Thursday, April 21, 2016

Building the Interstate

In the summer of 1919, just months after the end of World War I, an expedition of 81 Army vehicles—a truck convoy—set out from Washington, D.C., for a trip across the country to San Francisco.

The convoy's purpose was to road-test various Army vehicles and to see how easy or how difficult it would be to move an entire army across the North American continent. The convoy assumed wartime conditions—damage or destruction to railroad facilities, bridges, tunnels, and the like—and imposed self-sufficiency on itself.

Averaging about 6 miles an hour, or 58 miles a day, the trucks snaked their way from Washington, up to Pennsylvania and into Ohio, then due west across the agricultural Midwest, the Rockies, and into California. Generally, it followed the "Lincoln Highway," later known as U.S. 30, arriving in San Francisco 62 days and 3,251 miles later.

Read all of the Prologue magazine article here.

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