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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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October 15
1919 BPR's FY 1919 annual report, which Chief Thomas MacDonald transmits to Secretary of Agriculture D. F. Houston today, notes that of 189 men employed by BPR at the start of World War I, 79 entered military service (plus one woman, clerk Edna Munger) and 3 died in action (Drainage Engineer Willis E. Comfort, Jr., Highway Engineer Percy A. Rideout, and stenographer Harris E. Petree). In addition, Auditor William Brown died of the nationwide flu epidemic, which struck immediately after the war. One BPR woman entered the naval service as a landsman.
1958 BPR Commissioner Ellis Armstrong attends the ribbon cutting ceremony for the AASHO Road Test at Ottawa, IL, one of his first official acts as Commissioner. "Today we are opening the most important section of highway in the country. For highways are built for only one reason--to serve the people. And this road is not different in that respect . . . . The benefits from this test road . . . will begin to serve the Nation at the earliest possible date." BPR Director Frank Turner and former Commissioner Charles Curtiss, now with ARBA, also participate.
PHOTO: First trucks roll over Loop 6(D) at the AASHO Road Test.
After ribbon cutting ceremony, first trucks roll over Loop 6(D) at the AASHO Road Test.
1966 President Lyndon Johnson signs the Department of Transportation Act in the East Wing of the White House, authorizing creation of the USDOT, with FHWA as one of the modal Administrations.
"The Department of Transportation will have a mammoth task--to untangle, to coordinate, and to build the national transportation system for America that America is deserving of."
President Lyndon B. Johnson
October 15, 1966
1975 Administrator Norbert Tiemann announces the establishment of an FHWA Division Office in Tehran, Iran, to be headed by Daniel Hammond and staffed with 11 FHWA employees. FHWA will be reimbursed for all costs incurred while providing technical assistance to Iran.
1990 President George Bush signs Public Law 101-427, renaming the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways: "The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways."
1999 FHWA's Nondestructive Evaluation Validation Center debuts at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. The center is the only one in the world dedicated to evaluating and validating nondestructive technologies for highway and bridge inspection. Executive Director Anthony R. Kane joins Research and Development's Associate Administrator Bob Betsold and Glenn Washer in cutting the ceremonial ribbon.
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