November 17, 1919 A new train terminal made its debut with hardly any fanfare in Jacksonville, Florida, at a time when that city was increasingly evolving into a vital railroad hub. At a minute past midnight, regular operations at the Jacksonville Terminal formally began when its superintendent J.C. Blanton said to his crew, “Open the... Continue Reading →

November 2, 1863 Civil engineer Theodore Judah, whose vision and technical expertise helped bring about one of the most significant railroad accomplishments in American history, died of yellow fever at the age of 37 in New York City. He most likely contracted the viral disease in Panama while he and his wife Anne were en... Continue Reading →

October 28, 1874 Henry Garnett Shirley, who became the first president of AASHO (officially renamed AASHTO in 1973), was born in Jefferson County, West Virginia. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute with a degree in civil engineering in 1896, and went on to serve as commandant and professor of military science at Horner Military... Continue Reading →

October 17, 1849 Railroad entrepreneur William Mackenzie was born near the settlement of Scott’s Plain (now the city of Peterborough) in what was then the British colony known as the Province of Canada. When Canada achieved its independence as a federal dominion in 1867, the area that had been the Province of Canada was divided... Continue Reading →

October 10, 1848 The first railroad locomotive to operate in Chicago arrived in the city via schooner. This steam locomotive, aptly named the Pioneer, had been built in 1837 for the Utica and Schenectady Railroad (U&S) in New York. Originally called Alert, this locomotive was used by the U&S for nine years before being sold to the... Continue Reading →

September 6, 1871 John A. Poor, whose accomplishments included helping to develop and enrich Maine’s railroad network, died in Portland, Maine, at the age of 63. A lifelong Mainer, Poor had a deep appreciation for the potential of railroads within that state. This appreciation could be traced as far back as 1834, when he first... Continue Reading →

August 15, 1893 Construction was completed on a passenger train station at Ninth and Spruce Streets in Terre Haute, Indiana. Terre Haute Union Station was designed by Cincinnati-based architect Samuel Hannaford. In the course of its 67 years of existence, this three-and-a-half-story building served the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad; the Terre Haute & Indianapolis... Continue Reading →

February 10, 1941 A unique type of transportation for delivering mail via highways in the United States made its inaugural run. This means of mobility was the Highway Post Office, a large motor vehicle that had been specially outfitted to help process and move the mail as quickly as possible over long distances.  The origins... Continue Reading →

July 20, 1894 Errett Lobban Cord, industrialist and trend-setting automobile manufacturer, was born in the city of Warrensburg, Missouri. Cord, knowing a profitable thing when he saw it, immersed himself in the ever-burgeoning world of automobile development and did much to help that mode of transportation come of age. The Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg automobiles... Continue Reading →

May 25, 1878 U.S. Army officer and civil engineer Frederick Mears, whose legacy includes notable large-scale transportation infrastructure projects in various regions of the world, was born in Omaha, Nebraska. Mears enlisted in the Army in 1899. He was assigned the following year to the Philippines, where he handled several engineering assignments. Mears left the Philippines... Continue Reading →

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