Lincoln Highway

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LincolnHighwayMarker.svg


The Lincoln Highway was the first road across the United States of America.[1]

Actively promoted by entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher, the Lincoln Highway spanned coast-to-coast from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, originally through 13 states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California. In 1915, the "Colorado Loop" was removed, and in 1928, a realignment relocated the Lincoln Highway through the northern tip of West Virginia. Thus, there are a total of 14 states, 128 counties, and over 700 cities, towns and villages through which the highway passed at some time in its history.

The first officially recorded length of the entire Lincoln Highway in 1913 was 3,389 miles (5,454 km).[2] Over the years, the road was improved and numerous realignments were made, and by 1924 the highway had been shortened to 3,142 miles (5,057 km). Counting the original route and all of the subsequent realignments, there is a grand total of 5,869 miles (9,445 km).[3]

Conceived in 1912 and formally dedicated October 31, 1913, the Lincoln Highway was America's first national memorial to President Abraham Lincoln, predating the 1922 dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. by nine years. As the first automobile road across America, the Lincoln Highway brought great prosperity to the hundreds of cities, towns and villages along the way. The Lincoln Highway became affectionately known as "The Main Street Across America".

The Lincoln Highway was inspired by the Good Roads Movement. In turn, the success of the Lincoln Highway and the resulting economic boost to the governments, businesses and citizens along its route inspired the creation of many other named long-distance roads (known as National Auto Trails), such as the Yellowstone Trail, National Old Trails Road, Dixie Highway, Jefferson Highway, Bankhead Highway, Jackson Highway, Meridian Highway and Victory Highway. Many of these named highways were supplanted by the United States Numbered Highways system of 1926. Most of the Lincoln Highway became US Route 30, with portions becoming US Route 1 in the East and US Route 40 and US Route 50 in the West.

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