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Time Line
Lincoln Highway History

1913, July 1 - a group of automobile enthusiasts and industry officials established the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) in Detroit, Michigan.  Henry Joy was its first president.  Source   Then September 14, 1913, the "Official" route was announced. Source  The route of was formally dedicated by the LHA on October 31 of the year.

1920 Washington County Plat Map shows Washington street extending east to about modern day 4th street, but did not go all the way east to the river crossing.  Traffic was routed east on Jackson Street past the cemetery.

1926, November, States approved the U.S. highway numbering system

1928, the LHA ended its active promotion, but not before one last publicity stunt. The Lincoln Highway was officially marked and dedicated to the memory of Abraham Lincoln on September 1, 1928. On that day, at 1:00 p.m., groups of Boy Scouts placed approximately 3,000 concrete markers at sites along the route. They were placed on the outer edge of the right-of-way at each important crossroad, at minor crossings, and at other intervals to assure each motorist that he was on the right road. The signs carried the Lincoln Highway insignia, a bronze medallion ("This Highway Dedicated to Abraham Lincoln") and a directional arrow.

1925 Department of Agriculture announced a plan to designated a number of road in the nation with a uniform system of marking highway routes.  Much of the Lincoln Highway route through Nebraska became part of U.S. 30.  The name, Lincoln Highway, remained associated with the route for many years after its designation as U.S. 30.

1927 The Lincoln Highway Association officially disbanded on December 31 after agreeing to mark the highway one last time as a memorial to Abraham Lincoln.  (source)

1929  The Abraham Lincoln Memorial Bridge (Blair Bridge) was opened across the Missouri River, causing the Lincoln Highway to be rerouted from Missouri Valley, Iowa, to Fremont, Nebraska, via Blair, Nebraska, bypassing Omaha.

1930 July 30, The Omaha World-Herald stated that the rerouting of the the highway would have little affect on traffic.  However, what outraged local citizens was not entirely the rerouting, but instead the manner in which the Lincoln Highway Association went about redesignating the route.   Without notifying Omaha or Council Bluffs officials, the organization order several crews of workers to remove the makers from the original route to the new one in the middle of the night. [Ahlgren & Anthone]  Two days later, the Omaha World-Herald [July 25, 1930 "Strong Protest as Omaha Loses Lincoln Highway"] printed the Lincoln Highway Association's rebuttal.  Gael S. Hoag, secretary of the organization, stated that "Lincoln Highway: was a copyrighted name.  Therefore, the markers which line the highway are private property, owned by the association, and could be place where they saw fit.  He went on to explain that, because the markers were private property, they only need permission from the towns in which the signs were to be placed and not from the places they were removed.  Source: Nebraska Historic Highway Survey, Nebraska State Historical Society and Nebraska Department of Roads. Page 53 & 54

1932, November 1 -- Blair City Council pass a resolution acknowledging that the Lincoln Highway Bureau gave the right and authority to move the Lincoln Highway through the city limits of Blair.

Said Highway shall proceed from the western terminal of the Blair Bridge to the eastern terminal of the brick paving of Washington Street, thence west on Washington Street to Third Street (present day 19th Street,) thence south on Third Street to South. Street, thence southwest as routed at present.     Source:  City Council Minutes

1939   David H. Traill, traveling executive sectary for the Iowa-Nebraska Lincoln Highway Association documented the highway through a photographic survey of directional signs along the Lincoln Highway in Nebraska.  Source  


1940, March 23, NBC Radio introduced a Saturday morning dramatic show called Lincoln Highway.

1992 On October 31, the Lincoln Highway Association was reformed in Ogden, Iowa, as a nonprofit  organization dedicated to the interpretation and preservation of America’s first  transcontinental automobile road.

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