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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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November 27
1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt's message to Congress protests that the normal contract authority practice of advance authorization under the Federal-aid highway program "ties the hands of the Executive" and should be abandoned. Senator Carl Hayden responds that tying the hands of the Executive was "exactly what the Congress intended to do."
1956 At AASHO's Annual Meeting in Atlantic City, NJ, the George S. Bartlett Award is presented to Pyke Johnson of the Automotive Safety Foundation. The presenter, G. Donald Kennedy of the Portland Cement Association, says that Johnson's close friend, Thomas MacDonald, now retired, would have attended "except for a recent bout with pneumonia and a heart impairment which his doctor said should not be exposed to the emotion of this occasion." MacDonald's prepared statement, his first for AASHO since his retirement, states: "Now that the idea that Mr. Johnson and his associates have so vigorously and courageously championed--the State-Federal plan of action--has attained a maturity of unchallenged excellence, their faith has been justified."
"Not only is [the Federal-aid] plan endowed with the essence of the principles underlying the American Constitution, it is the only plan that has a chance to meet successfully the road problems of the future. The State and Federal highway departments have a heritage to protect and to enhance which has withstood the test of time and has proved not wanting."
Thomas H. MacDonald
Former Commissioner, BPR
November 27, 1956
1968 Administrator Lowell Bridwell presents the First Annual Administrator's Award to 10 Headquarters employees: Deputy Director Edgar H. Swick; Chief Counsel Howard A. Heffron; Richard S. Salzman, Chief, Legislative Division; James E. Wilson, Deputy Director of Highway Safety Programs Services, NHSB; Daniel W. Fulmer, Director of Traffic Safety Secretariat, NHSB; Charles W. Prisk, Deputy Director for Safety; Kenneth L. Pierson, Special Assistant to the Director of BMCS; Joan B. Claybrook, Special Assistant to the Director, NHSB; Librarian Mildred W. Helvestine; and Director of Public Affairs Albert B. Kelley.
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