of the assembly line on September 27.
1971: FHWA releases the initial list of obsolete bridges to be replaced under the Special Bridge Replacement Program created by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1970. The program provides a total of $250 million to pay the 75-percent Federal share to replace bridges on the Federal-aid systems.
1984: The Summer Olympiad in Los Angeles ends, with widespread predictions of gridlock proven false. FHWA cooperated with the California DOT and other State and local officials as they developed and implemented an integrated plan of traffic management. The Olympic bus system was used extensively, with total ridership of 1,145,350. In fact, the only major congestion of the Olympics occurred on August 8 at the Rose Bowl when bus patronage was unusually low.
2013: The Saab plant in Trollhättan reopens in preparation for resuming production under NEVS.
1962: Maine Division Engineer R. D. Hunter, District Engineer W. P. Mitton, and Bridge Engineer R. W. Hove represent BPR at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Bridge between Lubec, ME, and Campobello, New Brunswick. Construction was financed by the Federal Government, the State, the Dominion of Canada, and the Province of New Brunswick. The Maine State Highway Commission designed the bridge, with BPR headquarters review.
1964: President Lyndon Johnson signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act in the White House. Authorizations include $1 billion a year for the FAP and FAS systems and extensions of these systems in urban areas (FYs 1966 and 1967).
1973: The Federal-Aid Highway Act, signed today, authorizes withdrawal of Interstate segments and substitution of urban mass transportation projects (expanded to allow substitute highway projects by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1976). "The law," President Richard Nixon says, "will enable [localities] at last to relieve congestion and pollution problems by developing more balanced transportation systems where it is appropriate rather than locking them into further highway expenditures which can sometimes make such problems worse." An editorial in the Beacon Journal (Afron, OH, August 15) is headlined, "At Last Comes the Vital Step Toward Transportation Sanity."
1993: Administrator Rodney Slater delivers a symbolic check for $28.5 million to Governor Mel Carnahan and Chief Engineer Wayne Muri of the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department for emergency relief work as a result of the Great Flood of 1993. During the trip, Slater and Deputy Administrator Jane Garvey inspect a washed out section of I-635 in Riverside, MO, that has forced 42,000 cars to take a detour each day.
Birthdays: Rusty Wallace (1956)
1957: After months of consideration and viewing nearly 100 suggested shapes, sizes, and variations of Interstate route markers, AASHO's Route Numbering Committee presents its recommendations to the Executive Committee, which endorses the proposed Interstate shield and forwards the plan to the Committee on Administration. (The final version was a combination of proposals by Missouri and Texas.) The committee adopts the Interstate shield, as well as a purpose and policy statement for numbering the Interstate System (using a mirror image of the numbering plan for U.S. routes). Administrator Bertram Tallamy (a member of the Executive Committee) formally approves the plan on September 10.
1977: Bobby Isaac died.
Birthdays: Robin Pemberton (1956), Andy Petree (1958)
1908: The American Society for Testing Materials adopts the procedure developed by Director Logan Page for testing the toughness of rock.
1963: The Right-of-Way Manpower Utilization Task Force, appointed by Administrator Rex Whitton on December 19, 1962, submits its report. Information gathering had included field interviews in all regions and 24 division offices. The report recommends that the Office of Right-of-Way and Location conduct supervisory inspections of regional office right-of-way operations. The inspections will allow headquarters staff to understand regional problems while helping regional staff to implement existing policy in a uniform way.
1994: Production began on the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique.
Birthdays: Bernard Jourdain (1950)
1906: Work begins on a project to replace the gravel driveway on the grounds of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Building with a macadam road. Because the old road was always muddy in wet weather or dusty when dry, Congress appropriated $3,500 for an object lesson road under OPR's supervision. The project, to be constructed over 72 working days (9 of which were lost because of rain and 10 because of nondelivery of stone), involves completion of a 16-foot wide, 2,630-foot roadway. In addition, a drainage system will be provided, with 8 catch-basins and suitable outlets into adjacent sewers. The total cost of the road is $3,301.25--and would have been less but the irregular delivery of stone resulted in much loss of labor. Labor and animal teams cost $1.50 and $4 per day, respectively, while the expert labor on the catch-basins was $6 per day.
1916: In the auditorium of the new National Museum (now the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History), State highway officials meet with Director Logan Page and his staff to discuss proposed rules for the new Federal-aid highway program. (See July 11, 1916.) State officials had met the night before at the Raleigh Hotel to go over the regulations, so as OPRRE's J. E. Pennybacker, Jr., read each section, AASHO President Henry G. Shirley was prepared to read and explain any State recommendations. Secretary of Agriculture D. F. Huston addresses the group on the importance of the new Federal-State partnership. Huston remarks, "The main question that I am immediately concerned with . . . is whether we shall get a dollar's result for every dollar we expend for roads. I am quite sure that if we do so . . . [the people] will be willing to put much more money into good roads where they are needed."
1967: The Office of Motor Carrier Safety is reconstituted as the BMCS.
1970: A speech on "Ecology and Environment" before the NY State Association of Highway Engineers by BPR Director R.R. Bartelsmeyer concludes: "All highway people must recognize that despite the top-notch highway system we have in the United States, highways alone are not the answer to your total transportation needs. All modes must be improved and made more effective than they are today. Each mode must coordinate with other modes. There must be a team approach for the benefit of all . . . . There is no question that highways and motor vehicles are here to stay. So we can all well afford to assist in the overall transportation effort."
1977: In Nashville, TN, Administrator William Cox tells ARTBA's Contractors' Division that, "The trends in highway construction during the next decade will center basically on completing the Interstate Highway System, correcting serious structural and functional deficiencies of the Nation's bridges, and reconstructing and rehabilitating the Federal-Aid Primary Highway System." He adds, "I believe we can do this and still meet our goals for conserving money, materials, and at the same time save the environment and precious human lives."
1984: John DeLorean found not guilty on charges of trafficking cocaine by the U.S. government.
Birthdays: Rex White (1929)
2009: The final Pontiac Vibe rolled off of the assembly line at NUMMI at 6:51PM PDT.
1906: In accordance with a plan of cooperation entered into with the Forest Service in 1905, an OPR engineer begins a thorough investigation into the roads and trails in Yellowstone Forest Reserve. After completing the work on October 14, the engineer prepared a report containing estimates and recommendations for the road improvement and maintenance.
1964: Near the New Hampshire Avenue interchange, Maryland Governor J. Millard Tawes cuts a ribbon officially opening the Capital Beltway around Washington, DC. He calls it a "road of opportunity." Administrator Rex Whitton calls it a "huge wedding ring for the metropolitan area" while Representative Carlton R. Sickles (MD) makes the day's briefest speech: "I'm so happy, I can't express myself."
2013: The Speed Channel comes to an end as Fox Sports rebrands the channel and launches Fox Sports 1.
Birthdays: Andy Pilgrim (1956), Steve Wallace (1987)
1900: Civil and mining engineer James W. Abbott of Denver, CO, is appointed Special Agent and Road Expert to head the Western Division in the OPRI's first field structure. He joins Logan W. Page (Eastern Division and head of the road-material laboratory) and Professor J. A. Holmes of North Carolina (Southern Division, appointed August 7). Also in August, Horatio S. Earle of Michigan receives a temporary appointment to head the Middle Division and is replaced when J. H. Stout of Wisconsin is appointed to head the Middle Division in September 1900.
1967: Al Miller died.
2008: Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters administers the oath of office to Thomas J. Madison, Jr., as the 17th Federal Highway Administrator. His most recent public service had been as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation. The new Administrator would serve until the end of the Bush Administration on January 20, 2009.
Birthdays: Dale Inman (1936), TJ Zizzo (1975), Gus Dean (1994)
1942: PRA's Senior Structural Engineer, Harry P. Hart, and Associate Highway Engineer Edward A. Willis submit a report to Commissioner Thomas MacDonald on their work as part of the U.S. Economic Mission to Bolivia authorized by the Department of State on December 4, 1941. The report includes a general study of principal routes, recommends the Cochabamba-to-Santa Cruz route as the most important for improvement, and suggests the most practicable routes for inclusion in the "National Highway System." The transmittal letter notes that, "Roads exist along the majority of these routes, but since Bolivia is a country of rugged mountain regions and deep canyons, some of these roads are very steep."
1959: Region 9 crews working in Yellowstone National Park were all shook up, literally, by an earthquake that began at 11:37 p.m. on August 17. In inspecting the damage done by the quake, they found that the most critically affected BPR project is the reconstruction of the bridges on the Gibbon River. All new construction comes through with only minor damage, but all the roads in the western portion of the park, the hardest hit, are temporarily closed by rolling rocks and slope debris.
1975: Mark Donohue died from injuries sustained in a crash practicing for the Austrian Grand Prix.
1915: ZF Friedrichshafen founded.
1949: Under President Harry Truman's Reorganization Plan No. 7, BPR is transferred from the General Services Administration (GSA) to the Department of Commerce. The Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 had abolished the Federal Works Agency, the PRA's former home. On July 1, 1949, the PRA had been renamed the BPR and shifted to the newly created GSA. BPR's 6-week stay in GSA was the Agency's shortest period as part of any Agency.
1973: Administrator Norbert Tiemann announces that the National Park Service and FHWA have reached an agreement under which all traffic control devices on roads traversing National Parks will be in substantial conformance with national standards for all other public highways.
1903: Director Martin Dodge and James W. Abbott represent OPRI at the Trans-Mississippi Commercial Congress in Seattle, WA, which concludes today. Back home, Dodge tells The Washington Star, "The revenues of the general government are so large and are raised in such a manner by indirect taxation that there would be neither hardship nor inequity if the United States should bear a considerable portion of the cost of improving some of the [Nation's] principal highways."
1961: BPR participates in the World Traffic Engineering Conference, which combines the 31st Annual Meeting of the Institute of Traffic Engineers and the International Sessions in Traffic Engineering. Participants include E. H. "Ted" Holmes ("Urban Transportation and its Future"), O. K. Normann ("Use of Electronics in Traffic Control"), Charles W. Prisk (chair, "Research into Highway Traffic Accidents" session), Donald W. Loutzenheiser (panel moderator, "Freeway Ramp Terminal Design" and panel member, "Federal Coordination of Highway and General Planning"), and Administrator Rex Whitton. Whitton receives, from Spanish Director General of Roads Sr. Vicente, a silver replica plaque of the Alcantara Bridge--built in Spain by the Romans in the first century A.D., and still in use--"as a symbol of the friendship and gratitude" the Spanish agency feels toward BPR.
1902: The Cadillac Automobile Company was established.
1967: The 1968 AMC Javelin debuted.
2016: A truck carrying Takata airbag inflators crashes and explodes, killing a woman in a house near the scene.
1986: Engineering News-Record, in its issue dated July 29, 1965, said, "The motorist who zips across the country on I-80 will be able to sample a hefty slice of Americana." A complete "zip" was not possible until now. Today, Regional Administrator Morris Reinhardt and Division Administrator Daniel Dake join Utah officials for a 1-hour dedication ceremony near Salt Lake City for a 5-mile section of I-80, the last segment of the 2,907-mile highway. It is the first transcontinental Interstate highway to be completed, at a cost of $3.2 billion, linking two great suspension bridges, the George Washington Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Lt. Governor W. Val Oveson says the fact that I-80 was completed in Utah does not mean Utahns are slow "but just the most important and right in the middle." The ceremony--the segment actually opened following its completion last Sunday, August 17--takes place about 50 miles from Promontory Point, where a Golden Spike was pounded into the track, on May 10, 1869, symbolizing completion of the Nation's first transcontinental railroad.
Birthdays: Kenny Wallace (1963), Steve Park (1967)
1902: With $5,000 from Allegheny County, MD, OPRI builds an object lesson road on the Old National Turnpike, between Frostburg and Cumberland, under supervision of Charles T. Harrison. The project eliminates one of the worst hills on the turnpike, where the old roadbed was worn out and washed away. Because the theory behind object lesson roads is "seeing is believing," this project was a good choice. The road is alongside a trolley line and can be seen by passengers.
1903: Mr. and Mrs. Charles Glidden of Boston make the first automobile trip to the Arctic Circle, stopping in Haparanda, Sweden.
1922: General John J. Pershing signs a map showing a system of national routes deemed by responsible military authorities to be of special importance to national defense. The map was prepared in response to a request from Chief Thomas MacDonald. The War Department's general position is that a system designed to serve the Nation's industrial and commercial needs would adequately serve the military.
1954: The Training and Education Branch and the Personnel Branch are consolidated as the Personnel Branch and Training Office under Robert Winfrey.
1968: In Austin, TX, President Lyndon Johnson signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act, which contains new provisions on relocation housing (decent, safe, and sanitary housing for displacees) and funding for the Interstate and other established categories, as well as TOPICS (Traffic Operations Program to Improve Capacity and Safety), formerly an FHWA pilot project. Administrator Lowell Bridwell says the relocation provision "represents one of the most significant pieces of housing legislation ever adopted."
1988: Section 5164 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act amends the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 by designating the metric system as the preferred system of weights and measures for trade and commerce. Each Federal Agency is required to begin using the metric system before the end of FY 1992 in procurements, grants, and other business-related activities, except when use of the system is impractical or is likely to cause a loss of markets for United States firms.
Birthdays: George Bradshaw (1946), Dale Delozier (1957)
1912: President William Howard Taft signs the Post Office Appropriations Act for 1913, launching an experimental Federal-aid post road program. The bill appropriates $500,000, divided equally among the States, to improve roads that are or may be designated for rural free delivery of mail. The Federal share is one-third and funds can be made available to State or county governments. The program was not successful if measured by mileage (17 post road projects totalling 457 miles in 13 States), but it provided experience that helped mold the 1916 Federal Aid Road Act (e.g., restricting Federal-aid to States and requiring them to have a highway agency) and prepared OPR engineers for the Federal-aid highway program.
1926: In California, the new highway over Donner Summit is dedicated. The State Highway Commission built part of the road, and BPR built the rest, including the Donner Summit Bridge, in cooperation with the Forest Service. The bridge spans a chasm to maintain a 7-percent grade.
1967: Comptroller General Elmer B. Staats transmits a General Accounting Office report to Congress on problems with metropolitan area Interstate segments. The report covers projects in San Francisco (various), Chicago (I-494, Crosstown Expressway), Baltimore (I-95), Detroit (I-696), and New York City (I-78, Lower Manhattan Expressway).
1916: OPR Bulletin 373 on "Brick Roads" by Vernon M. Pierce (Chief of Construction) and Charles H. Moorefield (Senior Highway Engineer) states that the advantages of brick roads are: "(1) They are durable under practically all traffic conditions; (2) they afford easy traction and moderately good foothold for horses; and (3) they are easily maintained and kept clean." The bulletin concludes, "Since brick pavements are probably more expensive to construct than any other type of pavement at present used for country roads, it is all the more important that their construction should be carefully planned and well executed."
1992: With the south Florida coast beginning to recover from yesterday's devastating Hurricane Andrew, FHWA is on the scene assisting in damage assessment. In response to a request from Secretary of Transportation Andrew Card, Jr., for 100 USDOT volunteers to aid disaster relief workers, over 130 FHWA employees volunteer. (In North Carolina, Anna Beth Evans of FHWA's Raleigh Office of Motor Carriers, works with her State counterpart in a community effort to raise donated and purchased goods. Goods totalling 32,000 pounds, valued at $30,000, were transported to the disaster area in donated equipment.)
Birthdays: James Hylton (1935), Jerrod Sessler (1969), Frankie Kimmel (1990)
2012: Scania AB announces that NEVS will not be allowed to use the Griffin logo on their new Saab cars.
1977: A 6-year U.S.-Saudi Arabian Highway Development Technical Assistance Agreement is signed in USDOT headquarters. Deputy Administrator Karl Bowers signs for FHWA. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is planning a $5-billion, 5-year highway program, agrees to reimburse FHWA for technical advisory services in the fields of highway organization, planning, programming, design, construction, and maintenance. The agreement, estimated to cost $6.3 million, will be carried out under the auspices of the Saudi Arabian-U.S. Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation.
Birthdays: Chuck Rider (1940), Richard Broome (1944), Derek Warwick (1954), Mark Webber (1976)
1958: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs Public Law 85-767, codifying all pertinent portions of existing Federal highway legislation as "Highways" (Title 23, United States Code), "Other Highways," and "General Provisions." Previously, the Federal laws on highways were contained in more than 40 separate enactments, beginning with the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916. Many overlapped, were contradictory, or were obsolete. In response to Section 12 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954, the Department of Commerce had recommended a draft consolidation law.
1974: Administrator Norbert Tiemann issues an FHWA Bulletin on "Studded Tire Policy" and writes to the Governors, advising them that, "Available information indicates that there is no net safety benefit to be derived from the use of present studded tires." He adds that in view of excessive wear and physical damage to roadway surfaces, State and local consideration of banning or limiting the use of studded tires is warranted.
Birthdays: Boyd Coddington (1944), Randy LaJoie (1961)
1948: The first motorcross race in a stadium was held at Buffalo Stadium in Montrouge, France. It would be the precursor of Supercross racing.
1958: Tentative national standards for State regulation of outdoor advertising signs, displays, and devices adjacent to the Interstate System are published in the Federal Register in conformity with Section 12 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1958. Some 275 pieces of correspondence will be reviewed before the final rules are issued on November 10, 1958.
1965: Senate Joint Resolution 81, Public Law 89-139, approved today, calls for biennial reporting of highway needs beginning in 1968. President Lyndon Johnson directs that, "It will not be enough merely to estimate how many miles of additional highway can or should be built or how much Federal money will be required to provide this mileage. Most important is a full and fair appraisal of the urban transportation problem and of the relative capability of various Federal programs, such as the highway program and the urban mass transit assistance program to meet various urban transportation requirements." Secretary of Transportation Alan Boyd submits the first report on January 31, 1968. It provides information on current highway transportation deficiencies and those that can be foreseen in the next 2 decades, particularly in urban areas. The report also indicates that future Federal-aid highway policy would require studies to redefine the Federal-aid systems, greater stress on urban transportation, added emphasis on coordination with other modes of transport, and continued emphasis on environmental enhancement through highway programs.
2008: Phil Hill died at the age of 81 in Salinas, California.
2014: NEVS files for bankruptcy protection.
Birthdays: Wendell Scott (1921), James Hunt (1947)
1939: Construction of the 105-mile Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park is completed. Bids on the first Skyline Drive contract (19.97 miles from Thornton's Gap to Big Meadows, VA) had been opened on June 25, 1931. Albert Brothers Contractors, Inc., of Salem, VA, was awarded the contract on June 26. Work on the first section began on July 22 and was completed on schedule on September 8, 1932. By the time of its 50th anniversary in 1989, Skyline Drive had attracted more than 90 million visitors. As part of Shenandoah National Park, the drive serves a dual purpose. During the 50th anniversary, Chuck Anibel of the NPS explained, "It is a recreational experience in and of itself for the views and overlooks, as well as serving as an access road to the rest of the recreational facilities in the national park."
2008: Fleet sales of the GAZ Volga Siber begin.
2014: Saab AB cancels the agreement with NEVS for use of the Saab name.
Birthdays: Santiago Urrutia (1996)
1967: Without ceremony, workers remove barricades blocking the final section of the Adirondack Northway (I-87) in New York, the first long-distance, toll-free Interstate highway completed in the State. Construction of the $208-million, 176-mile highway began in 1957. On Mach 5, 1967, Parade Magazine had announced that the 23-mile section from Lake George to Pottersville was the Parade Scenic Highway for 1966 -- the new road that best embodies the principles of good design, beauty, and utility. Parade says, "At this time of year, those driving the Northway are enjoying snow-coated mountains or frozen reaches of Schroon Lake. In a few months . . . they will be seeing blossoms and mountain greenery. Whatever the season, few highways anywhere are more enjoyable to drive than Parade's Scenic Highway for 1966."
1996: Production ends on the Oldsmoble Cutlass Ciera.
Birthdays: Bill Vukovich III (1963)
1907: OPR issues Bulletin No. 32, Public Road Mileage, Revenues, and Expenditures in the United States in 1904.Compiled by Chief of Records M. O. Eldridge, the report is based on 60,000 letters sent out and reports received from every county in the U.S.--the first such compilation. The Nation has 2,151,570 miles of public roads outside cities, plus 1,598 miles of stone-surfaced toll roads. Only 153,662 miles had any kind of surfacing (defined as earth, gravel, stone, shells, and sand-clay). Total expenditures on roads in 1904 were $79.77 million; the States expended only $2.6 million of this amount.
