By 2003 interstates reached almost 48,000 miles.
The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, popularly known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, became law.
Passed at the urging of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the act provided 90 percent federal funding for a “system of interstate and defense highways.” Among the reasons the president had urged passage was the need to flee cities during a nuclear attack. Signed into law by on June 29, 1956, the Act authorized spending $25 billion through 1969 for construction of about 41,000 miles of interstates.
“Of all his domestic programs, Eisenhower’s favorite by far was the Interstate System,” notes biographer Stephen Ambrose, author of Eisenhower: Soldier and President.
Article courtesy of the American Oil & Gas Historical Society.