Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, July 03, 2006


This is coolbert:

Just a few days ago was the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the bill creating the Interstate Highway System.

A completed highway system that modern America just cannot live without.

With the demise of passenger rail service, the advent of the airliner, and the widespread ownership of automobiles by the general public, the interstate became an important factor of American life, almost a necessity.

Enacted during the administration of President Eisenhower, with the full cooperation of a Democratic Congress.

"Eisenhower's main objective was to connect military bases across the U.S. for mobilization of soldiers and supplies during the Cold War, with a secondary goal of evacuating civilians from urban areas that might be targeted by a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union."

Democratic Congressmen saw the interstate as a massive public works project that would stimulate growth and act as an engine for further even more massive economic development.

According to ex-Congressman Kenneth Gray, who co-sponsored the bill authorizing the interstate:

"It started the greatest public works program in the history the world, and it was the best thing that happened to this country since the ending of World War Two [WW2]."

Congressman Gray evidently was on familiar terms with President Eisenhower even prior to his Congressional service:

"Gray, a former military helicopter pilot who often transported Eisenhower, the commanding general of the Allied forces in Europe."

The interstate was modeled after the German autobahn that persons such as Eisenhower and seen in Germany and been impressed with. [this of course, in the aftermath of WW2]

Part of Eisenhower's desire to see such a road system built was based upon his experience with a road convoy of U.S. Army vehicles that attempted to make the first U.S. Army transcontinental motor convoy in 1919.

"It took two months to make the 3,251 mile trip from Washington to San Francisco on poor roads."

[this is the type of thing people are amazed at and laugh at today!!]

Again, we cannot imagine an America of today without the interstate.

A concept originally thought of as having versatility in war became much more. MUCH MORE!

[prior to WW2, only 1/4 of American adult males could own an automobile. By 1947, 95 % of American adult males OWNED an automobile. Such was and has been the change in American society. Change driven to an extent as a result of war!]



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