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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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November 19
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.'"
Photo: Administrator Rodney E. Slater unveils replica of
Administrator Rodney E. Slater unveils replica of "Stone Avenue" sign in Gettysburg, PA.
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.
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