1924: About 26 miles west of Missoula, MT, construction begins on a novel grade separation project designed by BPR. The completed structure carries the Yellowstone Trail under a railroad bridge and over 9-Mile Creek. The superstructure of the highway bridge is a reinforced concrete girder, 50-foot channel span with 36-foot approach spans on a skew of 40 degrees, which gives sufficient clearance from the foundations of the railroad bridge and maximum stream clearance. The bridge, which contains 306 cubic yards of concrete, costs $12,019. The project is completed in April 1925.
1991: Today, in Auburn, CA, BPR retirees meet for the 16th annual reunion of friends, associates, and families who met while working in BPR District 2 in San Francisco. Friendships begun 60-odd years ago, many while the engineers were in the field surveying or working on construction projects in National Forests and National Parks, had continued through the years of family building and moving around the country on BPR assignments. The first reunion, at the invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Linwood L. Clark, took place in August 1976 with a good attendance of old friends, although by then, according to Clark, some of the engineers could not attend because they were instead working for "St. Peter or Satan." He adds that, "Our group is getting smaller each year, but considering that most of us older retirees are in their 70s and 80s we think ourselves pretty fortunate."
Birthdays: Franck Lagorce (1968), Sunny Hobbs (1969)
1916: BPR issues the regulations implementing the Federal-aid highway program authorized by the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916. The regulations incorporate most of the suggestions made by State highway officials during a meeting in Washington, DC, on August 16. Meanwhile, construction begins in Contra Costa County, CA, on the first Federal-aid project, a 2.55-mile segment of the road from the Alameda County line to Richmond.
1967: Administrator Lowell Bridwell issues a position paper to State highway officials urging them to consider the use of reserved bus lanes at peak traffic hours on freeways. He notes that heavy use (120 to 180 buses per hour) would be needed to achieve public acceptance.
1950: Nino Farina wins the XXI Gran Premio d'Italia (Formula 1: Autodromo Nazionale Monza).
1970: Secretary of Transportation John Volpe announces that FHWA has advised its Division Engineers to "encourage the greatest use of buses in preference to individual automobiles." Administrator Frank Turner explains that, "It will not be financially possible--and even if it were, certainly not socially desirable--to provide all the highway facilities that would be needed in order to satisfy the peak period demands, especially in our larger urban areas, for all the people who want to drive automobiles."
1975: Regional Administrator James W. White and Division Administrator Gordon E. Penney represent FHWA as Governor David Boren cuts the ribbon on I-40 near Erick, OK. With the opening of this segment, all of the State's 616 miles of rural Interstate highways are open.
1925: The seven man United States delegation to the Pan American Congress of Highways at Buenos Aires, Argentina, sails from New York on the Grace Line Steamship Santa Ana. The delegation, headed by Herbert H. Rice of the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce, includes Chief Thomas MacDonald. Because the congress does not start until October 3, the delegates plan to stop in Panama, Peru, and Chile. After returning, MacDonald discusses the trip on November 19 at the 11th Annual Meeting of AASHO, in words that become BPR's guiding policy on international cooperation.
1949: Auto Union GmbH, the second iteration of the pre-WWII automaker, was founded.
1965: Using an acetylene torch, highway officials in Colorado cut a logging chain to mark the opening of a 3-mile segment of I-70, easing one of the State' worst traffic bottlenecks--where traffic diverges to Berthoud Pass and Loveland Pass.
1968: General Motors granted a U.S. design patent for the C3 Chevrolet Corvette.
2012: NEVS completes purchase of Saab.
2014: NASCAR announced that Comcast would sponsor its second highest series, which would become the Xfinity Series.
Birthdays: Dave Darland (1966)
1925: President Thomas P. Henry and writer Ernest N. Smith drive their Cadillac into Oakland, CA, after a cross-country trip that began at the Zero Milestone in Washington, DC, on August 30. After breakfast, they drive to Sacramento to present a letter from President Calvin Coolidge to Governor F. W. Richardson. Henry and Smith also carry letters of greeting from Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, Secretary of War General J. H. Hines, and Secretary of Agriculture William M. Jardine, who tells Chairman Harvey M. Toy of the California Highway Commission that, "In expressing these greetings to you on this occasion, it is with the wish that the contacts between the California Highway Department and the other highway organizations of the West Coast and . . . the Bureau of Public Roads will be as cordial and profitable in the future as I have found from my western trip this summer they have been in the past."
1959: Members of the Blatnik Committee, chaired by Representative John A. Blatnik, are selected "to obtain solid facts about every phase of the Federal Highway program and after preliminary investigation hold open hearings" regarding allegations of fraud and corruption in the development of the Interstate Highway Program.
1997: The final tenth-generation Ford Thunderbird was produced, the final original Thunderbird before the retro version was introduced.
1997: The final seventh-generation Mercury Cougar was produced, the final rear wheel drive Cougar before the FWD version was introduced.
1968: FHWA announces publication of the Handbook of Highway Safety Design and Operating Practices. It presents the latest safety techniques for bridge design, signing, barriers and guardrail, drainage, and railroad crossings.
1940: The Federal-Aid Highway Act, which President Franklin Roosevelt signs today, authorizes PRA to give priority to roads important to national defense. The Act also authorizes the Federal Works Administrator (head of PRA's parent Agency) to initiate defense projects urgently requested by the Secretary of War or Secretary of the Navy.
1965: FHWA crews surveying the North Cross-State Highway (now the North Cascades Highway) in Washington State use tent camps for the last time on this trip--and the last time tent camps were used by the Western Federal Lands Division.
1968: FHWA calls on each State highway agency to endorse a nine-point pledge of compliance with equal employment opportunity provisions in the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968 (signed August 5). No federally assisted highway project may be approved for a State until it has executed the pledge. Administrator Lowell Bridwell has sent a copy of the nine-point statement to the head of each State highway agency for signature.
1970: Jochen Rindt died in a crash during practice for the Italian Grand Prix.
1980: Mothers Against Drunk Driving was founded.
2006: The Crittenden Automotive Library was launched.
Birthdays: Kenny Bernstein (1944), Jeff Green (1962)
1910: In a letter to BPR, Thomas H. MacDonald of the Iowa State Highway Commission complains that after being appointed a BPR Special Agent to collect and provide information on State roads, at a salary of $1 a year, his appointment had been unexpectedly revoked. On September 9, Director Logan Page replies, "I regret very much that this has happened, but am today having you reappointed as Special Agent at $1.00 per annum."
1926: Ceremonies mark the opening of the Cameron Pass Highway westerly out of Fort Collins, CO, over the Continental Divide. The central 6-mile link was a BPR project for the Forest Service. The survey had been carried out during the summer of 1922, with S. A. Wallace of BPR's Denver office as chief of party.
1949: Extension of the Shirley Memorial Highway--a 17-mile, four-lane expressway--opens from a point south of the Pentagon highway network to Woodbridge, VA. The highway is named for the Virginia Highway Commissioner Henry G. Shirley, who died on July 16, 1941, just a few weeks after giving the "go ahead" for work on the expressway.
1960: BPR's new transistorized card-sorter machine, the first of its type to be made available to the Federal Government, goes into operation. With it, the Data Processing Division will maintain financial and statistical data on more than 15,000 active Federal-aid highway projects in about 3,000 counties, DC, and PR.
Birthdays: Donnie Allison (1939)
1950: President Harry Truman signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act, which requires State highway departments to hold public hearings for all projects bypassing cities or towns and provides sanctions for failure to maintain Federal-aid highways properly. It also authorizes $10 million for defense access road construction to meet Korean War needs.
1981: In New York City, President Ronald Reagan delivers a giant-sized check for $85 million to Mayor Edward Koch and Lt. Governor Mario Cuomo. "People tell me," the President says, "that the name Westway has become a code word for a bureaucracy strangling in its own regulations. From this day forward, let Westway symbolize opportunity and enterprise and let it remind each of us, as we watch Westway become a reality, that our Government works for us, not the other way around."
2003: AutoBidOnline.com launched.
1990: Deputy Administrator Gene McCormick leads a study team of Federal, State, and industry officials who review asphalt pavement techniques in six European countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom). They return on September 22 after observing many techniques and procedures that would be useful in the United States. But they also found many differences between U.S. and European organization, philosophy, taxation levels, and practice that make other findings harder to apply.
1904: The first Harley-Davidson prototype was functional.
1950: In Washington, DC, BPR's E. W. James, just back from an inspection tour of the Pan American Highway, meets writer-historian George R. Stewart in the Cosmos Club to discuss the origins of the U.S. numbered system. The discussion provides background for Stewart's 1953 book, U.S. 40: Cross Section of the United States of America (The Riverside Press, Houghton Mifflin Company).
1975: Deputy Administrator J.R. Coupal, Jr., presents the keynote address, "The Future of Road Transportation," during a 4-day international, intermodal seminar in Sydney, Australia.
1977: Administrator William Cox announces that the BMCS is launching an intensified national campaign of roadside truck inspections. "These unannounced road checks are designed to identify and correct safety defects discovered by State and local enforcement officers and BMCS investigators on heavy commercial vehicles being operated on the Nation's Highways."
2006: Peter Brock died.
2016: Liberty Media had agreed to buy Delta Topco, the company that controls Formula One.
Birthdays: Phil Barkdoll (1935), Felix Sabates (1942), Jeff Hammond (1956), Ludwig Heimrath, Jr. (1956), Jerry Nadeau (1970)
1948: At the Book-Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, MI, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) presents its Meritorious Award to Thomas H. MacDonald. In accepting the award, he recalls how he helped form the AAMVA. "Indeed it seems only yesterday when I used to meet with the pioneers of the AAMVA as they struggled and sweated out their plans to band together into a national body."
1957: The Connecticut General Life Insurance Company sponsors a conference on "The New Highways: Challenge to the Metropolitan Region," September 9-11 (generally called "The Hartford Conference"). The conference turns out to be the first formal confrontation between the highway community and city planners and critics, led by Lewis Mumford. The planners and critics, not the highway community, receive the favorable press coverage. Mumford, in a scathing denunciation of the Interstate Program, comments that the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 "was jammed through Congress so blithely and lightly . . . because we Americans have an almost automatic inclination to favor anything that seems to give added attraction to the second mistress that exists in every household right alongside the wife--the motor car."
1966: President Lyndon Johnson signs the Highway Safety Act, providing new support for Federal-State safety programs, and the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
Birthdays: Ralph Moody (1917), Guido Dacco (1947)
1941: After Congress appropriated $35 million for construction of the "War Department Building," the War Department asks the Federal Works Agency to lay out, design, and supervise construction of the highway network servicing what is now called the Pentagon. PRA establishes a special design section, staffed by engineers assembled from its field offices, for the largest single design project undertaken by PRA up to that time. With the Virginia Department of Highways planning a highway from Woodbridge to the Potomac River Bridges (the Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway), an agreement was reached in September 1942 calling for PRA to build the portion from Virginia Route 7 to the connection with the Pentagon network as a defense access road project.
1922: BPR and the Connecticut State Highway Commission begin a 1-year highway transportation survey, the most intensive and carefully planned census of highway traffic yet attempted. The purpose of this and similar studies in California, Maine, and Pennsylvania and Cook County, IL, is to provide an authentic basis for the solution of many of the problems of highway construction, maintenance, and transportation, and to develop sound policies for the highway transportation of freight and passengers.
1935: Construction of the first section of the Blue Ridge Parkway begins on a 12.5-mile section near the North Carolina-Virginia border at a cost of $363,847.50.
1970: Ford introduced the Pinto.
1985: At Cumberland Knob on the North Carolina/Virginia State line, a celebration marks the 50th anniversary of the first Blue Ridge Parkway project. Over 5,000 people attend the day-long event. During one event, the American Society of Landscape Architects and the American Society of Civil Engineers recognize the architectural and engineering achievements of the parkway. Retirees and employees of BPR/PRA/FHWA who worked on the project are honored during the ceremony.
1987: After a brief delay because of a bomb threat, the final link in the Blue Ridge Parkway is dedicated in ceremonies at Grandfather Mountain, NC. The final section includes the Linn Cove Viaduct (the object of the bomb threat), which had been completed in 1983. Several scheduled speakers, including Governor James G. Martin, could not attend because a light drizzle and low clouds prevented their helicopters from landing in the nearby meadow. The Linn Cove Viaduct has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors since its completion, including the FHWA's 1984 Biennial Excellence in Highway Design Award competition. (The project was "Judged Exceptional" in the Highway Improvements in Federally-Owned Lands category.) Other awards include: The Presidential Award for Design Excellence given by the National Endowment for the Arts; the American Consulting Engineers' Council Grand Award for Transportation; the Post-Tensioning Institute's Award for Excellence; the Prestressed Concrete Institute's Award of Excellence; the American Society of Civil Engineers' Merit Award for Outstanding Achievement; the National Society of Professional Engineers Top Ten Engineering Projects. President Ronald Reagan, on presenting the First Presidential Awards for Design Excellence in 1985 said, "The Linn Cove Viaduct is not just a roadway on North Carolina's Grandfather Mountain; the viaduct has been designed so that it belongs to, and is part of the mountain."
Birthdays: Ricky Rudd (1956), Paul Walker (1973)
1910: OPR joins with Cornell University for an additional nine test experiments in Ithaca, NY, to determine the value of different road binders applied by different methods (15 experiments were completed in FY 1910). The experiments, on the university's East and South Avenue, are concluded August 12, 1911.
1975: FHWA releases a report on Citizen Participation and the Role of the Public Hearing, prepared by the Virginia Highway and Transportation Research Council. It discusses techniques and organizational structures used by the Nation's State highway agencies for administering public hearings and otherwise involving the public in the highway development process.
1991: A $40-million I-90 viaduct bypass of Wallace, ID, officially opens today, diverting interstate traffic from the town, where motorists had for many years been delayed by the widely publicized "last stoplight on I-90" (at Seventh and Bank Streets). The Interstate highway, originally set to go through downtown Wallace, had been delayed by years of controversy before plans for the viaduct on the edge of town were approved. On September 14, the town holds a Last Stoplight Celebration, during which City Councilman Mike Aldredge tells a throng of over 1,000, "Like the whippet and the buttonhook, the iceman and the lamp lighter, the livery stable and the company store, cruel progress has eliminated the need for the services of our old friend."
1993: The Lacey V. Murrow Bridge, a 6,500-foot floating bridge over Lake Washington, opens as part of I-90 in Seattle, WA. Emergency relief funds had been used to replace the original bridge, the world's first floating concrete bridge, which had opened in 1940 and been destroyed by flooding on November 25, 1990. The bridge had been closed for reconstruction at the time of the flood. The National Society of Professional Engineers includes the new bridge among the 10 Outstanding Engineering Achievements of 1993.
Birthdays: Kamui Kobayashi (1986)
1899: Henry H. Bliss is run over by a car in New York City, becoming what is believed to be the first recorded pedestrian traffic fatality in the United States.
1915: Light attendance, especially among expected speakers and participants from the East, mars the Pan-American Road Congress at Municipal Auditorium in Oakland, CA, sponsored by ARBA and the American Highway Association. The attendance problem is blamed on the time of year--officials and contractors are too busy on construction projects to take time for the conference. In the absence of Director Logan Page, his paper on "The History and Future of Highway Improvement" is read by Major W. W. Crosby, Maryland's Chief Engineer.
1946: President Harry Truman awards the Medal of Merit to Thomas H. MacDonald for outstanding service during World War II.
1966: President Lyndon Johnson signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act, which authorizes $5.2 billion for the Interstate System (FYs 1968-1972) in view of the increased cost of the System as shown in the 1965 Interstate Cost Estimate. The total cost will be $46.8 billion (Federal share: $42 billion), up from $41 billion ($37 billion) shown in the previous estimate (1961). The increase is attributed to a change to a 20-year design period, system adjustments, and increases in right-of-way and construction costs.
1974: Administrator Norbert Tiemann announces that a new training program for American Indians in the field of highway construction and related areas would go into effect on September 30. Under a May 20 agreement with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, FHWA will provide on-the-job training, supervision of road construction projects, and certification.
2014: The inaugural Formula E event is held in Beijing, China.
Birthdays: Dominic Dobson (1957)
1962: President John F. Kennedy signs the Public Works Acceleration Act, intended to help areas burdened by high rates of unemployment by providing immediate jobs and enhancing economic growth. BPR is responsible to the Area Redevelopment Administration for the Act's $15-million program of highway improvements. (The funds go to 431 miles of forest highways in 28 States and Puerto Rico, 3.4 miles of defense access highway in Michigan, and 12.5 miles of public lands highways in Maine and New Mexico.)
1977: FHWA publishes a notice in the Federal Register seeking comments on revision of standards for information signs within the right-of-way of FAP highways. The proposed rule, published in response to a provision of the 1976 Federal-Aid Highway Act, would provide for signs, displays, and devices that give specific information, such as goods and services available near the highway, in the interest of the traveling public.
Birthdays: Jimmy Fennig (1953), Manuel Mello-Breyner (1953)
1923: The Oregon State Highway Department surveys statewide traffic today (6 a.m. to 10 p.m.). BPR uses the data to prepare a map of Oregon traffic observed, represented by width of lines, on that date. The heaviest traffic is on the Pacific Highway between Aurora and Oregon City (2,239 cars passing a given point). Traffic in the central, eastern, and southern parts of Oregon is so light that it cannot be shown by width of line. Numbers are used instead (e.g., "3T" means "3 trucks" and "44A" means "44 automobiles").
1955: BPR designates 2,300 miles of urban area routes as part of the National System of Interstate Highways (as it is officially called until 1956), completing designation of the 40,000 miles authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1940 (See August 2, 1947). The Yellow Book, so-called because of its yellow cover, is published to show urban sections of the Interstate System and is distributed to each Member of Congress.
1971: The structural aerodynamic research facility at the Fairbank Highway Research Station in McLean, VA, is officially named the George S. Vincent Memorial Aerodynamic Laboratory in honor of the eminent structural engineer who served with BPR from 1919 to 1963 and was in charge of the lab from its opening. Vincent died of a heart attack in 1968 while in route to Washington, DC, for a technical meeting in his capacity as special consultant to FHWA on collapse of the Silver Bridge.
2007: Colin McRae died in a helicopter crash.
2009: The Ferrari 458 Italia was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
2011: The final Ford Crown Victoria was produced.
Birthdays: Karl Kling (1910)
1921: While on a 2-week Northeast tour, State Highway Engineer A. R. Hirst of Wisconsin is joined in New York City by Chief Thomas MacDonald and Dr. L. I. Hewes, Chief of BPR's Western Headquarters. They take Riverside Drive through Yonkers to Danville, CT. Over the next week, they travel to Massachusetts, up the Ocean Road to Maine, then west to New Hampshire and Vermont, before turning south to Albany, NY, observing road conditions and meeting with highway officials along the way.
1951: Alberto Ascari wins the XXII Gran Premio d'Italia (Formula 1: Autodromo Nazionale Monza).
1956: BPR Commissioner Cap Curtiss establishes a Division Office in Juneau, AK. (PRA/BPR formerly had a Division Office in Juneau from 1948-1954.)
1958: BPR's Dan O'Flaherty returns from a 3-month assignment in Istanbul, Turkey, where he helped launch the first home interview type of traffic study in Asia or Europe (Istanbul is part of both).
1987: Administrator Ray A. Barnhart and UMTA Administrator Alfred A. Dellibovi announce revised environmental regulations designed to streamline requirements and related legal procedures for highway and mass transit projects. In a joint statement, the two Administrators say, "Under the new rule, the federal government will be able to eliminate some of the red-tape and time-consuming legal processes that often added years to the construction time of much-needed transportation projects."
Birthdays: David Dunbar Buick (1854), Jimmie Johnson (1975)
1922: Roscoe Sarles died, having been burned to death in the inaugural racing event at the Kansas City Speedway.
1970: Administrator Frank Turner and former Administrator Bert Tallamy join in the dedication of the completed Keystone Shortway, a $324-million, 313-mile section of I-80 across Pennsylvania. When Governor Raymond Shafer fires a flare gun, an electronic signal in the Goodyear blimp overhead is activated, officially opening the Milesburg interchange and the highway. Pennsylvania's Name Designation Act of 1984 designates I-80/Keystone Highway the "Z. V. Confair Memorial Highway." It was named after a State Senator who had served as President of the Keystone Shortway Association.
2013: Grand Theft Auto V released for PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360 (initial release date).
