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  Kansas celebrates 50 years of Interstates

Celebrate Kansas Interstates!

Kansas' own President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act on June 29,

1956, which launched the Interstate system across the United States.

We invite you to celebrate our rich Interstate history and the bright future ahead. The celebration’s focal point is a reenactment of the 1919 Transcontinental Motor Convoy in which Lt. Col. Eisenhower participated. A portion of the convoy will swing through Kansas from June 21-23.

events to include:

uJune 21

Convoy travels on I-70 from Denver, Colo., to Abilene during the day

s6-9 p.m. –Evening Social

You can welcome the convoy at an evening celebration in Abilene. There will be an ice cream social, a performance by the Abilene City Band, an antique car show (registration form on web), a highway exhibit and other activities at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

The convoy should arrive about 6:30 p.m. with local and national dignitaries making brief remarks from the front porch of Eisenhower’s boyhood home at 7:30 p.m.

Rain contingency – In case of rain, activities will take place in the Visitor’s Center

uJune 22

s6 p.m. – Vehicle parade around Abilene

Numerous vehicles will parade through town starting at the Eisenhower Center, then north from the Center to 3rd Street, west (left) on to 3rd Street to Cedar, north on Cedar to 14th Street, east (right) to Buckeye Avenue, south on Buckeye and arriving back at the Eisenhower Center about 6:30 p.m.

s7 p.m. - Panel discussion

An evening panel discussion will highlight Eisenhower’s tremendous involvement and impact on the nation’s Interstate system. KDOT’s own Jim Brewer, Road Design Engineer, and former Assistant Secretary/State Transportation Engineer Mike Lackey as well as Mary Turkington, chairman of the Kansas Turnpike Authority, and Connie Achterberg, attorney who handled land condemnation for the original interstate construction, will participate. There will also be a presentation by Dan McNichol, author of The Roads that Built America: The Incredible Story of the U.S. Interstate System, a noted authority on the Interstate and transportation history.

You are invited to attend and participate in the panel discussion. For more information, please contact eisenhower@nara.gov or 877-746-4453.

uJune 23

s7:30 a.m. – Farewell parade

Citizens and visitors in Abilene are invited to line Buckeye Avenue and bid farewell to the national convoy as it travels from the Eisenhower Center to I-70. The convoy will travel east on I-70 to Kansas Speedway.

s10:45 a.m. - Event at Kansas Speedway

The convoy arrives at Kansas Speedway and will make a “victory” lap around the track followed by a safety carnival and speeches. Mary Peters, former Federal Highway Administrator, will be the keynote speaker.



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700 SW Harrison, 2nd Floor West, Topeka, KS, 66603-3745, or (785) 296-3585 (Voice)/Hearing Impaired - 711.
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