The True History of America's Interstate Highways

The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways was actually the idea of an earlier president, according to this history of highways posted on The Infrastructurist.

Earl Swift, author of "The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways", explains.

"The bureau instead proposed a more ambitious web of highways in and between cities, arguing that it might not only ease the country's worsening urban traffic, but replace its slums. Voila: We had a rough blueprint for today's Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways.

Thing is, that White House meeting took place in 1938. Eisenhower was in the Philippines at the time, working for Douglas MacArthur. He wouldn't take the oath of office for another 15 years.

The guy who drew those lines on the map was Franklin Roosevelt."

Full Story: The Secret History of America’s Interstate Highway System

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 2012

Thinking about Grad School?

You need the essential resource for prospective planning students
Starting at $24.95

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00