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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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September 9
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.
After signing the Highway Safety Act of 1966, President Lyndon Johnson talks with Representative George H. Fallon (MD), Chairman, House Committee on Public Works (left), and Senator Jenning Randolph (WV), Chairman, Subcommittee on Public Roads.
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