Monday, May 20, 2013
June 29, 1956
On this date, with the stroke of a pen, President Dwight Eisenhower enacted Public Law 84-627, the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, also popularly known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act which would create what is known today as the Interstate Highway System. An original authorization of $25 billion dollars would create 41,000 miles of road over a 10 year period. The money came from taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel. More roads and the car-buying frenzy of the 1950’s meant more miles driven – and more accidents. Body shops seemed to pop up on every corner in every town in America, at one time numbering over 80,000.