May 4, 2006
U.S. Interstate System
marks fiftieth anniversary
Nashville, Tennessee – In honour of the first Transcontinental Motor Train convoy which travelled from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco in June of 1919, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) will retrace the historic route to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Interstate System.
Bridgestone Firestone has announced that it will add two trucks to the convoy; in July 1919, lieutenant colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower, later President of the U.S., took a coast-to-coast trip to learn if troops and supplies could successfully cross America by truck. He stopped to visit Harvey Firestone, who added two of his own trucks to the group. The convoy took 55 days to reach San Francisco, at an average speed of six mph (9.6 km/h). In 1956, President Eisenhower signed a bill to create the modern interstate system.
AASHTO plans to begin the journey in San Francisco on June 15, 2006 with stops along the way for celebrations; the convoy will arrive in Washington, D.C. on June 29.