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Interstate Highway System

Persons travelling through the United States today may find it difficult to imagine our country without the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System. It was not until June 29, 1956, when President Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act, that interstate highways began to meet the challenge of the growing number of automobiles on the nation’s highways. While in Europe during World War II, then General Eisenhower viewed the ease of travel on the German autobahns. That, coupled with the experiences of a young Lt. Col. Eisenhower in the 1919 Transcontinental Convoy convinced the President of the overwhelming need for safer and speedier highways. The President also felt that the newer, multi-lane highways were essential to a strong national defense.

Interstate Highway System

For a listing of collections at the Eisenhower Library with materials on this topic, please see:   Interstate Highways Search Report .

For documents pertaining to the Interstate Highway System, see:

Message to the Congress re highways, February 22, 1955
 Message to Congress re highways 22255pg1 
 Message to Congress re highways 22255pg2
 Message to Congress re highways 22255pg3 
 Message to Congress re highways 22255pg4

Letter from Roger Jones to President Eisenhower concerning the Federal-aid highway construction program, June 28, 1956

Letter from Sinclair Weeks to the President re improvement of the Interstate Highway System, August 9, 1956

Letter from Robert Merriam to the President re highway act, April 10, 1958

Statement re 1958 Federal Aid Highway Act, April 16, 1958

Memorandum, Phillip Hughes to President re highway act, September 17, 1959

Statement re 1959 highway act, September 21, 1959

Meeting of April 6, 1960 re the interstate highway program, April 8, 1960

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