The First US Secretary of Transportation Was Sworn In

January 16, 1967

In the presence of a large crowd in the East Room of the White House, Alan S. Boyd was sworn in as the first U.S. secretary of transportation by Judge James Durfee of the U.S. Court of Claims. The 42-year-old Boyd stepped into the job just a couple of months before the U.S. Department of Transportation was slated to become formally and fully operational, and he was charged with setting up this new cabinet-level agency.

Boyd’s extensive professional experience included serving as chairman of the Florida Railroad and Public Utilities Commission, Civil Aeronautics Board Chairman, and Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation.  “Alan Boyd will undertake a major assignment in attempting to coordinate national transportation for this great land of ours,” proclaimed President Lyndon B. Johnson that Monday morning at the swearing-in ceremony. “He will bring together, as authorized and approved by the Congress, more than 30 various agencies and attempt to get economy and efficiency and give the kind of results that the American people would like to point to with pride.”

As transportation secretary, Boyd focused on such areas as automobile safety, driver education, air traffic control systems, and the highway beautification program. He served as secretary until the end of Johnson’s term as president in 1969. In the time since then, Boyd has been president of the Illinois Central Railroad, president of Amtrak, and chief executive officer of Airbus Industrie of North America.

For more information on Alan S. Boyd, please check out

President Lyndon B. Johnson’s remarks at the swearing-in ceremony for Alan S. Boyd as the first U.S. secretary of transportation are available at

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