1939: John M. Carmody, Administrator of the new Federal Works Agency, discusses the PRA's future in a Washington Star Radio Forum broadcast. PRA, he said, is "one of the greatest clearing houses in the world for information on highway construction [and] will continue to have important responsibilities in the planning and aiding in the development of our road system, as well as carrying on a program of rural roads."
1975: In an FHWA Bulletin, W. J. Wilkes, Director, Office of Engineering, indicates that despite the 55 m.p.h. national speed limit, FHWA fully endorses an AASHTO policy statement "that even though operational traffic speeds and speed limits have been reduced, design speeds and other design standards not be reduced."
1990: The USDOT Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, MA, is renamed the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in honor of the only person to serve as Federal Highway Administrator and Secretary of Transportation, John A. Volpe, a former Massachusetts Governor and Ambassador to Italy.
2008: The new I-35W bridge opens across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, MN, replacing a bridge that collapsed the previous year. The $234 million twin-span bridge was completed 3 months ahead of a fast-track schedule. During the opening ceremony, Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters says, "This is kind of a bittersweet day. It's a day that we remember those who tragically lost their lives and those who were injured here, but also a day of a new beginning, as we see this new crossing bring the community back together again."
1949: Having opened August 23, the United Nations Conference on Road and Motor Transportation in Geneva, Switzerland, concludes with 20 nations, including the United States, signing a "Convention on Road Traffic" that establishes a basis for reciprocal worldwide recognition in such areas as motor vehicle registration, drivers' permits, equipment requirements, and rules for safe driving. H. H. Kelly of the State Department heads the United States delegation, with BPR's H. S. Fairbank as Vice-Chairman.
1963: In anticipation of BPR's 70th anniversary on October 3, President John F. Kennedy extends his heartiest congratulations in a letter to Administrator Rex Whitton: "All Americans can be proud of [its] accomplishments . . . in contributing to safe and comfortable highway travel and in stimulating economic growth and development."
1991: The fourth generation Honda Prelude was introduced to the Japanese market.
1991: President George Bush visits a construction site on I-105 (the Glenn Anderson Freeway/Transitway) in Los Angeles, CA, to renew his challenge to Congress to pass the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1991, which became ISTEA. He declares, "We want a bill that works . . . that spends our money effectively and truly addresses national needs."
2013: The first Saab rolls off the assembly line since the company's purchase by NEVS.
Birthdays: Vaughn Gittin Jr. (1980)
1909: Farmers and good roads advocates from Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, on a tour to learn about road building in the East, visit Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson and are entertained at lunch by OPR officials. The tour, which covered the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern States, had been suggested by B. F. Yoakum of the Rock Island-Frisco Railway because "no work [is] more important than to build public roads in such a manner that they will be permanent and economical in maintenance." The group travels in his private rail car, the "Signet."
1922: M.O. Eldridgew, ORI's third employee, is named Executive Chairman of AAA by a special committee, meeting in Cleveland, OH. Eldridge had been Director of Roads for AAA since leaving ORI 3 years ago.
1971: Administrator Frank Turner administers the oath of office to Emmett H. Karrer, first Director of FHWA's National Highway Institute, authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1970.
Birthdays: Richard Childress (1945), Arie Luyendyk (1953)
1901: The International Good Roads Congress at Buffalo, NY, which began on September 16, concludes. Director Martin Dodge addressed the conference on opening day while on September 18, General Roy Stone spoke on "Good Roads Work for the New Century." He said that if all the forces that have worked for good roads and their "powerful automobile allies" join rank, "the early days of the century will mark the inception of the greatest peaceful work the great Republic has ever undertaken or the world has ever witnessed." The proceedings are published as OPRI Bulletin No. 21. The first edition of 10,000 was soon distributed and a second edition of 10,000 needed before the end of FY 1902.
1948: In Salt Lake City, UT, at AASHO's 34th Annual Meeting, Commissioner Thomas MacDonald speaks on "State-Federal Relations in Highway Development": "Highway development for the nation is no over-night job. It is a continuing undertaking with mammoth dimensions, and its importance is rapidly accelerating. The only guidance the highway official has under present-day conditions to determine current administrative policies [is] the back sights that are fixed by yesterday's experience, and the collection and analysis of factual data to determine the future course that appears to offer great promise."
2009: Australia's Highway Patrol premiered on Seven Network.
Birthdays: Leonard Wood (1934)
1909: At AAA's 2nd annual good roads convention in Cleveland, OH, Director Logan Page compares the road situation in the United States with other countries and OPR's Prevost Hubbard discusses bituminous road materials. Road building in the United States, Page says, is "at the same point at which it stood thirty years ago, and the seventeen hundred and odd million dollars [spent] have produced few appreciable results."
1947: In New York City to address AASHO's Annual Meeting, Commissioner Thomas MacDonald speaks on "The Progress of the National Highway Program." Referring to "the inevitable outward trend of urban home location," he says that whatever is done to promote mass transit "and reverse the past trend toward the preferential use of private automobiles will be a contribution of great benefit in the solution of urban traffic problems. Unless this reversal can be accomplished, indeed, the traffic problems of the larger cities may become well nigh insoluble."
1971: Former Commissioner Cap Curtiss and his wife are honored at a surprise luncheon by former BPR associates. Administrator Frank Turner designates today as "'CAP' CURTISS DAY" in recognition of the former commissioner's leadership, dedicated service, and devotion to highway transportation.
1982: The Ford Sierra was unveiled.
2016: Chevrolet unveils the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox.
1920: BPR, Forest Service, and Colorado State Highway Department officials sign a co-operative agreement providing for construction of an automobile road across Cumbres Pass near New Mexico. Initial survey work is done in 1920, and the road across the pass opens in the fall of 1924. C. F. Capes of BPR's Denver office is resident engineer in charge of the project. Marshall Sprague's 1964 book The Great Gates (Little, Brown, and Company) describes the road as "a splendid, thrilling, twisty gravel road, ignored by average tourist . . . ."
1933: American Trucking Associations was founded.
1975: In Paris, France, at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, Administrator Norbert Tiemann suggests automobiles may soon have to be restricted from the central business districts of large cities. A federally funded demonstration program to test this technique will be launched in 1976. "I do not make this suggestion naively; I am well aware of the opposition such action would generate. Certainly it would be unpopular politically. But I think it is an idea whose time must soon come."
1977: At the International Club in Washington, DC, to address Citizens for Highway Safety, Administrator William Cox quotes from FHWA's 1976 Statement of National Highway Transportation Policy: "No value is greater than that of the human life and no transportation responsibility more important than the safety of people."
Birthdays: Kelly Sutton (1971)
1907: At a good roads convention in Springfield, Mass., OPR Assistant Director A.S. Cushman says, "When I go out into the country I don't want to ride in an alley of signboards, and it is our business to protest against these sore spots along the thoroughfares."
1967: Secretary of Transportation Alan Boyd announces a $4.8 million contract with the city of Baltimore, MD, to finance a team of engineers, architects, city planners, sociologists, economists, and others who will work jointly on routing and design of a section of Interstate highway--the first such combined approach, which he says "may well set a pattern for designing urban highways across the nation."
1968: Secretary of Transportation John Volpe, Administrator Lowell Bridwell, and invited guests view the premiere of FHWA's film, "Highways Are For People," in the New Senate Office Building. The film stresses the beneficial role of highways in the development of the United States.
1971: Secretary of Transportation John Volpe is among the guests as the Duluth-Superior Bridge (Minnesota-Wisconsin) is renamed "The John A. Blatnik Bridge" (I-535). Representative Blatnik, says Volpe, "played a key role in establishing and fostering the foundation for this magnificent program back during the Eisenhower Administration." (See September 4, 1959.) The 7,975-foot bridge and its 2,800-foot approaches had been dedicated on December 2, 1961, with Administrator Rex Whitton and Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges among those present.
Birthdays: Henri Pescarolo (1942)
1900: The State Good Roads Convention gets underway at Topeka, KS (through September 28). The goal is to awaken and promote a general interest in improvement of public roads and discuss ways of securing funds for this purpose as well as the best methods of constructing and maintaining good roads. The citizens of Shawnee County had raised funds for 1.5 miles of macadamized road, a section of which is constructed under the supervision of OPRI's E. G. Harrison. He and Director Martin Dodge explain the details of practical and theoretical road building. Two carloads of machinery for this work, on loan from the Port of Huron Engine and Thresher Company, were carried to Topeka by the railroads without cost to OPRI.
1951: District Engineer J. Clarke Williams completes an initial assignment as advisor to the American Ambassador in Liberia under an agreement reached on December 22, 1950, with the Liberian government. During the assignment, which began in June, Williams surveyed the country's transportation problems and laid the groundwork for highway construction work by organizing a survey party instructed in United States methods. Williams will return in January 1952 to begin organizing the country's first national highway organization, called the Division of Highways.
1964: The Dodge Monaco was introduced.
1978: Community Planner Mary Beard and Planning Engineer Don Ashcroft both of the California Division Office are among 142 people who lose their lives in a mid-air collision of the Pacific Southwest Airlines plane they were traveling in and a small craft over San Diego.
Birthdays: Joe Nemechek (1963)
1956: Paving begins on an 8-mile section of U.S. 40 (I-70) between Valencia and Maple Hill Roads west of Topeka, Kansas. When the section opens on November 14, the State Highway Commission of Kansas posts a sign identifying the project as the first to be completed under provisions of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. At the start of paving, BPR's O. P. Shallenberger joins representatives of the State and Koss Construction Company in writing the historic date in the pavement.
1957: O.K. Normann, recently appointed Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Research, is the first recipient of the Theodore M. Matson Memorial Award, named for the late director of Yale University's Bureau of Highway Traffic. The award is presented "in recognition of . . . the advancement of the Science . . . of Traffic Engineering."
1967: The 1968 AMC Javelin went on sale.
1973: Speaking during National Highway Week before the Chicago Association of Commerce, Administrator Norbert Tiemann discusses "The Quiet Revolution" in the highway program. After discussing changes in environmental review to make the highway program a good neighbor, Tiemann summarizes by quoting Mark Twain: "Always do the right thing. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest."
1997: The last Ford Aspire was produced.
1908: The first Ford Model T rolls off of the assembly line.
1943: Under PRA supervision, construction begins on the Suitland Parkway in Maryland (9.5 miles from the South Capital Street Bridge in Washington, DC, to a junction with MD 4). The parkway, owned by the NPS, is opened on December 9, 1944, providing direct access between the city and what is now Andrews Air Force Base. An NPS history notes that it "is one of the parkways that make up the network of entryways into the capital. It has hosted both triumphal and mournful processions of public officials: from presidents returning from diplomatic achievements to the funeral procession of President John F. Kennedy."
1961: Headquarters employees and their families attend the first in a series of briefings on nuclear attack survival. Assistant Commissioner for Operations Paul F. Royster opens the briefing by describing the critical international situation and emphasizing the need for BPR employees to be informed on how to increase their chances of survival in a nuclear attack. Survival Officer Thomas P. Priolo introduces two films, "Operation Ivy" and "Operation Q," that show the effects of a nuclear explosion.
2004: Tata Motors rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to mark their listing.
2008: Paul Newman, race car driver and co-star of Pixar's Cars, died.
Birthdays: Ron Fellows (1959)
1950: Commissioner Thomas MacDonald advises Division Engineers that the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1950 has restored authority for access-road construction based on identified needs to serve military installations.
1959: As an aid to solving short-range financing problems of the Federal-aid program, the Mutual Security Appropriations Act, signed this date, provides for an advance of $359 million from the General Treasury to the Highway Trust Fund (full amount repaid by the end of FY 1960).
1981: Production begins on the Oldsmoble Cutlass Ciera.
1993: In Washington, DC, FHWA, in conjunction with FTA and the Office of the Secretary, sponsors a 1-day symposium on "Bond Financing and Transportation Infrastructure: Exploring Concepts and Roles." The symposium focuses on the fundamentals of the tax-exempt bond market, intergovernmental perspectives, and bond financing mechanisms, such as credit enhancement and revolving funds. More than 80 people, representing every USDOT mode, Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, States, and other Federal agencies, as well as subject-matter experts, share their perspectives on the subject.
Birthdays: Stanley Smith (1949), Chase Montgomery (1983)
1913: At the Third American Road Congress, Detroit, MI, in addition to a speech by Director Logan Page on good roads and bonded indebtedness, OPR displays two exhibits--one featuring miniature models showing the development of road construction from early Roman roads to the highest type of road today. A second one shows types of road construction now being done.
1966: Chevrolet begins selling the Camaro.
1968: At Rainy Pass, WA, Regional Administrator Ralph Phillips represents FHWA during the opening ceremony for the last link in State Highway 20 (North Cross-State Highway), famous for its spectacular scenic beauty. The State Legislature originally appropriated $20,000 to start the highway in 1893.
1968: Secretary Alan Boyd, Administrator Lowell Bridwell, and Safety Bureau Director William Haddon, Jr., participate in the Second Annual Conference of the National Association of Women Highway Safety Leaders in Washington, DC. The association includes 51 business women and housewives with a strong interest in highway safety, each selected by her State Governor.
1912: The American Road Congress gets underway at the Greek Temple on the Million Dollar Pier in Atlantic City, NJ (running through October 6). Director Logan Page, opening the congress with an address on the "Road Situation in the United States," says, "In their effect upon human welfare, in the difficult and complex problems lying within the province of almost every department of human endeavor, road improvement may well be said to touch the progress of civilization at every point." Page also introduces Governor Woodrow Wilson, who explains why he supports good roads. "I tell you very frankly that my interest in good roads is not merely an interest in the pleasure of riding in automobiles, it is not merely an interest in the very much more important matter of affording the farmers of this country and the residents in villages the means of ready access to such neighboring markets as they need for the economic benefit, but it is also the interest in weaving as complicated and elaborate a net of neighborhood and State and national opinions together as it is possible to weave."
1930: Aboard the SS George Washington, British delegates to the International Road Congress in Washington, DC, send a letter to readers of England's Roads and Road Construction indicating that "we are making good progress over a calm and sunny sea." They are particularly enthusiastic about the daily morning lectures, illustrated by films, by BPR's T. Warren Allen on "The Highways of the U.S.A." The lectures cover such topics as finance and road types, surface treatment of gravel and other roads, roads mixed bituminous construction, cement concrete roads, and brick roads. The delegates' letter states that, "It was with some misgiving that we looked forward to the series of lectures on the subject of roadmaking, but Mr. Allen succeeded in making these so interesting that, together with the films, they provided quite an enjoyable interlude in the life aboard; not only were they attended by Congress members but by the ladies and non-Congress passengers."
1985: Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole approves a request from Governor Mario Cuomo and Mayor Edward Koch to withdraw the 4.2-mile Westway (I-476) from the Interstate System in New York City. On September 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second District had upheld Judge Thomas Griesa's August 7 decision voiding the Corps of Engineers' landfill permit, but revoked his permanent injunction against the nearly $2 billion project. However, faced with a statutory withdrawal deadline of September 30, New York State and New York City officials decided to end the project. After the withdrawal request was submitted by Governor Cuomo and Mayor Koch, an editorial in The New York Times asked, "Why did a project offering so much to so many finally fall as flat as the old elevated West Side Highway it was to replace?" The answer, the editorial concluded, is "horror of the automobile."
1988: Al Holbert died.
1994: Under the Federal Workforce Restructuring Act of 1994, which was signed on March 30 by President Clinton, 193 FHWA employees retire after accepting buyouts of up to $25,000. Retirees include Executive Director E. Dean Carlson, three Regional Administrators, seven Division Administrators, and other employees in all grades and a variety of assignments. The retirees averaged 33 years of service and collectively provided 6,317 years of service to FHWA.
2010: Mastretta unveils the production MXT.
Birthdays: Brian Simo (1959), Steve Barkdoll (1962)
1896: The first experimental routes for the rural free delivery of mail are established from Charles Town (home of Postmaster General William Wilson), Halltown, and Uvilla, WV. As the experiment expands, it becomes one of the most effective means of persuading farmers of the need for good roads.
1908: The Ford Model T went on sale.
1911: The Washington Herald announces a "bombshell to the automobilists of this city." Director Logan Page denounced Arthur Jackson, President of the National Good Roads Association, after the latter's announcement of a campaign to raise $1 million for good roads. "His plan," Page says, "is intended to benefit no one but himself, and the funds are to go to no one but himself." Post-office inspectors are already on Jackson's trail "and are making determined efforts to run him down."
1962: "David Brinkley's Journal" on NBC-TV includes an interview with Administrator Rex Whitton in a highly critical report on allegations of corruption in the highway program. The program prompts rebuttals by Members of Congress, the highway community, and Whitton. An ARBA petition to the FCC requests an investigation of the "vicious attack on the integrity of highway officials and the highway industry." In a letter to NBC, AASHO defends Whitton as "a Christian gentleman, a fine engineer, and a very effective Administrator." It adds that, "He is not an effective public speaker, especially when having to field loaded surprise questions."
1964: Lawrence Jones is sworn in as the second Deputy Administrator (not counting Acting Deputy Administrator Lowell Bridwell). A lawyer, Jones had practiced law in Texas and served as Assistant Attorney General of Texas, General Counsel of the Maritime Administration, and the USDOT's Deputy General Counsel.
1998: Administrator Kenneth Wykle begins phase one of FHWA restructuring. The first phase, which involves asking employees to identify their interest in a lateral reassignment, ends on December 14. As of that date, 231 employees had accepted laterals. Later phases included restructuring of headquarters into five core business units and eight cross-cutting service units (February 1999), advertising vacant positions (February 1999), and completing headquarters shifts (by July 1, 1999).
1946: Restrictions on highway construction with Federal funds, imposed on August 5, 1946, by the Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion to avoid conflict with the post World War II housing program, are lifted except for projects requiring structural steel.
1957: The Vauxhall Cresta PA was announced.
1969: Regional Federal Highway Administrator John A. Hanson, who joined BPR in 1949, is killed in a car accident a block from his Albany, NY, office. Deputy Director E. H. Swick represents Administrator Frank Turner at the funeral. An annual award, given for outstanding performance in the transportation field in Region 1, is named for Hanson.
1976: Secretary of Transportation William Coleman, Jr., holds a public hearing to receive arguments on proposed I-66 between the Capital Beltway and Washington, DC. The hearing, held in the Departmental Auditorium in Washington, DC, provides the Secretary with an opportunity to hear arguments on whether he should approve construction of I-66 as a four-lane highway. Following a public hearing on June 21, 1975, Secretary Coleman had rejected the State's six-lane proposal.
1993: Administrator Rodney Slater is keynote speaker at the opening of the Isle of Palms Connector in South Carolina. The project, built in part with emergency relief funds made available following the devastation caused by Hurricane Hugo in 1989, is hailed for environmental sensitivity in minimizing damage to delicate salt marshes.
2001: Mary E. Peters, former Director of the Arizona Department of Transportation (1998-2001), takes the oath of office as the 15th Federal Highway Administrator. The first woman to hold the title, she remains in the post until July 30, 2005. On September 5, 2006, President George W. Bush would nominate her to be Secretary of Transportation, saying that as Administrator, "Mary led efforts to improve safety and security, reduce traffic congestion, and modernize America's roads and bridges."
2007: Andy Hillenburg purchased North Carolina Speedway.
1893: Agriculture Secretary J. Sterling Morton establishes the U.S. Office of Road Inquiry, the first Federal road Agency, in two small attic rooms of the main Agriculture Building. The Agency consists of General Roy Stone, Special Agent and Engineer for Road Inquiry, and Robert Grubbs, stenographer. Its budget is $10,000. Largely a response to lobbying by bicycle enthusiasts for better roads, ORI is given a mission of making inquiries on systems of road management, investigating the best methods of road making, preparing didactic publications, and assisting the agricultural colleges and experiment stations in disseminating information on this subject.
1955: Highway Patrol premiered.
1970: Ribbon-cutting ceremonies open a 77-mile section of I-80 between Laramie and Walcott, WY, the longest stretch of Interstate to open at one time with no portion of the entire length previously open. Deputy Administrator Ralph Bartelsmeyer participates.
1910: Director Logan Page addresses the Southern Appalachian Good Roads Association on "To What Extent Do Automobiles Destroy Our Roads." He comments, "The application of mechanical arts to our daily convenience and comfort necessarily introduces new problems which require long and patient experimenting for their solution, but when solved, are apt to produce a betterment of conditions that might otherwise not have been reached." The problem, he adds, does not involve paved roads in cities. "But, in the open country, where we have the grinding action of the iron tire and heavy load followed by the high-speed automobile throwing up and distributing the product of wear, we are confronted with the necessity of providing new and more durable forms of road."
