You are standing at the western terminus of the Lincoln Highway, the first direct coast-to-coast highway from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco. It was conceived in 1912 by Carl Fisher (founder of the Indianapolis Speedway and pioneer developer of Miami Beach) who encouraged manufacturers of autos, tires and cement to contribute funds to establish a direct motor-vehicle route, traversing 3,300 miles through 12 states, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Thus, the Lincoln Highway Association was founded in 1913 with headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. Its first president was Henry Joy, president of the Packard Motor Company. In July, 1919, a two-mile-long U.S. Army Transcontinental Convoy of 56 vehicles and 209 men "conquered" the Lincoln Highway after a journey of 62 days. Accompanying the convoy was then Lt. Colonel Dwight David Eisenhower who perceived the need for improved highways for both military and commercial purposes. Thirty-seven years later, President Eisenhower signed the Interstate Highway Act of 1956, giving birth to the Interstate Highway system which serves our nation so well today. Interstate 80 follows much of the old Lincoln Highway.
Donated by the California Chapter of the Lincoln Highway September 2005