Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Lincoln Highway Turns 100

Lincoln Highway Marker (photo from Wikipedia)
Today is the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Lincoln Highway, which runs from New York City to San Francisco and was the first significant cross-country road in America. 

From Wikipedia (link):  “The Lincoln Highway was America's first national memorial to President Abraham Lincoln....  As the first automobile road across America, the Lincoln Highway brought great prosperity to the hundreds of cities, towns and villages along the way.  The Lincoln Highway became affectionately known as ‘The Main Street Across America.’  The Lincoln Highway was inspired by the Good Roads Movement.  In turn, the success of the Lincoln Highway and the resulting economic boost to the governments, businesses and citizens along its route inspired the creation of many other named long-distance roads (known as National Auto Trails), such as the Yellowstone Trail, ...  [and] Dixie Highway [link].  Most of the 1928 Lincoln Highway route became US Route 30 [when the US highway numbering system was instituted].”

The Lincoln Highway route is peppered with memorials and related place names.  Among them are the four Lincoln-Way High Schools in south suburban Chicago through whose district area runs Route 30.   The popularity of the Lincoln Highway led to the development of other long-distance named-roads, such as the Dixie Highway from Chicago to Miami.  A later arrival was Route 66, from Chicago’s Loop to Los Angeles, whose fame through song, television, and movies has probably eclipsed that of all other roads.  Now if only I was a song writer ....

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