1957: BPR awards a $500,000 contract for construction of the Wind River Bridge, a Forest Highway project to provide a high-level span across Wind River Canyon near Carson, WA. The new bridge will replace a low-level crossing, built in 1924, that has been load-restricted to 10 tons in recent years.
1962: Buick introduced the Riviera.
1992: Denny Hulme died.
Birthdays: Dave Rezendes (1959), Michael Andretti (1962), James Toseland (1980)
1955: Citroën unveils the DS 19 at the Paris Motor Show.
1958: The First National Congress on Highways and Urban Development convenes at Sagamore, Syracuse University, in New York, partly to recoup from adverse publicity during the Hartford Conference. With Pyke Johnson of the Automotive Safety Foundation as Chair, the conference brings 55 key highway and transit officials, planners, elected officials, as well as business and academic leaders for a full week of living, eating, and working in the total isolation of the Adirondack Mountains. Participants are asked three questions: What do we want? Who is responsible and for what? and How do we get the job done? The conference results in a widely distributed and acclaimed Guidelines for Action, published by the foundation.
1959: In Denver, CO, before the Governors' Conference Committee on Roads and Highway Safety, Senator Albert Gore, Sr., of Tennessee, describes some of the problems confronting the Interstate Highway Program, including proposals to drastically curtail the program's scope. "The highway program is now in grave danger."
2001: Joseph M. Clapp sworn in as the first Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Birthdays: Mike McLaughlin (1956)
1910: OPR's Maurice O. Eldridge addresses the Second Annual Convention of the Southern Appalachian Good Roads Association in Knoxville, TN, on "Road Laws and Road Building." As a Tennessee native, he recalls his boyhood days when, under the "statute labor" system, citizens paid their road tax by working on the roads. "We used to turn out in the fall of the year, in September or October, when the roads were hard and dry, and pile up clods, sods and vegetable mold in the middle of the road. If there were any mudholes we would usually haul large stones from adjacent fields and fill them, and that would usually make two mudholes, which were filled in the same way the following year."
1926: Chief Thomas MacDonald presents a paper to the Annual Convention of the American Society of Civil Engineers on "The History and Development of Road Building in the United States" (written with H. S. Fairbank) that becomes a standard reference for historians.
1970: Administrator Frank Turner speaks on "Urban Growth and Mobility in the United States," at the Sixth World Highway Conference in Montreal. He says that deciding the role of each transportation mode is an issue of public policy. "The question is not so much one of choosing between competing modes as it is one of providing an effective mix of complementary modes."
1977: In Portland, OR, Administrator William Cox tells the Northwest Bridge Engineers Seminar that highway transportation would predominate over all other transportation modes for the foreseeable future. "Consequently, we have to correct problems with highway bridges immediately." He adds, however, that the size of the bridge program "must be based on a realistic assessment of what can actually be accomplished."
1981: At AASHTO's annual meeting in Chicago, Executive Director Les P. Lamm receives the annual Thomas H. MacDonald Award for continuous outstanding service.
1993: The last precast segment of the Double Arch Bridge of the Natchez Trace Parkway is placed, completing the 1,572-foot long superstructure. The bridge, designed by Figg Engineering Group for FHWA's Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division, is the first segmental precast concrete arch bridge in this country.
2005: Production ended on the Chevrolet Cavalier.
1905: OPR completes work on an object lesson road on the grounds of the U.S. Weather Bureau in Mount Weather, VA (begun July 19). The macadam road uses hornblende schist procured near the road. Concrete curbs were constructed on both sides of the road, with suitable paved gutters, catch basins, and cross drains. The road is 2,047 feet long, with a width varying from 15 to 18 feet and a total depth after rolling of 6 inches. The cost of this road is $2,629.81, not including the curbs, catch basins, or brick-paved gutters. The cost per day of labor was $1.50 and of teams, $3.50.
1962: The Ford Mustang I concept car made its public debut at the United States Grand Prix.
End of Production: Saturn (2009), Australian Ford Falcon (2016)
Birthdays: Bill Elliott (1955)
1922: "Seven Days for Safety" get underway (October 8-14). At their end, Chief Thomas MacDonald says accidents "can be reduced to a minimum only by a combination of careful driving and the elimination of dangerous grades and curves, narrow roadways and bridges and the deadly grade crossing . . . . The dangerous conditions at these points must be eliminated and each state highway department should have data available so that the elimination of the most dangerous ones can be undertaken first."
1924: The Civil Service Commission holds exams nationwide for positions with BPR as junior engineer ($2,400 a year if assigned to Washington, DC; $1,500-$2,000, if not). Applicants must have graduated with a degree in engineering from a college of recognized standing or must be within 3 months of graduation. Competitors will be rated on general physics, pure and applied mathematics, practical questions on highway engineering, as well as education, training, and experience.
1974: Administrator Norbert Tiemann announces that FHWA will emphasize a Low Capital Transportation Improvements Program to focus on projects that will provide maximum use of existing facilities.
1989: In a ceremony at AASHTO's Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA, Administrator Thomas Larson presents FHWA's first "Innovative Financing" awards to eight organizations for their outstanding work in finding innovative ways to finance highway construction and services.
1939: To celebrate AASHO's 25th anniversary, some 500 members have breakfast at Washington, DC's Raleigh Hotel, site of the association's founding. In the day's highlight, AASHO President W. W. Mack presents Certificates of Appreciation to the 15 surviving founders, 9 of whom are present. J. E. Pennybacker, Jr., the only surviving founder from OPR, is present to receive his certificate. "As president of the Association," Mack says, "no happier privilege comes to me than that of presenting these certificates to the men who made highway history here 25 years ago."
1961: Parade magazine notifies the Maine State Highway Commission that a 24-mile section of I-95 (Augusta to Waterville and Fairfield) has been chosen America's finest new scenic highway in the magazine's first competition. An article in the October 15 issue comments that the State thought "the interstate route in tourist-conscious Maine should be a delight to drive along, as well as an efficient conveyor."
1967: Administrator Lowell Bridwell announces that a 7-week study has confirmed the safety benefits of shoulder belts used in combination with seat belts.
Birthdays: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (1974)
1898: The National Road Parliament is held under OPRI's auspices in connection with the Trans-Mississippi Exposition in Omaha, NE. Director Martin Dodge demonstrates the advantages of steel track wagon roads by moving an 11-ton load (consisting of delegates) with one horse--instead of the usual 20. Dodge considers the parliament a success because most of the western States were represented, "something which had not heretofore occurred in meetings of this sort." He added that "the delegates who attended were the representative and enthusiastic road workers of their respective communities and States."
1957: Representatives of State highway agencies, auto manufacturers, and BPR observe the first U.S. demonstration of an electronic traffic control system activated by vehicles passing over the highway. The demonstration is sponsored by RCA and the Nebraska Department of Roads and Irrigation on U.S. 77 near Lincoln, NE.
2001: Chevron purchased General Motors' share of GM Ovonics.
Birthdays: Jimmy Hensley (1955)
1902: In Seattle, WA, Director Martin Dodge writes to Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson about the progress of the Great Northern Good Roads Train, which was organized by the National Good Roads Association, President J. J. Hill of the Great Northern Railroad, OPRI, and manufacturers of roadmaking machinery. The trip had begun on September 1 at St. Paul, MN, with a 3-day convention of the Minnesota Good Roads Association, and had been scheduled to travel west all the way to the Coast. However, the train was discontinued after completing a stop on September 21 in Grand Fork, ND, because farmers were especially busy at this time of year, and it had been impossible to secure the desired attendance. Dodge and James W. Abbott, OPRI's Special Agent for the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coast States, continued west with other participants (by regular trains) to attend previously scheduled conventions. Writing to Secretary Wilson, Dodge encloses "a large number of newspaper clippings, which contain an abridged report of the work that we have done with the good roads train in the Northwest and of the manner in which it was received."
1930: PIARC's Sixth International Road Congress concludes in Washington, DC, the first to be held in the United States. In an opening statement on October 6, Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson thanked delegates for "bringing to us the results of the best thought and experience of your respective countries in the important problems involved in improved communication through road construction."
Birthdays: Ned Jarrett (1932)
1908: Director Logan Page heads the United States delegation to the First International Road Congress, held in Paris, France. On October 15, he joins with the German, Italian, and Russian delegates to propose a permanent international organization, which became PIARC.
1956: Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks announces that President Dwight D. Eisenhower's choice for BPR Administrator is Bertram D. Tallamy and that John Volpe will serve as Administrator in the interim. Upon being sworn in on October 22, Volpe becomes the first Federal Highway Administrator and the President says that after working a long time on the Interstate program, he is "anxious for it to move into high gear." Tallamy, when he takes office on February 5, 1957, is the first Administrator confirmed by the Senate.
1959: At AASHO's annual meeting in Boston, MA, Missouri's Chief Engineer, Rex Whitton, presents the Thomas H. MacDonald Award to AASHO Executive Secretary A. E. Johnson, formerly a highway official in Arkansas.
1962: BPR participates in opening ceremonies for the Thatcher Ferry Bridge over the southern end of the Panama Canal. Regional Engineer Ralph P. Agnew, Regional Bridge Engineer R. Zuniga, and Panama Division Engineer H. L. Friel represent BPR.
1964: James W. Jennings, Jr., totally blind since 1945, reports for duty as a highway engineer in the Structures and Applied Mechanics Division, Office of Research and Development.
1977: FHWA issues national standards for permitting right-turns-on-red at traffic-signal controlled intersections on the Nation's highways and streets. The new standards provide for right-turns-on-red except when engineering studies dictate otherwise. Only two States (Connecticut and Massachusetts) and the District of Columbia prohibit the turns.
Birthdays: David Ifft (1948)
1902: The Ohio Automobile Company changes its name to the Packard Motor Car Company
1949: The Engineering News-Record dated today includes an article on "Subsurface Road Conditions Revealed by Geophysical Methods" by BPR's F. W. Cron and R. Woodward Moore. "The science of geophysics," the article begins, "has provided the engineer and contractor with two new and extremely useful methods for exploring the subsurface. These are the refraction seismic test and the earth resistivity test." The techniques were developed for exploration at depths of hundreds of feet below the surface, but BPR adapted them so they can be used for construction of highways, dams, buildings, and other structures. The article describes how geophysical methods were used on a project to relocate Fighting Creek Gap Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Although used primarily to gain information for design, the techniques helped demonstrate how geophysical tests previously used only by research personnel could be applied in the field. The Physical Research Branch provided the equipment, and an engineer, but all other personnel came from the Division of Eastern Park and Forest Roads at Gatlinburg, TN.
1992: Administrator Thomas Larson joins Colorado officials to open I-70 through Glenwood Canyon, CO, completing the Interstate highway from Baltimore, MD, to Cove Fort, UT (2,175 miles). With its hanging viaducts and environmental sensitivity, the final segment of I-70 is instantly declared a world-class scenic byway. Built to minimize environmental damage, the project was complicated because the canyon already carried the Colorado River, a transcontinental railroad track, and U.S. 6. At the Dedication Ceremony, Dr. Larson remarked, "This project proves that desirable environmental goals and great engineering feats can be mutually compatible."
1993: Administrator Rodney Slater represents the Administration at the opening of the Glenn Anderson Freeway/Transitway (I-105), formerly the Century Freeway, in Los Angeles, CA. The $2.2-billion, 17.3-mile high-tech freeway includes traffic sensors buried in the pavement, computers to monitor flow, meters to regulate traffic on the ramps connecting I-105 to four other freeways, closed-circuit television cameras, and room in the median for the Green Line trolley, slated to open in May 1995. The freeway is named after former U.S. Representative Glenn Anderson, a longtime project supporter and Chairman of the House Committee on Public Works and Transportation.
2010: Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood dedicates the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge at Hoover Dam in Nevada. Built by FHWA's Office of Federal Lands Highways, the new bridge is the western hemisphere's longest single-span concrete arch bridge and one of the tallest. The 1,900-foot-long bridge is part of a $240 million four-lane bypass that will reroute traffic for 3.5 miles from the two-lane bottleneck on U.S. 93 across the Hoover Dam. Administrator Victor M. Mendez, who fought for the bypass bridge while Director of the Arizona Department of Transportation, says, "The hard work and dedication of the men and women who worked on this bridge honor the legacy of those who built the Hoover Dam 75 years ago."
Birthdays: Lee Iacocca (1924)
1919: BPR's FY 1919 annual report, which Chief Thomas MacDonald transmits to Secretary of Agriculture D. F. Houston today, notes that of 189 men employed by BPR at the start of World War I, 79 entered military service (plus one woman, clerk Edna Munger) and 3 died in action (Drainage Engineer Willis E. Comfort, Jr., Highway Engineer Percy A. Rideout, and stenographer Harris E. Petree). In addition, Auditor William Brown died of the nationwide flu epidemic, which struck immediately after the war. One BPR woman entered the naval service as a landsman.
1958: BPR Commissioner Ellis Armstrong attends the ribbon cutting ceremony for the AASHO Road Test at Ottawa, IL, one of his first official acts as Commissioner. "Today we are opening the most important section of highway in the country. For highways are built for only one reason--to serve the people. And this road is not different in that respect . . . . The benefits from this test road . . . will begin to serve the Nation at the earliest possible date." BPR Director Frank Turner and former Commissioner Charles Curtiss, now with ARBA, also participate.
1981: MotorWeek premiered.
2000: Chevron announces the acquisition of Texaco.
2009: Harley-Davidson announced that it would discontinue the Buell line.
1966: President Lyndon Johnson signs the Department of Transportation Act in the East Wing of the White House, authorizing creation of the USDOT, with FHWA as one of the modal Administrations. He stated "The Department of Transportation will have a mammoth task--to untangle, to coordinate, and to build the national transportation system for America that America is deserving of."
1975: Administrator Norbert Tiemann announces the establishment of an FHWA Division Office in Tehran, Iran, to be headed by Daniel Hammond and staffed with 11 FHWA employees. FHWA will be reimbursed for all costs incurred while providing technical assistance to Iran.
1990: President George Bush signs Public Law 101-427, renaming the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways: "The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways."
1999: FHWA's Nondestructive Evaluation Validation Center debuts at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. The center is the only one in the world dedicated to evaluating and validating nondestructive technologies for highway and bridge inspection. Executive Director Anthony R. Kane joins Research and Development's Associate Administrator Bob Betsold and Glenn Washer in cutting the ceremonial ribbon.
Birthdays: Peter Ashdown (1934), Molly Morter (1975)
1893: In a circular letter to railway managers, General Roy Stone asks for information on the supply of road building materials, accessibility, transportation rates, etc., along the lines of their respective roads. The responses provide information for ORI Bulletins No. 5 (certain States west of the Mississippi River), No. 6 (certain States north of the Ohio River), and No. 7 (certain eastern and southern States).
1921: Bids are opened for the most difficult portion of the 115-mile McKenzie River Highway between Eugene and Bend, OR. In cooperation with the Forest Service, BPR is responsible for this 15-mile project that consists of reducing the heavy grades approaching the summit of the Cascade Mountains. Much of the work will require heavy work through the timber and, on the upper section over sloping beds of lava, considerable rock excavation.
1958: A caravan of citizens and North Dakota officials travels to the Eckelson interchange, I-94, to open the State's first fully completed Interstate section (the longest continuous stretch completed since enactment of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956). Mr. Paul Royster, Assistant to the Administrator, addresses participants.
2013: Erik Buell Racing introduces the 1190RX, the company's first production motorcycle.
1969: Secretary of Transportation John Volpe circles Los Angeles in a Coast Guard helicopter to observe the morning rush hour. Later, addressing the Central City Association's 45th Annual Meeting at the Biltmore, he says, "Although Californians love their automobiles, they will have to recognize that we can never provide the mobility they demand and deserve if we restrict ourselves to automobiles alone."
Birthdays: Evel Knievel (1938), Tom Kendall (1966)
1902: Cadillac introduces the Model A.
1973: In Lebanon, 11 Middle East nations proclaim a progressively increasing monthly cut in exports of oil to the United States and other nations perceived as unfriendly to Arab goals. The cut soon becomes a boycott, touching off the first of two energy crises in the 1970s, this one lasting until the spring.
1979: Administrator Karl Bowers presents 110 paintings by BPR's Carl Rakeman to the Boston Museum of Transportation. The paintings depict scenes from highway history. The paintings are also the centerpiece of Historic American Roads: Frontier Trails to Superhighways by BPR's Albert C. Rose (Crown Publishers, Inc., 1976). "The birth and growth of America," Bowers says, "has been and continues to be 'The Greatest Show on Earth,' and the Rakeman paintings tell the story of how that show was put on the road." (The paintings are now at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center and Museum in Fremont, OH, an organization that Rakeman was closely associated with.)
1989: The Loma Prieta Earthquake, 7.1 on the Richter scale, causes the double-decked Nimitz Freeway (I-880) in Oakland, CA, to collapse, killing 42, and damages the Embarcadero Freeway, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and other roads in the Bay Area. The death toll is less than at first expected--although the earthquake occurred during evening rush hour, many residents had gone home early to watch the Oakland A's and the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.
2006: Former Administrator Mary E. Peters takes the oath of office as the 15th Secretary of Transportation. She becomes the third Secretary, after John A. Volpe (1969-1972) and Rodney E. Slater (1997-2001), who also served as FHWA Administrator. In an address, the new Secretary refers to DOT employees as "the soul of American Transportation Network" and promises to work with them "to tackle today's most pressing transportation challenges."
1957: BPR adds 2,102 miles to the Interstate System, including the 1,000-mile extension from the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 and the 1,102 miles made available from the 40,000 miles authorized in 1944 (by adoption of more direct alignments than the existing highways). State proposals had totalled 13,775 miles. Proposals were considered on a national basis, taking into account national defense needs, system integration, transportation requirements of industry and agriculture, and population service.
1960: President Dwight D. Eisenhower is the principal guest and speaker at the opening of the Hiawatha Bridge across the Missouri River between Minnesota and Wisconsin at Red Wing. Minnesota Division Engineer and Mrs. W. W. Fryhofer as well as Wisconsin Division Engineer R. H. Paddock represent BPR. The bridge replaces a substandard, load-limited structure.
1966: President Lyndon Johnson issues a directive establishing an Interagency Department of Transportation Task Force to provide for establishment of the USDOT with a minimum of disruption. Chief Engineer Frank Turner represents BPR/FHWA on the task force, but other BPR officials participate in the activities (S. K. Booth, Laurence S. Casazza, W. D. Dillan, James D. Lacy, Thomas F. McGarry, E. J. Martin, S. E. Ridge, and C. H. Smith).
Birthdays: Didier Theys (1956), John Jones (1965), Heikki Kovalainen (1981)
1910: H.C. Wells, OPR's Superintendent of Road Construction, addresses the North Carolina State Fair on good roads. "Good roads and civilization go hand in hand. So closely are roads related to the life of the community that they may well be taken as an index of its ethical, financial and industrial condition."
1974: Over 5,000 people gather west of Sidney, NE, for the "Golden Link" ceremony honoring completion of the last segment of I-80 in the State. "It's a vital link," reads a historical marker, "between eastern and western Nebraska; a link that binds our state, culturally and economically, closer together."
1982: John DeLorean charged with trafficking cocaine by the U.S. government.
1982: Administrator Ray Barnhart announces selection of 10 State highway agencies, each of which will work with a university to establish a Technology Transfer Center to help local transportation agencies. FHWA will provide $250,000 over a 2-year period to each of the States for their sponsorship of the selected universities.
1993: A 3-day symposium on "Recovery and Effective Reuse of Discarded Materials and By-Products for Construction of Highway Facilities" opens at the Red Lion Inn in Denver, CO. Sponsored by FHWA and EPA, the symposium includes sessions on recycling domestic and household waste, materials generated by highway construction and maintenance operations, and management of industry by-products. In the keynote address, Executive Director E. Dean Carlson urges the highway industry to work closely with the environmental community to identify and promote innovative and cost effective recycling strategies.
Birthdays: Clifford Allison (1964)
1892: In Chicago, IL, over 1,000 people attend the organizational meeting of the National League for Good Roads. General Roy Stone, who issued a call for the congress on September 8, is elected General Vice President and Acting Secretary. His opening address concludes: "The Government of the United States is as much the servant and instrument of the whole people as a State Government is of a part, and when [the people] determine again to use that servant and instrument in this business, for purposes of inquiry or of remedy, the only 'danger' will be to those who 'stop the way.'"
