Dwight Eisenhower has an interesting legacy. Between the work he did during WWII to his presidency and political career, he is one of the most interesting Americans that ever lived. He is also the guy we have to thank for the massive highway system this country has and some of that stems back to 1919 when Ike took one of the worst road trips in the country’s history, traveling with a convoy of cars and trucks with the US Army on a trip across the continental United States. How bad was it? The adventure lasted 62 days and while the first half of the country was a breeze, the second half was a slogging nightmare. Low on fuel, rations and water, there were times where the group came to a halt for days on end trying to regroup. Trucks would slide off the road, sometimes 20 in a day and have to be pulled out. There was sand, there were narrow paths and through it all there was Ike, knowing that there had to be a better way.
The creation of the highway system was not a one man show but someone has to be a passionate driving force when the political winds stall and the experience that Eisenhower had during the 1919 trip gave him incredible passion and knowledge on the subject matter of roads and transportation. We actually have his notes from the trip and we’ll share those on Monday but until then, hit the link below and read the really awesome account of the trip from hell, a 1919 literal slog across the United States…at an average of 6mph.