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June 29, 1956 – Eisenhower signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act

US highway system in 1965

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act on this day in 1956. The bill allowed for the creation of a 41,000 mile highway system. With his signing, Eisenhower stated the project would eliminate inefficient routes and traffic jams, as well as all other things that stood in the way of “speedy, safe, transcontinental travel.” The roads became known as the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. Vast approval of the bill can be traced in part to the argument the express roadways would allow for the quick evacuation of major cities in the event of a nuclear attack.

Dwight. D Eisenhower

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