1969: On behalf of the International Road Federation, Emperor Haile Selassie I presents the "Man of the Year" Award to Administrator Frank Turner in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the 1st African Highway Conference. The honor is "In recognition of his achievements as a leader in highways and highway transportation developments in the United States and his contributions to these same interests worldwide."
1984: The American Society of Civil Engineers honors the Linn Cove Viaduct, which hugs Grandfather Mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, with a Special Achievement Award. A plaque is affixed to a monument at the Linn Cove National Park Visitor Center. The viaduct was designed by Figg and Muller Engineers, Inc., for FHWA's Eastern Direct Federal Division and the NPS. This award is one of nine design and construction achievement awards granted to the 1,243-foot long post-tensioned, precast segmental concrete box girder bridgethe first in North America to be built by the progressive cantilever method.
Birthdays: Morgan Shepherd (1941), Dan Akerson (1948)
1966: The U.S. Postal Service issues a 5-cent Great River Road stamp, the first time a highway is honored by a commemorative stamp. In 1938, Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes initiated review of a midcontinental parkway along the Mississippi River. Under Public Law 81-262, signed August 24, 1949, BPR and the NPS studied the feasibility of the idea. Their joint report, Parkway for the Mississippi, was released on November 28, 1951. It concluded that a "Blue Ridge Parkway" type facility would be prohibitive in cost, duplicate existing highways, and miss many of the most scenic locations along the river, which are preempted by existing highways, railroads, towns, and cities. Instead, the report recommended a modified parkway or scenic road using existing highways for the most part.
2011: Revenge of the Electric Car was released.
1945: The first postwar Plymouth was produced, a P15S De Luxe.
1992: The Subaru Impreza was announced.
1965: President Lyndon Johnson signs the Highway Beautification Act. He gives the first pen, and a kiss, to Lady Bird Johnson, who started it all by telling her husband he ought to do something about highway beautification. He says, "This bill does not represent all we want, or all we need, or all the national interest requires. But it is a first step. There will be other steps." The President, who had a gall bladder operation 2 weeks earlier, described his trip home on the George Washington Memorial Parkway: "I saw Nature at its purest . . . . And not one foot of it was marred by a single unsightly man-made obstruction--no advertising signs, no junkyards. Well, doctors could prescribe no better medicine for me."
1968: A 3-day Quality Assurance Workshop begins at the Ambassador Hotel in Washington, DC, with 75 State and 50 BPR engineers on hand to discuss statistical quality assurance in highway construction.
2001: GM revealed the first version of the Chevrolet Cruze.
1899: General Roy Stone resigns and Martin Dodge is appointed Director by President William McKinley. While General Roy Stone served in Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War, Dodge had been Acting Director from August 1898 to January 1899. Dodge serves until 1905.
1961: Mrs. Minnie Lee Harkins, BPR Training Officer, opens a 5-day secretarial development course in the Region 4 Office. Through the use of book reviews, films, discussions, and group participation, Mrs. Harkins gives her students a new concept of the position, "Secretary." They prepare papers on the following subjects: Sincerity, Efficiency, Confidence, Responsibility, Enthusiasm, Tactfulness, Awareness, Resourcefulness, and Your Attitude.
1962: President John F. Kennedy signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act, which creates the "3C" metropolitan planning process ("continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive") and authorizes funds for relocation advisory assistance.
1968: Administrator Lowell Bridwell proposes procedures to ensure full public participation in the development of Federal-aid highway projects. He calls for two public hearings, one in advance of route location decisions and one before design approval. He also calls on States to consider the social, economic, and environmental effects of planned projects on the communities through which they pass.
Birthdays: Tracy Leslie (1957), Dave Blaney (1962), Brian Vickers (1983)
1918: A devastating national Spanish flu epidemic takes a grim toll on an OPR/Forest Service project on the Silverton-Durango Highway in southwestern Colorado. OPR Engineer-in-Charge Jo Kingsley, who was stricken last month, dies at Silverton today. John Corlie, OPR's Engineer-in-Charge of the north camp, also comes down with the flu (and died a few days later). As a result, panic grips the 115 laborers on the job. Almost overnight, the camp is practically deserted. Senior Engineer A. E. Palen is on the way to investigate, but the project may have to be postponed.
1923: In Olympia, WA, Deputy Chief Engineer L.I. Hewes represents BPR at the dedication of the Pacific Highway in a series of ceremonies marking the hard-surfacing of the highway from Canada to California. After the ceremonies, participants drive to the Interstate Bridge at Vancouver where "Old Man Detour" was hung in effigy amidst the acclaim of thousands of spectators.
1945: PRA Materials Engineers Harry Rex and C. A. Bergey join C. M. Hartsock of the Raleigh office in North Carolina to inspect sand-asphalt roads that had shown evidence, during a 1943 inspection, of slipping on the underlying pavements. Today, they inspect several roads, including a three-lane section of U.S. 17 (Folkstone to Wilmington). The road had been resurfaced with sand-asphalt in 1942 and carried considerable traffic because of wartime activities at nearby military bases. However, the PRA team found the road in excellent condition.
1963: The Federal-Aid Highway Amendments, signed today by President John F. Kennedy, makes adjustments and technical corrections, notably revising Interstate standards to provide that design should be such as to accommodate traffic forecast 20 years ahead, rather than the fixed year, 1975, cited in previous legislation.
1965: Under Public Law 89-205, Federal employees who retire between today and December 30 will receive increased annuity payments (6.1 percent higher in addition to a 2-percent increase in effect for 1965). In BPR, 125 employees retire under the Act (33 from Headquarters, 85 from field offices, and 7 from missions abroad).
Birthdays: Ward Burton (1961), Jon Wood (1981)
1993: In a committee meeting during AASHTO's annual meeting in Detroit, MI, former Administrator Ray Barnhart discusses "Fuel Tax Theft--A Government-Sanctioned Industry?" He explains the difficulty of getting people interested in putting up money for the Internal Revenue Service to use in weeding out individuals who are using fraud to avoid paying the gas tax. He estimates an annual loss of $1 billion to $2 billion, and notes that one State working on the issue, Michigan, had recovered about $28 million.
1998: Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle participates in the groundbreaking ceremony for victims of the bombing of the Arthur P. Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The memorial includes a reflecting pool, an interactive museum, and one stone chair for each of the 168 people killed in the blast. Eleven of those chairs will represent FHWA victims.
2004: The last Buick Century was produced.
Birthdays: Sammy Swindell (1955)
1909: Director Logan Page addresses ARMA's 6th Annual Convention in Columbus, OH, on "The National Government as a Factor in Highway Development." He says, "There is, and I think I am safe in saying this, no money appropriated from the national treasury, which, dollar for dollar, is conducive of more good, and which reaches so large a proportion of our people as the little sum appropriated for [the OPR]."
1966: Administrator Rex Whitton issues a memorandum to all employees assuring them that the interests of BPR and its employees are adequately protected in the USDOT Act. "I share the President's pleasure and enthusiasm in the enactment of the legislation and consider it a major step forward in developing a unified and coordinated transportation policy for this great Nation."
Birthdays: Dick Trickle (1941)
1919: In a letter to all State highway departments, Chief Thomas MacDonald urges them to let contracts as soon as possible in view of the possibility of a rail strike. "Everything possible must be done to facilitate transportation of road materials under these handicaps. Railroad transportation has become too important a factor in the amount of work that can be accomplished to allow it longer to be regarded as incidental. It has become the biggest item in road production."
1961: Secretary of Commerce Luther H. Hodges administers the oath of office to D. Grant Mickle, the first Deputy Federal Highway Administrator. This position was created by Public Law 87-392, approved by President John Kennedy on October 4, 1961. The Act also abolished the position of Commissioner of Public Roads, last held by Ellis L. Armstrong. Mickle had been with the Automotive Safety Foundation since 1943.
Birthdays: Hans Klenk (1919), Joe Ruttman (1944)
1951: Juan Manuel Fangio wins the XI Gran Premio de España (Formula 1: Pedralbes Circuit).
1992: In the new Leif Erickson Tunnel, the ribbon is cut and balloons are dropped on the final link of I-35 through Duluth, MN. Mayor Gary Doty and U.S. Representative James Oberstar wield the giant plywood scissors. Oberstar calls the road a "citizens freeway" because of the long public involvement in designing the much acclaimed lake shore portion. Division Administrator Charles Foslien and Lawrence Staron, Chief of the Federal-Aid and Design Division, represent FHWA. On October 9, FHWA announced that the segment had received one of the Agency's biennial "Excellence in Highway Design" awards, noting that the designers "used cut and cover tunnels, architectural design treatments, and extensive landscaping to integrate the freeway into the surrounding urban environment and to create a pleasing driving experience." With the opening of this segment, I-35, a 1,500-mile freeway from Duluth to the Mexican border at Laredo, TX, is also completed.
Birthdays: Cal Crutchlow (1985)
1991: FHWA leadership adopts the vision, mission, values, and goals statement drafted by Agency staff during FHWA 2000. The vision begins: "Meet the Nation's need for the safe, efficient and environmentally sound movement of people and goods, and be world renowned in surface transportation expertise and innovation." The statement evolved from a draft prepared by over 130 FHWA employees during a 3-day session in Fredericksburg, VA, and review of the draft by 2,835 employees in a series of 145 "cascading" sessions. The nearly 3,000 pages of data resulting from this process were analyzed by a Consensus Team of employees meeting in Ballston, VA, during 2 weeks in September 1991.
Birthdays: Tony Bettenhausen (1951)
1917: A pathfinding tour to find the best route from Washington, DC, to Atlanta, GA, for the proposed transcontinental Bankhead Highway (Washington, DC, to Los Angeles, CA) leaves the Capitol after ceremonies in the Rotunda. OPRRE's M. O. Eldridge joins John Oliver La Gorce of National Geographic Magazine and A. G. Batchelder of AAA as official "Pathfinders." The highway is named after Senator John Bankhead, a leader in the fight for the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916. On April 20, 1919, Eldridge and Batchelder again joined a Bankhead Highway pathfinding tour, leaving Mineral Wells, TX, to identify a route to the Pacific Coast. The tour reached Los Angeles, CA, on May 2, but Eldridge had left the group, apparently at San Diego. One account reported that the "journey through Arizona was through a continuous battle of competitive entertainers . . . . All sought to convince [the pathfinders'] minds by bewildering their stomachs." Batchelder skipped the trip to Los Angeles as well. The account suggested that, "Perhaps he feared he would have to undergo another banquet."
1917: The American Highway Association is dissolved by a vote of their Board of Directors.
1974: At the Pier 7 Restaurant in Washington, DC, the FHWA Wives Association holds its first luncheon, featuring Administrator Norbert Tiemann as guest speaker. Susan Evers chairs the Membership Committee and Mary Lamm is President. All wives of current and retired employees of FHWA (and BPR) are eligible for membership.
1984: The Motor Carrier Safety Act is signed by President Ronald Reagan. The Act directs USDOT to reissue the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, preempt State safety requirements affecting interstate commerce that are not compatible with Federal regulations, and establish procedures for determining the safety fitness of carriers.
2009: The final Buell motorcycle was produced under Harley-Davidson ownership.
Birthdays: Buddy Lazier (1967), Sébastien Buemi (1988)
1957: Mary S. Austin, transportation economist in the Federal-Aid Division, retires today. She did statistical work for the reports to Congress titled Toll Roads and Free Roads and Interregional Highways, and assisted during designation of Interstate highways in 1947, 1955, and 1957. The News in Public Roads comments, "Over the years she has probably spent more hours working on the system than any other employee."
1977: In an address to AASHTO's Annual Meeting in Atlantic City, NJ, Administrator William Cox calls for coordination in transportation: "It is our challenge and our opportunity to participate in leading transportation in America into adulthood. I believe we must accomplish this goal by coordination of our modes, our revenues, our planning of our total efforts."
2010: As part of the closure of Saturn, outstanding franchises were ended.
1909: An OPR engineer and photographer leave Washington, DC, for an extended tour (through January 8, 1910) to collect information for use in reporting the results of object lesson and experimental projects and for illustrating contemplated publications.
1916: To implement the Federal Aid Road Act, OPRRE reorganizes, with two main branches (Engineering under P. St. J. Wilson and Management and Economics under J. E. Pennybacker, Jr.) and two general inspectors, T. Warren Allen and E. W. James. Engineering's Highway Construction and Maintenance Section will have charge of forest road work under Section 8 of the Act.
1923: The work of designating the 7-percent Federal-aid system is completed in accordance with the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1921. The original system consists of 168,881 miles. Based on certifications submitted by the State highway agencies, total road mileage amounts to 2,866,061 miles; thus the 7-percent system may include up to 200,624 miles.
1945: DuPont Motors turns over operations of Indian to Ralph B. Rogers.
1895: Autocar was first published.
1915: The Southern National Highway Association, sponsor of a highway from Washington, DC, to San Diego, CA, dispatches a group for the first official trip over its entire route. Engineer B. H. Burrell represents OPRRE on the 26-day trip.
1959: The first Joint BPR-State Right-of-Way Seminar is opened by C. W. Phillips, Chief of the Right-of-Way Division. All BPR region and division right-of-way personnel and utility engineers from Regions 4 and 5, as well as members of the Headquarters Right-of-Way Division attend. The goal is to achieve a better understanding of the many right-of-way acquisition problems being experienced.
1962: A 5-mile section of the Jones Falls Expressway, part of I-83 in Baltimore City and County, MD, opens, enabling motorists to drive nonstop from the center of Baltimore to Harrisburg, PA. BPR Division Engineer E. F. Gleason joins State and local officials who wield mammoth shears to snip the ribbon opening the highway. U.S. Representative George Fallon of Maryland, one of the sponsors of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, attends the ceremony.
1971: Secretary of Transportation John Volpe announces approval of the first 34 economic growth centers (in 16 States) under a program created by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1970. The program provides additional funds for improvement of FAP roads to serve selected growth centers.
1983: Production began on the Dodge Caravan.
Birthdays: William D. Packard (1861), Helmuth Koinigg (1948), Greg Sacks (1953), Derrike Cope (1958)
1911: Chevrolet founded.
1949: At the Statler Hotel in Washington, DC, Commissioner Thomas MacDonald addresses the American Society of Civil Engineers on "The National System of Interstate Highways." He notes that, "Public dissatisfaction over highway inadequacies, traffic congestion, and accidents has prompted a marked increase in the planning and construction of major highway facilities, both rural and urban, that will form links in the Interstate System. During the past 2 years, progress in initiating and planning wide and safe rural highways and urban expressways has been at a greater rate than ever before."
1918: Having in mind the return of soldiers from World War I, Director Logan Page writes to the State highway departments on the Secretary of Agriculture's behalf, to ask for the number of returned soldiers who may be employed on road repair, construction, and maintenance as carpenters, masons, stationary engineers, roller-men, and quarry bosses, among other positions.
1959: Administrator Bertram Tallamy is a speaker at the dedication of a 7-mile segment of I-93 from Concord, NH, to the Vermont line (named the Senator Styles Bridges Highway). New Hampshire State Highway Commissioner John O. Morton, US Senators Styles Bridges and Norris Cotton, and Governor Wesley Powell also speak. A motorcade of 300 cars drives over the new highway after the ribbon cutting by Mrs. Styles Bridges. (During Tallamy's address, he mentions that one of the pleasures of coming to New England is Indian pudding. The next day the hostess congratulates him on his honesty--because he had indeed ordered Indian pudding.
1968: The Board of Directors of the American Concrete Institute approves presentation of the Charles S. Whitney Award to BPR's Bridge Division and its former Chief, Eric L. Erickson, "for distinguished contributions to development of concrete bridge design and construction."
2015: Genesis was spun off of Hyundai as a separate brand.
Birthdays: Elton Sawyer (1959)
1895: The "Selden Patent," the first U.S. patent for an automobile, was granted.
1935: The last unpaved gap in U.S. 30 is closed in Nebraska--the first paved transcontinental highway. In a November 1 letter to planners of the celebration, President Franklin D. Roosevelt says, "With full appreciation of the manifold benefits of this modern avenue of communication, it is especially gratifying to recall that its construction has been a part of the great program of highway building that has given needed employment in recent years to hundreds of thousands of our citizens."
1955: Commissioner "Cap" Curtiss participates in opening ceremonies for the Major Deegan and Cross-Bronx Expressways, and the Queens Mid-Town Connection to the Horace Harding Expressway in New York City. Division Engineer C. E. Swain, District Engineer K. B. Foster, and Area Engineer J. P. McAllaster also represent BPR.
1993: At the University of Hartford in Connecticut, Deputy Secretary Mortimer Downey and a USDOT team including FHWA Deputy Administrator Jane Garvey conduct the first of a nationwide series of meetings on ISTEA implementation. About 100 State and local officials, business leaders, planners, and citizens from New England participate. Regional Administrator J. G. Bestgen, Jr., and Connecticut Division Administrator Gary Hamby represent Region 1.
Birthdays: Peter Collins (1931)
1899: The first Packard was built in Warren, Ohio.
1924: Contractors Tenney and Hamblin begin construction of the last 17.75 miles of the 89.9-mile forest portion of the 124-mile Clifton-Springerville road through the Apache National Forest in Arizona. Built by BPR with Forest Service funds, the project was approved in 1916. Location surveys were completed in 1917 (April 1 to October 29), with an adjustment made in 1922. The completed highway, called the Coronado Trail, is dedicated on June 29, 1926, during a ceremony at Hannagan's Meadow. District Engineer C. M. Morrison represents BPR. Entertainment includes a barbecue of ten beeves and two bears, and the "Devil Dance" by Apache Indians from the White Mountain Indian Reservation. In 1926, the Coronado Trail is designated part of U.S. 666, a designation it retains until June 1992, when AASHTO approves a State request to renumber the route U.S. 191.
1974: FHWA announces that its research office has developed a nuclear cement content gage that will, for the first time, give engineers an on-site capability to accurately measure the cement content of fresh concrete. (The gage uses low energy gamma rays from a radioactive source.)
1991: Secretary of Transportation Samuel Skinner presents a WAY TO GO award to the entire staff of the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center for its year-long effort to enhance the center's laboratories and technical capability. Associate Administrator for Research and Development Charles Miller accepts the award on behalf of the center's staff.
1940: In Washington State, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapses in high wind, only 4 months after opening. The way the suspension bridge twisted and heaved prior to collapse earns it the posthumous nickname "Galloping Gertie." PRA joined with other experts in research that led to the improvement of future suspension bridges, including the Mackinac and Verrazano-Narrows Bridges.
1963: BPR participates in a meeting at Arizona Highway Patrol headquarters on making U.S. 66--nicknamed "Bloody 66"--safer between Chicago and Los Angeles. The meeting, which includes chiefs of traffic law enforcement agencies in the States through which U.S. 66 passes, is a prelude to stepped up enforcement under "Project 66."
1996: The fifth generation Honda Prelude was introduced.
2006: Cars released on DVD.
Birthdays: Ed Berrier (1961)
1949: PRA, with the assistance of the Advisory Committee on Motor Vehicle Brake Research, launches the first of a series of brake-test studies on U.S. 40 southwest of Elkton, MD, designed to measure the minimum stopping distance. Cars and trucks stopped at random are weighed and subjected to three emergency stops from a speed of 20 m.p.h. Tests will run until December 1.
1960: In a memo to BPR Commissioner Ellis L. Armstrong, M. F. "Pat" Maloney comments on a September 15 Engineering News-Record article on urban Interstate controversies. "In many instances, [planning groups have] been unable to do anything more than 'crystal-gaze,' having no means of implementing their plans with action . . . . Often their work has not been realistically accomplished and they defend themselves by yelling 'foul' at the highway profession." and "There is no question that a need exists for more cooperative action in urban planning--the fault does not lie on the side of the highway engineer, or entirely on the side of the planning groups."
1985: Masten Gregory died.
1921: President Warren Harding signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act, revitalizing the Federal-aid highway program by focusing funds on a system consisting of 7 percent of each State's road mileage. Three-sevenths of the system must consist of routes that are "interstate in character" and up to 60 percent of Federal funds can be spent on this portion. Chief Thomas MacDonald and AASHO's W. C. Markham participate in the ceremony, which is filmed because of its importance.
1921: Forty trucks, furnished by BPR, begin operating on a test pavement in Pittsburg, CA. The trucks run at a set speed and are loaded with only a moderate tonnage. As the test continues, the loads will be increased. Heavy war equipment will be used at the end of the test to give the final touch of demolition to the highway. The Pittsburg test highway, which is 1,371 feet long, includes 13 sections paved with concrete slabs ranging from 5 to 8 inches in thickness.
