From the first decade of the 20th century to 1936, Mexican American businesswoman María G. “Chata” Sada operated an establishment for weary travelers in a remote area of west Texas that has been part of Big Bend National Park since 1944. The establishment became widely known as “Chata’s Place,” and it was basically a combined... Continue Reading →

August 2, 1947 About nine years before President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the bill formally establishing the Interstate Highway System, the general locations of the first designated routes for that proposed network were announced. This announcement was made by Major General Philip B. Fleming, administrator of the Federal Works Agency (which included the Public... Continue Reading →

July 30, 1978 It was a day of many logistical challenges and a large number of confused motorists in the southernmost section of Japan, as Okinawa Prefecture (one of the nation’s 47 main administrative divisions) officially switched its traffic patterns from driving on the right-hand side of the road back to driving on the left-hand... Continue Reading →

July 25, 2011 In Morocco, a major highway connecting Fes (second only to Casablanca as the nation’s largest city) with the city of Oujda (near the border of Algeria) made its official debut. The Fes-Oujda Expressway – spanning about 190 miles (306 kilometers) -- was officially opened by Karim Ghellab, the Moroccan minister of equipment... Continue Reading →

February 26, 1931 Sam Hill, an ambitious businessman, and entrepreneur whose strongest passions included surface transportation died in Portland, Oregon, at the age of 73. While a number of stories about him are likely apocryphal – a key example being that he was the source of the popular saying “What in Sam Hill . .... Continue Reading →

January 22, 1673   The first regular overland mail-delivery service in the present-day United States was launched when a post rider departed New York City on horseback for Boston. New York Colony Governor Francis Lovelace, responding to a directive from England’s King Charles II to establish closer communications among the northern colonies in North America,... Continue Reading →

September 19, 1919 Construction officially began on a major road along Australia’s southeastern coast. At the time, this region of the Australian state of Victoria was mostly accessible to the outside world only by sea. The building of the Great Ocean Road was seen as an opportunity to better connect isolated settlements in the area... Continue Reading →

June 27, 1937 On California’s central coast, a major portion of State Route 1 (better known at the time as the Roosevelt Highway, in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt) was officially dedicated in the rugged but picturesque Big Sur region. Thousands of people were on hand to witness the debut of this highway segment... Continue Reading →

A milestone in the development of American highways took place when the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads issued a certificate of completion for the first project finished under the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916. The project was based in Contra Costa County, California, and it involved a 2.55-mile (4.10-kilometer) stretch of road between the... Continue Reading →

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