119: Interstate Highway System
On June 29, 1956, the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act was signed into law by U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower.
Here are a few things you may not have known about the Act and the Interstate Highway system it funded.
First, Eisenhower had two inspirations for the Interstate system. The first was the 1919 Army Convoy on the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental road. The convoy averaged a little over five and a half miles per hour, and the trip took two months. The second inspiration was the German Autobahn, which Eisenhower became familiar with during World War II.
Second, the system was designed to provide ease of movement across the country by both civilians and the military. Interstates were placed near Air Force bases to help move troops in the event of a foreign invasion.
Third, the original act creating the Interstate system raised 25 billion dollars for the project. As of today, an estimated 425 billion dollars have been spent on the nearly 50,000-mile system.
Our question, U.S. Interstate system is the world’s second-longest motorway system. Which country has the longest system?
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