1966: The National Traffic Safety Bureau and the National Highway Safety Bureau, authorized by the Highway Safety Act of 1966, are established in the Department of Commerce under the direction of Dr. William Haddon, Jr. On April 1, 1967, both bureaus are transferred to the new USDOT as part of FHWA; they are consolidated by Executive order into the National Highway Safety Bureau under Dr. Haddon on June 6, 1967. The NHSB became NHTSA in March 1970.
1973: With the Nation in an energy crisis, FHWA releases tests by retired FHWA employee E. M. Cope on whether lower speed limits save gas. In the tests, fuel consumption increased by 30 percent when the speed of the test vehicles went from 50 to 70 mph.
Birthdays: Brendon Hartley (1989)
1953: In his first address to AASHO as Commissioner of Public Roads, F. V. du Pont says he quickly found that BPR's organization "was such that the deputies did not share in the responsibilities of management nor were their efforts coordinated . . . . I felt the staff type of organization superior and immediately arranged for weekly meetings with the deputies and solicitor who, together with myself, are responsible for the formulation of policies, making decisions, etc." He notes that he had discontinued the practice of special extensions for men in top BPR positions who had reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 and had retained management counselors Booz, Allen, and Hamilton to conduct an unbiased study of procedures and operations.
1976: FHWA and the Canadian Department of Public Works jointly announce an agreement for reconstruction of 205 miles of the Alaska Highway and 117 miles of the Haines Cutoff Road. The agreement was negotiated under the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973, which authorized $58.6 million for the reconstruction. The first element of work will be an environmental impact statement.
1981: Senator William Proxmire awards his monthly "Golden Fleece Award" to the FHWA for the Interstate System, which in 1956 was estimated to run $27 billion. The citation read, for the "Worst record of civilian cost overruns in the federal government," citing a 267-percent, $100-billion cost overrun that "dwarfs any other civil project."
1992: At the Dallas/Fort Worth Hyatt Airport Hotel, Administrator Thomas Larson signs the "National Policy on the Quality of Highways," joining representatives of AASHTO, ARTBA, and the American Consulting Engineers Council, the American Concrete Pavement Association, Associated General Contractors of America, National Asphalt Pavement Association, and the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, thereby launching the National Quality Initiative.
2008: Kerry O'Hare becomes Deputy Federal Highway Administrator. Having worked for New York's U.S. Congressman Peter T. King and Governor George E. Pataki, Ms. O'Hare joined the U.S. Department of Transportation in November 2005. She was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Governmental Affairs at the time of her appointment as Deputy Administrator. She would serve through the end of President George W. Bush's second term, January 20, 2009.
Birthdays: Maria Teresa de Filippis (1926), Al Holbert (1946), Dean Hall (1957)
1915: Director Logan Page resigns from ARBA's Board of Directors to protest "a breach of faith" when ARBA decides to hold a separate convention after agreeing to hold a joint convention with the American Highway Association during the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in Oakland, CA.
1920: The National Advisory Board on Highway Research, largely supported by BPR, is formed to "assist in outlining a comprehensive national program of highway research and coordinating activities thereunder; organize committees for specific problems; deal with ways and means; and act in a general advisory capacity." It becomes the Highway Research Board in January 1925.
1923: William D. Packard died.
1974: State and FHWA employees begin the first 5-day Water Quality Workshop, which was held in Dallas, TX, and conducted by the California Department of Highways, in cooperation with FHWA. The objective is to show that water-quality investigations are a major item of concern in planning transportation systems and developing the required environmental impact statements.
Birthdays: Norman Mineta (1931)
1892: In New York City, John Gilmer Speed interviews General Roy Stone for a newspaper article about the Good Roads Movement. Stone says, "We have the worst roads in the civilized world; their condition is a crushing tax on the whole people." Speed describes Stone as a Civil War hero, an inventor, and an engineer. "I met a handsome man of about 50--somewhat grizzled by his half century but as alert and energetic as a boy."
1910: Under direction of OPR's bridge engineer, three reinforced concrete culverts are built in Bennettsville, SC (through December 16) at a cost of $332.50 for labor alone.
1915: In a letter to The Road-Maker magazine, Director Logan Page replies to complaints by D. Ward King, inventor of the King split-log drag, regarding a new OPR bulletin on road drags: "This office strongly advocates the use of the drag on earth roads, and is using every means it has for extending its use, but when people like Mr. King advertise that they can show the public how to build roads without money, and that roads do not need drainage, merely for the purpose of [making] money out of the people, it is simply absurd."
1936: San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened.
1918: The US Highway Council completes its work of coordinating the post-World War I movement of roadbuilding materials.
1960: The Georgia Division Office is damaged extensively in a three-alarm fire that starts between the ceiling of the third floor of the building and the roof. The office is gutted and hundreds of blueprints of present and completed projects are destroyed. The Division obtains temporary quarters at 900 Peachtree Street, adjacent to the Region 3 office.
1972: FHWA announces a new policy for railroad-highway grade crossing improvements, under which the Federal share of project costs is increased and the railroads' share is reduced.
1973: AASHO's Policy Committee approves a new name, "American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials," and a broadened mission and membership to include all forms of transportation. On November 15, George H. Andrews, Director of the Washington State Highways Department, is installed as the first President of AASHTO. (The last President of AASHO was Thomas F. Airis, Director of Highways and Traffic for the District of Columbia.)
Birthdays: Irv Hoerr (1946), Bob Johnson (1946)
1945: Deputy Commissioner of Public Roads H. E. Hilts, District Engineer J. C. Carpenter, and the Design Division's Joseph Barnett and Wilbur H. Simonson arrive in the Virgin Islands for a 2-day inspection of road conditions on St. Thomas and St. Croix. The trip is pursuant to the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, which authorized $10 million for internal development projects. With the Islands' public works officials, they discuss the priority program and typical designs for island roads.
1946: Initial technical staff arrive in Manila to establish a Division Office under the Philippine Rehabilitation Act, which had been signed April 30. It authorized PRA to improve roads damaged during World War II. A 1945 PRA mission found that 621 of the 1,741 bridges in existence before the war had been damaged or destroyed and more than a third of the country's 6,352 wooden bridges needed repair or replacement.
2005: OK Division Administrator Gary Corino participates in the groundbreaking ceremony for the I-40 Crosstown to be built five blocks south of the existing Interstate in Oklahoma City. The 4-mile reconstruction of I-40 is the State's largest and most expensive project. The "Dedication for Completion" of the first phase of the project (two five-lane bridges and a railroad bridge) would be celebrated on July 5, 2007.
Birthdays: H.B. Bailey (1936)
1886: Bosch founded.
1921: Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover's Conference on Unemployment takes place in Washington, DC, with special emphasis on how funds authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1921 can help relieve post-World War I unemployment. Colonel James B. McCord of BPR tells the conference, "Directly and indirectly, probably 200,000 workers will be employed in state highway construction."
1932: In northern Virginia, the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway (now part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway), designed and constructed under BPR's direction, is dedicated in a ceremony held in conjunction with AASHO's Annual Meeting. Authorized by a law enacted on May 23, 1928, the memorial highway is part of the celebration in 1932 of the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth. The road links his home, Mount Vernon, to the south end of the Arlington Memorial Bridge, which crosses the Potomac River at Washington, DC. BPR began surveying to determine the memorial highway's location on June 15, 1928, and construction began on September 12, 1929. The highway had opened in segments, from January 1932 through May.
Birthdays: Tommy Archer (1954), Terry Labonte (1956), Roberto Guerrero (1958), Mike Groff (1961), Korbin Forrister (1992)
1909: President William Howard Taft writes to Kansas Governor Stubbs about the planned national good roads convention in Topeka. Although the President thinks the good roads question is "chiefly a state function," he adds that, "The truth is, I think, that the good roads have much to do with the use of waterways and also with the question of railway transportation, because the difficulties of getting to waterways and railways are the great burdens that the farmers have to bear."
1948: Commissioner Thomas MacDonald presents the second David Beecroft Memorial Lecture at a meeting of the Society of Automotive Engineers in Washington, DC. His subject is "Driver Behavior--Key to Safe Highway Design." He says, "For too long, and in too great degree, highway design has been distorted by the tyranny of wrong concepts. Most important of these in its adverse impacts is the error of thinking of the motor vehicle as static in relation to the highway. In use, the vehicle is dynamic and takes on very different qualities."
1974: Due to recent congressional limitations on FHWA travel funds, an FHWA Family Dinner at the Sheraton-Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, site of AASHTO's Annual Meeting, is canceled.
1988: A Thanksgiving Drama: In a collision on I-35 north of Austin, TX, a truck turns on its side, allowing the escape of 78 of 2,000 turkeys bound for a processing plant in Waco. Rounding them up takes 3 hours. Only 53 survive, but their "break for freedom" creates an outpouring of public sympathy. The "favored 53" were donated to an alcohol and drug treatment center, where they took up residence near a duck pond. The center planned to serve the turkeys for Thanksgiving, but public outcry resulted in a compromise. Forty turkeys were donated to animal rights groups that promised to place the birds in homes where they could live out their lives in peace. The remaining, unlucky 13 were served for dinner.
2006: Buell announced that it had produced and shipped its 100,000th motorcycle.
Birthdays: Gary Bettenhausen (1941)
1925: Secretary of Agriculture W. M. Jardine approves the Joint Board on Interstate Highways' plan for U.S. numbered highways and uniform signing. The Joint Board had originally identified 55,137 miles for inclusion, at which point, in the words of AASHO president and Joint Board member Frank Rogers of Michigan, "the Infernal regions began popping," as communities began lobbying for their route. The Secretary submits the plan, which now includes 75,884 miles, to AASHO to "take the necessary steps as might be feasible under their respective State laws to put the plan into operation." Under pressure from the "infernal regions," AASHO expands the U.S. system to 96,626 miles before approving the proposal on November 11, 1926.
1938: While attending AAA's Annual Convention in Cleveland, OH, Chief Thomas MacDonald is interviewed for a 1:45 p.m. radio broadcast over NBC's Blue Network. Introduced by AAA President Thomas P. Henry as "an outstanding authority on highway development and highway trends," MacDonald discusses the road inventory surveys underway, noting that the information gathered will help the country adjust present roads to modern traffic conditions.
1957: During AASHO's Annual Meeting, BPR's Herbert S. Fairbank becomes the first recipient of the Thomas H. MacDonald Award for outstanding contributions to highway progress. U.S. Representative George Fallon, Chairman, Subcommittee on Roads, House Committee on Public Works, addresses AASHO the same day: "I think I hear practically all of the complaints that you officials live with all the time. There are those who claim the program is bogging down and want it speeded up and those who in cities would like to declare a moratorium for two or three years to provide time for urban planning; those who insist on a community bypass and those who resist the bypass; those who can never agree with those who consider the interstate ugly or 'phony' as to defense importance; those who see opportunity in doing strange and wondrous things with the Trust Fund money . . . . [Those are] some of the typical complaints and charges that I hear; actually the immensity of the program and its long-term benefits have not yet really come home to the public."
1977: For the first time in BPR/FHWA history, former Federal Highway Administrators meet with the current Administrator in an open house. Former Administrators John Volpe, Norbert Tiemann, Frank Turner, Lowell Bridwell, and Bertram Tallamy join Administrator William Cox. Commissioner "Cap" Curtiss and Administrator Rex Whitton, the other two surviving Administrators, are unable to attend.
2008: President George W. Bush visits DOT headquarters, the first time a President had visited DOT headquarters since President Ronald Reagan. Speaking in the East Atrium, President Bush thanks Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters for her work following the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, MN. "The Secretary coordinated a swift and an effective Federal response." His primary purpose is to announce new regulations to protect air travelers.
2014: NHTSA orders Takata to initiate a nationwide airbag recall.
2014: Grand Theft Auto V released for PlayStation 4 & Xbox One (supplemental release date).
1911: The First Annual Convention of the American Association for Highway Improvement, originally scheduled for October, was shifted to November 21 so President William Howard Taft can participate. (See July 24, 1911.) However, in a letter today to Director Logan Page, President Taft indicates he has had a cold for a week, has spent the last 48 hours in "the house," and will be unable to attend. "I wish I could be present to utter my word of approval and encouragement, but I feel that the trip as planned, is one which would involve more risk than I ought to incur in my present condition."
1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Defense Highway Act, authorizing $150 million for construction of access roads certified as important to national defense by the Secretary of War or Secretary of Navy and $50 million for correction of critical deficiencies on the 78,000-mile strategic network. The Act also authorizes PRA to cooperate with the Army Air Corps in studying and constructing flight strips adjacent to public highways for the landing and take-off of aircraft ($10 million authorized). The first flight strip, on the Middle Atlantic seaboard, is completed by the end of the fiscal year. It is 8,000 feet long and more than 500 feet wide, with a runway 7,000 by 150 feet, and is usable by the Army's heaviest bombers. The program is conducted with the assistance of State highway department engineers.
1993: At Gettysburg National Military Park, Administrator Rodney Slater unveils a replica of the street marker to be placed on Stone Avenue. The avenue is along McPherson's Ridge, on which then-Colonel Roy Stone and his Pennsylvania Bucktail brigade held off the Confederate forces on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1, 1863. Stone was severely wounded in the battle. Although Stone Avenue was named after FHWA's founder many years ago, the sign had been missing for several years. During the ceremony, conducted on the 130th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Slater says, "General Stone was one of the many brave men President Lincoln spoke of in his Gettysburg Address when he said, 'The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.'"
2001: Frederick G. (Bud) Wright, Jr., becomes Executive Director, the highest career position in FHWA. He joined FHWA in 1975 as an economist and had served in a variety of positions, including Division Administrator in Nevada.
1936: Commissioner Thomas MacDonald, after a European tour, addresses a AAA luncheon in Detroit, MI, providing his impressions of Germany's Autobahn and roads in England and France. "Germany," he notes, "stands out among all the countries of Europe in the magnificent conception of a national system of major highways . . . . The highways which have been completed are wonderful examples of the best modern road building."
1942: In Canada, a ceremony at the south end of Soldiers Summit, Kluane Lake, marks completion of the pioneer trail of the Alaska Highway. Representing Canada is Ian Mackenzie, Minister of Pensions and National Health. Four U.S. soldiers--Corporal Refines Sims, Jr., Private Alfred Jalufka, Master Sergeant Andrew Doyle, and Corporal John T. Reilly--hold the ribbon, which is cut by Mackenzie and Alaska's Secretary of State, Bob Bartlett. Sims and Reilly are African-American soldiers, and their participation reflects the important contribution African-American soldiers made to the project.
1943: PRA's Willis Grafe leaves Alaska on a CPA Lockheed Lodestar, headed home after 2 years of work as a surveyor on the Alaska Highway. In a memoir 50 years later, he says, "The going rate for people like me, long on enthusiasm and short on knowledge, was $1,260 per year, or $105 per month, with a temporary civil service rating of SP-2, the bottom rung of the ladder." (An Oregon Boy in the Yukon, Chesnimus Press, 1991).
1990: The final 14.5-mile link of I-15 opens near Tremonton, UT, completing the 1,437-mile route from Great Falls, MT, to San Diego, CA. During the opening ceremony, Regional Administrator Louis MacDonald reads a message from Secretary of Transportation Samuel K. Skinner, who notes that with the opening this year of the final segments of I-10, I-35, I-40, and now I-15, "1990 is the greatest year for major highway completions in the history of the interstate system." Director Eugene Findlay of the Utah Department of Transportation puts it in simpler terms: "We've done it!"
2013: The U.S.-spec second generation Chevrolet Colorado was revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Birthdays: Jacques Laffite (1943), Travis Carter (1949)
1911: In Richmond, VA, at the first American Road Congress, sponsored by the American Association for Highway Improvement, Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson tells participants, "The effect that [good roads] will have in increasing the value of farms, in making the lives of farmers and their families much more full of comfort and in the general benefit conferred by greater ease of intercommunication the country over, cannot be exaggerated." Director Logan Page addresses the congress as well: "It is necessary that a thorough campaign of education be conducted in every locality where the burden of bad roads hangs like a millstone about the necks of the people."
1918: The Associated General Contractors of America is formed, with a membership of 97 general contractors, responding to a call of first president Daniel A. Garber, who said: "Organized [the contractor] can serve his own legitimate interests, open the gates for great prosperity, benefit the country in normal times, and serve it royally in emergencies . . . ."
1975: FHWA issues regulations to promote increased use of minority business enterprises (MBE) in Federal-aid highway activity. States must identify MBEs, ensure prime contractors using subcontractors take affirmative action to consider MBEs, and report MBE participation to FHWA quarterly.
1999: Clayton, Dubilier and Rice purchased Allied Van Lines and merged it with North American Van Lines to create Allied Worldwide.
2001: Frederick ‘Bud’ Wright named Federal Highway Administration Executive Director.
2008: Source Interlink closed the magazine Sport Compact Car after 20 years of publication.
2010: The American version of Top Gear debuts.
1910: At the invitation of Director Logan Page, some 30 State and interstate organizations (highway agencies, railroads, and good roads associations encompassing the entire good roads movement) meet in Washington, DC, to form the American Association for Highway Improvement (shortened to the American Highway Association in 1912). It is intended to be an umbrella-type organization "to harmonize and correlate all efforts for the improvement of the public roads." (On October 30, 1917, the Board of Directors voted to dissolve the association.)
1917: A trailblazing party, including representatives of the Ohio Highway Department, the U.S. Army, the Lincoln Highway Association, and OPRRE, leaves Toledo, OH, for Philadelphia, PA, to ensure newly built military trucks can be driven to the port for shipment to Europe, thereby sparing railroad cars for other war duty. The route became the main military truck route during World War I.
1930: BPR completes the last link in the Oregon Coast Highway (U.S. 101). The final construction report by R. A. Mack notes: "Nowhere else in the United States will the motorist find a highway that follows the ocean for so great a distance in such a spectacular manner."
1967: Saab unveils the 99 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Birthdays: Bill Crittenden (1980)
1912: An OPR engineer and his assistant, stationed in Natchez, MS, complete their assignment of devising a road system for Adams County. Beginning August 24, they made the necessary surveys for relocation, investigated materials, designed road structures, and advised county officials on the best methods of construction, administration, and maintenance.
1924: A.T. Goldbeck and Ira B. Mullis represent BPR at a meeting of the subgrade committee of the Federal Highway Council in Wilmington, DE, under General T. Coleman Du Pont. The subject: Why highways fail. W. P. Blair of Cleveland, OH, attributes the failure to the fact that 20 million people had been added to the country, practically without 1 inch being added to transportation facilities. General Du Pont states that addressing subgrade/foundation problems is the most important duty facing highway agencies. C. M. Upham, State Highway Engineer of Delaware, describes his department's field tests to determine the bearing powers of various kinds of soil.
1963: BPR activities on reconstruction of Cambodia's 133-mile Khmer-American Friendship Highway are suspended, with approximately 30 percent of the work completed, when the Nation's Chief of State requests cessation of all aid from the United States. Negotiations result in the sale of the contractor's equipment and supplies to the government. BPR personnel remain in the country during the transfer, then close out the project in January 1964.
1967: FHWA announces that the airport access problem is being melded into the recently inaugurated TOPICS program, in accordance with the USDOT's concept of a fully-coordinated transportation system. "No TOPICS program," according to the instructions issued today, "should be advanced beyond the planning stage unless adequate attention has been given to this high priority item." Administrator Lowell Bridwell notes that this priority is needed because, "Getting from an airport to a city's downtown sometimes takes longer than the air flight."
Birthdays: Buddy Parrott (1939)
1901: The Southern Railway Good Roads Train arrives in Mobile, AL, and will stay through the 30th. On the 29th, Director Martin Dodge will address a convention, speaking on the "Relation of Roads to Rural Population" ("While all who live in the country must go to the city, a smaller proportion, though a greater number, with their carriages, bicycles, and automobiles, go from the city to the country."). The train got underway on October 29, 1901, in Alexandria, VA, and will conclude on April 5, 1902, in Charlottesville, VA. It will travel as far west as Tennessee and as far south as Georgia (participants took off for Christmas between December 21, 1901, and January 9, 1901). The train was initiated by Samuel Spencer, president of the Southern Railway Company, and cosponsored by the National Good Roads Association and OPRI. The first stop had been Winston-Salem, NC, reached on October 30 (an object-lesson road was constructed on North Liberty Street).
