The 1919 Transcontinental Motor Convoy
— Take a 28 year old
future U.S. President
on a two month long, 3,251 mile, transcontinental road trip
(where relatively few
have gone before). Wait while he shoulders a little responsibility
, add some autobahn^ envy
, and 37 years later he signs into law
over 40,000 miles of the National Defense Highway System
: it recently passed 50 years of growth
.) About his favorite domestic program
, Ike said, "More than any single action by the government since the end of the war, this one would change the face of America. ...Its impact on the American economy - the jobs it would produce in manufacturing and construction, the rural areas it would open up - was beyond calculation.
" More documents, logs, and first-hand reports from the 1919 convoy here
"We can run our car over any road that a man can take a team of horses and a wagon, providing we can get traction."
In 1903, to settle a $50 bet, Horatio Nelson Jackson became the first person
) a car (a used Winton touring car
, which had no roof or windshield) across the United States
, accompanied by mechanic Sewall Crocker and Bud the bulldog
. There were no gas stations, and there was less than 150 miles of paved road in the country. They blew a tire 15 miles into the trip and replaced it with their only spare.
Jackson's trip inspired others
. In 1909, Alice Ramsey
, accompanied by three female passengers, became the first woman
to drive (and pull
, and push
) a car across the country
. In 1915, Anita King
, "The Paramount Girl,"
became the first woman to drive across the country solo
. "Her only companions will be a rifle and a six shooter." And in 2003, Peter Kesling repeated
Jackson's trip, in a 1903 Winton