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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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June 24
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.
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."
Reading the wording of the just-unveiled plaque renaming the Lagngley Research Station in honor of Herbert S. Fairbank are Mrs. Francis Fairbank (wife of Mr. Fairbank's cousin), Administrator Rex Whitton (center) and Pyke Johnson, retired President of the Automotive Safety Foundation.

"A gifted writer; a man of brilliance, depth and vision; of warmth, wit, and wisdom; of dedication and integrity; an exacting but inspired leader."
Taken from the Herbert S. Fairbank
Highway Research Station Plaque
Dedicated June 24, 1964
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."
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