1906: OPR begins work on an 8,927-foot shell drive around the U.S. Naval Station in New Orleans, LA. The foundation course is of oyster shells 7 inches thick, with a 4-inch wearing surface of clam shells. Completed July 26, 1907, the road cost $14,569.23, well within the appropriation of $15,000 made for the work.
1918: Gasoline Alley was first published.
1932: The High-Level Viaduct ("Pulaski Skyway") over the New Jersey meadows on the approach to the Holland Tunnel opens. As part of a 12-month traffic census requested by the State Highway Commission, BPR includes a time study of delays, between Jersey City and Newark, before and after the viaduct opened. The study is completed in September 1933. The report indicates that the viaduct undoubtedly attracted traffic that previously had avoided the route because of congestion. "There is also every reason to believe that the traffic on the viaduct will increase during the next few years to a volume which could not have been adequately served by the old route" (Public Roads, February 1934).
1968: FHWA announces that for the first time in history, the annual motor vehicle mileage rolled up on the Nation's highways will top the one trillion mark. To make the figure more understandable, FHWA's E. M. Cope points out that one trillion miles would equal 40,400,000 trips around the world at the Equator.
1978: The Honda Prelude was launched.
1978: As part of USDOT's anti-inflation fight, Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams instructs FHWA's field offices to work closely with State highway agencies to ensure that every aspect of the Federal-aid construction program is examined for potential cost-reduction methods. In particular, he asks them to re-examine all projects where bids exceed original cost estimates by 7 percent to determine if they should be modified or reissued.
Birthdays: Joe Gibbs (1940)
1920: Gaston Chevrolet died.
1949: The one millionth Cadillac, a Coupe deVille, was produced.
1963: "Our 41,000 Mile Superhighway" by Administrator Rex Whitton appears in Sunday newspapers read by over 8 million families, placing the Interstate System in perspective as one of the country's great capital assets benefiting the business community and the American public. The article, the Administrator's first-hand account of the progress of the Interstate Highway Program, is accompanied in most papers by photographs of an Interstate highway, a map of the entire System, and a statement from Secretary of Commerce Luther H. Hodges. The January 1963 issue of The News in Public Roads observes that the coverage of the article is "an indication of the widespread interest of newspapers in the Interstate program."
1982: The second generation Honda Prelude was released.
Birthdays: Dale Jarrett (1956)
1968: Administrator Lowell Bridwell issues a Notice of Request for Comments on technical, economic, and social issues that would be raised if safety performance standards were established for used vehicles. Safety standards for new cars (in effect since January 1, 1968) and used cars are required by the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966. The request seeks comments on appropriate performance requirements, feasible and effective means for enforcing standards, costs associated with the standards, and the feasibility of adapting any existing standards for proposed Federal used vehicle standards. Dr. William Haddon, Jr., Director of FHWA's National Highway Safety Bureau, says that standards will be of interest to all potential victims of poorly maintained vehicles. The problem "will require effective safety performance standards for used cars and a strong enforcement program through periodic State vehicle inspection."
1980: Pete DePaolo died.
1937: President Franklin D. Roosevelt's message to Congress protests that the normal contract authority practice of advance authorization under the Federal-aid highway program "ties the hands of the Executive" and should be abandoned. Senator Carl Hayden responds that tying the hands of the Executive was "exactly what the Congress intended to do."
1956: At AASHO's Annual Meeting in Atlantic City, NJ, the George S. Bartlett Award is presented to Pyke Johnson of the Automotive Safety Foundation. The presenter, G. Donald Kennedy of the Portland Cement Association, says that Johnson's close friend, Thomas MacDonald, now retired, would have attended "except for a recent bout with pneumonia and a heart impairment which his doctor said should not be exposed to the emotion of this occasion." MacDonald's prepared statement, his first for AASHO since his retirement, states: "Now that the idea that Mr. Johnson and his associates have so vigorously and courageously championed--the State-Federal plan of action--has attained a maturity of unchallenged excellence, their faith has been justified."
1968: Administrator Lowell Bridwell presents the First Annual Administrator's Award to 10 Headquarters employees: Deputy Director Edgar H. Swick; Chief Counsel Howard A. Heffron; Richard S. Salzman, Chief, Legislative Division; James E. Wilson, Deputy Director of Highway Safety Programs Services, NHSB; Daniel W. Fulmer, Director of Traffic Safety Secretariat, NHSB; Charles W. Prisk, Deputy Director for Safety; Kenneth L. Pierson, Special Assistant to the Director of BMCS; Joan B. Claybrook, Special Assistant to the Director, NHSB; Librarian Mildred W. Helvestine; and Director of Public Affairs Albert B. Kelley.
Birthdays: Rob Smedley (1973), Bradley Smith (1990)
1993: Joint FHWA/FTA final rules on statewide and metropolitan planning go into effect, implementing major planning changes required by ISTEA. The regulations were developed by an interagency task force of the FHWA and FTA with input from FRA, the FAA, the Maritime Administration, the Office of the Secretary, and the EPA, as well as public comments, and the results of public meetings held in San Francisco, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Kansas City in 1993. Administrator Rodney Slater and Federal Transit Administrator Gordon J. Linton approved the regulations on October 22. Each State must carry out a continuing, comprehensive, and intermodal statewide transportation planning process. Metropolitan planning organizations must carry out a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning process to develop an integrated, intermodal transportation system that facilitates the efficient, economic movement of people and goods.
2017: The Subaru Ascent is debuted at the L.A. Auto Show.
Birthdays: Dick Hutcherson (1931), Shawna Robinson (1964)
1955: William A. Grant, who may have been the Agency's first African-American employee, retires at the mandatory age of 70 after 51 years, 9 months, and 6 days of service. A Washington, DC, native, he had been hired as a student assistant to test cement and aggregates for concrete under Dr. A. B. Cushman. Soon, Director Logan Page arranged for Grant to receive special training in the Office of Geological Survey, where he learned to make, polish, and mount thin sections of mineral and rock specimens for petrographic study and classification. He performed this work for the remainder of his career. According to The News in Public Roads, "Mr. Grant holds a unique place in the respect and affection of his associates. The importance of doing his work conscientiously and with pride in the result has always been his principal concern." Mr. Grant died on August 20, 1966, at Freedmen's Hospital in Washington, DC, after a brief illness.
1960: The decision is made to fold DeSoto, just 47 days after the 1961 models were introduced.
1965: Ralph Nader's Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile was published.
1970: The comment period closes on proposed new bridge inspection standards covering the 236,000 bridges on the Federal-aid systems. FHWA developed the proposed standards in accordance with a requirement of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968 enacted in response to concerns about bridge safety after collapse of the Silver Bridge. Section 124 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978 expanded coverage of the National Bridge Inspection Standards to all highway bridges on public roads, including those off the Federal-aid highway systems.
1983: Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole snips a ribbon in ceremonies dedicating the Dulles Access Road extension in northern Virginia. Describing the road as "wonderful, wonderful," she says it "should assist the further growth" of Dulles International Airport. Designed and built under the supervision of FHWA's Office of Direct Federal Programs (Region 15) for the FAA, the $25-million highway will cut driving time between Washington, DC, and Dulles International Airport in half. The extension, which is intended to assist the growth of the underused airport, includes room for future construction of a Metrorail line.
2007: Evel Knievel died.
2009: The third generation Audi A8 was introduced in Miami.
2013: Roger Rodas (driver) and Paul Walker (passenger) died in a single-car accident of a modified high-performance Porsche in Los Angeles.
1902: Representative Walter P. Brownlow of Tennessee introduces a bill in the House of Representatives to create a "Bureau of Public Roads" and provide for a system of national, State, and local cooperation in a $20-million program for the permanent improvement of the public highways. The bill resulted from a chance meeting between Brownlow and an acquaintance, OPRI's M. O. Eldridge, on a train trip to Washington, DC. Inspired by the view outside the train window, they began discussing the deplorable condition of the Nation's roads. When Brownlow asked Eldridge to draft a bill based on New Jersey's State-aid law, Eldridge did so with the approval of Director Martin Dodge. The bill sparks controversy, but is not approved. Eldridge worked behind the scenes to support the bill (at one point sending out a million copies of Brownlow's floor speech, printed at government expense and mailed under the government frank of supportive congressmen) but when he is found to be the source of the lobbying campaign, he is dismissed from service. He was later reinstated at lower pay and loss of his rank as second in command of the OPRI.
1914: Maserati was founded.
1920: Mahle was founded.
1955: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama. She was arrested, and a yearlong boycott followed. The Montgomery Bus Boycott would be one of the first major battles of the Civil Rights Era in the United States, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s leadership in the campaign propelled him into the national spotlight.
1992: FHWA sponsors the first meeting of the Scenic Byways Advisory Committee required by ISTEA. The committee's functions include developing recommendations regarding minimum criteria for use by State and Federal agencies in designating highways as National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads as part of a National Scenic Byways Program. Kevin E. Heanue, Director of the Office of Environment and Planning, serves as Chairman while Scenic Byways Program Manager Eugene Johnson assists the committee in its work.
1965: Administrator Rex Whitton approves changes in the Highway Engineer Training Program as recommended by an Agency study group he appointed to review training. The changes are designed to improve the curriculum's effectiveness and achieve a sizable increase in productive work accomplished by junior engineers.
1992: FHWA sponsors the first meeting of the National Recreational Trails Advisory Committee, authorized by the Symms National Recreational Trails Act of 1991, part of ISTEA. The committee will review the use of funds allocated by the States under the new trails funding program and establish and review criteria for trail-side and trail-head facilities that qualify for funding. The committee will also recommend policy changes that will advance the Symms Act. George Schoener, Chief, Intermodal Division, is FHWA's ex-officio representative, along with Recreational Trails Program Manager Christopher Douwes.
1997: General Kenneth R. Wykle takes the oath of office as the 14th Federal Highway Administrator. Wykle retired from the Army in 1995 with the rank of Lt. General, serving as Deputy Commander in Chief of the U.S. Transportation Command. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater notes that Wykle would be the second General to head the agency. The first, General Roy Stone, founded the agency as the U.S. Office of Road Inquiry on October 3, 1893.
2002: Delivery of the first Honda FCX cars in Los Angeles, California.
Birthdays: Bobby Allison (1937), Rick Mears (1951)
1962: During AASHO's Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, FL, Administrator Rex Whitton announces the goal of completing 50 percent of the Interstate System by the end of 1964. He reminds State highway officials that they must keep their sights on the 1972 target date for completion of the System. "We need the enthusiastic support of the public for our highway program, support which I am sure can be gained by providing long usable sections of Interstate highways."
1968: At AASHO's Annual Meeting, E. H. "Ted" Holmes, FHWA's Director of Policy Planning, receives the Thomas H. MacDonald Award for outstanding service in highway engineering.
1974: Thirty-three FHWA hydraulic engineers and representatives of 15 State highway agencies begin a new 2-week course on "Highways in the River Environment," presented by Colorado State University at Fort Collins. It is the first course in river mechanics for highway engineers.
2007: BMW X6 production begun.
Birthdays: Mary E. Peters (1948), Raul Boesel (1957)
1894: ORI issues Bulletin No. 1, State Laws Relating to the Management of Roads, Enacted in 1888-91, compiled by General Roy Stone. He reports that 14 States have passed road laws "more or less radical in their character," but they are so recent that no record of results is available. "In New Jersey, however, the new laws date from 1888 to 1892, and have proved so satisfactory in practice that no effort to amend them was made in 1893." The other 13 States covered are California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
1954: BPR's L. E. Knight and Paul Potts join C. F. Hotler of the State Highway Department of Indiana to perform the first road roughness test on the Indiana Test Road along U.S. 31 north of Columbus. The resulting report shows roughness in units per mile for each half-mile, for any remaining lesser portion of each test section, and for each lane. The road test was required by State law, but the test pavements were constructed as part of regularly programmed Federal-aid projects.
Birthdays: Jim Paschal (1926), J.D. McDuffie (1938), James Hinchcliffe (1986)
1955: The Montgomery Bus Boycott was launched. It would be one of the first major battles of the Civil Rights Era in the United States, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s leadership in the campaign propelled him into the national spotlight.
1970: Regional Administrator Fred B. Farrell represents FHWA at a ceremony marking the opening of the last segment of the West Leg of the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago, IL. Following remarks, U.S. Representative Edward Derwinski, Cook County officials, and Farrell get into their cars and drive through a paper barrier, officially opening the expressway.
1971: At the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, FL, to address AASHO's Annual Meeting, Deputy Administrator R. R. Bartelsmeyer begins a speech on "Highway Transportation in a Changing World" by quoting Alfred Lord Tennyson: "The old order changeth, yielding place to the new." Discussing drastic changes in the highway program, he says, "And we do not decry this change. While its effects often are temporarily painful, and difficult to adjust to, it is as necessary as it is inevitable. For change prevents atrophy and stagnation, and it brings in its wake new ideas, new philosophies, new approaches."
1988: During AASHTO's Annual Meeting, Administrator Robert Farris speaks on "The Nation's Highways: Somewhere Over the Rainbow." He lists four dreams or goals: Cut highway deaths in half, lower travel costs by 25 percent, improve operating efficiency by at least 30 percent, and provide a modern highway to every community of 5,000 or more.
Birthdays: Ray LaHood (1945)
1909: J.E. Pennybacker, Jr., OPR's Chief of Road Management, addresses the Southern Commercial Congress in Washington, DC, on "The Road Situation in the South."
1923: President Calvin Coolidge addresses the building of good roads in a message to Congress.
1974: Administrator Norbert Tiemann and UMTA Administrator Frank C. Herringer sign an agreement providing for an interagency program to meet evolving training needs in urban transportation. The program is designed to develop programs tailored to changing and expanding roles in the transportation field. During the first phase of the new program, needed training will be identified for transportation professionals who are responsible for those phases of systems planning and development that encompass transit as well as auto and truck transportation. The second phase provides for developing priority training and education programs to meet those needs.
Birthdays: Robert Kubica (1984), Dylan Lupton (1993)
1915: OPR completes construction of bituminous experimental roads on the grounds of the Department of Agriculture. Construction involves two wing drives leading from the sheet-asphalt pavement in front of the main building to the sheet-asphalt plaza in the rear. The experiments were designed to study the behavior of cold-application tars and asphaltic oils of the types suitable for surface treating water-bound and penetration macadams. The roads chosen for the experiment were 16 feet wide and had been resurfaced with limestone macadam in the fall of 1911. In June 1912, they were treated with a molasses-lime mixture, but the treatment was followed by 10 days of heavy rain, during which the mixture was entirely washed off and the surface soon became dusty. Although limited to delivery wagons, carriages, and automobiles, the surface had worn perceptibly by the time the bituminous experiments began.
2007: Dodge began taking depositson the third generation Challenger.
Birthdays: Kevin Harvick (1975), Ryan Newman (1977)
1921: In Omaha, NE, during a speech to AASHO's Annual Meeting, W. K. Hatt, Director of the Advisory Board on Highway Research, begins, "Above the entrance door to the office of the chief of the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads is the saying of the eminent scientist [Thomas] Huxley: Science is nothing but trained and organized common sense."
1964: Administrator Rex Whitton addresses AASHO's 50th Annual Meeting on "Full Partners: Federal-State Cooperation in the Federal-Aid Highway Program." In his conclusion, Whitton says, "I view the Bureau of Public Roads and the States as partners, neither one greater nor lesser than the other. Each partner has rights and responsibilities, but these cannot be so precisely and rigidly defined as to avoid altogether some questions about the location of the boundary lines. Through the years such questions have almost always been resolved in an informal and friendly way. They still are. I hope they always will be."
1918: Logan Page dies of a heart attack in Chicago, Illinois, after becoming ill during a meeting of AASHO's executive committee. During the Joint Highway Congress of AASHO and the Highway Industries Association (December 11-12), Page was to have delivered a talk on "Highway Control by the Federal Government Under War Conditions." An AASHO tribute states, "He more than any other man, has stood for scientific road construction, for education and the use of educated and experienced engineers for carrying out road work."
1983: Christine was released.
1991: Federal-Aid Policy Guide Transmittal No. 1 is issued, transmitting the new guide, which replaces the Federal-Aid Highway Program Manual (FHPM). The new guide includes all the regulatory material in the FHPM and current and valid nonregulatory material. An electronic version of the new guide was posted recently on the FHWA Electronic Bulletin Board System.
1993: Administrator Rodney Slater, in a heavily attended ceremony at Union Station in Washington, DC, unveils FHWA's recommendations for the National Highway System. "This is perhaps the most important event I will have the opportunity to participate in as your Federal Highway Administrator," he tells the crowd, "because the National Highway System is going to be the backbone of our national transportation network in the 21st century." Secretary Federico Pea announces an initiative to develop an intermodal National Transportation System to guide planning and investments in America's transportation network.
1994: Production ends on the Dodge Spirit, Plymouth Acclaim, and Chrysler LeBaron.
1905: Work, begun September 27, is completed on a limestone macadam object lesson road in Macon, MO. The road is 3,700 feet long, 14 feet wide, and 8 inches deep. It cost $3,229.16, of which $1,478.39 was for 2,217 tons of stone at 66 2/3 cents per ton. The cost of labor was $1.50 per day and of teams, $3.
1976: Administrator Norbert Tiemann releases A Statement of National Highway Transportation Policy, which discusses the role of the Federal Government in meeting America's future transportation needs. The policy reflects seven principles: individual mobility and accessibility; intergovernmental cooperation and maximum flexibility; continuing economic development and prosperity; greater safety; increased energy efficiency; protection, preservation, and enhancement of the human environment, including natural and cultural resources; and affirmative action to ensure opportunities and benefits of Federal-aid are distributed equitably.
Birthdays: Tony Eury Sr. (1953)
2007: Aston Martin design studio opens, V12 Vantage RS announced.
1912: OPR's M. O. Eldridge and Paul D. Sargent present an illustrated lecture on the "Roads of the World" at 8 p.m., opening day of the Indiana Better Roads Convention at the German House in Indianapolis. On December 13, Sargent reads Director Logan Page's speech on why every State should have a highway agency and a State-aid plan.
1942: Senior Structural Engineer Harry P. Hart completes a 6-day investigation of the Cali-Buenaventura Road in Colombia, made at the request of the Rubber Reserve Company and representatives of the Colombian government. The goal is to suggest ways of accelerating completion of the unfinished portion. He recommends completing the survey expeditiously; increasing the number of workmen; using small hand-operated machines, such as hand-winches and rock-pans; and completing missing bridges on the Buenaventura end because the lack of communication is hampering the work.
Birthdays: Larry Hedrick (1940), Emerson Fittipaldi (1946)
1914: American Association of State Highway Officials was formed.
1914: Twenty highway officials meeting in Washington, DC's Raleigh Hotel form AASHO. Henry G. Shirley, then of Maryland, is elected the first President (1914-1916). Dr. Joseph Hyde Pratt of North Carolina serves as Secretary until December 1921. Director Logan Page, P. St. J. Wilson, and J. E. Pennybacker, Jr., represent OPR. At 2 o'clock, the highway officials are received by President Woodrow Wilson and pose for a photograph in front of the executive office of the White House.
1959: While on loan to the United Nations to study Egypt's highways, BPR's H. A. Radzikowski is evaluating how construction of the Aswan Dam will affect highway requirements. Today, he interviews General Ibrahim El-Habbal, General Manager of the Kima Fertilizer Plant, and Dr. Hassen Zaky, President of the Aswan High Dam Department.
2005: CarsandRacingStuff.com was launched.
1913: In Boston, MA, Director Logan Page addresses the Civil Service Reform League on "The Merit System in Road Management." His conclusion notes, "I hope this distinguished body will actively join in the good roads movement, not for the purpose of urging larger expenditures, not for the purpose of urging national aid, not for the purpose of developing better methods of construction and maintenance, but for the distinct purpose of seeing that this great public trust is administered for the benefit of the public and as an example of civic righteousness and good management."
1934: At 2:30 this afternoon, President Franklin Roosevelt convenes a meeting with Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, Relief Administrator Harry Hopkins, Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Admiral Christian Peoples, and Chief Thomas MacDonald to discuss a proposed transcontinental highway. According to Ickes' diary: "At intervals during the last year I have suggested the possibility of such a highway to the President. He has always been rather taken by the idea, but it has now really struck his imagination and he is giving very serious thought to it. Recently at one of our conferences to consider a program of public works for next year, the President outlined a route for a transcontinental highway from east to west and routes for two or three north and south highways. The meeting today was to consider these routes as outlined on a map of the United States and to consider costs, etc."
