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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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January 21
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.
"Good roads are the highways to wealth."
General Roy Stone
Director, ORI
January 21, 1897

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."
"The proposed interregional highway system may well constitute the key to the functional rebuilding of our cities [but] the cities themselves must recognize that while opportunity is at hand, they must exploit it to the fullest, if they are to survive."
Thomas H. MacDonald
Commissioner, PRA
January 21, 1943

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."
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