Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2021

Department 1



By passing the Federal Highway Act of 1956, 34th U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower would go down in history as the father of the American Interstate Highway System. It was Ike’s determination to execute his ‘Grand Plan’ for a modernized road network that initiated the monumental effort to produce the roads we as Americans use every day. However, today’s highway network is a far cry from what Ike had in mind when he first envisioned the plan. Congressional dissent and special interests did much to undermine the success of Ike’s ‘Grand Plan,’ forcing him to compromise significantly on the issue. Through an analysis of Ike’s motivations, actions, and rhetoric surrounding the Interstate Highway effort as president of the United States from 1953-1960, I will demonstrate what Ike thought of the road network he initiated, and why it fell short of his greatest expectations.


Written for HIST 412: Eisenhower & His Times

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.