1968: Secretary Alan Boyd announces allocation of 1,472.5 miles of the 1,500 miles added to the Interstate System by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968. The mileage, he says, "will lend more flexibility to the entire system to permit it to meet the tremendous changes in population and development that have occurred since the original 41,000 mile network was charted." The longest sections added are in California (102.5 miles from San Diego to Colton) and Texas (125 miles from Amarillo to Lubbock). The shortest addition is in Iowa (the 0.5-mile Iowa portion of the Sioux City-South Sioux City spur).
1996: The final 1994-1996 Chevrolet Impala SS was produced.
2012: The third generation Silverado was introduced.
Birthdays: Steve Hmiel (1953), Alan Kulwicki (1954)
1916: The schedule for the First International Road Congress at Worcester, MA, is disrupted when a heavy snowstorm interferes with railroad schedules. Director Logan Page, scheduled to speak today on "What the United States is Doing for the Good Roads Movement," did not arrive in time and, instead, will speak on December 15.
1961: BPR meets with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the American Bar Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Traffic Institute of Northwestern University to formulate policy for a National Register of Revoked Operators' Licenses.
1967: Under Federal standards announced by Administrator Lowell Bridwell today, all passenger cars are to be equipped with side marker lamps or side reflex reflectors after December 31, 1968, and side reflectors and side marker lamps after December 31, 1969.
1973: Addressing the Council of State Governments in New Orleans, LA, Administrator Norbert Tiemann warns that the national energy crisis could critically curtail the Federal-State highway program. "Commuters must realize it is their patriotic duty to use carpools or mass transit . . . and housewives can make a contribution by forming shopping carpools."
2016: Phil Smith died.
2016: The Toyota C-HR is launched in Japan.
Birthdays: Conor Daly (1991)
1924: In Washington, DC, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover convenes the National Conference on Street and Highway Safety, the first national effort to minimize injuries and loss of life from traffic accidents--22,600 deaths in 1923 and 678,000 personal injuries, representing an economic loss of $600 million. Over 900 representatives of municipal and State police departments, automobile, educational, and civic associations participate. Chief Thomas MacDonald, Herbert Fairbank, A. T. Goldbeck, and E. W. James represent BPR.
1967: The U.S. 35 Silver Bridge between Point Pleasant, WV, and Gallipolis, OH, collapses at approximately 5 p.m., killing 46 people and injuring 9 when 31 of the 37 vehicles on the bridge fall into the Ohio River or onto the Ohio shore. The collapse, the first major collapse since the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed on November 7, 1940, prompts national concern about bridge conditions and leads to the establishment of the National Bridge Inspection Standards under the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968 and the Special Bridge Replacement Program under the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1970.
1969: The Silver Memorial Bridge opens at Henderson, WV, replacing the Silver Bridge, which collapsed 2 years ago to the day. Administrator Frank Turner comments on efforts to ensure the lessons learned prevent future tragedies: "Involved are complex secrets of the physical sciences not yet completely understood and thus not readily detectable. But within your government, dedicated men and women are seeking the answers to these and many other problems . . . . When we build upon tragedy . . . and find new solutions to increase safety for others, we then can perhaps find small consolation that such a loss has not been in vain. It is really this effort which we dedicate here today."
1988: At a press conference sponsored by The Road Information Program, former Administrators Ray Barnhart, John Hassell, Norbert Tiemann, and Frank Turner join in denouncing a proposed gasoline tax increase for deficit cutting. Hassell says the plan, if adopted, "would only exacerbate the dilemma facing our nation's surface transportation system." Barnhart says, "It is blatantly discriminatory to single-out motorists from the entire population to bear the brunt of deficit reduction."
1949: Denso was founded.
1965: The Second National Conference on Highways and Urban Development, which began December 12, concludes. Although titled "Highways and Urban Development," the conference is generally known as the Williamsburg Conference after its site in Virginia. BPR's E. H. "Ted" Holmes served as General Chairman.
1968: In the FAA Building, Deputy Federal Highway Administrator John Jamieson opens a week-long hearing on FHWA's proposed regulations covering public hearings and location and design approval for Federal-aid highway projects. FHWA received over 200 requests for the opportunity to be heard. The first witness is Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman, who is "heartily in favor of the concept of the two-step hearing and appeals procedure for the location and design" of projects.
2011: The final Dodge Nitro was produced.
2013: The W205 version of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was introduced.
2014: Under Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Chrysler Group LLC becomes FCA US LLC.
Birthdays: Mike Beam (1955)
1911: In a maintenance experiment, OPR assumes responsibility for 8 miles of earth roads in Virginia's Arlington and Jefferson road districts. OPR employs a patrolman to furnish a horse, cart, and small tools. He is supplied with a road drag built of plank and required to drag the road whenever it is in suitable condition for dragging, usually after each rain. The patrolman will be paid $60 per month and $1 a day extra whenever he uses two horses to drag the road.
1915: E.W. James, OPRRE's Chief of Maintenance, presents a talk on "Road Maintenance and its Significance," to the 7th Annual Convention of the Southern Commercial Congress, Charleston, SC. He states that the attitude of local officials toward maintenance "is one of indifference . . . accompanied by inefficiency, lack of skill and knowledge, poor management, and a strong infusion of the pettiest type of local politics."
1971: Deputy Administrator Ralph Bartelsmeyer and Associate Administrator for Planning E. H. "Ted" Holmes head an FHWA team viewing a new exclusive bus lane on I-495 between the New Jersey Turnpike and the Lincoln Tunnel. FHWA had entered into a $500,000 contract with the Tri-State Transportation Commission to implement the bus lane, which is opened the next day.
Birthdays: Ted Musgrave (1955)
1991: President George Bush signs the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, the most significant restructuring of surface transportation programs since 1956. Known as ISTEA ("ICE TEA"), the act authorizes $121 billion for Federal-aid highways, $1.6 billion for safety, and $31.5 billion for transit, but through its statewide and metropolitan planning requirements, gives unprecedented flexibility to State and local officials to develop the best mix of projects, whatever the mode. While eliminating the Federal-aid systems, ISTEA broadens eligibility to cover all public roads except local roads and rural minor collectors, authorizes designation of the National Highway System, stresses choices that will help attain National Ambient Air Quality Standards, funds a National Scenic Byways Program, and renews emphasis on alternatives such as bicycling and walking.
1999: Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater joins Deputy Administrator Gloria J. Jeff and Executive Director Anthony R. Kane to launch an on-line travel itinerary called "We Shall Overcome-Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement." The National Register of Historic Places itinerary features easy-to-read stories about 41 historic sites in 21 States. Director Robert Stanton of the National Park Service and Mayor-elect Anthony Williams of the District of Columbia join Slater, Jeff, and FHWA's Ginny Finch and James Shrouds in the ceremony.
2000: Timothy R. Penney becomes FHWA's first Native American Program Coordinator. A civil engineer and member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Penney has been with FHWA for 12 years. He will be FHWA's liaison with Tribal governments and State transportation departments, working with individuals and groups on transportation-related Tribal issues and legislation.
Birthdays: Richard Hammond (1969)
1965: "A terrible mistake has been made in cities," landscape architect Lawrence Halprin tells The Los Angeles Times. The week before, he and other members of a board appointed by Administrator Rex Whitton to draft guidelines for design and location of urban expressways, had met with Whitton. Halprin says Whitton understands that, "It wasn't realized that as freeways come to cities, they have to not only move people but . . . do this in a way that is not going to destroy the cities."
1972: Secretary of Transportation John Volpe says FHWA will require installation of crash cushions on new Federal-aid freeways, high-speed roads, and high-volume roadways at locations that cannot be designed to eliminate roadside hazards. The devices can help reduce the toll--4,500 lives a year--from crashes with fixed objects.
1987: The 33.8-mile "Missing Link" of I-95, from PGA Boulevard in North Palm Beach to Fort Pierce, FL, opens, completing all of I-95 with the exception of a planned connection between the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Turnpikes.
1991: Amid numbing cold, officials gather for the opening of I-476--best known as the Blue Route--in Bucks County, PA. The opening ceremony lasts only 30 minutes because, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, "No one wanted to see the specially designed, 50-foot-long red, white and blue ribbon whipped away by the wind before [Governor Robert] Casey could cut it." The Inquirer calls the Blue Route "the most costly, most bitterly opposed highway in Pennsylvania history," but the 21.5-mile, $600-million highway is hailed for its environmental sensitivity and harmony with its surroundings.
1995: Secretary of Transportation Federico Pea announces plans to reorganize the USDOT by combining ten Modal Administrations into three based on the strategies of consolidation, downsizing, and streamlining. The plan would abolish the FHWA.
1997: With Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater looking on, Gloria J. Jeff takes the oath of office as Deputy Administrator. As Associate Administrator for Policy, she had taken on the role of Acting Administrator prior to the arrival of Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle. Jeff is the third woman, and the first African American, to hold the position of Deputy Administrator.
2005: CSK Auto completes the purchase of Murray's Discount Auto Stores.
2012: General Motors announced that Chevrolet Camaro production would return to the United States.
Birthdays: Scott Goodyear (1959), Eli Walczak (2004)
1912: In a speech to the Automobile Club of America, President William Howard Taft says, "I admit that the general Government has the power for the purpose of promoting interstate commerce to build National roads. [But] I venture to question the wisdom of opening that method of spending Federal Government money . . . because if you once set out upon a plan of National roads in addition to the plan of National waterways, I do not know how great the expenditure will amount to."
1930: President Herbert Hoover approves an emergency appropriation of $80 million to be apportioned among the 48 States and Hawaii in the same manner prescribed for regular Federal-aid funds. The funds are loans the States can use to match Federal-aid highway funds. However, the funds may be used only for projects that will actually be completed by September 1, 1931, and the amounts actually expended by the States must be repaid over a period of 5 years. This emergency measure is intended to make up for deficiencies of State revenue and permit increased employment on road work during the early road-building season of 1931. (The loans were changed to grants by the Hayden-Cartwright Act of 1934.)
1944: President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act, approved by Congress after months of wrangling over the shape of the post-war program. The act authorizes $500 million per year for 3 years, including $150 million for a new FAS system to be selected by the State highway agencies in cooperation with county or local road officials and the PRA. The act also authorizes designation of a 40,000-mile National System of Interstate Highways, but without any funds specifically for its construction.
1956: The Montgomery Bus Boycott ends three days after Browder v. Gayle is denied a motion for clarification and rehearing.
1963: Studebaker's South Bend plant was closed.
1918: Final work on shoulders and ditches is finished on Colorado's first completed Federal-aid project (3.95 miles of the Colorado Springs Highway, part of the Great North and South Highway). The project, which begins at Denver's southern limit, has a 16-foot concrete pavement, with an average thickness of 5 3/4 inches and 4-foot gravel or sand shoulders on each side. Work on the concrete pavement began July 19 and was completed November 5. Total cost is $80,703.10, with a Federal share of $37,198.49 (46.1 percent of the combined cost of construction and engineering). According to the last traffic census, the old road carried 1,200 vehicles a day, considered "very heavy."
1979: The second, eastbound bore of the I-70/Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel in Colorado opens. The contract for the second bore was signed on August 11, 1975; the tunnel was "holed through" on August 17, 1978. The Colorado Department of Highways developed the project in cooperation with FHWA's Division Office. Division Structural Engineer Larry Lutz is FHWA's representative on the project.
Birthdays: David Pearson (1934)
1912: Director Logan Page transmits OPR Bulletin No. 43, Highway Bridges and Culverts by Charles H. Hoyt (in charge of Bridge Engineering) and William H. Burr (OPR consultant from Columbia University) to Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson. The bulletin, a revision of Bulletin No. 39, issued September 6, 1911, contains an offer to send an engineer whenever possible to confer with local officials, upon request, concerning bridge needs. The offer results in concern that OPR is trying to compete with private engineers. Director Logan Page responds that OPR's intent was not, and never had been, to compete with private engineers. The bridge and culvert work proposed to be taken up by OPR was wholly of an educational and experimental nature and followed the identical policy pursued during the past 12 or 13 years in the construction of object lesson roads, as a result of which many engineers had found employment where none existed before.
1955: Following heavy warm rains that melted snow on the mountains in California, Oregon, and Washington, all BPR employees in the San Francisco and Portland Division Offices (equivalent to Region Offices) are put on alert. In California, BPR is given responsibility for emergency assistance in the repair of all highways and streets, not just those on the Federal-aid systems as usual. Over the next few days, the entire staff of the Division 7 Office and the California District Office set to work, but need help from other offices. In all, 38 engineering teams are organized.
2014: Mark R. Rosekind is sworn in as the 15th Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Birthdays: Michele Alboreto (1956), Peter Sospenzo (1956), Greg Biffle (1969)
1986: The final Chevrolet Chevette was produced.
1982: Overcoming a 13-day filibuster intended to block a gas-tax increase, the Senate votes 81-5 to approve the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. Secretary of Transportation Drew Lewis says, "We think this is a tremendous move forward for transportation." To break the deadlock, several Senators arrived in Washington, DC, today on military aircraft and were taken to the Capitol for the vote in police cars with lights flashing and sirens wailing.
1983: In an open letter to readers of Better Roads, President Ronald Reagan says, "The rehabilitation of America's highways is essential if we are to maintain the economic recovery that is already under way." He adds, "I can think of no other government program which more effectively illustrates the way in which federal, state and local authorities should work together, in conjunction with private industry, to meet the needs of the public."
1988: Production of the Plymouth Gran Fury ended.
1990: Wendell Scott died.
Birthdays: Mary Barra (1961)
1973: Chevrolet begins development on the Chevette.
1975: FHWA releases Your Rights and Benefits as a Highway Relocatee, a brochure intended to help those who are required to relocate because of Federal-aid highway construction.
1992: FHWA's Bert Schachnies of the Office of International Programs and Jim Sorenson of the Pavement Division return from Russia after a study tour that began on December 10. In addition to helping develop the basis for cooperation between the two countries on road technology, Schachnies performed a preliminary review of the Russian road construction industry. Sorenson contributed to a World Bank analysis of Russia's road needs, following up on work performed by the French Government.
Birthdays: Tony Schumacher (1969)
1947: A PRA team in the Philippines to help rehabilitate roads damaged during World War II, shares Christmas Day with their Philippine coworkers, who provide hand-made decorations for the occasion. PRA's team includes Frank Turner, Elmer Johnson, Martin Dudderman, and George Williams. The party, which includes an hour-long skit portraying Christmas scenes, helps create a common bond among participants from the two countries.
1917: By Presidential Proclamation, the Federal Government sets up the U.S. Railroad Administration (USRA) and follows up on December 28 by seizing all mainline steam railroads with the intention of operating them during World War I under authority of the Army Appropriation Act of August 29, 1916. Secretary of the Treasury William G. McAdoo is appointed Director General of Railroads. In part, this action is a response to protests by State highway agencies that because of restrictions on rail transport imposed effective November 1, 1917, road work that was dependent on shipment of materials by rail had virtually been halted.
1988: The 1989 Ford Thunderbird & Mercury Cougar were introduced.
Birthdays: Heidi Walczak (1980)
1993: Air quality conformity regulations under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 go into effect today, having been approved by EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner on November 15 after an extensive public involvement process, including review of over 300 written comments. This final rule establishes the process by which FHWA, FTA, and metropolitan planning organizations determine that transportation plans, programs, and projects conform with State or Federal air quality implementation plans for eliminating or reducing the severity and number of violations of the national ambient air quality standards and achieving expeditious attainment of such standards.
In a special issue on "25 Shapers of the Modern Era," U.S. News & World Report includes former Administrator Frank Turner as "The Superhighway Superman." The magazine says of Turner that after working with Congress during passage of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 launching the Interstate era, "the career technocrat and engineer shaped the interstate system into the biggest public-works project in U.S. history-and one of the most controversial.":
Birthdays: Jack Ingram (1936)
1922: Thousands attend the opening of the three-span concrete arch Swift Island Bridge, built with Federal-aid funds across the Yadkin (Pee Dee) River in North Carolina. In 1926, the bridge must be demolished to accommodate construction of a dam 9 miles downstream. The North Carolina State Highway Commission and BPR appoint an advisory committee to conduct tests on the bridge for the benefit of future bridge designers. The committee's report, approved November 8, 1928, appears in the December 1928 and January 1929 issues of Public Roads. In addition, BPR's Office of Motion Pictures releases a 20-minute film showing the method of loading, test apparatus in place, measurements being taken, and scenes of the bridge's destruction with explosives in experiments by the War Department.
1961: Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges, Administrator Rex Whitton, NPS Director Conrad Wirth, and State and local officials participate in a ceremony opening the 5,900-foot Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, which will carry Capital Beltway traffic across the Potomac River. Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, widow of the President, was to have unveiled a plaque in the memory of her husband, but she is gravely ill. The bridge, which spans three jurisdictions (Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia), was authorized when President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved House Bill 83-704 on August 30, 1954. In 1958, BPR began construction, which involved 13 contracts. The total cost of the bridge was $14 million. Only short sections of the beltway on either side of the bridge are open, but traffic on the bridge quickly reaches 18,000 vehicles per day.
Birthdays: Waddell Wilson (1936), Patty Moise (1960), Angie Wilson (1974)
1912: In Washington, DC, Director Logan Page speaks on "Utilization of Motor Truck Trains in the Maintenance of Trunk Highways" at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He describes how OPR hired a motor truck designer to design a motor maintenance "truck train" that includes all the apparatus and facilities needed for efficient maintenance of over 100 miles of road surface by a repair gang of eight men. The theory is based on the thought that "we might 'cure the bite with the hair of the dog.'"
1967: Hyundai Motor Company was founded.
1981: The Federal-Aid Highway Act redefines Interstate System "construction" to mean providing a minimum level of acceptable service, and adds a fourth R, covering "reconstruction," to I-3R (resurfacing, restoring, and rebuilding).
2013: Andy Granatelli died.
Birthdays: Fred Lorenzen (1934), Bob Bilby (1941)
1940: Governor Culbert Olson dedicates California's first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway (renamed the Pasadena Freeway in 1954), built with funding from the Works Progress Administration, the Public Works Administration, and over $500,000 from the PRA, as well as State and local agencies. "It is proper and timely," he says, "for us to pause a few moments to ceremonialize and celebrate an achievement so extraordinary as the completion of this, the Arroyo Seco Parkway . . . . Now that we have it, and it all looks so rather simple, so obviously necessary, so wholly practical, some will ask, 'What is there so wonderful, or so bold about it?' Oh yes--but it takes courage to do a thing the FIRST time, no matter how simple and obvious it may appear AFTER it is done. And this, fellow citizens, is the first Freeway in the West. It is ONLY the first. And THAT is its great promise to the future--the promise of many more freeways to come." The ceremony concludes with the cutting of a "Chain of Roses" by Governor Olson, assisted by the Queen of the 1941 Tournament of Roses, her six Maids of Honor, and State and local officials. The official dedicatory booklet includes thanks to many local, State, and Federal officials, including PRA's Dr. L. I. Hewes and C. H. Sweetzer, who "joined hands to make a dream come true. These men today present to the public this 'Highway of Tomorrow.'" Dr. Hewes contributes remarks to the ceremony on PRA's behalf.
1959: After 11 years, the BPR Division Office in Ankara, Turkey, closes, having helped the government expand its network of all-weather roads from 12,140 km to 36,000 km. Division Engineer Fred J. Dixon received a letter from Director General Fevzi Atac, Turkish General Directorate of Highways, expressing appreciation for the Division's contributions to the development of Turkey's highways. In a report, Dixon notes that Turkey now has over 36,000 kilometers of all-weather highways and roads, compared with 12,140 kilometers when BPR began its work.
1970: The Federal-Aid Highway Act approved today by President Richard Nixon authorizes operation of the National Highway Institute, creates the FAU system and the Special Bridge Replacement Program, and includes measures dealing with environmental considerations, noise standards, and air quality. USDOT is called on to prepare and issue guidelines to ensure consideration of the social, economic, and environmental effects of proposed projects and that final decisions are made in the best overall public interest. The resulting guidelines, known as "Process Guidelines," are issued in September 1972.
1975: FHWA announces a $6-million Bikeway Demonstration Program, authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Amendments of 1974, aimed at promoting bicycling as a viable surface transportation alternative. The funds, which may be used to construct bicycle facilities in urban areas, are intended to supplement funds already available for bicycle projects under the regular Federal-aid highway program. Administrator Norbert Tiemann says that, "Such projects, when implemented in large scale, will help to reduce problems of urban congestion, air and noise pollution, and energy consumption."
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